Live Sound

Meyer Believes in Linux

Meyer Sound joins Linux Foundation news article in Mix July 2010 issue 7/09/2010 11:27 AM Eastern

John McMahon began using Linux in 1993.

Meyer Sound has joined the Linux Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux. Meyer currently uses embedded Linux in the development of the D-Mitri digital audio platform and Galileo loudspeaker-management system.

“I started using Linux in 1994, right after college,” says Perrin Meyer. “At the time, Sun or HP Unix workstations cost about $100,000, and after I graduated, I no longer had access to Columbia’s computers. So [by] using my own computer with Linux, I was able to keep the same advanced programming environment I had in school. MS-DOS and Windows were very painful for computational acoustics or digital signal processing research since Windows was still 16-bit while Linux was already 32-bit. While in graduate school at NYU, I used my home Linux machines with the Sun servers. Linux liberated me from the ‘dark basement computer room.’ By the time I graduated in 2001, Linux had become more sophisticated than Sun or Silicon Graphics workstations. By 2005, Linux had become the dominant platform for scientific computing.”

Asked why Linux is important to Meyer, Perrin Meyer (senior DSP engineer) and John McMahon (executive director, digital products) respond: “We use embedded Linux in our LCS line of audio processors. Having access to the source code and being able to modify it if necessary, we can make sure we’re using hardware to its maximum potential. Also, embedded Linux lets us determine when to upgrade or not. We develop powerful software applications that depend on feature-rich development environments and run-time systems. Linux offers an open-source platform that isn’t dependent on closed-source limitations or encumbered by complex and often expensive licensing agreements.

“Linux is now the dominant platform used by scientists worldwide, so when we collaborate with universities for research, Linux is the natural computing platform to use. For example, Meyer Sound recently sponsored some software research from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU. The goal is to develop better algorithms for computational acoustics. And the platform they use at Courant is Linux.”