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Thread: Ubuntu Studio Issues

  1. #1
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    Ubuntu Studio Issues

    I've been using Ubuntu Studio for a while on my desktop. My setup there was a 9.10 distribution that I manually upgraded with the studio packages, and then upgraded to 10.04. I had good luck using ffado with a presonus FP10, but I would get multiple xruns when I would plug in my axiom 49 keyboard. While this wasn't too big of a deal, I also just recently got a TubeFire 8 (excellent unit by the way, really gives a warm sound to mic'd insruments and vocals, much warmer than the Presonus)... With the arrival of this unit, I figured I'd rework my Studio setup at the same time.... I'm begging for trouble, I know...

    So, I decided to experiment with my laptop. I have a business class laptop from Dell (latitude e6500). It's a decent system with a dual core 2.8Ghz processor, 4GB of RAM, 7200 rpm 250 gig HD, and it has a mini firewire adapter, which I just happened to actually have a cable for.

    After installing Ubuntu Studio 10.04, I had some normal annoyances (permissions, CPU scaling that I didn't have on the desktop), and then some intermediate hiccups (nvidia drivers, etc.) I compile a kernel, then follow multiple tips from different threads, using Trulan's brilliant post as a base guide for setting up 10.04 with a RT kernel.

    Lo and behold, the FP10 works.. 128 frames, 2 period/buffers, 44 Sample rate. Works really good on the laptop...

    Now the problem parts...

    Plugging in the Axiom 49 gives me xruns... Not nearly as bad as before, maybe 4 an hour compared to 100 or more an hour on the old system... It's still not acceptable for recording with... More than recording with it, I want to use it as a control surface of sorts, and my main reason for purchasing it to begin with... I get these xruns with just the minimum loaded to work the unit: jackd and qsynth...
    Is anyone else having issues with usb midi devices and firewire devices running at the same time?

    My next problem, and I honestly haven't worked on this much yet, so it's more of a question right now than a problem...

    Can I daisy chain the TubeFire 8 and Presonus? I see the devices using ffado-test ListDevices ... But I see nothing when I load jackd..

    I've seen a bunch of daisy chaining two FP10's, or two of the same devices, but not so much when it comes to different devices... Has anyone had luck with this?

    It would be a huge boost to be able to move the drums/vocals to the tubefire 8, and use the presonus for line devices, like the podxt for the guitars... If I do manage to get both working, will I need an external word clock or anything else to keep them in sync, or will jackd do that for me?

    Thanks in advance for any advice/suggestions/comments.

  2. #2
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    Re: Ubuntu Studio Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by sheehanje View Post
    Is anyone else having issues with usb midi devices and firewire devices running at the same time?
    Hello sheehanje, no issues here. I'm running jackd with 64 frames, 2 period/buffers and 48 Khz sample rate and about 4 or 5 MIDI USB devices. What prio do you give JACK? And do you use rtirq? And what do lsusb and cat /proc/interrupts in a terminal output?

  3. #3
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    Re: Ubuntu Studio Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by AutoStatic View Post
    Hello sheehanje, no issues here. I'm running jackd with 64 frames, 2 period/buffers and 48 Khz sample rate and about 4 or 5 MIDI USB devices. What prio do you give JACK? And do you use rtirq? And what do lsusb and cat /proc/interrupts in a terminal output?
    I'm at work right now, so from memory, jackd is running at 70 for priority.

    I am still a little confused about the rtirq script, so do I use the one that comes with ubuntu studio, or the updated one?

    I will run lsusb and cat /proc/interrupts as soon as I get home...

    One thing I will say, I am intent on using Compiz with Ubuntu Studio. I know you advocate against it, but I find it can be very useful. I used to think of the Desktop Cube as just an eye candy thing, until I started using Linux/Ubuntu for studio work. It's invaluable to have my mixers, mastering interface, midi stuff, etc on different cube faces, and to actually see them working in real time as I'm rotating the cube. So, keep in mind, I am running compiz and would like to find a way to keep it running with my setup. If I have to ditch it, I will..

    As a side note, thanks for replying. I've been on here for 2 years, and while I don't post much, I always appreciate Trulan and your input to the Ubuntu Studio Community... Hopefully I can return the favor some day when I'm not changing so many diapers and working 12 hour shifts...

  4. #4
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    Re: Ubuntu Studio Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by sheehanje View Post
    I'm at work right now, so from memory, jackd is running at 70 for priority.
    That should be alright.

    Quote Originally Posted by sheehanje View Post
    I am still a little confused about the rtirq script, so do I use the one that comes with ubuntu studio, or the updated one?
    Lucid comes with the updated script.

