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Old 12-01-2017, 05:06 PM   #1
girvinh
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Slackware 14.2 - cannot get Audacity to record with passthrough on


Greetings,
I am using Slackware 14.2 with security patches to 11-1-17, Audacity 2.1.3 from SlackBuilds.org, and Asus Zonar D2 sound card. In PulseAudio's pavcontrol, the HDMI device is turned Off and the Zonar D2 is selected with "Analog Stereo Duplex". The unused HDMI port is on my graphics card.

The Problem:
With Audacity's "Software Passthrough" (SPT) turned on, I can only record and hear less than one second of sound in monitor mode or recording. Then Audacity stops.
With SPT off, I can record, but I cannot hear what is being recorded.

Symptoms:
When Audacity fails when running from an xterm, I get these errors each time I select the record icon:

ALSA lib pcm.c:7963:(snd_pcm_recover) underrun occurred
Expression 'err' failed in 'src/hostapi/alsa/pa_linux_alsa.c', line: 3355
Expression 'ContinuePoll( self, StreamDirection_In, &pollTimeout, &pollCapture )' failed in 'src/hostapi/alsa/pa_linux_alsa.c', line: 3881
Expression 'PaAlsaStream_WaitForFrames( stream, &framesAvail, &xrun )' failed in 'src/hostapi/alsa/pa_linux_alsa.c', line: 4253

pavcontrol displays the input sound from the D2's Line input constantly and mute is off, so there is a sound source. When I select record with SPT on and get the fraction of a second operation, I also see a flash of Audacity's recording connection in the Pulse window. The same for a playback connection.

I tried many things, such as removing Jack and building Audacity 2.1.2 and the latest 2.2.0, but get the same results no matter what I do.

My next step may be drastic, such as building a Slackware 14.1 machine, which did work with this hardware configuration before I upgraded to Slack 14.2, or I read a thread somewhere suggesting to disable Pulse and go back to ALSA.

I am attaching a dump of my "aplay -l", "aplay -L", the audacity log file, and the Audacity-deviceinfo output.

Any ideas?
Girvin Herr
Attached Files
File Type: txt aplay-l.txt (352 Bytes, 4 views)
File Type: txt audacity-deviceinfo.txt (2.1 KB, 2 views)
File Type: txt audacity-log.txt (1.1 KB, 1 views)
File Type: txt aplay-L_2.txt (1.1 KB, 1 views)
 
Old 12-01-2017, 06:48 PM   #2
Drakeo
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first when you built audacity did you do a full install with all options. second if you did please rebuild ffmpeg " why so it builds for pulesaudio." then rebuild pulseaudio. Why so pulseaudio will build the modules. then rebuild audacity.
then report back. Pats 14.2 does not have the ffmpeg modules for it built ok it does in current.
if I was you pull the ffmpeg build from slack current and build install dependencies.
you want all the options ok. if using alien bobs ffmpeg build it your self so it compiles with pulseaudio and uses restricted codecs.
my list to build perfect audacity
Code:
faad2
OpenAL
opencore-amr
#orc          #is in current
opus
celt
#openjpeg # is in current
dirac
dvdauthor
gavl
recordmydesktop  #is in extras 
gsm
rtmpdump
soundtouch
ladspa_sdk
speex
lame
twolame
libass
libavc1394
libdc1394
libbluray
libdv
libiec61883
libilbc
libmodplug
libmp4v2
#LibRaw              # is in current
#libvpx             #is in current 
vamp-plugin-sdk
wxPython
xvidcore
x264
opencv
swh-plugins
faac
frei0r
schroedinger
jack-audio-connection-kit
ffmpeg                    # options VAR=yes/no 
audacity
when all done rebuild alsa-plugins

Last edited by Drakeo; 12-01-2017 at 07:01 PM.
 
Old 12-01-2017, 07:48 PM   #3
girvinh
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Drakeo,
Thanks for your prompt reply.
I built Audacity with all options except Jack, libvpx, and lv2 (lilv + suil), which I didn't think I needed.

