[jitsi-users] PulseAudio microphone level


#1

Hi dev team,

I'm using Jitsi 2.4 (the stable build) on a Mageia Linux system. I can
make and receive calls, and Jitsi works fine for that.

But...whenever I start a call, the microphone level is set very high,
and I have to turn the mic level way down. I've noticed that in the
pulseaudio volume control, there are a couple of tick marks along the
volume slider, Silence, Base, and 100%. It seems like setting it to
base is about the right mic level, while Jitsi always restores it to
100%.. Is there a way to have Jitsi either not reset the mic level or
have it reset the level to base, rather than 100%?

For comparison, btw, Skype automatically adjusts the mic level to a good
setting when I start a call.

thanks!

Steve


#2

Hi Steve,
I'm a user who noticed this as well, and it is very annoying. When I get
a call from a certain person I have to turn the volume at my end all the
way down, because as soon as the call starts I receive a wall of noise
and distortion, until said user manages to turn the volume down. In
this case however there's another bug involved, which may be anywhere
between the chip and PulseAudio. Effectively PulseAudio enables a mic
boost when you set the mic level above a certain point, and that mic
boost causes the massive distortion.

I'm still not sure whether this behavior of changing the volume is
caused by Jitsi or by PulseAudio. I wonder whether you have some more
experience with PulseAudio changing the volume on its own?

Regards,
Philipp

···

On Wed, 15 Jan 2014 22:39:22 -0800 Steve Havelka <yoshi@q7.com> wrote:

Hi dev team,

I'm using Jitsi 2.4 (the stable build) on a Mageia Linux system. I
can make and receive calls, and Jitsi works fine for that.

But...whenever I start a call, the microphone level is set very high,
and I have to turn the mic level way down. I've noticed that in the
pulseaudio volume control, there are a couple of tick marks along the
volume slider, Silence, Base, and 100%. It seems like setting it to
base is about the right mic level, while Jitsi always restores it to
100%.. Is there a way to have Jitsi either not reset the mic level or
have it reset the level to base, rather than 100%?

For comparison, btw, Skype automatically adjusts the mic level to a
good setting when I start a call.

thanks!

Steve

--
JID: murks@jit.si


#3

This issue has already been reported to the Jitsi developers and an
issue has already been opened, namely
https://trac.jitsi.org/ticket/1050. Please express your interest in
the issue there andtrack the future development there. As Emil said,
you are welcome to contribute patches which address the issue.


#4

Thanks, Emil, for letting me know what's happening. I can try to see if
any open source/free software applications set the mic level
automatically (like Skype), and see how they do it.

As for Pulse-vs-alsa, I'm also not interested in debating it. I'd just
like to mention that I'm glad that the Linux world has mostly switched
to Pulse--I use its features daily. I don't think I'd be able to use
Linux as my main workstation if the distribution developers hadn't moved
on from Alsa some years back.

···

On 01/16/2014 07:54 AM, Alex Malmyguine wrote:

However you like it, I am not alone in realization that PulseAuido is an unnecessary monstrosity and you are limiting your user base by requiring it.
This is a fact of life, for your information, thus no need to debate it with me.

Thank you
Alex

-----Original Message-----
From: users-bounces@jitsi.org [mailto:users-bounces@jitsi.org] On Behalf Of Lyubomir Marinov
Sent: Thursday, January 16, 2014 10:48 AM
To: Jitsi Users
Subject: Re: [jitsi-users] PulseAudio microphone level

This issue has already been reported to the Jitsi developers and an issue has already been opened, namely https://trac.jitsi.org/ticket/1050. Please express your interest in the issue there andtrack the future development there. As Emil said, you are welcome to contribute patches which address the issue.

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#5

However you like it, I am not alone in realization that PulseAuido is an unnecessary monstrosity and you are limiting your user base by requiring it.
This is a fact of life, for your information, thus no need to debate it with me.

Thank you
Alex

···

-----Original Message-----
From: users-bounces@jitsi.org [mailto:users-bounces@jitsi.org] On Behalf Of Lyubomir Marinov
Sent: Thursday, January 16, 2014 10:48 AM
To: Jitsi Users
Subject: Re: [jitsi-users] PulseAudio microphone level

This issue has already been reported to the Jitsi developers and an issue has already been opened, namely https://trac.jitsi.org/ticket/1050. Please express your interest in the issue there andtrack the future development there. As Emil said, you are welcome to contribute patches which address the issue.

_______________________________________________
users mailing list
users@jitsi.org
Unsubscribe instructions and other list options:
http://lists.jitsi.org/mailman/listinfo/users


#6

The behaviour we see is that the simple action of opening the device seems to apply some sort of audio max. If anyone with PulseAudio experience wants to have a look at that, it would be most welcome.

