How to set up Pipewire for Renoise on Linux?

I have recently switched over to Linux and I am having a bit of trouble setting everything up.

When I open up Renoise I get this error “Failed to create a RealTime priority thread for ALSA. Will create a non RT thread instead…”

I know I need to set up either JACK or Pipewire but I’m not sure how to do this or. I’ve heard good things about Pipewire so I’m wondering if anyone here has any experience with it and can help me out with it.

Thanks in advance!

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What is your distro?


I am on Manjaro pipewire working great here ,but I dont know about Arch ,although Manjaro is based on Arch pipewire may require different settings .You could try this link but you are better off asking in the Arch community.

Thanks for the link. Will try and figure it out.

For what it’s worth, I don’t use PipeWire nor JACK and Renoise works amazingly for me in this regard.

Have you tried just using ALSA and the Real Time kernel? Just thinking if that functions properly in that way first, then you could try getting it up and running with PipeWire etc.

I have just ordered the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface. After i set this up will it mean i don’t have to mess with ALSA and JACK since the audio interface will take care of everything?

In my Manjaro system I just installed pipewire and I didn’t have to do anything else ,my Presonus Audiobox 96 just works but I don’t about Focusrite.Again you are better off asking in the Arch forum

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Don’t know about Pipewire but the Arch wiki has a page about pro audio in general. The error you posted can be a result of many things I guess but most probably your user doesn’t have permissions to run programs with real time priority or you run some older kernel without real-time support altogether.

The audio interface will not solve such configuration issues btw, it can only let you use lower buffer size and/or higher sample rate, it won’t setup your environment for you. If you don’t want to tinker with configuration Arch is probably the worst choice.

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I’m fine with tweaking things, That’s why I dived straight in to arch because I wanted to learn. It’s just that the audio side of things is quite confusing and I can’t find much information online for how I want everything setup. I have Pulse Audio, ALSA and JACK installed but I don’t really know what each one of them does and which ones are necessary.

Here is a quick rundown, but you can find much more info on the web.

ALSA operates on the lowest level from the things you have listed. It is what communicates with your soundcard. However it can only be used by a single program at once.

The others are only using ALSA (or alternative backends like OSS) to provide further functionality when it comes to playing sounds from multiple sources.

Pulseaudio is a “consumer-grade” audio mixer that works as most users expect: it can mix the output of multiple apps together similar to how audio works on windows or mac. It is usually compatible with media players, browsers and whatever a “regular user” would want to use.

JACK is a “pro-grade” audio mixer with more flexibility when it comes to audio/midi routing, low latency, global transport and more. It is geared towards audio professionals or hobbyists and so programs that support it mostly consist of daws, audio editors, synths etc.

In this sense JACK and PulseAudio provide the same kind of functionality (mixing multiple sources) but they aren’t designed to be used at once. However it is possible to run pulse into jack in case you really wanted that.

Guess you need Jack more than Pulse (more often the latter just gets in the way once installed) so configure alsa first on it’s own then read the JACK FAQ and try jack out. For a gui I recommend cadence instead of qjackctl.

Now Pipewire is meant to be a solution for both usecases and it might work well but I haven’t used it yet so can’t comment.

Good luck!

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I would like to try Pipewire, still weighing it all up, I have chose to stick to JACK with cadence for the time being, I am using MX linux and when I briefly looked into it, it seemed like a bit of a hassle getting it all set up, think though that it is only a matter of time before I make the switch, I hear that you can get better latencies, and better overall performance, and easier routing of audio, when someone comes up with a comprehensive and simple method of installing on my distro I will upgrade, it seems that you don’t have to remove Pulseaudio and jack to get it working but some people disable them completely, excited to get a little bit of movement on the subject here, some guidance would be really helpful.

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There is a guide here for Debian/Mx Linux but it requires some work

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Hey! I just wanted to point out that I am on Fedora 35 and my audio works great with pipewire in Renoise. I just made sure that my wireplumber user service is enabled and running like so:

$ systemctl --user enable --now wireplumber

And in Renoise I just select Jack.

AFAIK pipewire acts as jack server already and completely replaces PulseAudio and Jack previously used separately. So just look for wireplumber package in your distro.

No problems at all on my system. I tested streaming firefox audio into renoise via Catia and recorded sample with no problem. I can even use Renoise on Bluetooth LDAC codec with minimal latency. Hope that helps someone :slight_smile:

Try adding

@audio   -  rtprio     95
@audio   -  memlock    unlimited

to this configuration file


and also check this page for more detail

How do I configure my linux system to allow JACK to use realtime scheduling? | JACK Audio Connection Kit

That link is from the JACK website, but look at the PAM section, it will give you a more detailed explanation of how to set up the config file

In my experience, there isn’t much to set up or configure to get pipewire running and work out of the box. Just install the required packages as described in the Arch wiki and you should be good to go:

Don’t concern yourself with ALSA, JACK, Pulseaudio too much at this point. These are all relics of a bygone era, that Pipewire intends to overcome/simpify. And it basically has already.

In terms of tweaks regarding realtime processes, on Arch Linux, installing the realtime-privileges package and adding your user to the group realtime should be sufficient to begin with. Everything else is just minor tweaks to reduce xruns etc.

Just select “Jack” in Renoise’s Device settings and you don’t even need qjackctl or anything else for simple use cased.

On a side node: I admire your dedication to choose Arch as your first distro. But you should really familiarize yourself with their wiki and forums. You will find allmost all your answers there and it is an immense resource of knowledge with very concise descriptions on how to set up things.

I totally agree with Arch not being a good first distro. Try Manjaro instead. Its basically Arch just that some smart people put in the work to configure and update everything

renoise>properities>audio> change to jack (channels 2) and works…in arch linux when you installed with (archinstall) if you chosed pipewire you have also pipewire-jack bridge. You can install Qjackctl and see RT active.

Install qpwgraph and you will see renoise connected to PW but if you open qjackctl>graph you will see normal Jack connected to renoise…

As Novemberist said and works as normal

you can also install lib32-pipewire and lib32-pipewire-jack in some cases this may help…some plugins may need 32bit support

I’m running Manjaro and installed Renoise 3.4.4, both with the script and with the renoiseAUR instructions with makepkg; makepkg -i. No matter what I do, the sound is crackly.

What am I missing?

You may need to configure Pipewire. You could try using these dotfiles as a starting point GitHub - robbert-vdh/dotfiles: My configuration files

I would also advice on reading up on Pipewire more in depth, It sucks to have to do that, but from personal experience, I am glad that I made the effort and I’ve been noise free for a while.

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