November 26, 2014

Regarding default audio remixing in F20

Fedora 20 will by default make use of PulseAudio, which for the most part works out of the box. However, the default settings can leave you in a worse situation than just running on base ALSA.

The default settings are (wisely) based on the generic user, using generic hardware and with generic expectations. Well, I’m not the generic user. Neither do my machine fit in the “generic hardware” category, since i sports a dedicated audio card.

First thing I did was disable the “cork” module, whether I am in Windows or on Linux. I like to control my audio volumes rather then having the system adjust it when it detects certain applications, such as Teamspeak.

After this I did not mess with PulseAudio any more. Mainly, due to messing the whole thing up in Arch a couple of months ago leaving pulseaudio hovering at ~20% cpu and teamspeak at ~100%. No fun.

I really missed the quality this soundcard can produce, and finally decided to try to fix it. Looking for something else I came across the remixing settings once more, and BAAM it hit me! By default PulseAudio will remix your audio based on a select profile. This costs cpu-time and is lossy. You can control these variables by switching profile, “high-performance/high-loss vs. low-performance/low-loss”-ish. But I have a dedicated sound card. Remixing audio is what it does. Realising this, I added enable-remixing = no to /etc/pulse/daemon.conf, restarted pulse, et voilà! Brilliant audio and reduced cpu usage. Nice!

© Sebastian Hörberg 2018

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