Emil

···

On 16.01.14, 14:41, Philipp Überbacher wrote:

On Wed, 15 Jan 2014 22:39:22 -0800 > Steve Havelka <yoshi@q7.com> wrote:

Hi dev team,

I'm using Jitsi 2.4 (the stable build) on a Mageia Linux system. I
can make and receive calls, and Jitsi works fine for that.

But...whenever I start a call, the microphone level is set very high,
and I have to turn the mic level way down. I've noticed that in the
pulseaudio volume control, there are a couple of tick marks along the
volume slider, Silence, Base, and 100%. It seems like setting it to
base is about the right mic level, while Jitsi always restores it to
100%.. Is there a way to have Jitsi either not reset the mic level or
have it reset the level to base, rather than 100%?

For comparison, btw, Skype automatically adjusts the mic level to a
good setting when I start a call.

thanks!

Steve

Hi Steve,
I'm a user who noticed this as well, and it is very annoying. When I get
a call from a certain person I have to turn the volume at my end all the
way down, because as soon as the call starts I receive a wall of noise
and distortion, until said user manages to turn the volume down. In
this case however there's another bug involved, which may be anywhere
between the chip and PulseAudio. Effectively PulseAudio enables a mic
boost when you set the mic level above a certain point, and that mic
boost causes the massive distortion.

I'm still not sure whether this behavior of changing the volume is
caused by Jitsi or by PulseAudio. I wonder whether you have some more
experience with PulseAudio changing the volume on its own?

--
https://jitsi.org


#7

Alex,

However you like it, I am not alone in realization that PulseAuido is
an unnecessary monstrosity and you are limiting your user base by
requiring it. This is a fact of life, for your information, thus no
need to debate it with me.

I don't believe anyone was debating with you. My point was that code would be a much more useful contribution than the comment above.

Emil

···

On 16.01.14, 16:54, Alex Malmyguine wrote:

Thank you Alex

-----Original Message----- From: users-bounces@jitsi.org
[mailto:users-bounces@jitsi.org] On Behalf Of Lyubomir Marinov Sent:
Thursday, January 16, 2014 10:48 AM To: Jitsi Users Subject: Re:
[jitsi-users] PulseAudio microphone level

This issue has already been reported to the Jitsi developers and an
issue has already been opened, namely
https://trac.jitsi.org/ticket/1050. Please express your interest in
the issue there andtrack the future development there. As Emil said,
you are welcome to contribute patches which address the issue.

_______________________________________________ users mailing list
users@jitsi.org Unsubscribe instructions and other list options:
http://lists.jitsi.org/mailman/listinfo/users

_______________________________________________ users mailing list
users@jitsi.org Unsubscribe instructions and other list options:
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https://jitsi.org


#8

Steve,

'Linux world' has not 'moved' from ALSA to Pulse Audio. It is just that unfortunately, Pulse Audio is 'installed' by default in every Linux box, thus creating an up to 1 second lag between the moment audio software wants to emit sound and the moment your speaker/headphones emit that sound into the air.

Pulse Audio does not add anything to the Linux workstations in terms of audio functionality. It is just a wrapper around ALSA in most cases. It is just simpler to program for.
You can uninstall Pulse Audio and your sound will still work just fine, except for a handful of applications that require PA. In many cases PA does not even support hardware properly, where ALSA provides fine-grained control over mixers and ALSAmixer sometimes is the only option to get any sound from an adapter where PA produces silence.

The difference after uninstalling PA will be that there will no longer be huge latency - ALSA is instant. An average user might not notice the difference when they are playing music or videos (assuming video players even use PA). But try 2-way communication or music recording and PA will ruin everything. It is impossible to record when you are playing notes and hearing that a second later. Imagine 1 second delay between saying something and hearing it back. Lots of lag.

For the musicians who want to play and record this is horrible. This is just as horrible for the audio communications. It means that you are talking, but no one is hearing you for more than 1 second because network latency adds to the sound server latency which adds to ALSA latency. They are still talking about other stuff without hearing you. That creates a mess in the conversations.

PA is *somewhat* simpler to program for, but the price to pay is an enormous and unpredictable latency. Compare this: http://www.alsa-project.org/alsa-doc/alsa-lib/ with this http://freedesktop.org/software/pulseaudio/doxygen/simple.html and you will realize that some things are done for the developers in PA where in ALSA they would have to write boilerplate code.