I had pulled my ffmpeg 2.8.7 from Slackbuilds and built it last Spring. However, I see that Slackbuilds now has a 3.2.4 version. I checked and my ffmpeg compile is picking up libpulse and has pulse listed for both input and output devices. However, if, as you say, Pulse needs ffmpeg installed before it is built in order to pick up on ffmpeg, then that may be significant.

So, let me get this straight, you are suggesting I rebuild the Slackware 14.2 PulseAudio source package from my distro DVD so it picks up on my ffmpeg, and then rebuild ffmpeg and then Audacity. Is that correct?

That would make sense. I have run into other recursive build problems like that where I had to determine where to "cut the loop". I will try it and get back with the results. This may take a while.

Thanks again.
Girvin
 
Old 12-01-2017, 08:13 PM   #4
girvinh
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Drakeo,
Oops! LQ messed up again. Your "Code" section is not displaying in your posting as I can see it. I only noticed it after I opened a Printable version.

It looks like your list of packages is in the order of building due to dependencies. I have most of them installed, but not all. Probably because I felt I didn't need them for what I do with Audacity. Maybe not. The ones I do NOT have installed are:
OpenAL, opus, celt, dirac, rtmpdump, libbluray, libmodplug, LibRaw, libvpx, and swh-plugins. I also uninstalled jack-audio-connection-kit, but I can reinstall it again.

So, it looks like there is at least one more step - to rebuild alsa-plugins after Audacity. Correct?

It is at this time I am reminded of a quote from Adam Osborne: "He, who lives on the cutting edge of technology, gets sliced to bits." Thanks again.
Girvin
 
Old 12-02-2017, 04:34 AM   #5
Drakeo
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yes slack 14.2 pulseaudio was updated everytime it is updated you need to rebuild pulseaudio against ffmpeg and your alsa plugins. because pats are not built against it. . But current has fixed that.
well I build all that because I go on to build a custom kdenlive and MIXXX. You can see what it produces here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzVlyWV1XmM

Last edited by Drakeo; 12-02-2017 at 04:37 AM.
 
Old 12-03-2017, 04:39 PM   #6
girvinh
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Drakeo,
Thanks for the info. I am busy downloading your suggested packages from SBo. I did pull the Pulse source package off my S14.2 DVD and built it against my existing ffmpeg and alsa-plugins (but not installing the packages) and I am a bit concerned. The S14.2 as-installed pulseaudio file in /usr/bin is over twice as large as the newly-built file! That could be explained by internal code being replaced by new external code, but it is a bit unnerving, since I cannot duplicate the baseline S14.2 version. Oh, well, I will try it anyway. I can always restore the S14.2 package if it goes bad.

From what you say in your last posting, it looks like Pulse has a double-recursive problem - ffmpeg and alsa-plugins. It is kind of like recalculating a spreadsheet - when does one stop. My solution is to build twice, to ensure all references are resolved correctly. With that in mind, then your 3:48 posting yesterday, about building alsa-plugins last, really needs another Pulseaudio build after the last alsa-plugins build. Then all should be stable.

Another note is that as a result of your postings, I looked at my /var/log/packages and discovered I had installed my orc, and a52dec packages on top of the S14.2 packages instead of upgrading them. So both the S14.2 versions and my versions were both installed. I figured that may cause instability, so I fixed it. However, I just tried Audacity and it still fails the same way, so that is not my Audacity problem's root cause. From now on, I will need to check the Slackware installation's packages before I start adding my packages.

I have to take a week's break from this task's resolution, so I may be a while responding, but in my spare time, I will be working to implement your suggestions.

Thanks again.
Girvin
 
Old 12-06-2017, 12:39 PM   #7
enorbet
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If you commonly do any serious recording I suggest you choose a means that uses alsa only. Either turn off pulse for those sessions or, somewhat simpler, build a parallel system especially for recording. Not only does pulse have the recursive problems you mention but also has substantially increased latency and less control than does alsa. Dual booting just no longer takes an exorbitant amount of time even on what today is considered low-performance boxen. I wish such options were clearer instead of the common assumption that pulse "is the wave of the future" for everyone. True for many it is THE way to go but for many, especially those with sophisticated, high quality sound systems, it is just in the way.
 
