Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Using PulseAudio with JACK on Linux

With Linux (and other Free operating systems) you can choose your audio software, even the stuff that runs under the hood and makes everything else work.  This software is often called an "audio server" because it provides audio services to the OS and applications. 

The down side is that, on Linux anyway, there isn't a "do it all" audio server.  The one that works great for watching videos in a browser (often PulseAudio) may not work at all with your editing software (which may require JACK). 

If you use a DAW (Ardour, LMMS) on Linux you probably need JACK.  If you need to use browser media or consumerish media players at the same time you may need to make JACK and PulseAudio work together.  Thankfully, this is possible.  See this link.

http://trac.jackaudio.org/wiki/WalkThrough/User/PulseOnJack

One caveat.  To get the full benefit of JACK's ability to run at super low latency and some of the other things that make JACK special run it alone and with a real time kernel.  To run consumer and pro audio apps at the same time wire JACK and PA together as shown.

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