[PD-dev] jack dbus?

Jonathan Wilkes jancsika at yahoo.com
Tue May 28 07:08:09 CEST 2013

Ok, quick restatement of the problem:

How does one get Pd to just run in GNU/Linux for casual/sporadic use cases? Like
1 fire up Pd to patch an idea with Firefox/music player/other stuff sitting in the background
2 audio from online tutorial while patching in Pd with audio
3 some dude screwing around in Ubuntu with it, learns enough to get interested in fairly low latency to process some guitar sounds, possibly live

Cases 1 and 2 could benefit from having a PulseAudio backend in Pd, but case 3 would still be a pain because at the point that the guitarist cares about latency he/she is back to screwing around with audio settings (either directly through ALSA or with JACK).  (If I'm wrong and Pulse can cover use case 3 I'd like to hear about it, but from what I've read Pulse is not designed with realtime audio processing as a goal.)

So, I'm curious about this:

Specifically the "D-bus only JACK" route.  _If_ it works reliably (and of course that's a big if) then it gives the best of both worlds: all cases 1,2, and 3 above are covered by the JACK server automatically starting and Pulse getting out of the way for it.  Moreover, Pulse clients get routed to JACK with what I take are "sane" defaults.  So, if you have Pd running through JACK with this setup and then you open up a youtube video in Firefox, Pulse will automagically make a connection to JACK for it and (I'm guessing) hook it up to the output.

Any thoughts on this?  I'm thinking if we could build up a body of knowledge on this approach it would be the easiest way to get worry-free audio setups with GNU/Linux distros that wouldn't give new users headaches.  Plus it would scale up: if they learn and care about insanely low latencies, they are already using JACK so it's just a matter of firing up qjackctl or whatever and configuring the audio server they've been using.

Anyway I'll do some testing with it on Debian Wheezy over the next month.  If anyone wants to try on other distros that'd be helpful (Linux Mint, Ubuntu, etc.)

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