Old 12-06-2017, 04:16 PM   #8
Drakeo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
If you commonly do any serious recording I suggest you choose a means that uses alsa only. Either turn off pulse for those sessions or, somewhat simpler, build a parallel system especially for recording. Not only does pulse have the recursive problems you mention but also has substantially increased latency and less control than does alsa. Dual booting just no longer takes an exorbitant amount of time even on what today is considered low-performance boxen. I wish such options were clearer instead of the common assumption that pulse "is the wave of the future" for everyone. True for many it is THE way to go but for many, especially those with sophisticated, high quality sound systems, it is just in the way.
you have your standards. but if you looked at the project with pulseaudio and alsa and jack we been working on for a decade. You may understand there is another direction. We have better maintainers of pulseaudio and slackware has done the best.
I worked with the planet ccrma
Will not argue over what is better it is all tools can use both. since I do multimedia not just audio the stuff has to work.
So you go with whats being developed. anything you can do in alsa i can do with pulse audio and insert as many devices I need into alsa and pulse server will see and control it. Learn the tools. Never put one down clean it.
My favorite video for slackware uses everything.

Last edited by Drakeo; 12-06-2017 at 04:18 PM.
 
Old 12-07-2017, 06:39 PM   #9
girvinh
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Distribution: Slackware
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I have read many threads that were anti-Pulse and pro-Alsa. However, I feel that Pulse should work and I would like to do as much as I can to get the Slack 14.2 sound system to work. That is why I am working to implement Drakeo's suggestions. I am about 1/3 of the way there at this time. If none of this works, disabling Pulse for Alsa is the last solution. I have thought about dual-booting with a Slack 14.1 option and that may be my fallback position.

To me, there is a benefit to using Pulse. The Pulse volume control seems to amplify as well as attenuate. My Zonar D2 card does not seem to have volume control hardware and Audacity's recording level control is greyed out. I purchased a line level amplifier to allow me to record at the highest level on Audacity. It seems that Pulse could work without the external amplifier hardware.

My immediate goal is to copy several commercially-unavailable tapes and records in my library to CDs, which can be played in our vehicles and in other CD players. At this time, my audio equipment, which is about 50 years old, is working, but if this equipment fails, there are no repair parts available, so copying to CDs will maintain my library. My future goal is to do the same for video content in my library - convert commercially unavailable programming to DVDs. But that is another matter.

Thanks.
Girvin Herr, OP
 
Old 12-08-2017, 01:39 PM   #10
enorbet
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It seems since girvinh's most recent post this will be an anecdote if not a tangent to the thread but since most agree closure is a good thing I will add a short comment. Since Pulseaudio is not a standalone process but instead works on top of whatever one has for a complete sound server, usually alsa, it can be seen that Pulse in at the very least some instances is superfluous, adding complexity (not necessarily of operation but layers of code) and latency that has higher limitations than alsa alone. A small factor to most but a concern to some at least for now is that the version of Jack compatible with Pulse lacks a few features that the older version for alsa has. These are by no means show-stoppers for most people but are obstacles to be considered. Obviously if Alsa can do the job there is no requirement for Alsa plus Pulse especially in the KISS environment of Slackware. Pulse offers some convenience but like all convenience that isn't free. It comes at a cost however minor that is to some.
 
Old 12-08-2017, 01:45 PM   #11
Drakeo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
It seems since girvinh's most recent post this will be an anecdote if not a tangent to the thread but since most agree closure is a good thing I will add a short comment. Since Pulseaudio is not a standalone process but instead works on top of whatever one has for a complete sound server, usually alsa, it can be seen that Pulse in at the very least some instances is superfluous, adding complexity (not necessarily of operation but layers of code) and latency that has higher limitations than alsa alone. A small factor to most but a concern to some at least for now is that the version of Jack compatible with Pulse lacks a few features that the older version for alsa has. These are by no means show-stoppers for most people but are obstacles to be considered. Obviously if Alsa can do the job there is no requirement for Alsa plus Pulse especially in the KISS environment of Slackware. Pulse offers some convenience but like all convenience that isn't free. It comes at a cost however minor that is to some.
https://github.com/Drakeo/jack-pulse-sink
learn your software.
 
