Micro Sized QuadCore Linux PC For Music Production

Cloudsto MK802IV LE - 1.6gHzQuad, 2GB RAM, 1080p - for music      14/11/13

I've long been interested in the micro PC - we use a Raspberry Pi here for a vairety of tasks, but its always on the edge of its capacity. This new QuadCore PC running Ubuntu Linux looks way more powerful : In the video we see it running LMMS.

The Cloudsto MK802IV LE Linux Edition Quad Core PC costs around £80 and has the following specification:

2GB of RAM, built in Wifi, 3 x USB ports, Fast onboard flash storage and runs the Ubuntu desktop OS at full speed. Now it really is possible to browse the internet, read email, manage files, edit photos, make documents, make music and even watch TV in true desktop style using a PC which fits in the palm of your hand.

The video demonstrates how they created a 12 track song using drum samples, realtime software synthesisers, FX processing plugins.

The LMMS Music Production software:

  • Song-Editor for composing songs
  • A Beat+Bassline-Editor for creating beats and basslines
  • An easy-to-use Piano-Roll for editing patterns and melodies
  • An FX mixer with 64 FX channels and arbitrary number of effects allow unlimited mixing possibilities
  • Many powerful instrument and effect plugins out of the box
  • Full user-defined track-based automation and computer-controlled automation sources
  • Compatible with many standards such as SoundFont2, VST(i), LADSPA, GUS Patches, and MIDI
  • Import of MIDI files, Hydrogen project files and FL Studio ® project files

Tempted? I am.... Maybe I can run the Bitwig beta on it...



6 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
Louis    Said...

2GB of RAM and it's running Ubuntu? What a waste of resources... The desktop environment will be hogging it all. And with 8 GB of storage you're going to have nowhere to put your media...

And it's running a 1.6Ghz Quad-Core Cortex A9 ARM, which isn't really that fast. The fact it's the ARM processor architecture means it won't be able to run Bitwig. Or Renoise. Or most of anything, unless you have the source code and want to have a crack at compiling it yourself.

In short, it's really kinda crappy...

14-Nov-13 05:01 PM

Dissapointed    Said...

Oh well, was nice thought...

14-Nov-13 05:58 PM

Sir_MROS    Said...

This would be great if PureData, Csound, Faust, Ardour or CLAM will run on it.

I don't know how many of these will compile on ARM though.

14-Nov-13 06:24 PM

Nick B    Said...

I think Puredata does run on the Pi which would mean that it should run on this? Check Servando Barreiro - he does some great stuff with PureData and Pi

15-Nov-13 05:37 AM

Andy    Said...

The OS footprint is actually very low <200MB, the OS on disk is around 1GB

The device is also available in 16GB storage but of course it can use any USB disk (although not fast, it does work)

This PC is slightly bigger than a highlighter pen so it shows what is possible, makers of real keyboard hardware could build this into a keyboard workstation and make an open source solution for creating music that would be WAY cheaper than anything on the market today.... just a thought!

This video is intended as an "early" demo of whats possible that will only be improved upon in the future :-) more and more ARM software is becoming available on a daily basis. I think this idea has great potential!

17-Nov-13 08:21 AM

Sammy James    Said...

Andy and Nick are both correct. This is the future of MOBILE music creation, for sure. It probably won't compete with a full-blown desktop or even Ultrabook, at least, not for a few more years.

I tried experiments using the LMMS, Ardour, and Rosegarden years ago with a quad-core (Q8200 to be exact). It couldn't handle more than about four or five DSP synth parts before Jack put its little paws up and went kaput. Maybe the software has improved, but configuring your own Linux rig to run music is still pretty much a big-old guessing game with little payback.


I hope that, as Andy suggested, some manufacturers get together and change this. I was trying to build a small company back in 2010, but I didn't have the money to make things happen. Had I been able to do that, I would have hired some software engineers to customize some open source software for a keyboard-based workstation with a tiny carbon footprint and loads of power.

We'll see...

Sammy James

17-Nov-13 12:29 PM

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