    Quote Originally Posted by sheehanje View Post
    One thing I will say, I am intent on using Compiz with Ubuntu Studio. I know you advocate against it, but I find it can be very useful. I used to think of the Desktop Cube as just an eye candy thing, until I started using Linux/Ubuntu for studio work. It's invaluable to have my mixers, mastering interface, midi stuff, etc on different cube faces, and to actually see them working in real time as I'm rotating the cube. So, keep in mind, I am running compiz and would like to find a way to keep it running with my setup. If I have to ditch it, I will..
    Compiz uses a lot of resources. If you want to have a stable set-up with the least chance of running into xruns then Compiz doesn't really fit in. But if your PC can handle it, why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by sheehanje View Post
    As a side note, thanks for replying. I've been on here for 2 years, and while I don't post much, I always appreciate Trulan and your input to the Ubuntu Studio Community... Hopefully I can return the favor some day when I'm not changing so many diapers and working 12 hour shifts...
    Appreciate the props, thanks!

  5. #5
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    Re: Ubuntu Studio Issues

    Ok, last night I had the band over... Nothing but issues with the new setup at first.

    I made sure ohci1394 was added to the rtirq script in the proper places.

    I got both devices recognized by jackd by supplying the guid of both devices. As a side note the syntax:

    Code:
    jackd -P70 -dfirewire -d "guid:0x123456789;guid:0x123456789"
    Did not work with the latest packages. For some reason I had to drop the second -d and use:

    Code:
    jackd -P70 -dfirewire "guid:0x12345689;guid:0x12345689"
    But I do get both devices working using this from the command line... Getting it to work in the GUI is another chore because it insists on appending the second -d ....

    I set CPU scaling to performance for both cores, then I opened up my usual programs.

    Patchage, ArdourVST, rakarrack, qsynth

    On the presonus fp10, I had the drums (electric set, stereo) and the rhythm guitar (podxt live, stereo).

    On the TubeFire I had the lead guitar and vocals. Both mono, and both benefit from the tube preamp. The lead guitar comes in mono, then I put the signal into rakarrack, go out stereo to ardour.

    At this point, I had one drop... Not a big deal...

    We were good for about 20 minutes or so, then all of a sudden everything kept cutting out, then getting weird sounds. I looked at the screen and noticed the drops were shooting up fast, abotu 1500 or so in 30 seconds. I noticed that the cpu scaling reverted back to 800Mhz, instead of the top end of 2.54ghz.

    So, I reset everything... Same thing... I noticed the laptop was HOT ... I also noticed rakarrack eating up cpu cycles like crazy....

    So, to get through the rest of practice, I shut everything down. I hooked up just the presonus fp10. I also set the cpu scaling to 1.60Ghz... I also disabled Compiz... We made it through the session, but the CPU was being pegged fairly high at ~65% throughout.

    After the guys left, I did a little experimenting with the programs, and noticed rakarrack really eats up CPU with the convolution mod on. I disabled this, as it really didn't do too much for the sound. I also got compiz working again, and the system ran stable with just the firepod. The CPU was stable at about 15 - 18% utilization. I am afraid to put the scaling back at performance, I don't want to fry the laptop... But I think I can push it to about 2.2ghz without adverse effects.. How to I get it so I can set it, and keep it at that setting on boot?

    I am also going to try and throw the tubfire back in the mix, as it will be a great boost. When I had it up and going, the vocals definitely sounded better, and the guitar using rakarrack had a much warmer sound to it. It almost sounded like it was going through a real tube amp..

    Without further ado, I am posting the output of lsusb and cat /proc/interrupts.. I really want to get this fine tuned so I can record anywhere with just the laptop and the Presonus FP10/ART Tubefire 8 combo.

