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Old 06-22-2019, 12:29 PM   #1
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Default Xruns while Pulse Audio Bridge active

Edit: I changed the title. The problem is not moving the playhead, but moving the playhead or editing data while the Pulse Audio Bridge is active (see below).

When moving the playhead in reaper or changing presets I get quite a lot of xruns. When just playing the project it's fine. I guess that's normal, right? Ardour behaves the same, but Renoise doesn't cause any xruns.
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Old 06-22-2019, 12:59 PM   #2
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When moving the playhead in reaper or changing presets I get quite a lot of xruns. When just playing the project it's fine. I guess that's normal, right? Ardour behaves the same, but Renoise doesn't cause any xruns.
Not happening here if by moving the play head, you mean clicking to other positions on the time line while playing back.

As for changing presets, that likely is dependent on the VSTi you are using. If it's one that has to load a big chunk of sample data, that might introduce an xrun.
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Old 06-22-2019, 01:16 PM   #3
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Not happening here if by moving the play head, you mean clicking to other positions on the time line while playing back.

As for changing presets, that likely is dependent on the VSTi you are using. If it's one that has to load a big chunk of sample data, that might introduce an xrun.
Hmm.. I definitely get xruns when moving the playhead like hell (which of course makes no sense ). But this only seems to happen when the Jack Pulse Audio bridge is running:

Code:
Sat Jun 22 22:09:35 2019: Connecting 'PulseAudio JACK Sink:front-left' to 'system:playback_1'
Sat Jun 22 22:09:35 2019: Connecting 'PulseAudio JACK Sink:front-right' to 'system:playback_2'
Sat Jun 22 22:12:55 2019: ERROR: JackEngine::XRun: client = PulseAudio JACK Source was not finished, state = Triggered
Sat Jun 22 22:12:55 2019: ERROR: JackEngine::XRun: client = PulseAudio JACK Sink was not finished, state = Running
Sat Jun 22 22:12:55 2019: ERROR: JackAudioDriver::ProcessGraphAsyncMaster: Process error
I wonder how this can be as Reaper is not using the Pulse Audio bridge and no other program is playing sound through pulse. It must be some very sharp CPU spikes as the average DSP load is only ~4%
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Old 06-22-2019, 02:45 PM   #4
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Hmm.. I definitely get xruns when moving the playhead like hell (which of course makes no sense ). But this only seems to happen when the Jack Pulse Audio bridge is running:

I wonder how this can be as Reaper is not using the Pulse Audio bridge and no other program is playing sound through pulse. It must be some very sharp CPU spikes as the average DSP load is only ~4%
What are you using for an audio device and what buffer settings?

I recently did a clean install of Xubuntu and am now using ALSA with a Behringer UMC1820 USB 2.0 audio device. REAPER is using a 128 sample buffer with four periods. For fun just now I launched REAPER with a 14 track project while I already have Netflix playing a movie on my second monitor. My DAW is a 2.66Ghz Intel i5 with 6GB RAM. Netflix is playing it's audio through an internal PCI based M-Audio Delta 2496 card.

When I opened REAPER's performance meter it initially showed one xrun (zero if Netflix isn't playing) before I hit play, but once I hit play, no more xruns popped up, even when clicking all around on the timeline. The project has 31 FX and is using 16.9% CPU.
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Old 06-22-2019, 03:03 PM   #5
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What are you using for an audio device and what buffer settings?

I recently did a clean install of Xubuntu and am now using ALSA with a Behringer UMC1820 USB 2.0 audio device. REAPER is using a 128 sample buffer with four periods. For fun just now I launched REAPER with a 14 track project while I already have Netflix playing a movie on my second monitor. My DAW is a 2.66Ghz Intel i5 with 6GB RAM. Netflix is playing it's audio through an internal PCI based M-Audio Delta 2496 card.

When I opened REAPER's performance meter it initially showed one xrun (zero if Netflix isn't playing) before I hit play, but once I hit play, no more xruns popped up, even when clicking all around on the timeline. The project has 31 FX and is using 16.9% CPU.
In Reaper I have chosen Jack with 528 samples / 48 kHz. It must be a pulse audio thing. When the pulse bridge is turned off there are no xruns.
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Old 06-22-2019, 03:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Glennbo View Post
REAPER is using a 128 sample buffer with four periods.
FYI that's my buffer setting too (using ALSA). It's my "rock solid, can't make it screw up" setting. Well, unless my CPU actually hits 100%.

