Renoise blocks all other apps from using sound while open (Ubuntu Studio 21.10)

Apologies if this has been asked before, or if the title kinda sucks.

I’m using Renoise 3.3.2 on Ubuntu Studio 21.10. Whenever Renoise is open no other app seems to be allowed to use sound. I’ve tested this with a few programs; Audacity and YouTube won’t even play their media, and Discord voice chat goes silent. They start working once Renoise is closed.

I’m not sure what type of problem this is. I’d appreciate help if this is fixable.

Are you using ALSA, Jack, Pipewire or Pulse? I understand Pipewire can internally allow multiple audi applications at once to produce audio. I’m still new to Linux but perhaps trying using Pipewire.

On Linux, with the ALSA/Pulseaudio stack, here is how it works:

  • ALSA allows only one application to hold a lock for any device at any time.
  • Pulseaudio is a layer that locks a device from ALSA and allows apps compatible with Pulseaudio to “share” the stream.

The thing is, Renoise does not use Pulseaudio, only ALSA and Jack.
So, you need to install and configure Jack (which I admit is not user friendly at all), but still, if you want any Pulseaudio app to keep playing sound when Jack is run, you need to setup a Jack/Pulseaudio bridge…
Not a nightmare but almost, since you also need to setup realtime permissions. (All of this is easily doable on Arch or Manjaro, I don’t know on Ubuntu)

Your easiest bet is to replace the ALSA/Jack/Pulseaudio stack with Pipewire. Pipewire lets any number of clients to a device play sound, and is compatible with ALSA, Jack and Pulseaudio clients transparently. And it’s not hard to setup. Really not.

I’m having trouble setting up Pipewire; meson gives me an error dependency "alsa" not found, ninja doesn’t work, and I cannot find a solution that works. I’m not sure how this is easy to set up, is there a way to do this that works?

Renoise 3.4 should make this a bit easier.