    Code:
    Bus 008 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
    Bus 007 Device 002: ID 0763:0199 Midiman Axiom 49
    Bus 007 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
    Bus 006 Device 002: ID 0566:4002 Monterey International Corp. 
    Bus 006 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
    Bus 005 Device 002: ID 0a5c:5800 Broadcom Corp. BCM5880 Secure Applications Processor
    Bus 005 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
    Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
    Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
    Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
    Bus 001 Device 005: ID 413c:8149 Dell Computer Corp. 
    Bus 001 Device 004: ID 0c45:63f8 Microdia Sonix Integrated Webcam
    Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0424:2512 Standard Microsystems Corp. 
    Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
    sheehanje@john-studio:~$ cat /proc/interrupts 
                CPU0       CPU1       
       0:    2540971    1870640   IO-APIC-edge      timer
       1:       9781          2   IO-APIC-edge      i8042
       8:          1          0   IO-APIC-edge      rtc0
       9:         99       1379   IO-APIC-fasteoi   acpi
      12:        651         54   IO-APIC-edge      i8042
      16:       1228        744   IO-APIC-fasteoi   nvidia
      17:          1    2319329   IO-APIC-fasteoi   ohci1394
      18:          0          0   IO-APIC-fasteoi   mmc0
      19:          0          0   IO-APIC-fasteoi   yenta
      20:      20532          7   IO-APIC-fasteoi   ehci_hcd:usb2, uhci_hcd:usb3, uhci_hcd:usb6
      21:         26         19   IO-APIC-fasteoi   uhci_hcd:usb4, uhci_hcd:usb7
      22:         43         65   IO-APIC-fasteoi   ehci_hcd:usb1, uhci_hcd:usb5, uhci_hcd:usb8
      28:         54       6630   PCI-MSI-edge      eth0
      29:      47277       1379   PCI-MSI-edge      ahci
      30:        255        273   PCI-MSI-edge      hda_intel
     NMI:          0          0   Non-maskable interrupts
     LOC:     780360     981945   Local timer interrupts
     SPU:          0          0   Spurious interrupts
     PMI:          0          0   Performance monitoring interrupts
     PND:          0          0   Performance pending work
     RES:     151787      34269   Rescheduling interrupts
     CAL:        994         91   Function call interrupts
     TLB:        363        464   TLB shootdowns
     TRM:          0          0   Thermal event interrupts
     THR:          0          0   Threshold APIC interrupts
     MCE:          0          0   Machine check exceptions
     MCP:          7          7   Machine check polls
     ERR:          1
     MIS:          0
    One last note, I disabled wireless on the laptop as suggested elsewhere in the forums. I also re-enabled compiz and it really doesn't seem to eat up too much CPU. With jackd running connected to both devices, and compiz enabled, CPU is stable at less than 4% .. That's with scaling set to 1.60Ghz.

    John

  6. #6
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    Re: Ubuntu Studio Issues

    Ok, problems again with running both the Presonus and the TubeFire, daisy chained.

    I was stable for about 10 minutes then started getting:

    JackAudioDriver:rocessAsync: read error, skip cycle
    JackFFADODriver::ffado_driver_wait - unhandled xrun
    firewire ERR: wait status < 0! (= -1)


    This just keeps repeating. Everything looks like it is still patched in, but no sound once this start... Going to try just the TubeFire 8 for a while to see what happens.

  7. #7
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    Re: Ubuntu Studio Issues

    Well done!

    The other day I helped a friend with a firewire audio device (edirol FA66 IIRC). He had a expresscard firewire card, from Texas Instruments. He had this setting in the conf file of rtirq:

    RTIRQ_NAME_LIST="rtc0 ohci1394"

    However, he had a few xruns so we checked the ffado wiki[1]:

    and took a look at "cat /proc/interrupts", "lspci -nn" and the PCI ID list[2]


    There was a "mmc0" or similar, that was the expresscard controller in our case.

    In your case it could be both "yenta" and "mmc0". Try to figure out. Then edit again the rtirq conf file so the controller gains a higher priority than ohci1394, in RTIRQ_NAME_LIST.

    Maybe:

    RTIRQ_NAME_LIST="rtc0 yenta ohci1394"

    or

    RTIRQ_NAME_LIST="rtc0 yenta mmc0 ohci1394"

    I am not sure, try and see


    Once the conf file saved, launch the script:

    sudo /etc/init.d/rtirq start

    And see/hear what happens. The script will be launched at boot, automagically.


    """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

    If you want to check the priorities, use the ps command or htop.

    I use htop on terminator (just another terminal emulator).

    sudo apt-get install terminator htop
    ## Launch terminator
    htop

    ## F2 --> Display options. Unmark "Hide kernel threads". F10 (done). (This F10 does not work in gnome-terminal, that is why I use terminator and BTW it is cool to open new windows inside the main window).

    ## F6 --> Sort by PRI.


    """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

    Regarding CPU freq scaling:

    You don't want CPU freq scaling "ondemand". Keep it at a fixed value. If "performance" is too hot, try another mode. As long as freq does not change automatically, it is better than "ondemand".

    I use a script, before starting jackd, with these lines:

    sudo cpufreq-set -c 0 -g performance
    sudo cpufreq-set -c 1 -g performance

    but I need that sudo cpufreq-set can be executed without a password. So I edited /etc/sudoers and allowed my user to run this command as a user command.

    I strongly recommend this reading[3]

    """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

    I did not know you can have two firewire cards working at the same time with jack, this is amazing.

    Cheers! Pablo

    [1] http://subversion.ffado.org/wiki/IrqPriorities

    [2] http://pciids.sourceforge.net/v2.2/pci.ids

    [3] http://www.linuxmusicians.com/viewto...u+freq+scaling
    Last edited by Pablo_F; September 4th, 2010 at 10:23 PM. Reason: Added notes about frequency scaling

  8. #8
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    Re: Ubuntu Studio Issues

    Thanks for the response Pablo. I did some digging myself. Seems mmc0 is the SD Card reader. Yenta it seems is the cardbus controller. I also saw how to give usb ports higher priority and decided to add the port my Axiom is plugged into a higher priority...

