Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 27

Thread: Why is audio so complex on linux?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Beans
    24
    Distro
    Kubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Why is audio so complex on linux?

    I have a MacBook (2,1) w/ Ubuntu Studio on it, Sno Leopard, and XP.

    On XP and Leopard, all I have to do to record is plug in a recording device to the line in, launch audacity, and hit record.

    In Ubuntu, and other linux variants, after every patch, I have to go fix the audio subsystem so my Intel audio drivers will load. Then I have to tell Pulse Audio how to talk with an Alsa driver. Then I have to tell Pulse audio which hardware to use. Then I have to tell Audacity which place to record from. Once that's all done, the recording sounds terrible, compared w/ XP and Mac. Why so many hoops for such a simple task?

    I found the same issue w/ my AsusTek Whitebox pc that has a SoundBlaster Live card. The only step removed was dinking w/ the actual sound driver itself.

    I still have to go into Alsa's mixer to change settings at each boot. (APparently storing and restoring the mixer settings even w/ sudo is broke.) Then I have to tell Pulse how to use Alsa. Then I have to tell audacity how to use Pulse. EVERY Time. Nothing retians any settings across a reboot. (Reloading hasn't helped, upgrading hasn't helped, different versions of Linux haven't helped.) In fact I find many of my Audio problems would probably go away, if I could find a way to do away with Pulse audio. Except every time I install a MultiMedia app, it gets reinstalled, and if I remove Pulse, then alot of times, my entire Xubuntu desktop environment gets yanked. (Even though there is no real requirement for pulse to be present to use Xubuntu)

    These issues are preventing me from builing a cost effective digital studio for my church. I want something I can setup once, and then train other people how to use it. But the audio breaks at almost every boot on 9 out of 10 systems I have here at the house.

    The one it doesn't break on only runs MacOS, not ubuntu. (Wife's PC).

    If I could afford to donate a Mac, I probably would. I refuse to donate a PC w/ Windows on it, because I don't want all the support calls caused by viruses/spyware, inability of windows to recover properly from a power outage, etc.

    Any suggestions, aside from a distro that requires you build everything from scratch?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Beans
    1,097
    Distro
    Ubuntu Studio

    Re: Why is audio so complex on linux?

    Well, on my systems setup does not change after reboot.
    If you think pulseaudio is trouble, just turn it off. No need for uninstall.
    Put in ~/.pulse/client.conf line

    autospawn=no

    And then kill it
    Code:
    pulseaudio --kill
    It will stay dead forever.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Beans
    268

    Re: Why is audio so complex on linux?

    In my opinion this is one of my biggest complaints about linux and particularly Ubuntu. I'm not sure if its too much "choice" among desktop environments or what. If as much effort went into sound as has gone into Unity/Gnome3 maybe we would be closer to a "it just works" distro. Probably audio and unity/Gnome3 will push me into a MAC. I've had the best luck, when the default won't work, and i'm reach my limit of support threads, of just using ALSA, sad to say.

    you might also try:

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...highlight=ALSA
    Last edited by click4851; December 5th, 2011 at 08:53 AM.
    AMD 64 3000+, 2G RAM, ASUS K8N , XFX GS7800, Linux Mint 9 , WinXP(dual boot/seperate HD)

    Stalker's Law: As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving how much the United States sucks approaches one.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ireland
    Beans
    767
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Why is audio so complex on linux?

    I dunno but it seems to be a big fail with extra fail sauce on top. I tried to try out Ardour. I got as far as installing it and still haven't managed to successfully launch it.

    Jack isn't started it says but I try launching Jack with QjackCtl and that fails too! If Ardour was really any good it should do all this stuff for you, so you don't have to deal with this crap!!!

    Maybe Ubuntu devs should have tried a very simple usecase to find out about this and sort it:

    User wants to try audio production, reads that Ardour is the best for the task, installs Ardour... Ardour fails to start. Conclusion: needs fixing!
    Projects: PhotoFiltre LX | Xwii | URT-2D | TTM

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Beans
    324

    Re: Why is audio so complex on linux?

