"No Windows"

"No Windows" [mp3 removed -- please listen on Bandcamp]

My first track produced on my PC running the Linux Mint OS. Ardour is the software used -- a DAW (digital audio workstation) that handles similarly to Cubase.
The sound sources are

--the Moog Concertmate keyboard, played live and recorded into Ardour
--some found old school synth beats
--Doepfer modular mini-synth, triggered by MIDI from Ardour and recorded simultaneously into the DAW
--Calf's Monosynth, a softsynth plugin for Ardour that can be played using an Ardour MIDI track and exported as audio
--"Reasonable," a default softsynth for Ardour MIDI tracks

For a soundcard I used Native Instruments' Komplete Audio 6 (hat tip Joel for suggesting this). The ALSA driver in the Linux "kernel" recognizes this class-compliant USB device; audio ins, outs and MIDI are ported to/from it using the JACK streaming & connection program. This took a few days of reading forums to set up (although Ardour installs JACK automatically, I had to add the NI hardware in a separate Jack control called QJACKCTL, and instructions on how to do this varied).

Am very happy to be able to make music pretty similar to what I've been doing on Windows and have a final mixdown without (unintentional) clicks or glitches.
MAJOR NEGATIVE: At present the only way I can run Ardour is with an unacceptable amount of latency (about a fifth of a second). When I reduce the sample buffer I get pops and the dreaded "XRUNS" -- dropouts in the audio. The next task is to try to optimize the PC (which has a fast-enough processor and lots of RAM) without interfering with other things I use the computer for. Ardour also has a tendency to crackle when moving windows and clicking graphics inside the interface while audio is playing. This is annoying but doesn't affect the final output.