Using PA is one of the reasons why Jitsi will never be able to compete with Skype. Skype uses ALSA directly and thus has practically no latency even in Linux where APIs are slower than in Windows. For all the years I am administering IP communications I never noticed any latency variation between Linux or Windows Skype, but huge variations between Windows and Linux software that uses PA under Linux and DirectSound under Windows.

Jitsi team can keep status quo and trail Skype, or harness ALSA and get ahead of it as Jitsi has an advantage of being open source and supporting open source XMPP servers. Their call, but as long as Jitsi requires PA under Linux, it simply stands no chance against Skype - quality of voice will never be the same.

Thank you
Alex

···

-----Original Message-----
From: users-bounces@jitsi.org [mailto:users-bounces@jitsi.org] On Behalf Of Steve Havelka
Sent: Thursday, January 16, 2014 12:18 PM
To: users@jitsi.org
Subject: Re: [jitsi-users] PulseAudio microphone level

Thanks, Emil, for letting me know what's happening. I can try to see if any open source/free software applications set the mic level automatically (like Skype), and see how they do it.

As for Pulse-vs-alsa, I'm also not interested in debating it. I'd just like to mention that I'm glad that the Linux world has mostly switched to Pulse--I use its features daily. I don't think I'd be able to use Linux as my main workstation if the distribution developers hadn't moved on from Alsa some years back.

On 01/16/2014 07:54 AM, Alex Malmyguine wrote:

However you like it, I am not alone in realization that PulseAuido is an unnecessary monstrosity and you are limiting your user base by requiring it.
This is a fact of life, for your information, thus no need to debate it with me.

Thank you
Alex

-----Original Message-----
From: users-bounces@jitsi.org [mailto:users-bounces@jitsi.org] On
Behalf Of Lyubomir Marinov
Sent: Thursday, January 16, 2014 10:48 AM
To: Jitsi Users
Subject: Re: [jitsi-users] PulseAudio microphone level

This issue has already been reported to the Jitsi developers and an issue has already been opened, namely https://trac.jitsi.org/ticket/1050. Please express your interest in the issue there andtrack the future development there. As Emil said, you are welcome to contribute patches which address the issue.

_______________________________________________
users mailing list
users@jitsi.org
Unsubscribe instructions and other list options:
http://lists.jitsi.org/mailman/listinfo/users

_______________________________________________
users mailing list
users@jitsi.org
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#9

Hi Alex,
it is not strictly required at this point, as there's also a PortAudio
backend.

For me said PortAudio backend is broken, but I'm not sure this is a
general thing.

I too would like to have a native ALSA backend, maybe I will at some
point, but so far the Jitsi code base looks intimidating, and I don't
know how long it will take me to understand enough to tackle this task.

Regards,
Philipp

···

On Thu, 16 Jan 2014 15:54:52 +0000 Alex Malmyguine <alex_malmyguine@woodbridgegroup.com> wrote:

However you like it, I am not alone in realization that PulseAuido is
an unnecessary monstrosity and you are limiting your user base by
requiring it. This is a fact of life, for your information, thus no
need to debate it with me.

Thank you
Alex

--
JID: murks@jit.si


#10

I am not sure how else to say that :). We'd switch to ALSA as soon as you send us a patch that implements a better performing ALSA backend for Jitsi.

I really don't know why you keep posting in that direction. There's NO argument. Just write the code and send it over!

Emil

···

On 16.01.14, 18:47, Alex Malmyguine wrote:

Jitsi team can keep status quo and trail Skype, or harness ALSA

--
https://jitsi.org


#11

It might be useful to know that Skype also uses PulseAudio. They're
just doing something extra to set a good mic level after you start a
call. Like I said, I'll see if I can figure out what they're doing, in
case it's something Jitsi could do too...

thanks,

Steve

···

On 01/16/2014 12:16 PM, Emil Ivov wrote:

On 16.01.14, 18:47, Alex Malmyguine wrote:

Jitsi team can keep status quo and trail Skype, or harness ALSA

I am not sure how else to say that :). We'd switch to ALSA as soon as
you send us a patch that implements a better performing ALSA backend
for Jitsi.

I really don't know why you keep posting in that direction. There's NO
argument. Just write the code and send it over!

Emil


#12

Steve,

···

On 16 January 2014 12:53, Steve Havelka <yoshi@q7.com> wrote:

On 01/16/2014 12:16 PM, Emil Ivov wrote:
> On 16.01.14, 18:47, Alex Malmyguine wrote:
>> Jitsi team can keep status quo and trail Skype, or harness ALSA
>
> I am not sure how else to say that :). We'd switch to ALSA as soon as
> you send us a patch that implements a better performing ALSA backend
> for Jitsi.
>
> I really don't know why you keep posting in that direction. There's NO
> argument. Just write the code and send it over!
>
> Emil
>

It might be useful to know that Skype also uses PulseAudio. They're
just doing something extra to set a good mic level after you start a
call. Like I said, I'll see if I can figure out what they're doing, in
case it's something Jitsi could do too...

thanks,

Steve

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-------
inum: 883510009902611
sip: jungleboogie@sip2sip.info
xmpp: jungle-boogie@jit.si


#13

Steve,

Like I said, I'll see if I can figure out what they're doing, in case

it's something Jitsi could do too...

Good idea. keep us posted and make a patch. :slight_smile:

···

On 16 January 2014 12:56, jungleboogie0 <jungleboogie0@gmail.com> wrote:

Steve,

>

On 16 January 2014 12:53, Steve Havelka <yoshi@q7.com> wrote:

On 01/16/2014 12:16 PM, Emil Ivov wrote:
> On 16.01.14, 18:47, Alex Malmyguine wrote:
>> Jitsi team can keep status quo and trail Skype, or harness ALSA
>
> I am not sure how else to say that :). We'd switch to ALSA as soon as
> you send us a patch that implements a better performing ALSA backend
> for Jitsi.
>
> I really don't know why you keep posting in that direction. There's NO
> argument. Just write the code and send it over!
>
> Emil
>

It might be useful to know that Skype also uses PulseAudio. They're
just doing something extra to set a good mic level after you start a
call. Like I said, I'll see if I can figure out what they're doing, in
case it's something Jitsi could do too...

thanks,

Steve

_______________________________________________
users mailing list
users@jitsi.org
Unsubscribe instructions and other list options:
http://lists.jitsi.org/mailman/listinfo/users

--
-------
inum: 883510009902611
sip: jungleboogie@sip2sip.info
xmpp: jungle-boogie@jit.si

--
-------
inum: 883510009902611
sip: jungleboogie@sip2sip.info
xmpp: jungle-boogie@jit.si


#14

Emil,

In general, PulseAudio is the worst choice for audio communication, as PA itself adds significant lag. That lag on top of network lag makes it much worse.
The best approach would be to always ditch PA and use ALSA.
I've spent literally months setting up Linux workstations for musicians and PA had to be dropped on every box we built.
Sheer PA lag on the good 3HGz machines sometimes reaches 1 second.

PA should be avoided in all instances, not just for voice communication.

It is a sound server which is absolutely redundant unless someone specifically needs sound server functionality. Average user does not need that, but still some unscrupulous developer managed to convince Linux distros to include PA in each and every Linux. This is truly a shame.

Thank you
Alex

···

-----Original Message-----
From: users-bounces@jitsi.org [mailto:users-bounces@jitsi.org] On Behalf Of Emil Ivov
Sent: Thursday, January 16, 2014 10:24 AM
To: Jitsi Users
Subject: Re: [jitsi-users] PulseAudio microphone level

On 16.01.14, 14:41, Philipp Überbacher wrote:

On Wed, 15 Jan 2014 22:39:22 -0800 > Steve Havelka <yoshi@q7.com> wrote:

Hi dev team,

I'm using Jitsi 2.4 (the stable build) on a Mageia Linux system. I
can make and receive calls, and Jitsi works fine for that.

But...whenever I start a call, the microphone level is set very high,
and I have to turn the mic level way down. I've noticed that in the
pulseaudio volume control, there are a couple of tick marks along the
volume slider, Silence, Base, and 100%. It seems like setting it to
base is about the right mic level, while Jitsi always restores it to
100%.. Is there a way to have Jitsi either not reset the mic level
or have it reset the level to base, rather than 100%?

For comparison, btw, Skype automatically adjusts the mic level to a
good setting when I start a call.

thanks!

Steve

Hi Steve,
I'm a user who noticed this as well, and it is very annoying. When I
get a call from a certain person I have to turn the volume at my end
all the way down, because as soon as the call starts I receive a wall
of noise and distortion, until said user manages to turn the volume
down. In this case however there's another bug involved, which may be
anywhere between the chip and PulseAudio. Effectively PulseAudio
enables a mic boost when you set the mic level above a certain point,
and that mic boost causes the massive distortion.

I'm still not sure whether this behavior of changing the volume is
caused by Jitsi or by PulseAudio. I wonder whether you have some more
experience with PulseAudio changing the volume on its own?

The behaviour we see is that the simple action of opening the device seems to apply some sort of audio max. If anyone with PulseAudio experience wants to have a look at that, it would be most welcome.

Emil
--
https://jitsi.org

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#15

I don't necessarily agree with all you are saying but that's probably irrelevant.

