Issues with IBM ThinkPad T60 & Linux Mint

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Annie Socoria
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Issues with IBM ThinkPad T60 & Linux Mint

Post by Annie Socoria » Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:25 pm

Good day,

In order to avoid damage to my main laptop (Thinkpad T61 2G RAM/Windows 7) at live gigs I picked up a T60 (32 bit, 1.5G RAM) for $25 and installed Linux Mint and the latest version of SunVox. It runs but there is noticeable popping & crackling if the mouse is moved or modules selected while sound is playing. Also if the size of the SunVox window is increased from the default size there is continuous crackling.

I'm very new to Linux and don't know if the issues are with the version I installed, the computer's processing power, the amount of RAM, a setting somewhere in SunVox, or something else. I tried the lo-fi version as well and the results are the same. This computer can be upgraded to a maximum of 3G of RAM but I'd like to rule out any other possibilities before going that route.

If anyone could please shed some light on this it would be greatly appreciated! :)

Thank you!

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NightRadio
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Re: Issues with IBM ThinkPad T60 & Linux Mint

Post by NightRadio » Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:27 pm

It runs but there is noticeable popping & crackling if the mouse is moved or modules selected while sound is playing.
Hm, it's rather unusual that the interface affects the sound so much...
Please try to add the "softrender" option to the SunVox config (~/.config/SunVox/sunvox_config.ini)

Annie Socoria
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Re: Issues with IBM ThinkPad T60 & Linux Mint

Post by Annie Socoria » Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:55 pm

Please try to add the "softrender" option to the SunVox config (~/.config/SunVox/sunvox_config.ini)
Thank you for your reply. I added the softrender option to the config (Removed "//" symbol) but there was no improvement to the sound. Even a single Generator module connected directly to the Output playing one note will start chopping if the window size is increased from the default size. It doesn't seem to get worse with a larger number of modules, the chopping is fairly consistent. Also, if I map my Korg NanoKontrol to adjust parameters, it doesn't seem to result in pops and clicks like using the mouse.

In general I would say the program appears to be running at a normal speed visually. I don't detect any visible lag in performance or delays in operation (selection, parameter changes, graphics, etc) at any window size. The sound just seems to be affected by mouse use and window size.

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NightRadio
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Re: Issues with IBM ThinkPad T60 & Linux Mint

Post by NightRadio » Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:09 pm

It looks like a sound driver problem.
Try different options in the SunVox main menu -> Preferences -> Audio -> change the driver and the output device.
How about other sound/video apps? mplayer, audacity, milkytracker

Annie Socoria
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Re: Issues with IBM ThinkPad T60 & Linux Mint

Post by Annie Socoria » Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:53 am

It looks like a sound driver problem.
Try different options in the SunVox main menu -> Preferences -> Audio -> change the driver and the output device.
How about other sound/video apps? mplayer, audacity, milkytracker
Ok. This is getting odd. Here's what I've done:

Tried all the other driver options. No change. Only have the one output device available.
Tried Lubuntu instead of Linux Mint (and tried all audio driver options) No change.
Loaded Linux Mint back on the computer and tried mplayer and audacity. Both seem to work fine with no chopping (even when run simultaneously with windows maximized)

Here's the strange part:If I have mplayer and/or audacity running (playing sound) and start SunVox, the sound in mplayer/audacity will start chopping if I increase the SunVox window size from the default (with or without SunVox producing sound at the time). Shrinking the SunVox window down makes the chopping go away.

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cube48
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Re: Issues with IBM ThinkPad T60 & Linux Mint

Post by cube48 » Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:41 pm

My humble recommendation is to go to https://wiki.linuxaudio.org/wiki/start and try to follow the instructions.
Especially https://wiki.linuxaudio.org/wiki/system_configuration contains valuable info.
After tuning your system according to realtimeconfigquickscan script, you can start tweaking driver and buffer size of SunVox.

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NightRadio
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Re: Issues with IBM ThinkPad T60 & Linux Mint

Post by NightRadio » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:34 pm

Shrinking the SunVox window down makes the chopping go away.
SunVox uses SDL2 for the graphics. Maybe something is wrong with this library on your machine...
How about hardware graphics acceleration & OpenGL? Does it work?
Please check the settings of the window manager and try to disable all the effects (window transparency, shadows, etc.).

Annie Socoria
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Re: Issues with IBM ThinkPad T60 & Linux Mint

Post by Annie Socoria » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:05 am

After tuning your system according to realtimeconfigquickscan script, you can start tweaking driver and buffer size of SunVox.
Please check the settings of the window manager and try to disable all the effects (window transparency, shadows, etc.).
Thank you both for your replies. I spent some time reading up on your recommendations in preparation for further troubleshooting when something interesting happened. Upon booting the machine I received an error message stating that Linux Mint Cinnamon had crashed and was running in "Fallback Mode" with the following details:

Cinnamon is currently running without video hardware acceleration and, as a result, you may observe much higher than normal CPU usage.

There could be a problem with your drivers or some other issue. For the best experience, it is recommended that you only use this mode for troubleshooting purposes.


On a whim I started SunVox. The visualizer animations and general operation were sluggish but the sound was clear and chop-free regardless of the window size.

Later, Linux Mint crashed again but without the "Fallback Mode" message. I started SunVox and it worked fine with no speed issues or graphics delays or chopping based on window size. In addition to these crashes, several times the machine has booted with a ~2cm x ~2cm square in place of the mouse pointer and at least twice to an unresponsive black screen. Apparently there are some known video driver issues and this may be the problem I'm having. Further research is required.

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