Using ALSA, no sound

Good afternoon/morning/evening (wherever you are in the world),

I am currently trying to get some sound out of my Ardour setup. Using ALSA initially, I saw the bars going up and down, and I had MIDI input. Switched to PulseAudio, had sound for a second, but then the sound faded because the MIDI had stopped. (I was testing using a synthesizer) Going back to ALSA, Ardour sees the device, but is not detecting any MIDI inputs, therefore no more sound.

Using Ubuntu Studio 23.04 that I converted from PipeWire to PulseAudio, and Ardour 7.

“Using Ubuntu Studio 23.04 that I converted from PipeWire to PulseAudio, and Ardour 7.”

Having altered your distro’s default audio configuration, there are added variables to your troubleshooting tree, but assuming you cleanly stripped Pipewire from your system and are running pure ALSA with Pulseaudio atop it, the first thing to do is choose ALSA as the Audio System in the “Audio/MIDI Setup” window. Select the audio device you want to use as your Input Device and Output Device, which should be the same device in most cases and is UMC1820 in the example below. Set the Sample Rate, Buffer Size, and Periods according to your audio device’s capabilities. If you are unsure, use the default settings. Under Advanced Settings, select ALSA Sequencer for the MIDI System.

Once you have added a MIDI track with your preferred instrument, go to the Mixer view by pressing Alt+M.

Click on the box under the General MIDI Synth box that says 2 per the screenshot example, understanding that both General MIDI Synth and 2 may say something else on your computer depending on your instrument selection and hardware. A pop-up window should appear that lists the detected MIDI devices. Select your MIDI input device. In my case, it is USB Axiom 25 MIDI (1). I would screenshot this, but my tool for doing so doesn’t appear capable of capturing a screen region with a pop-up window open. This is what the mixer strip looks like after I have selected my MIDI input device.

After selecting my device, I get sound out of my speakers upon pressing my MIDI controller’s keyboard or pads using Ardour’s default connection setup. If you do not have sound at this point, please provide more specifics about your hardware, including both your audio and MIDI devices, what MIDI instrument you are using, and any other information that seems relevant to you.

MIDI works, and the bars are moving, but the only outputs are: HDA Intel PCH, HDA NVidia, HDA NVidia (7), HDA NVidia (hw:NVidia.8), and HDA NVidia (hw:NVidia.9), and none of those output sound to my Bluetooth-connected onn CD Boombox.

ALSA cannot be (easily) used to deliver output to bluetooth devices, and this is not a scenario we intended Ardour to be used under.

If you want to use bluetooth, you will need to use Ardour’s PulseAudio backend (which is playback only), and hope that whatever version of PulseAudio you have installed is functioning OK with bluetooth devices.

I’m using the latest PulseAudio version. (how I switched from PW to PA was via a script a friend had made)

Then you need to configure PulseAudio to use your bluetooth device, then use Ardour’s PulseAudio backend.

But really, this isn’t a way we imagine people really using Ardour much. The PulseAudio backend was added more with the idea of maybe travelling with a laptop and BT headphones and doing a bit of editing.

Whatever works.

Bluetooth has a rather long latency and it is not suitable for pro-audio. It is targeted at consumers (not producers).

Then again the Onn Boombox is also just a casual listening device, in which case using the consumer-desktop audio system (pulseaudio) is appropriate. Note however that this excludes MIDI or audio input.

Yeah, I plan on getting some wired headphones soon, for now this BT device will have to do.

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