    Quote Originally Posted by mwray View Post
    I still have to go into Alsa's mixer to change settings at each boot. (APparently storing and restoring the mixer settings even w/ sudo is broke.)
    doing this doesn't work?

    https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php..._ALSA_settings

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Alabama
    Beans
    2,232

    Thumbs up Re: Why is audio so complex on linux?

    @mwray, I have no idea what the answer is, but this is a great question.

    It seems to me that there are at least three layers of audio systems on Ubuntu (and most Linux systems) and they all have to work perfectly with each other in order for sound to be played, properly. If it all ends up configured correctly, it can be great, but if something is wrong, it is difficult to be sure which subsystem to mess with to try to fix it. This results in the problems often becoming worse than they were when you started.

    Tim
    Cyberpower PC, Core i5 2500 3.3 gHz, 8GB DDR3, ATI 6770 1GB, Samsung BX 2440 LED 1080p, 1 TB SATA III, 2 TB SATA III, Siduction Linux 64-bit

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Beans
    24
    Distro
    Kubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Why is audio so complex on linux?

    Quote Originally Posted by click4851 View Post
    In my opinion this is one of my biggest complaints about linux and particularly Ubuntu. I'm not sure if its too much "choice" among desktop environments or what. If as much effort went into sound as has gone into Unity/Gnome3 maybe we would be closer to a "it just works" distro. Probably audio and unity/Gnome3 will push me into a MAC. I've had the best luck, when the default won't work, and i'm reach my limit of support threads, of just using ALSA, sad to say.

    you might also try:

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...highlight=ALSA
    It works until one of the plethora of automatic updates that I keep trying to turn off applies an update (so less than a day.) At install time I say I want to manually run updates, but no matter what there's always a 3rd, 4th, or 5th auto-updater waiting to kick off after I get rid of another.

    So far, I have come across 6 different subsystems that think they know better than I do about updates. 3 are from ubuntu, and 3 are from gnome. (Very aggravating since I am using xfce not gnome.)

    If ubuntu is about choice, then let me make my choice and leave it alone!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Alabama
    Beans
    2,232

    Wink Re: Why is audio so complex on linux?

    Quote Originally Posted by mwray View Post

    If ubuntu is about choice, then let me make my choice and leave it alone!
    That is one of the main goals of Arch Linux. Unfortunately, what you gain in simplicity, you have to pay back in complexity.

    Tim
    Cyberpower PC, Core i5 2500 3.3 gHz, 8GB DDR3, ATI 6770 1GB, Samsung BX 2440 LED 1080p, 1 TB SATA III, 2 TB SATA III, Siduction Linux 64-bit

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Beans
    1,097
    Distro
    Ubuntu Studio

    Re: Why is audio so complex on linux?

    Quote Originally Posted by mwray View Post
    It works until one of the plethora of automatic updates that I keep trying to turn off applies an update (so less than a day.) At install time I say I want to manually run updates, but no matter what there's always a 3rd, 4th, or 5th auto-updater waiting to kick off after I get rid of another.

    So far, I have come across 6 different subsystems that think they know better than I do about updates. 3 are from ubuntu, and 3 are from gnome. (Very aggravating since I am using xfce not gnome.)

    If ubuntu is about choice, then let me make my choice and leave it alone!
    If you think update is toruble, just turn it off. Open software sources and disable updates.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Beans
    1,541

    Re: Why is audio so complex on linux?

    Quote Originally Posted by mwray View Post
    I have a MacBook (2,1) w/ Ubuntu Studio on it, Sno Leopard, and XP.

    Any suggestions, aside from a distro that requires you build everything from scratch?
    Get an maudio pci soundcard. They have the easiest configuration,
    and excellent sound quality. Study the articles/screenshots from the links at the qjackctl wiki. Turn off updates and kill pulseaudio as already mentioned, and utilize youtube and google for ardour videos and tutorials.

    You must set up qjackctl for your sound device, set up ardour preferences, create an ardour project, create a track, arm the track, press record, then press play. (hazy memory)

    What specific tasks would you like to use linux for, in the church setting?

    If you disable/remove modems/internet apps, and do your backups, xp will not be a huge problem. I've had my xp install for nearly 5 years,
    (prays/knocks on wood) dual booting with every 'easy' linux under the sun
    Cheers

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •