Audacity misbehavin'..

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briandc
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Audacity misbehavin'..

Postby briandc » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:34 pm

Hi everyone,
I really like Audacity, because I can lay down tracks really quickly, and export to audio files in a flash.

However, I have recently been having problems on this PC with Audacity, as it won't "see" Jack even though it's indicated in the audio host bar. When I rescan audio devices it crashes!

Can anyone tell me how to get control of this app?

Any help MUCH appreciated!
brian
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Pablo
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Re: Audacity misbehavin'..

Postby Pablo » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:32 pm

Hi again!

Well this board is supposed to contain howto's written by users. This thread should belong to Software Support & Discussion, Recorders and Sequencers, but anyway...

Alas, Audacity is infamous with regards to jack support. Its jack "portaudio" ports only show up when the PLAY button is pressed, so, to record, you have to press RECORD, then PAUSE, then make connections in qjackctl, then release PAUSE. (Or something like that, I never use it). Editing audio in audacity is fine. Recording is a chore.

You mentioned qsynth. You have to load a soundfont file, in case you didn't know. Look at /usr/share/sound/sf2 after installing fluidsynth-soundfont-gm (a nice GM soundfont in the debian/ubuntu repos).

You also mentioned qtractor. The easiest way to make sound is via plugins. I suggest you begin with some easy to install dssi plugin (virtual instrument), for example, hexter (a YAMAHA DX7 emulator). Search in your package manager.

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Re: Audacity misbehavin'..

Postby briandc » Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:37 am

Hi again Pablo!

(My apologies for not using the right sub-forum..)

The problem with Audacity is that when I hit record, it crashes. Same if I select "rescan audio devices."

I think it might have something to do with an Alsa setting being wrong (Audacity (and Jack) use Alsa even with Jack selected, right?)

For the others (Qsynth/Qtractor), I've got Hexter installed and I use it as a stand-alone at the moment. I installed the sf2 package but can't find it. :oops:


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Re: Audacity misbehavin'..

Postby autostatic » Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:57 am

briandc wrote:The problem with Audacity is that when I hit record, it crashes. Same if I select "rescan audio devices."
Check if the sample rate of the project matches with the sample rate of JACK.

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Re: Audacity misbehavin'..

Postby briandc » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:01 am

AutoStatic wrote:
briandc wrote:The problem with Audacity is that when I hit record, it crashes. Same if I select "rescan audio devices."
Check if the sample rate of the project matches with the sample rate of JACK.


Hi AutoStatic,
thanks. I'll check it in about 8 hours and let you know what I find out. I think that may be the problem, since I recently set Jack at 32000Mhz (seemed to give less xruns that way, and the quality seemed fine anyway), but Audacity is (I think) at 41000.

Regarding plugins: I have always thought that virtual synths are standalone. But apparently some are plugins, and therefore must be opened in a host like Ardour. Correct?

brian
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Re: Audacity misbehavin'..

Postby Pablo » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:23 am

I installed the sf2 package but can't find it.


In my system it is not in my home but in /usr/share/sounds/sf2

Try doing a "sudo updatedb" and then "locate FluidR3"

I have always thought that virtual synths are standalone. But apparently some are plugins, and therefore must be opened in a host like Ardour. Correct?


Yes, but note that ardour is not a dssi host. It supports LV2 though.

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Re: Audacity misbehavin'..

Postby autostatic » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:38 am

briandc wrote:Regarding plugins: I have always thought that virtual synths are standalone. But apparently some are plugins, and therefore must be opened in a host like Ardour. Correct?
Correct. Qtractor likes 'm all, LADSPA, LV2, DSSI, LinuxVST.

qtractor-synth-plugins.jpg
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Re: Audacity misbehavin'..

Postby briandc » Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:27 pm

AutoStatic wrote:
briandc wrote:The problem with Audacity is that when I hit record, it crashes. Same if I select "rescan audio devices."
Check if the sample rate of the project matches with the sample rate of JACK.


You nailed it! :)
Things seem to be working fine now, although I can't control input volume directly in Audacity, but it's not a problem since I just adjust it in the softsynth directly.

At the bottom of the window, Audacity tells me that I have 10 minutes of disk space left for recording.. but I still have 60GB free. Why won't it "see" all that space?

brian

PS: about plugins, etc: is it true that some softsynths are DSSI hosts, and some DAWs are hosts? Are they also hosts of ladspa/ls2?

