LAD Booth @ LinuxTag 2003

For the third time in a row we have had a LAD booth at the LinuxTag in Karlsruhe/Germany. Everybody had great fun, and our booth was one of the most crowded places on the fair. Among the most frequently asked questions (apart from driver issues) were "Is there a Cubase replacement ?" and surprisingly, "How do I print music scores ?". Fortunately, NoteEdit author Jörg Anders and MusE developer Werner Schweer were with us to fill this particular gap, and we made contact with the Lilypond developers for future cooperation.

JACK and LADSPA were definitely the most impressive things for our visitors. Hooking arbitrary plugins and also other applications into the ardour mixer frequently resulted in open-mouthed staring and wiping of eyes... It seems we are at a point where Linux Audio has reached the critical mass to really take off.

Frank's MusE songs and Matthias' weird and wonderful AMS patches (featuring Fons Adriaensen's much admired Moog VCF and phaser plugins, controlled by Frank's funny graphics-tablet-to-MIDI hack) provided a constant sonic background that got many casual passers-by interested enough to stop by and see what was happening.

We made some promising contacts and many people from different projects got together. As always, shop talk continued long after the gates had closed, and many a pizza got cold over interesting discussions :)

LAD hackers

Our booth crew, left to right, standing:

Left to right, sitting:

We were especially happy to have Conrad, Josh, and Silvia with us. Josh came over from California for the second time now (he had also been here in 2001), and Silvia and Conrad made it all the way from Australia.

Unfortunately, our network connection was quite unreliable for a number of reasons, so the IRC sessions we had planned did not take place. But there was a webcam (now offline), and (stealing a good idea from Steve Harris) I have concatenated the images into an mpeg movie that you can download here (14M). If anybody feels inspired to produce a soundtrack, send them in and we'll have a contest!

For inspiration, look at Bob Ham's take on last year's movie (27M).

The German nation-wide radio station Deutschlandradio aired a small feature on Linux Audio, consisting of an interview Frank Barknecht did with Paul Davis at the LAD meeting in Karlsruhe earlier this year, and a live interview of Frank Neumann.

A transcription of the feature (in German) is at, an mp3 recording of the airing can be found at

Speaking of interesting audio material -- while we were sitting at a table at the social event on Friday night, Silvia casually remarked she was regretting there was no music, and starting drumming on the table absent-mindedly. One by one, the rest of the crew joined in, and very soon we were all hammering away on tables, plates, glasses and other assorted gear for some five minutes. Frank spontaneously demonstrated some of his organizational talent by silently coordinating a furious climax at the end :)

Winfried Trümper had an MD recorder with him and taped it all - here it is. :)
I won't vouch for artistic quality...

The LinuxTag and even our little booth got quite some media coverage: here is an article from (thanks to Dave Philips for the link).

Let me take the opportunity to give huge kudos to Martin "Joey" Schulze and the organizational crew for the free booths at LinuxTag. You guys are doing a tremendous job for the community ! As always, many thanks to Frank Neumann, who put the whole LAD booth effort together and kindly offered a place in his apartment to some of our starved hackers :)

More thanks to Linux New Media Verlag, who sponsored our leaflets, and to SuSE for letting us borrow Takashi and Matthias for our booth :)

Jörn Nettingsmeier, July 14 2003

As requested by many booth visitors, here are links to some of the applications we demonstrated at the booth: