Originally Published: Tuesday, 19 December 2000 Author: Trae McCombs
Published to: enhance_articles_multimedia/Audio Articles Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

A First Look at GDAM

So you want to be a Disc Jockey? You've got your linux boxen, and a sound card, but don't know how to spin your mp3s? Well then, read on! We will introduce you to some software that is made to do just that on your linux box.

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GDAM? What's that? If you're wondering what GDAM stands for, the answer is "Geoff and Dave's Audio Mixer." First off, this article is just to whet your appetite. If you're seeking a detailed review, this isn't it. Here, I discuss are what this software does best, improvements that could be made, and a few tricks to quickly get it up and running.

An audio mixer works sort of like a DJ turntable tool. It lets you accomplish things you might do with a set of turntables and a microphone. You can tweak MP3 and WAV files until they barely resemble their original state. You can add beats to an existing track or you can fade one song to another -- much like the XMMS crossfade plugin, but you can set it at a certain point within the song or do it manually. Basically, it's a great DJ tool and even fun for the novice to tweak.

As for improvements, this software isn't exactly the most attractive tool. Its interface feels clumsy and extremely non-intuitive. It does work however, but it's hard even to get going. But you don't have to go through the horror I did. Basic improvements needed are graphical. With another toolkit (maybe GTK+ or Qt) and a bit of direction this thing can really start rocking.

If you want to be DJ Homeboy and you're ready to get started, here are a few quick tips.

If you are a Debian user, simply type (as root):

apt-get install gdam
Sit back and wait for it to get installed. If you use Red Hat or some other distribution, you'll want to visit their SourceForge project site and download the software.

Now, you have it installed, right? So one would think "let's fire up gdam." WRONG! (This is one of my beefs with this software.) You have to launch gdam-server as root in a seperate window.

# gdam-server --guess-config-file --port 31337 &
You can pick any port you want instead of 31337. Then, you think you would type gdam right? Nope, but don't panic! There's nothing called gdam. As a matter of fact, if you type:
$ which gdam
You will see it doesn't return a path. Here is what you have to do to actually launch the program.
$ gdam-launcher &
From this point on, you will see the actual application that will let you get started. It's pretty clunky, and takes time getting used to. But, once you get the hang of it, you can actually do things. I suggest you simply click on buttons, and explore to see what happens.

In conclusion, GDAM is a good start for a much needed multimedia application for the Linux/Un*x OS. Grab a copy, and start having fun!

Trae "OctobrX" McCombs started using Linux in September of 1996. He founded a site called Themes.org, and now works for VA Linux Systems as the site director of Linux.com.

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