No, it’s not a love letter, but just a sharing about my last experience with Pipewire.
I recently switched to Debian Testing (Bullseye) and I wondered: Why not try pipewire and see what happens since Fedora is about to default to pipewire on 34 version?
Yes, it’s still at an early age and maybe we should refer to it only as “beta”. Does it change anything for Ardour now? No, but still it did surprise me, even at this early stage, be able to see Alsa working flawless under 64 samples, without xruns. I can even set 32 samples right now if I wish to, but this low latency setting produce some xruns from time to time on my laptop. Never before have I been able to achieve 64 samples without a rain of xruns in all the distros I prepared for audio production before, even after the realtimeconfigquickscan script check “good” to everything. I tried a lot of tweaks on linux until today but none has ever succeded compared to Windows performance with manufacturer driver of my usb interface. I’ve been working with 256 samples on linux since so because that was the only way to avoid sporadical xruns. I see something promising about the future of pro audio on linux and from pipewire itself, it is evolving really fast and I have this feeling this will put things on an equal footing between linux and others ecosystems some day.
I installed pipewire-audio-client-libraries via Debian experimental repository and I mean last 0.3.24 version with that. Please note pipewire isn’t ready and you’ll find a notable lack of functionalities so I must remember you may have to configure many things via terminal or conf files. I need to stop pulseaudio using systemctl --user stop command but in an overall it works nicely. I also should mention that pw-jack doesn’t seem to deliver the same performance advantages I got with Alsa for now. Oh, and I can’t change my sample periods if I start Ardour using Jack/Pipewire if not with the pw-jack -p ‘period’ ‘ApplicationName’ command before startup. By the way, pipewire-pulse works fine.
Perhaps this is the end of fragmentation?
That’s all. I am very excited about what is coming.