Pulseaudio/Jack in Ubuntu Hardy

Richard Spindler richard.spindler at gmail.com
Mon Apr 28 17:46:45 UTC 2008

2008/4/28 Cory K. <coryisatm at ubuntu.com>:
>  It is trickier than it seems. There is no "best" solution for everyone.
>  This (to me) is simply one of those situations where the user has to
>  figure out what they are doing.
>  PulseAudio or JACK should be used separately by default IMO. I'm not
>  saying don't make the tools available, but making JACK work through
>  PulseAudio by default is bad.

Jack-Autostart normally works quite well, "if" jack is already
configured, however a default configuration could work or not
depending on what hardware is used.

Ardour is a rather "high-end" tool, and for optimal performance its
audio-backend, which happens to be JACK "should" be as close to the
metal as possible, that is: connected directly to the sound device.

In my humble opinion, a compromise that could work for "most" use
cases would be that when jack is started, pulse disconnects from the
default audio hardware, jack connects to the default audio hardware,
and pulse reconnects to jack as a jack client. While this might
require some integration work, I believe that this solution is
feasible, especially because I think that one of pulse-audios stated
goals is to support "dynamic" reconfiguration/rerouting of the audio

This setup would have several advantages:

A) jack and ardour get direct access to the hardware -> low latency
(yeah, only as good as the default gets, not fine-tuned)

B) pulse-audio is still able to talk to the sound device and is able
to make noise.

C) You can record _everything_ that goes through pulse in ardour, also
VOIP Interviews for Example, or flash-plugin-audio. This feature is
requested every now and then by users.

One disadvantage is that if the sound-hardware is so crappy that it
does not work within the requirements of jack, then it would not work.
However, this is a rather difficult problem, and the Jack Devs are
very much aware of that. If this is solved sooner or later depends on
how jack development continues in the future. :-)


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