Realtime Kernel Audio Playback


Iinstalled KDE with net installer. The kernel was 4.8.9-1. Played some audio files in audacious. Something wasn’t right, audio sounded very dull. After installing and rebooting into 4.8.6_rt5-1 there was a great improvement in audio playback quality.

I just wanted to know is this because of the Realtime kernel ?


Seems unlikely to me.

There was some recent changes to pulseaudio, which fixed a lot of things.

Previously you could get way better sound just going through some ALSA settings or something. There were threads about it here on this forum, sometime in the past two months. I suspect these crept into the normal release.


rt would mostly make a difference when you run lots of stuff at the same time on your system that use sound. I also think it is unlikely that the improvement in your case is due to the different kernel. But maybe just find out by switching back to stock kernel and then let us know! :slight_smile:


Is this realtime kernel specifically geared towards audio applications or does it impact other realtime applications too?

You know, stuff like multiplayer gaming, video livestreaming/rendering/editing…


It targets realtime applications in general. Audio and Video are the classic fields of application. Just try if it is of advantage for you! It’s no big deal just installing it and then booting into that one or another kernel any time … :wink:
Just check which base-kernel is good for you:
linux-rt-manjaro is currently based on linux48, linux-rt-lts-manjaro on linux44. So wichever one of them is good for your hardware will be the right choice for you - maybe they will both be fine.


I didnt installed pulseaudio, and also configured audacious to use alsa to use hardware card. Kmix is installed,


floating bit depth is configured in audacious. I am not aware a lot about kernels though, does this affect anything?


I dont do any of these besides video streaming, anyway net installed kde is very responsive and i had no lags like i faced with manjaro official kde installed. I had same time opened lightfox, and firefox, some other programs there were no delay or hangs. Dualcore 2gb ram.


I did that,and found rt sounded good. I will do it again and let you know.


One thing that might be interfering in a negative way with sound is pulseaudio and permissions. There is realtime scheduling in pulseaudio even in stock kernel and normal user and sometimes it faces policykit, as I know it’s granted by… besides, RT kernel doesn’t hurts, not for servers, it’s fine to desktop daily use :slight_smile:


You don’t need a realtime kernel for gaming. It’s mostly aimed at realtime audio and video processing.

A realtime kernel also doesn’t improve sound quality by itself.


I agree 100% with [quote=“torvic, post:11, topic:13542”]
A realtime kernel also doesn’t improve sound quality by itself.
and if audio sounded very dull with stock kernel and there was a great improvement in audio playback quality after kernel RT installation, what was changed for that??
Simple answer could be exactly realtime schedulling privileges, I think. With realtime kernel, pulseaudio hasn’t to fight policykit to have it.


But its just as likely to be post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

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