I'm currently using Linux Mint XFCE version but I wonder if I should've just gone with Xubuntu like you. I can't see much difference between the two (both XFCE) except maybe the odd utility that's not installed by default in Xubuntu, and also that Xubuntu is more up-to-date with some packages (although I did just add the latest kernel to Mint and it seems fine).

When I get my new AMD stuff I'll probably switch to Xubuntu.
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Old 06-22-2019, 03:21 PM   #7
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I thought you are using MXLinux.
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Old 06-22-2019, 03:45 PM   #8
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I had been using MX Linux. It doesn't take long to install a new distro though.
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Old 06-22-2019, 04:00 PM   #9
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I had been using MX Linux. It doesn't take long to install a new distro though.

Why did you move to Mint then? Any problems? It takes some time to copy the files back and to set up everything (plugins, settings, rt priority stuff). That's why I didn't switch to Debian Buster yet. I could do an upgrade but if it fails I have to reinstall.
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Old 06-22-2019, 04:19 PM   #10
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FYI that's my buffer setting too (using ALSA). It's my "rock solid, can't make it screw up" setting. Well, unless my CPU actually hits 100%.
That is exactly what I'm seeing too. Rock solid performance. I can run with a smaller buffer and fewer periods, but 128 and 4 makes it bulletproof. I like to run a LOT more stuff than just REAPER when I'm composing.

Quote:
I'm currently using Linux Mint XFCE version but I wonder if I should've just gone with Xubuntu like you. I can't see much difference between the two (both XFCE) except maybe the odd utility that's not installed by default in Xubuntu, and also that Xubuntu is more up-to-date with some packages (although I did just add the latest kernel to Mint and it seems fine).

When I get my new AMD stuff I'll probably switch to Xubuntu.
I originally chose Xubuntu for another machine with another purpose due to it's light system demands and xfce desktop. It did so well on an older lower powered Core 2 Duo that I thought why not use it on my more powerful i5 DAW machine. It's very agile on faster hardware.
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Old 06-22-2019, 04:31 PM   #11
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Why did you move to Mint then? Any problems? It takes some time to copy the files back and to set up everything (plugins, settings, rt priority stuff). That's why I didn't switch to Debian Buster yet. I could do an upgrade but if it fails I have to reinstall.
Backups are easy for me. I take everything in the home folder that I need and save it to a removable drive. (I usually have a fairly recent backup of everything on a removable drive anyway.) Getting some settings changed (appearance, nVidia settings, etc.) takes longer than getting my system back to the way it was. But, I keep notes for those things, a checklist to go through after installing a new distro. It takes me about 1 hour to change distros, and maybe 1 more hour poking around and discovering the differences plus removing some packages I don't want (and then maybe there's something I've forgotten to change, but I figure it out later).

Why I switched distros:

A couple posts about why I switched to Mint

The only problem I noticed (probably not specific to Mint either):

Font choice can affect CPU and responsiveness

Other than that it went smoothly. There are always little things which aren't perfect, one of those being the default system clock in Mint XFCE wouldn't keep my custom settings (so I just swapped it for another clock that would keep my custom settings).

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I originally chose Xubuntu for another machine with another purpose due to it's light system demands and xfce desktop.
Yeah I'm liking XFCE in general. It's definitely "light" on resources and it's configurable enough for my tastes. I also have a dislike for whiz-bang animations of the OS (etc.)...it's a pet peeve of mine.

So once I looked at distros again (and now that I have a bit more insight on different DEs, what packages I'd want to be more current for the distro, what kind of package manager I appreciate, etc.) I realized all I really care about is that the distro is relatively light-to-midweight (including a DE like XFCE), relatively "newb"-friendly (not requiring too much command-line stuff), and relatively more up-to-date. Xubuntu is one I'd forgotten about. I assumed Mint XFCE would be significantly better for some reason, but I now think I was mistaken.
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Old 06-23-2019, 04:16 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Glennbo View Post
What are you using for an audio device and what buffer settings?