The important part is that, as mentioned previously here, we are happy to take a patch for a direct alsa audio system, so you contribution would be welcome!

Emil

···

On 16.01.14, 16:34, Alex Malmyguine wrote:

Emil,

In general, PulseAudio is the worst choice for audio communication, as PA itself adds significant lag. That lag on top of network lag makes it much worse.
The best approach would be to always ditch PA and use ALSA.
I've spent literally months setting up Linux workstations for musicians and PA had to be dropped on every box we built.
Sheer PA lag on the good 3HGz machines sometimes reaches 1 second.

PA should be avoided in all instances, not just for voice communication.

It is a sound server which is absolutely redundant unless someone specifically needs sound server functionality. Average user does not need that, but still some unscrupulous developer managed to convince Linux distros to include PA in each and every Linux. This is truly a shame.

Thank you
Alex

-----Original Message-----
From: users-bounces@jitsi.org [mailto:users-bounces@jitsi.org] On Behalf Of Emil Ivov
Sent: Thursday, January 16, 2014 10:24 AM
To: Jitsi Users
Subject: Re: [jitsi-users] PulseAudio microphone level

On 16.01.14, 14:41, Philipp Überbacher wrote:

On Wed, 15 Jan 2014 22:39:22 -0800 >> Steve Havelka <yoshi@q7.com> wrote:

Hi dev team,

I'm using Jitsi 2.4 (the stable build) on a Mageia Linux system. I
can make and receive calls, and Jitsi works fine for that.

But...whenever I start a call, the microphone level is set very high,
and I have to turn the mic level way down. I've noticed that in the
pulseaudio volume control, there are a couple of tick marks along the
volume slider, Silence, Base, and 100%. It seems like setting it to
base is about the right mic level, while Jitsi always restores it to
100%.. Is there a way to have Jitsi either not reset the mic level
or have it reset the level to base, rather than 100%?

For comparison, btw, Skype automatically adjusts the mic level to a
good setting when I start a call.

thanks!

Steve

Hi Steve,
I'm a user who noticed this as well, and it is very annoying. When I
get a call from a certain person I have to turn the volume at my end
all the way down, because as soon as the call starts I receive a wall
of noise and distortion, until said user manages to turn the volume
down. In this case however there's another bug involved, which may be
anywhere between the chip and PulseAudio. Effectively PulseAudio
enables a mic boost when you set the mic level above a certain point,
and that mic boost causes the massive distortion.

I'm still not sure whether this behavior of changing the volume is
caused by Jitsi or by PulseAudio. I wonder whether you have some more
experience with PulseAudio changing the volume on its own?

The behaviour we see is that the simple action of opening the device seems to apply some sort of audio max. If anyone with PulseAudio experience wants to have a look at that, it would be most welcome.

Emil
--
https://jitsi.org

_______________________________________________
users mailing list
users@jitsi.org
Unsubscribe instructions and other list options:
http://lists.jitsi.org/mailman/listinfo/users

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users mailing list
users@jitsi.org
Unsubscribe instructions and other list options:
http://lists.jitsi.org/mailman/listinfo/users

--
https://jitsi.org


#16

Virtually any Linux audio application knows to use PA or ALSA (and some still know OSS where supported).
Skype is not exception: when there is no PA, it uses ALSA, like in all of installations under my control.

Did you have a look at this: http://freedesktop.org/software/pulseaudio/doxygen/volume.html#overv_sec It is documented.

Thank you!
Alex

···

-----Original Message-----
From: users-bounces@jitsi.org [mailto:users-bounces@jitsi.org] On Behalf Of Steve Havelka
Sent: Thursday, January 16, 2014 3:53 PM
To: users@jitsi.org
Subject: Re: [jitsi-users] PulseAudio microphone level

On 01/16/2014 12:16 PM, Emil Ivov wrote:

On 16.01.14, 18:47, Alex Malmyguine wrote:

Jitsi team can keep status quo and trail Skype, or harness ALSA

I am not sure how else to say that :). We'd switch to ALSA as soon as
you send us a patch that implements a better performing ALSA backend
for Jitsi.

I really don't know why you keep posting in that direction. There's NO
argument. Just write the code and send it over!

Emil

It might be useful to know that Skype also uses PulseAudio. They're just doing something extra to set a good mic level after you start a call. Like I said, I'll see if I can figure out what they're doing, in case it's something Jitsi could do too...

thanks,

Steve

_______________________________________________
users mailing list
users@jitsi.org
Unsubscribe instructions and other list options:
http://lists.jitsi.org/mailman/listinfo/users