ctirad wrote:There is nothing wrong with music production on Linux. WIth jack, rt core and decent hardware you can reach latencies between 1-2ms with a rock stable operation. There are even a linux based standalone synths, FX processors and VST host boxes, on the market.
1-2ms is still quite high compared to say, OS X. But the real thing I'm interested in is MIDI. I haven't done any MIDI-specific testing on Linux, but I did try to set up a real time thread to poll the printer port and toggle an output when the input was toggled. I was seeing incredibly bad unpredictability with response time, even with not much else running (I think I used Mint for testing, at the command prompt with no X - only those background daemons which it pre-loads). It was over a millisecond at times.
TOS is quite slow on response time too, but an order of magnitude better. I measured 0.5 milliseconds peak to respond to an interrupt at 8MHz. Unlike Linux, you have the possibility of turning off timer C and writing your own ACIA interrupt routine to mostly eliminate these delays. Interestingly I didn't see much performance loss from leaving VBL enabled.
I'm going to make a little benchmarking tool for MIDI for the Atari. I hope this will answer the question of performance by plugging a Linux machine into the Atari and measuring. Also Windows, OS X and another Atari.