I recently did a clean install of Xubuntu and am now using ALSA with a Behringer UMC1820 USB 2.0 audio device. REAPER is using a 128 sample buffer with four periods. For fun just now I launched REAPER with a 14 track project while I already have Netflix playing a movie on my second monitor. My DAW is a 2.66Ghz Intel i5 with 6GB RAM. Netflix is playing it's audio through an internal PCI based M-Audio Delta 2496 card.

When I opened REAPER's performance meter it initially showed one xrun (zero if Netflix isn't playing) before I hit play, but once I hit play, no more xruns popped up, even when clicking all around on the timeline. The project has 31 FX and is using 16.9% CPU.
Have you done any configuration at all, or do you run it as "normal". I'm thinking realtime config, lowlatency kernel, rtirq settings and so on.

I run this to see what need to be done.

https://github.com/raboof/realtimeco...ster/README.md

Dont know if we really need this anymore?
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Old 06-23-2019, 05:58 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Tobbe View Post
Have you done any configuration at all, or do you run it as "normal". I'm thinking realtime config, lowlatency kernel, rtirq settings and so on.

I run this to see what need to be done.

https://github.com/raboof/realtimeco...ster/README.md

Dont know if we really need this anymore?
I'm using a lowlatency kernel and changed my user limits so I can go 95% priority and unlimited memory, plus I did do the rtirq thing.
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Old 06-23-2019, 06:24 AM   #14
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I'm using a lowlatency kernel and changed my user limits so I can go 95% priority and unlimited memory, plus I did do the rtirq thing.
How does your rtirq file look like. I'm not certain what my UPHORIA is called. If I do lsusb I see Texas Instruments and I believe thats my card.
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Old 06-23-2019, 06:44 AM   #15
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How does your rtirq file look like. I'm not certain what my UPHORIA is called. If I do lsusb I see Texas Instruments and I believe thats my card.
This is what I added to the bottom of my rtirq file. I had posted a thread here a week or so ago asking the Linux gurus if I did it correctly, but never really got a clear answer. It seems that EHCI is USB 2.0 and XHCI is 3.0 from what I read on several Linux audio forums.

RTIRQ_NAME_LIST="ehci_hcd"
RTIRQ_PRIO_HIGH=95
RTIRQ_PRIO_DECR=1

An rtirq status comes back with this, which I think is my M-Audio card on IRQ #16 and the USB port the UMC1820 is plugged into on IRQ #23.

103 FF 95 - 135 0.0 S irq/16-ehci_hcd
104 FF 94 - 134 0.1 S irq/23-ehci_hcd

My motherboard has two USB controllers so I put the UMC1820 on the one that the motherboard manual said was the lesser shared IRQ along with my midi controllers, and used the second USB controller to plug keyboard, mouse, and other stuff that doesn't need higher priority.
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Old 06-23-2019, 07:17 AM   #16
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This is what I added to the bottom of my rtirq file. I had posted a thread here a week or so ago asking the Linux gurus if I did it correctly, but never really got a clear answer. It seems that EHCI is USB 2.0 and XHCI is 3.0 from what I read on several Linux audio forums.

RTIRQ_NAME_LIST="ehci_hcd"
RTIRQ_PRIO_HIGH=95
RTIRQ_PRIO_DECR=1

An rtirq status comes back with this, which I think is my M-Audio card on IRQ #16 and the USB port the UMC1820 is plugged into on IRQ #23.

103 FF 95 - 135 0.0 S irq/16-ehci_hcd
104 FF 94 - 134 0.1 S irq/23-ehci_hcd

My motherboard has two USB controllers so I put the UMC1820 on the one that the motherboard manual said was the lesser shared IRQ along with my midi controllers, and used the second USB controller to plug keyboard, mouse, and other stuff that doesn't need higher priority.
Lovely I need to check this out. My ordinary DAW computer has a broken CPU so I use HP Elitebook 8GB Ram i7. But the fan runs at full speed all the time.
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Old 06-23-2019, 06:07 PM   #17
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I'm using a lowlatency kernel and changed my user limits so I can go 95% priority and unlimited memory, plus I did do the rtirq thing.
Lol. I forgot to check if I was using a lowlatency kernel. I was using the generic one. (MX's kernel has the lowlatency timing by default, if I recall correctly.)

