Old 05-28-2024, 06:39 PM   #1
AudioBabble
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Default Anyone using Mint xfce?

I had Reaper, Wine and yabridge running pretty well under Ubuntu 20.04.

I just recently installed Mint xfce (latest) and my audio is either freezing entirely or glitching badly.

Is there something in particular I'm supposed to install to get low latency audio working well?

I've only loaded one 3rd party plugin so far, and it just so happened that it required .NET framework. I got a warning during the installer about installing something from Winehq that's supposed to be their version of .NET. The warning said that the necessary package could be downloaded but that it's generally recommended to use those in my own distro (which presumably aren't present).

so... I'm a bit unsure if the problem is the plugin or the audio system itself. A bit of both maybe...

Only ALSA seems to work. Without the plugin, I can have sample buffer down to 64 with no glitches (but then again it's not having to process much). With the plugin running I can only have 512 samples without glitching.

JACK has no audio at all. Pulseaudio causes Reaper to freeze.

It's a shame, I like Mint so far, and the xfce version is a nice lightweight installer... but unless I can figure out how to fix the audio problems, I might have to try Ubuntu Studio instead.
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Old 05-29-2024, 12:36 AM   #2
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Reaper 7.16 on Linux Mint 21.3 based on Ubuntu 22.4
Wine 9.2 staging and Yabridge 5.1.0

i use pulseaudio without problems, Jack only when i use multiple input devices.
Maybe Ubuntu studios does some settings, which you have to do manually in Mint? Check: https://github.com/chmaha/DebianProAudio

Check your system with realtimeconfigquickscan
Add user to audio group and configure realtime privileges is a must. In my case the most important factor is the cpu governor. i do set it on boot up via "/usr/bin/cpupower frequency-set -g performance
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Old 05-30-2024, 06:00 AM   #3
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Thanks, this is really great info.

Particularly rtcqs is a good diagnostic tool.

In the end, I installed ubuntu studio over mint by adding the package 'ubuntustudio-installer' through synaptics, then running the installer, choosing the audio-related features.

This seems to have taken care of most of the basic stuff. (plus i have some fun new tools to play with like Hydrogen and Guitarix!)

I then ran rtcqs to see what needed attention and found the following items needed attention:

- CPU frequency scaling needed setting all cores to performance
[I did this by setting a startup script containing:]
Code:
echo -n performance | sudo tee /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu*/cpufreq/scaling_governor
(I should note that the instructions here under 'CPU Frequency Scaling' did not work for some reason, so i just followed a general procedure for setting a startup script via systemd)

- Spectre/Meltdown mitigations needed disabling
[I added 'mitigations=off' to /etc/default/grub so the default line looks like this:]
Code:
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash mitigations=off"
then:
Code:
sudo update-grub
- Power management needed to be controlled from user space
[ I did what it suggests here]

I still need to pick through the rest of the guide, but I think most of it is taken care of now.

Finally, I need to fire up Reaper and see how things are now performing!

Many thanks for the help
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Old 05-31-2024, 04:52 AM   #4
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Just reporting back...

Well, there's an improvement but not as much as I'd hoped.

I can now get away with 128 sample buffer, although still with the occasional crackle.

I've been through everything in the guide linked above, so it may be time to delve a little deeper into the linuxaudio guides.

The thing is, I'm experimenting on my elderly Lenovo X230 i5 (12 year-old laptop). I have windows 10 on the same machine (dual boot), and so I know that the exact same machine is capable of 64 samples buffer and no glitches at all. That's a reasonably 'tweaked' setup in the windows OS, though not aggressively so.

In all honesty, I haven't used Linux much for audio work, but this is all part of future-proofing myself for the day that windows becomes unmanageable (win 11 is bad enough.. dread to think what 12 will be like!)

Plus... I'm really interested in the idea of running an audio system off a raspberry pi for a portable guitar rig, so getting maximum performance is a must.

I also found 'decibel linux' (AKA gentoo studio) https://decibellinux.org/

This sounded promising since it has a proper real-time kernel, but i had a heck of a time with the install instructions... followed them to the letter (twice!) but ended up with a system that only boots into terminal and no GUI. Sadly, there's isn't great support, but I'm hoping for an answer from the dev someday.
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Old 05-31-2024, 06:23 AM   #5
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I've used Mint XFCE for a while to record music (in a basic setting), until 2 years ago.

(one of the songs I recorded with the settings: https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=246376 )

However, I used ALSA, as I don't have a love affair with Jack... long story long...

Since I have a new computer to record with, it's now Mint Cinnamon.
But XFCE used to work though... but I remember I always have to figure out the correct buffer rate settings and such with each new Linux distribution I'm working with, it's a bit trial and error sometimes to find the good settings.
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Old 06-01-2024, 06:35 AM   #6
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Default Trying a different approoch...

