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Re: Confusing sound issues (ALSA, jackd, etc.)

On Saturday 14 August 2004 06:46 pm, Inge Thorin Eidsaether wrote:

> Haven't tried recording yet. So I installed Ardour.
> Ardour won't work unless jackd is running, which it wasn't:

> Hm. Found out I needed the LSM realtime module.

Alternatively, you can just run JACK and Ardour as a regular user.  If you 
start it with jackd and don't elect to start with realtime set, it will work 
fine.  It's true you will probably never get useful performance doing it this 
way, but it runs.

> Is jackd (the debian package) compiled with all necessary flags?
> Like --enable-capabilites ? How do I find out?

It works on patched 2.4 kernels.  I have no idea about 2.6.  It may be there's 
some different capabilities library it needs to be compiled against or 
something.  Pure speculation.

> The more I read the more questions I have, like:
> - What FAQ, guide, tutorial etc. is the most
>   authoritative and updated on the subject?
>   Differences abound, depending on kernel version, etc.

I'm writing a thorough guide to Rosegarden, and JACK is a big issue I need to 
deal with.  I've spent a lot of time surfing, reading, trying to educate 
myself.  The state of audio documentation is absolutely PATHETIC.  Much of 
the documentation keeps referring to places where kernel 2.4.0 is spoken of 
in the future tense for crying out loud.  Everyone, and every google search 
all keep referring to the same conglomeration of crap that evidently must 
make perfect sense to someone somewhere, but certainly not to me.

> - What files must be present for all this to work,
>   (ALSA, jackd and all features of Soundblaster Live)
>   on a system running the 2.6.7 kernel,
>   and what magic do they possibly contain?

I have absolutely no clue about 2.6 kernels.  I'm not running one yet, and I 
don't support them.  You can have my recipe for getting a happy JACK with a 
2.4 kernel though.

Add the following line to your sources.list:

deb http://apt.agnula.org/demudi/ testing main local extra

Update, then get (as needed, and with suitable arch if necessary):


They don't make it very obvious to the casual browser, but they maintain a 
repository of Debian packages.  No need to replace your running system with 
something off the CD.  Just install AGNULA packages whenever they're 
available and take the rest from Sid or Sarge.

Then you might want to have a look at my book.  While I deal mostly with MIDI 
issues, I do cover JACK.  I'm trying to deal with all of this on a KISS, 
least you need to know level, and keep it distro-neutral, so don't expect an 
authoritative JACK treatise.  (I couldn't write one if you paid me anyway.  
The least you need to know, in this case, is very nearly all that I *do* know 
after months wrestling with this most wretched of subjects.)

I've just committed a new round of changes to document my latest success with 
the AGNULA kernel.  That version won't get rsynced out to the web server 
until tomorrow sometime, so here's the URL to the PDF version instead.  I 
host this myself, and I just updated it.  You want to look at chapter 2.2:


If you decide to play with Rosegarden for audio work, I'm afraid I still 
haven't really dealt with the vagaries of recording with Rosegarden yet, and 
neither have I mentioned managing audio files.  All of that is coming in the 
next few weeks, along with detailed instructions for managing the evil 
bastard mixer from hell on the SB Live! to control which audio sources get 
recorded.  I'm still in the "playing with it to figure it out stage," really, 
since I've only just gotten Rosegarden's audio features working smoothly for 
myself, after nearly two years with the project.

> -Why on Earth must all this be so convoluted? (sigh...)

Tell me about it.  The up side is that once you do finally get it working, 
it's pretty cool.

Install the LADSPA stuff to get plugins up the wazoo:

swh-plugins - Steve Harris's LADSPA plugins
tap-plugins - Tom's Audio Processing LADSPA plugins

I could go on, but let's see how far you get.

Michael McIntyre  ----   Silvan <dmmcintyr@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek;  registered Linux user #243621

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