[LAU] jack, pulse = confusion, at least for me

Mac ussndmac at charter.net
Tue Mar 14 17:32:49 UTC 2017

Being the OP (I think) I didn't mean to stir controversy with my questions.

As has been pointed out there are different ways to get to your preferred
configuration. Be that qjackctl, your own home brew, or some combination of

Personally, most of the time, I just want it to work so I can get about MY
business and not the business of becoming a guru on some part of the chain
I need to get MY business done.

(My OP came from a desire to figure out why a particular configuration
seemed to be so finicky. A particular laptop, the alsa interface, and USB
in/out ports presented by a Behringer X32, plugging the same usb cable into
another laptop, just worked every time. In order to troubleshoot, I thought
maybe I'd gain more insight by mimicking what qjackctl does from the
command line. But, when I tried to duplicate a qjackctl start from the
command line, was stymied as to how.)

The entire linux audio (generic and pro) and the evolution thereof makes it
very difficult to get a clear picture of how it all works and how to get
what you want. (I've been a hardware/software engineer for 40 years,
messing with jack for the last 10 and still have questions...) To a new
comer or someone coming from a different audio platform, it would be hard
not to wonder if linux audiophiles aren't trying to make appear you need to
be some sort of linux mage to make it work. When in fact, you just need to
be a persistent investigator due to it's evolution (and lack of cohesive
end user documentation, again, because of it's evolution).  Oh, and some
background in software, hardware, signal processing, and system
configuration doesn't hurt... For those who just want to make music or
record something quick...better stick to other platforms and cough up the
money that requires.

For me the corner case argument is moot. There a myriad of use cases and
work flows. In my case, I, mostly, do theater work where playing
prerecorded tracks, controlling various devices (mixers, projectors, sound
fx, players, etc.), and following a script is typical. For sound, that
typically, means using player apps that may or may not be jack aware
(though, when the choice is mine, I just use LinuxShowPlayer, since it
knows JACK), so having the pulse ports just appear when jack is started (by
whatever means) is nice. And, while I RARELY use Skype, being able to play
youtube without having to mess around is handy. Yes, I know I could get it
all to play nice with just jack...but, that's not what I prefer to use my
time doing.

And, for full disclosure, I use JACK to get to MIDI in ShowControl, the
open source theater production control software we are developing. But, I
don't have any desire to know more about the internals of jack than I need
to to use it as a tool. (but I need to figure out how to get that to start
with the preferred sound configuration...so I'll be looking in detail at
things like Christopher's jack-select, alas, deeper into the rabbit hole.)

It's all good...just complicated. :)


On Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 1:28 AM, Ralf Mardorf <ralf.mardorf at alice-dsl.net>

> On Tue, 14 Mar 2017 00:28:20 +0100, Christopher Arndt wrote:
> >Am 13.03.2017 um 20:04 schrieb Ralf Mardorf:
> >> DAW users very seldom need jackdbus and other users very seldom need
> >> the jack sound server at all.
> >
> >That's just your opinion, though. I find jackdbus very useful. I often
> >switch audio interfaces and JACK's dbus interface makes this a lot
> >easier.
> That's ridiculous, jackdbus might have advantages for some usage, but
> your examples don't cover them.
> >I wrote a little desktop systray app to switch JACK configrations via
> >dbus (I already announced this here a while ago):
> >
> >https://github.com/SpotlightKid/jack-select
> Selecting a sound card could be done with qjackctl, ardour, by command
> line and a lot of other ways, too, when using jackd.
> >For auto-connecting JACK audio and MIDI ports, I wrote a little helper
> >too:
> >
> >https://github.com/SpotlightKid/jack-matchmaker
> Connections for jackd audio and midi as well as alsa midi could be
> stored and restored by e.g. aj-snapshot, too.
> On Mon, 13 Mar 2017 14:27:09 -0700 (PDT), Len Ovens wrote:
> >This is a case where the combination of pulse and jackdbus work quite
> >well. Wanting to have a DAW on the screen and be able to, without
> >exiting from the DAW, play a u-toob vid...
> You don't need pulseaudio to do this, but even if it would require
> pulseaudio, it's a corner case.
> >There are a number of workflows where a pulse/jack combination is the
> >only way to make it work. (radio studio that uses skype for callin or
> >interviews comes to mind)
> Apart from skype interviews, what are those numerous workflows? How
> often do you hear skype interviews on radio? This is a corner case.
> Regards,
> Ralf
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> Linux-audio-user at lists.linuxaudio.org
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