    So I have:

    "rtc yenta ohci1394 uhci_hcd:usb7"

    as my priority chain....

    Interesting stuff...

    Unfortunately, I can't test too much tonight, but I will give it a good run through tomorrow.

    I was thinking that if I can't get both devices to work well, I can get by with just using the tubefire 8 on the laptop, then using the FirePod on the desktop... Maybe I'll fool around with netjack, because I'm a glutton for punishment.

    Also, with the CPU scaling, I only have the options of 2.54GHz, 2.53GHz (go figure), 1.60Ghz and 800MHz.. So I will stick with 1.60Ghz. Should be fine with dual core processor for what I need to do... I will eventually build a dedicated rig.

    I'll post my experiences with my tests tomorrow.

  9. #9
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    Re: Ubuntu Studio Issues

    Ok, some quick results...

    Loaded jackd with 64 Frames, 48KHz Sample, 2 Periods/Buffers ... CPU Scaling set to 1.60GHz .. Only hooked up the ART Tubefire 8

    Loaded what I absolutely need: Ardour, Rakarrack, Patchage (I know not absolutely needed, but handy none the less)...

    Setup the stereo tracks for 2 guitars, drums, bass, vocals...

    0 xruns.
    Loaded qsynth ... added a stereo track, and patched in my Axiom 49...

    0 xruns.

    enabled generic Midi as a control surface, patched in Axiom 49 to Ardour midi capture..

    Was good until I started to assign the controls... the VST part of Ardour crashed, and I got 1 xrun..

    So I abbandoned ArdourVST in favor of plain old Ardour... still had issues with the control surfaces... Odd thing was that the keyboard would get distorted and stay distorted until I reloaded qsynth. I would experience a xruns when restarting qsynth, but nothing major...

    I decided to ditch the control surfaces and try again... didn't experience xruns until I decided to push a little further and loaded hydrogen... I got 13 xruns quickly, then it stabilized for a while, but the keyboard would again get distorted...

    CPU didn't seem to be a problem, it was at 35% at most with everything running...

    So, things are looking better in the fact I can run at 64 Frames with no xruns if I don't add MIDI into the equation... With that in mind, I'm gonna focus tomorrow on tweaking qsynth/fluidsynth .. I think that's where my troubles are pointing to right now. I will also try easing back the frames to 128, which is where I usually have it set...

    Finally, once I get a stable setup with the Tubefire, I will then add in the Presonus FP10 as a daisy chained device...

  10. #10
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    Re: Ubuntu Studio Issues

    After the guys left, I did a little experimenting with the programs, and noticed rakarrack really eats up CPU with the convolution mod on. I disabled this, as it really didn't do too much for the sound.
    This is sort of an aside to most of your post, but there are some things worth mention about Rakarrack and CPU usage just for the sake of anybody reading this post. Effects to look out for are as follows:
    Convolotron
    Reverbtron
    Harmonizer, Shifter, and pitch shifting modes in Sequence
    Vocoder (not too bad, but still has a fair CPU load)

    These can be helped immensely, and even brought into a reasonable amount by going to
    Settings->Preferences, Audio tab.

    Here you can set "Downsample" parameter for each of the high CPU usage effects. This will make a huge difference in CPU consumption in Rakarrack presets using any of the above effects. I suggest starting at 22000 for Reverbtron and Convolotron, then adjust from there as needed to suit response quality and CPU requirements. I use 16000 on both for my laptop with results that are acceptable to me. If you use distortion, you definitely need to set the Down quality parameter to "Fastest", which is actually "Fastest Sinc", which means...well basically it means it won't sound like the recording has gone through a cheap wireless telephone set. Don't ever use Linear or Zero Order for the Down direction parameter if a distortion effect comes first in line. You can read the help if you want to know more about why...or search the term "digital aliasing" with your search engine of choice.

    Convolotron uses wav file impulse responses from various different amps, and you can actually load your own. Most presets have the "Safe" switch enabled which reduces the convolution length to something almost useless. If you're interested in amp cabinet modeling it may be worth reading help and trying it the right way before dismissing it completely. If you're not into amp cabinet modeling, then Convolotron is not for you and it is better to just disable it. A Parametric EQ can go a long way in getting good frequency balance in the tone.

    I'm not one to say "RTFM" so I won't frown on anybody who does not, but we Rakarrack devs have put a lot of work into documenting things, so the Help (F1) is really worthwhile to (at least) browse. At the same time I realize many users aren't interested in much more than a few of the "meat 'n' potatoes" functions of the program, and then there is not much worth learning once you know what you need to know

    I hope that tidbit will be of some use to somebody Cheers

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