Disabling pulseaudio

Len Ovens len at ovenwerks.net
Tue Jul 9 13:37:56 UTC 2013

On Tue, July 9, 2013 12:10 am, Ralf Mardorf wrote:

> IMO the claim that pulseaudio is crap isn't an opinion, but an objective
> fact. Even if it shouldn't cause issues after disabling it, the way the
> leveling is one (and often not working) is idiotic. IIRC Fons once said
> something similar to "if an audio engineer would adjust the level in one
> signal chain by several faders at the same time, the engineer would be
> fired for the incompetence".

And one who chooses something that worked like the Intel HDA IF would be
fired too, but that is what Pulse has to work with most of the time and
for whatever reason, Pulse is what most desktop apps work with best. There
is good reason for someone who is just doing audio to have to be able to
deal with desktop apps.

The second point is that while apps that are designed for Pulse can
sometimes work with jack directly... they do not play nice. They auto
connect to channel 1 and 2 outputs no matter if you are using 9 and 10 for
your output (S/PDIF) or worse audacious for example auto connects to all

Audacity is still one of the top audio file editors. When setup to use
jack it creates new jack ports every time it is started, with new names.
Then as soon as you hit stop, they all vanish. Reconnecting an app
manually to i/o while it is in pause each time I want to play a track when
I could be working does not sound useful.

Also, when running through jack, pulse only does one level per track and
leaves the alsa levels alone.

In its youth PA had many problems. Seems it just works any more. Seems
pulse supports more HW than alsa does... though not FW, but that is
probably a plus. It's like anything you have to learn your tools. It does
take time to learn to use pulse in a studio situation. There are settings
in pulse that can make it work with jack better too.

There is still no phone application that talks to jack direct. But then I
don't suppose you do radio talk shows either.

Quite honestly, Linux audio is still pretty messy. There is not one
solution that does everything well. Jack, pulse, alsa, etc all have their
problems. The best solution for most people is to use them all for what
each works best at. Having a switch to turn the PA-jack link off at need
does make sense to me.

Len Ovens

More information about the ubuntu-studio-devel mailing list