[pulseaudio-discuss] Pulse Audio 4.0 gets killed by 300 Hz tone...never recovers

Tanu Kaskinen tanu.kaskinen at linux.intel.com
Mon Jun 24 08:13:26 PDT 2013

On Mon, 2013-06-17 at 08:56 -0400, Robert Krakora wrote:
> Hi All,
> I have been struggling with Pulse Audio since version 2.1 to play different
> wav files that play fine with straight ALSA.  A co-worker found a 300 Hz
> tone that is played by our system to warn of an emergency event kills Pulse
> Audio 3.0 and 4.0.  The tone sounds like it is motor-boating.  After
> playing this tone, wav files that previously sounded fine now also
> motor-boat.

I don't understand this last part. If the tone kills PulseAudio, how can
you even play any other wav files after that?

> Suspending Pulse Audio and playing with straight ALSA is the
> only remedy.  ALSA plays all of these wav files just fine.  I really like
> Pulse Audio and need it for the WebRTC echo cancellation it provides for
> our A/V conferencing application.  However, it struggles with some of the
> most basic wav files that our system needs to play on a daily basis.

PulseAudio isn't interested in the audio signal contents. It shouldn't
matter whether the wav file contains 300 Hz tone or silence or white
noise or funny sounds from an armpit, because PulseAudio doesn't analyze
the signal and decide its code paths based on that (well, the echo
cancellation code might be an exception). If a certain file causes
trouble, perhaps it's the length that triggers the problem (causing
things to happen in certain order)?

If it's really a crash, then a log and a stack trace would be useful. If
it's just that the audio becomes corrupted, then this smells more like
an alsa driver problem.


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