Old 12-10-2017, 01:12 AM   #12
enorbet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drakeo View Post
With all due respect, Drakeo, it isn't MY software since I will not use Pulseaudio for serious audio work. I see no good reason to add another layer that does nothing for me but increase latency. FWIW I am not some lone grumbler in this. I subscribe to a handful of pro audio forums and nobody in the Linux section uses Pulseaudio for serious work, not one. Pulse is not about performance it is about convenience.

Also FWIW I have been using Ardour DAW since the alpha code was first released roughly a dozen years ago without any installation instructions so the esteemed author, Paul Davis, could concentrate on at least reaching a solid beta level undisturbed by support calls. I don't know a lot about Pulseaudio but I know plenty about pro audio recording both analog and digital, and I know what I like and why. It took me the better part of a weekend but I got the Alpha working just fine and every release since.

I have no problem with your choice or anyone's but I resent condescending attitude to justify your choice and attempt to push it on me or lord your choice above mine. People should try options and alternatives and decide for themselves. I have tried Pulse and I dislike it because Alsa + Pulse + Jack does not do for me what Alsa + Jack does. It's a simple cost/benefit analysis and comparison and Pulse loses. I am somewhat forced to use Pulse on my 14.2 multilib install since it has weaseled it's way into required status for things like Bluetooth and considerable other software so now I keep a 14.0 Alsa-only install to boot to for DAW work since the 14.2 install with Pulse fails to meet my standards. A 5-10 msec delay is nothing in a game but can be crucial in semi-pro and pro multi-track recording as it can and often does accumulate.

To each his own.
 
Old 12-10-2017, 01:41 AM   #13
Drakeo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
With all due respect, Drakeo, it isn't MY software since I will not use Pulseaudio for serious audio work. I see no good reason to add another layer that does nothing for me but increase latency. FWIW I am not some lone grumbler in this. I subscribe to a handful of pro audio forums and nobody in the Linux section uses Pulseaudio for serious work, not one. Pulse is not about performance it is about convenience.

Also FWIW I have been using Ardour DAW since the alpha code was first released roughly a dozen years ago without any installation instructions so the esteemed author, Paul Davis, could concentrate on at least reaching a solid beta level undisturbed by support calls. I don't know a lot about Pulseaudio but I know plenty about pro audio recording both analog and digital, and I know what I like and why. It took me the better part of a weekend but I got the Alpha working just fine and every release since.

I have no problem with your choice or anyone's but I resent condescending attitude to justify your choice and attempt to push it on me or lord your choice above mine. People should try options and alternatives and decide for themselves. I have tried Pulse and I dislike it because Alsa + Pulse + Jack does not do for me what Alsa + Jack does. It's a simple cost/benefit analysis and comparison and Pulse loses. I am somewhat forced to use Pulse on my 14.2 multilib install since it has weaseled it's way into required status for things like Bluetooth and considerable other software so now I keep a 14.0 Alsa-only install to boot to for DAW work since the 14.2 install with Pulse fails to meet my standards. A 5-10 msec delay is nothing in a game but can be crucial in semi-pro and pro multi-track recording as it can and often does accumulate.

To each his own.
What do you mean you have an issue place it on my github.
 
Old 12-10-2017, 08:54 PM   #14
enorbet
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Sorry, Drakeo, I don't think I understand your response. Pulse is an additional layer that does nothing for me except add latency I don't need nor want, at least for serious work. For something casual like voice-only it's OK so I can stay in 14.2 Multilib for such as that. Anything serious, I boot to alsa-only 14.0.
 
  


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