Now that I switched to the latest linux-lowlatency kernel, I can set the buffer to 5 blocks of 64 samples and it's every bit as solid/stable as MX was. This system is a little better overall but also I didn't use RTIRQ in MX. I don't know if that's having any effect on my system performance though since my audio card is PCIe and it was probably fine already.
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Old 06-23-2019, 08:35 PM   #18
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Lol. I forgot to check if I was using a lowlatency kernel. I was using the generic one. (MX's kernel has the lowlatency timing by default, if I recall correctly.)

Now that I switched to the latest linux-lowlatency kernel, I can set the buffer to 5 blocks of 64 samples and it's every bit as solid/stable as MX was. This system is a little better overall but also I didn't use RTIRQ in MX. I don't know if that's having any effect on my system performance though since my audio card is PCIe and it was probably fine already.
Very cool. With a card inside the machine, I would expect pretty low latency. I could run all day set to 64 samples and 2 periods with my M-Audio PCI cards as long as I didn't use many bridged Windows plugins. Same is true with the USB interface I use now but I have to use 3 periods instead of 2.

I run so much other stuff while I'm writing though, I just keep it set 128/4 where nothing can knock it off the track. Latency is livable enough for me set like that and I never have to change anything. I used rtirq with my PCI cards, and have it set now for both the one remaining PCI card (for computer audio now) and the USB port for the new audio interface.
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Old 06-23-2019, 10:57 PM   #19
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Yeah 128/4 is better if I'm going to be leaving a browser open with Gmail/Hangouts, etc.

Of course with my previous Windows install, if I even sneezed it would throw things off.
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Old 06-24-2019, 01:04 PM   #20
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Yeah 128/4 is better if I'm going to be leaving a browser open with Gmail/Hangouts, etc.

Of course with my previous Windows install, if I even sneezed it would throw things off.
I once recorded some tracks and upon closing things down realized I still had a big download of an ISO going the whole time I was recording. REAPER never missed a beat, but I was using a bulletproof 128/2 with the M-Audio cards.

You'll be able to do all that and render 3D video at the same time as recording in REAPER when you get your new machine.
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Old 06-24-2019, 03:20 PM   #21
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I'm looking forward to the new machine. Honestly the biggest improvement will be when rendering video, since currently it's painfully slow. I don't run huge projects and most of the plugins I use are very CPU-friendly. If getting the new system were just for Reaper (for my uses) it would be a waste. But for the price (cheap!), it's nice to get a more secure system and also increase my CPU a lot.
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Old 06-24-2019, 04:41 PM   #22
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I'm looking forward to the new machine. Honestly the biggest improvement will be when rendering video, since currently it's painfully slow. I don't run huge projects and most of the plugins I use are very CPU-friendly. If getting the new system were just for Reaper (for my uses) it would be a waste. But for the price (cheap!), it's nice to get a more secure system and also increase my CPU a lot.
I get that. My ten year old DAW keeps up with everything I throw at it, and the reason for wanting to upgrade is more about security than more power. That said, I've never heard of anyone complaining that their computer was too fast or too powerful.
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Old 07-02-2019, 01:47 PM   #23
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Found out some more things. I made a short test and recorded the result (vimeo link, see below).
Reaper is running through Jack (Cadence) and the Pulse Audio Bridge is enabled in Cadence. When I minimize the master volume in Reaper and play something through Chromium I get pulse audio xruns when I move the play head in Reaper. The RT CPU usage of that project is ~9% only. Strange thing is that I get RT xruns, but the RT longest block (shown in the Reaper performance meter) stays below the latency of 11ms. And if the pulse audio bridge is off everything is fine -> no xruns. In a new project with just an audio file loaded also no xruns.
So, how can this acutally cause a xrun? Should I post it in the Linux bugs section also?



https://vimeo.com/345774754
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Old 07-02-2019, 02:48 PM   #24
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I only use ALSA (I don't use JACK) and I let Reaper disable Pulse Audio while the Reaper window is in focus. I also don't use anything which involves bridging. Sorry but I won't be able to do tests such as yours on my system.

