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Re: [fluid-dev] Re: What is the best way start fluidsynth with zero/low

From: josh
Subject: Re: [fluid-dev] Re: What is the best way start fluidsynth with zero/low latency? (Louis B.)
Date: Tue, 26 May 2009 13:31:00 -0400
User-agent: Internet Messaging Program (IMP) H3 (4.1.6)

Quoting Pedro Lopez-Cabanillas <address@hidden>:
On Monday, May 25, 2009, you wrote:
It seems what we have both been pointing out, is that latency and CPU
usage are 2 separate issues.  From what Louis said, I'm still not sure
what problem he is experiencing.  Is it an issue with achieving low
latency or an issue of the CPU consumption maxing out when playing
certain MIDI files or many notes.

The subject of this whole thread is "What is the best way start fluidsynth
with zero/low latency?" and the title of the wiki page you created is "Low
latency tips", so it was pretty clear to me that we were talking about low

I was attempting to clarify what you were saying to Louis. That latency and CPU consumption are two separate things. Probably should have addressed the email to Louis though. Sorry for the confusion.

As a general rule to solve problems, my method is to break big problems into
smaller ones, and then try to solve one small problem at a time. So that is
my advice to netbook users for sound functionality.

The comment about 'Unfortunately specifying the hardware layer may
bypass all of the desktop volume controls.' on the wiki, likely has to
do with bypassing PulseAudio.  So that really belongs in a PulseAudio
tips section.  Since if you are using ALSA mixer based audio controls,
rather than PulseAudio mixer controls, that statement wont be true.

It is a mess indeed :(  O how I wish PulseAudio could achieve low
latency.  It seems like a potentially nice audio system.  Sad to say,
but it seems like if a user wants user friendly low latency audio,
CoreAudio on OS X is where it is at currently.  I'm keeping my fingers
crossed, that Linux and audio for the desktop AND the musician will be
sorted out soon.

I am not an Xbuntu user, but IMO if the distro is forcing the usage of
PulseAudio, my advice (for low latency) would be to disable it. If the distro
doesn't allow you to disable it, and the latency issue is very important to
you, then my advice would be to install another Linux distro.

PulseAudio does indeed seem to be a problem at this point. I notice that when using the FluidSynth PulseAudio driver that I recently added, the default buffer size/count leads to unusable sound output. I guess PulseAudio is attempting to achieve the requested latency, but failing miserably. A case where the default buffer size/count should be different on a per driver basis, if not set explicitly.



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