I got QSynth to run the sf2 patches (fluid R3). Is there a place to get more of these sounds for QSynth?

It's all a bit confusing still.. sorry..
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Re: Audacity misbehavin'..

Postby autostatic » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:10 pm

briandc wrote:At the bottom of the window, Audacity tells me that I have 10 minutes of disk space left for recording.. but I still have 60GB free. Why won't it "see" all that space?
How is your harddrive partitioned? What is the outcome of the terminal command df -h ?

briandc wrote:PS: about plugins, etc: is it true that some softsynths are DSSI hosts, and some DAWs are hosts? Are they also hosts of ladspa/ls2?
Afaik there are no softsynths that are also DSSI hosts. Most DAW's on Linux are plug-in hosts.

briandc wrote:I got QSynth to run the sf2 patches (fluid R3). Is there a place to get more of these sounds for QSynth?
You can find some more here: http://wiki.linuxmusicians.com/doku.php ... audio_data

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Re: Audacity misbehavin'..

Postby briandc » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:19 pm

AutoStatic wrote:
briandc wrote:At the bottom of the window, Audacity tells me that I have 10 minutes of disk space left for recording.. but I still have 60GB free. Why won't it "see" all that space?
How is your harddrive partitioned? What is the outcome of the terminal command df -h ?

briandc wrote:PS: about plugins, etc: is it true that some softsynths are DSSI hosts, and some DAWs are hosts? Are they also hosts of ladspa/ls2?
Afaik there are no softsynths that are also DSSI hosts. Most DAW's on Linux are plug-in hosts.

briandc wrote:I got QSynth to run the sf2 patches (fluid R3). Is there a place to get more of these sounds for QSynth?
You can find some more here: http://wiki.linuxmusicians.com/doku.php ... audio_data


I solved the disk space thing. I had to save a project (not audio file) and now it says 73 hours 30 minutes. :)

Thanks for the link to more stuff for QSynth! :)

The rest I think will be solved as I get more involved. The confusing part is this plug-in stuff. Pablo tells me to read AutoStatic. I suppose that's your website, no? But I can't read Dutch! :D

Thanks for all your help!
brian
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My sound synthesis biome: http://www.linuxsynths.com

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Re: Audacity misbehavin'..

Postby autostatic » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:39 pm

briandc wrote:I solved the disk space thing. I had to save a project (not audio file) and now it says 73 hours 30 minutes. :)
Ok, cool!

briandc wrote:Thanks for the link to more stuff for QSynth! :)
Be sure to check the 'script' right at the top of the article, it contains even more links to interesting soundfonts.

briandc wrote:The confusing part is this plug-in stuff.
It seems more complicated than it is. There are four major plug-in platforms available for Linux:
  • LADSPA - the oldest framework. No GUI's.
  • DSSI - "...particularly useful for software synthesis plugins with user interfaces." But also used for audio processing plug-ins (like the CALF plug-ins collection).
  • LV2 - "LV2 is a successor of LADSPA that aims to remain simple yet adds extensibility which enables more advanced plugin functionality (e.g. MIDI or graphical interfaces)."
  • LinuxVST's - VST plug-ins compiled for Linux.

If you take a DAW like Qtractor, which is an excellent plug-in host, you can add plug-ins to each track. Softsynths go into MIDI tracks and audio processing plug-ins go into audio tracks.

briandc wrote:Pablo tells me to read AutoStatic. I suppose that's your website, no? But I can't read Dutch! :D
Ha ha, I should really switch to English I guess. I think Pablo refers to the System Configuration Wiki page: http://wiki.linuxmusicians.com/doku.php ... figuration
Probably two-thirds of that article was done by me.

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Re: Audacity misbehavin'..

Postby slowpick » Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:46 pm

Audacity 2.x sometimes fails to properly clean tmp files here, mentioned in case
some notes a similar thing. A nice use for audacity, is to change the playback speed,
and record the output in timemachine, useful for some of the jewels and anomalies
that sometimes occur, perhaps even better when faster or slower. :)

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Re: Audacity misbehavin'..

Postby briandc » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:54 am

I'm just now looking over the wiki page you contributed to. Nice work!
I am reading about other apps that can be deactivated to improve performance. Anyway, when I execute "top," it lists some apps that I don't know if are necessary, such as kthreadd, khelper, jackctl.real, kdevtmpfs, etc....
Also, what about DMA? http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/DMA_mode
Is it useful/recommended?