When I started using Linux I decided to keep the system as foolproof as possible. I don't want to get bogged down with compatibility of various things (WINE, JACK, bridging), and in Windows I never did anything like that anyway.
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Old 07-02-2019, 02:56 PM   #25
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When I started using Linux I decided to keep the system as foolproof as possible. I don't want to get bogged down with compatibility of various things (WINE, JACK, bridging), and in Windows I never did anything like that anyway.
Totally understand this. I have enough issues, so I don't need to install windows plugins through wine. But Pulse Audio is really useful and makes no problems normally. Also useful for recordings snippets from e.g. youtube into Reaper.
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Old 07-02-2019, 04:32 PM   #26
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I've used Pulse Audio in Reaper for that same reason, but I just switch audio drivers in Reaper to Pulse Audio, accomplish the task, then switch back to ALSA. It's similar to how I'd switch from ASIO to WASAPI (shared) for that kind of task in Windows.

Plus in Linux, if I set Reaper to "close audio device when stopped and application is inactive", I can leave Reaper open to watch Youtube videos (etc.) and "toggle between" applications (as long as I hit pause or stop on the application's audio playback).
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Old 07-03-2019, 12:30 PM   #27
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I've used Pulse Audio in Reaper for that same reason, but I just switch audio drivers in Reaper to Pulse Audio, accomplish the task, then switch back to ALSA. It's similar to how I'd switch from ASIO to WASAPI (shared) for that kind of task in Windows.

Plus in Linux, if I set Reaper to "close audio device when stopped and application is inactive", I can leave Reaper open to watch Youtube videos (etc.) and "toggle between" applications (as long as I hit pause or stop on the application's audio playback).
I wanted to test how Reaper performs with pulse audio, but this was also not working. I don't get any sound from pure pulse audio *lol*. I stopped Jack and started pulse audio with
Code:
pulseaudio --start
. It also appears in top as a new process. I can choose it in Reaper and the songs starts playing, but there's no sound.

When I open pulse audio volume control I couldn't choose the audio device, but now I can (WTF??)... Ok, it's working now, but performance is really bad. A lot of glitches without xruns. I think pulse is not really an alternative, at least for Reaper (or any other DAW).
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Old 07-03-2019, 01:12 PM   #28
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Pulse Audio works fine for me, but it has high latency. I notice when I stop playback in Reaper (and the playback cursor returns to the previous starting position), it buffers and starts playing the audio for a brief moment. But I can set it for a block size of 16 in Reaper and it works relatively normally (on playback stop, it doesn't seem to have that behavior) and the latency is a bit better (around 500ms in and out). Using Pulse Audio I can have multiple applications playing audio and still use Reaper, but it has that higher latency. The higher latency can feel like glitching if I'm using automation or moving the faders, so I don't like using that high a latency.

I don't have to restart Pulse Audio, anyway. When I stop using ALSA, Pulse Audio takes over.
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Old 07-04-2019, 10:24 AM   #29
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Booted the not RT optimized MXLinux image and here it works (screenshot). I also deleted again the topic in Linux bug, as I think it's a problem of my system. Now I get the xruns even when pulse bridge is not activated.

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Old 07-04-2019, 10:58 AM   #30
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Ok, I increased the buffer size to 1056 samples and all is fine! I guess I'm just hitting what's possible with my settings and CPU. Also changing the playhead position seems to increase CPU load a lot for a very short time, causing a xrun. I also loaded an older project from last year and it played fine with 528 samples, however this project used not so demanding VSTs like U-he DIVA or Repro.

There was also a discussion at linuxmusician about the average CPU load: https://linuxmusicians.com/viewtopic...average#p99669

Seems that even when RT CPU load is ~20% it can exceed ~95% for short times and these spikes are not seen in the CPU load of Jack or Reaper as it's strongly averaged. Also realized that the CPU load of my recent project went from 9 to 20% already. So it makes sense that now I see xruns even without the pulse bridge enabled.

Next PC I buy will be an I7 and at least 16 GB RAM if not 32 GB.
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Old 07-04-2019, 11:09 AM   #31
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BTW: With the larger buffer size the "loop bug" is also gone!
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