[LAT] A guide to optimize JACK?

trece ocho trece.ocho at gmail.com
Fri Aug 8 14:12:43 EDT 2008

Hi there!,

I want to optimize JACK capabilities in running Linux PCs.
What JACK configuration parameters do I have to vary (and in what way) to
achieve that?
(by "that" I mean: minimum latency, zero noise and zero xruns).
I'm looking for something like a "standard procedure"...
...not just trying all the possible configurations of JACK and picking up
the most convenient.
(... maybe an "autoJACKtuning" program can be done for this purpose, but
there MUST be a procedure to follow)
Maybe you just can't tune the best of every system by following the same
pattern, but making the average best is what i'm looking for.

I'm working in a program that's a metronome that reacts to human
synchronization errors (to the very same metronome).
That errors are just some milliseconds, and a further advance in the program
would need reacting as quickly as that - Fast!.
In some ways, the program is similar to a tap-tempo thing, but it's meant
for synchronization experiments.
That experiments are aimed at researching how do people sync themselves to
outer stimuli, like... the beat of a song.
Results of that can end up in cool stuff - e.g., the possibility of making
the sync of drum-machines REALLY human-like.

This program should be as "portable" as it can be.... but I'm having trouble
with some audio cards.
I don't think powerful sound cards are needed for this task... the
bottleneck seems much more of a OS scheduling thing.
I turned to JACK because of the promised low latencies and throughput (and
an easy API)...
... but sometimes the audio crackles, has xruns, can't get it to work even
with high latency, etc... and I don't have a clue about what to vary to fix

Besides that, I'm kind of a musician too and it seems everybody who uses
JACK wants low low low latency and good sound, so a "guide" to tune up that
would be a step forward to the self promotion of JACK-based software.

Sorry for my Neanderthal-ish English
and cheers from Argentina,

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