(BTW, is it better to run jack at 256 frames/min and 32000Mhz, or 512 frames/min and 41000Mhz? I'm seeing that most apps want 41000, and at 512 frames/min, I'm getting no xruns at all...)

Also, thanks for the all the info and links regarding plugins and soundfonts. (Aren't soundfonts basically samples, but in a different format (sf2)?)

As I'm just starting out, I just want to see how many apps can give me new sounds to try, and I record them in Audacity. I ran QSynth with one bank, but I can't yet change to the other banks..


brian
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My sound synthesis biome: http://www.linuxsynths.com

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Re: Audacity misbehavin'..

Postby autostatic » Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:27 am

briandc wrote:Anyway, when I execute "top," it lists some apps that I don't know if are necessary, such as kthreadd, khelper, jackctl.real, kdevtmpfs, etc....
Processes prepended with a k are kernel processes, you need those. qjackctl.real is the QjackCtl binary. On Ubuntu /usr/bin/qjackctl is a wrapper script that does some magic with PulseAudio and then runs the QjackCtl binary (/usr/bin/qjackctl.real). So you really need that app too.

briandc wrote:Also, what about DMA? http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/DMA_mode
Is it useful/recommended?
It's only useful when you use IDE drives. I highly doubt you have an IDE drive in your machine, it's all SATA these days and SATA doesn't use DMA.

briandc wrote:(BTW, is it better to run jack at 256 frames/min and 32000Mhz, or 512 frames/min and 41000Mhz? I'm seeing that most apps want 41000, and at 512 frames/min, I'm getting no xruns at all...)
Try running at 48000, some onboard chips work best with that sample rate.

briandc wrote:(Aren't soundfonts basically samples, but in a different format (sf2)?)
Yes they are. You can edit them or even create new ones with a tool like Swami: http://www.swamiproject.org/
sf2 is becoming obsolete though in favor of sfz: http://www.drealm.info/sfz/

briandc wrote:I ran QSynth with one bank, but I can't yet change to the other banks.
Can't help with that unfortunately as I use the fluidsynth-dssi plug-in for working with soundfonts.

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Re: Audacity misbehavin'..

Postby briandc » Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:06 am

AutoStatic wrote:
briandc wrote:Anyway, when I execute "top," it lists some apps that I don't know if are necessary, such as kthreadd, khelper, jackctl.real, kdevtmpfs, etc....
Processes prepended with a k are kernel processes, you need those. qjackctl.real is the QjackCtl binary. On Ubuntu /usr/bin/qjackctl is a wrapper script that does some magic with PulseAudio and then runs the QjackCtl binary (/usr/bin/qjackctl.real). So you really need that app too.

briandc wrote:Also, what about DMA? http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/DMA_mode
Is it useful/recommended?
It's only useful when you use IDE drives. I highly doubt you have an IDE drive in your machine, it's all SATA these days and SATA doesn't use DMA.

briandc wrote:(BTW, is it better to run jack at 256 frames/min and 32000Mhz, or 512 frames/min and 41000Mhz? I'm seeing that most apps want 41000, and at 512 frames/min, I'm getting no xruns at all...)
Try running at 48000, some onboard chips work best with that sample rate.

briandc wrote:(Aren't soundfonts basically samples, but in a different format (sf2)?)
Yes they are. You can edit them or even create new ones with a tool like Swami: http://www.swamiproject.org/
sf2 is becoming obsolete though in favor of sfz: http://www.drealm.info/sfz/

briandc wrote:I ran QSynth with one bank, but I can't yet change to the other banks.
Can't help with that unfortunately as I use the fluidsynth-dssi plug-in for working with soundfonts.


You are amazing! 8)
Thanks for all the help. I sense that I need to study up on things now, since I'm new to the digital audio world. It's truly amazing. I bought a Yamaha Motif 8 back in 2000, and it seemed amazing at the time, how much things had progressed in recent years.
But now, it seems to me that more and more, synths will be apps on a PC, and all you'll need extra is a MIDI controller to run it all! And of course, with Linux, there's so much being developed and with new stuff coming out every month.. it's just amazing. Smaller, cheaper, faster, more powerful... My PCs are becoming my favorite musical instruments! :D

brian
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My sound synthesis biome: http://www.linuxsynths.com


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