I've gone back to the drawing board...

Have decided to try a Real Time Kernel on Debian Bookworm.

Oddly, Debian wiki advised downloading the Edu version as being particularly suited to intel processors... so I got that.

Installed Debian.

Then installed Cinnamon desktop.

Very nice so far -- don't know if it's Cinnamon vs xfce or the fact I'm now Debian-based, but the desktop is faster, more responsive... which is nice.

So now am doing the RT kernel build and patch -- it's taking a long time... like hours. Apparently that's to be expected.

Will report back on how it goes setting up for audio...

[BRIEF UPDATE]

I seem to have gone down the wrong rabbit hole there... I ended up trying to compile the rt-kernel when apparently it can easily be done from via apt (on Debian Bookworm at least)! Essentially as simple as:
Code:
sudo apt install linux-image-rt-amd64
Of course compiling the Kernel didn't work anyway, even after extensive troubleshooting...

While I'm sure nobody's particularly interested in my tales of woe, I would say: don't bother trying to build the rt-kernel unless you absolutely have to, and even then try to find a good guide specific to your hardware and Linux version, unlike me who tried to piece it together from bits on stack exchange and got in way over my head!
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Old 06-01-2024, 04:28 PM   #7
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Just use Manjaro!
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Old 06-01-2024, 07:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atomlux View Post
Just use Manjaro!
Maybe I'll try that, thanks
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Old 06-01-2024, 07:28 PM   #9
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Well... progress has been made and things are running quite nicely on a Debian 12 (Bookworm) install with Cinnamon desktop and RT Kernal.

Rather than post a load of guff here, I've made a pastebin, mostly for my own reference, but in case it might be of some use to others I'll share it here:

https://pastebin.com/RFqFm1b2

From what I can tell, the RT kernal does perform a bit better than the Liqorix Kernal.

I'm now able to set 128 samples buffer at 48khz, giving me a very useable 5.3ms round-trip latency playing live guitar into amp sim (AMPED Gemini).

Despite my earlier claims regarding 64 samples on Win 10 on the same machine, I have to admit that was without running through any plugins.. in practice I have to set 128 samples on Windows as well to avoid glitching... and here's the thing: 128 samples on Win 10 with ASIO actually shows a longer latency of 9.3ms. In truth though, I can't feel or hear any difference - both are perfectly useable.
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Old 06-01-2024, 08:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Maybe I'll try that, thanks
With almost no tweaks, I can do 128 for everyday use and 64 for playing piano with just the sampler loaded.
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Old 06-02-2024, 02:52 AM   #11
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What's your system? My linux install is on a 2012 Laptop with intel i5-3320M quad core, but has a respectable base clock speed of 2.6GHz
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Old 06-02-2024, 04:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioBabble View Post
What's your system? My linux install is on a 2012 Laptop with intel i5-3320M quad core, but has a respectable base clock speed of 2.6GHz
Mine is a very similar system. I don't have neofetch installed right now.
Let me have some breakfast and I'll check.

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Old 06-02-2024, 05:13 AM   #13
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I run a 2015? laptop with
Intel i5-7200U (4) @ 3.100GHz
and 8 gb ram.
I use Manjaro GNOME, but in Manjaro KDE there's a very easy way to use RT kernel.
I don't need it though.
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Old 06-02-2024, 05:41 AM   #14
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Good to know, that's a decent processor, from what you might call the 'pinnacle' era of base core speed!
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Old 06-03-2024, 05:47 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Good to know, that's a decent processor, from what you might call the 'pinnacle' era of base core speed!
This machine has a W$ 10 license attached to it, but I overreacted to the upcoming end of that OS lol
I set out to do absolutely everything on Linux.
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Old 06-03-2024, 02:12 PM   #16
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yes... a subject of some debate the 'end of' Windows 10!

It's certainly not going to self-destruct after whatever the end date is... the main concern people have is about security, which is a fair point... up to a point.

In truth, if a person is reasonably sensible about what sites they visit and having firewall / antivirus in place, the 'risks' are minimal.

Then there's actually Windows 10 LTSC, of which the 'iot' version is in fact supported until 2032.. or so they say. But then having a legit LTSC is unlikely due to the cost of it... not to say that there aren't perfectly useable free iso's out there, but that's a matter of scruples I suppose.

I have little to no scruples when it comes to mega-behemoth corporations like MS, so have both win10 1809 LTSC and win10 22H2 LTSC. The folks over at NTLite forums (a very useful bit of software BTW) are generally of the opinion that 22H2 is really the most stable version of windows (after extensive tweaking of course) that you could run.

All that said, I really do think Linux is the future and so am doing my best to transition, or at least keep a foot in both camps for the time-being.
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