Replace PulseAudio with OSS v4?

Peter Kirn peter at
Tue Jun 23 22:58:38 UTC 2009

I just want to add to this, this story is a rather inaccurate portrayal of

*However* -- check comments for "dawhead." That's Paul Davis of JACK
weighing in. Obviously, integration of all these things could be much better
than it is; that's a given. But the perception that ALSA is somehow
deficient from a quality standpoint seems to me to be distorted. ALSA works
very well from a pro audio standpoint when combined with JACK, once you get
it all working -- and even on a 'pro' machine, in combination with Pulse
Audio for your day-to-day "consumer" tasks. (This is effectively what's
happened on Windows, as well, with Vista/7's beefed-up mixing for consumers
in DirectSound and such, and ASIO remaining the choice for serious
low-latency work.)

And Luke is absolutely right, some of these oddities of OSSv4 I think are
deal killers. The last thing anyone wants right now is another massive
shakeup - better to keep working through ALSA issues.

But, generally, don't listen to me, listen to Paul. :) I hear he's also got
a presentation in development on these issues, which would be really
helpful; there aren't many people who have both the perspective of being the
JACK developer *and* an app developer (Ardour) -- not on any OS.


On Sun, Jun 21, 2009 at 7:17 PM, Luke Yelavich <themuso at> wrote:

> On Sun, Jun 21, 2009 at 07:52:45AM EST, Daniel Chen wrote:
> > Lower sound quality is a red herring. ALSA's default resampler has
> > known and quite audible limitations. The available resamplers in
> > PulseAudio demolish the "lower sound quality" FUD. Jaunty shipped a
> > configuration using a craptastic one in an attempt to balance CPU
> > usage with perceptive quality. Lessons learned: Karmic will ship with
> > a much better (but more CPU-intensive) resampler.
> I'd like to add that on a technical level, OSS v4 does audio mixing in the
> kernel, and uses floating point maths, which is strictly forbidden in the
> official mainline kernel. Trying to get such code even into the Ubuntu
> kernel will be similar to getting blood out of a stone.
> Luke
> --
> Ubuntu-devel-discuss mailing list
> Ubuntu-devel-discuss at
> Modify settings or unsubscribe at:
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the Ubuntu-devel-discuss mailing list