Indeed, Beasley, who has been playing around with Linux since 1997, had reason to believe that they would be much better. Today his expectations have been more than realised; Laughing Boy Records, his little studio in Preston, a suburb of Melbourne, is an all-Linux shop.
He lists himself as a producer, composer, arranger and performer and in times when the number of gigs that a small musician is involved in has fallen from about 20 down to a couple a year, he has to do all of these tasks to keep going.
Not having to pay for licences for Windows and the associated software helps the bottomline. But for Beasley the reasons to run Linux go far beyond that. "I'm surprised that the take-up of Linux for pro audio is so little," he told iTWire during an interview at his little studio. "It may be that people are not aware of the possibilities that are available when you move over."
When Beasley first looked at Linux, it was Mandrake (now Mandriva) with KDE 2.0 that he picked up along with a PC magazine. "My initial impression was that I could survive in that environment," he said.
But it took seven years before Beasley decided to make the move. His Windows set-up caused him constant headaches, with the crashes of both applications and operating system, and given the level of use he was putting his machines to, he had to reinstall at least twice a year. The software also imposed severe limitations on creativity. All this time, he kept track of developments in audio software for Linux through the website of Dave Phillips, whom he describes as "one of the great movers and shakers in Linux audio."