Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Fix Discord Audio Crackling on Ubuntu with PulseAudio

Ubuntu 10

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through several methods to fix the issue of audio crackling or static noise in Discord when using PulseAudio on Ubuntu. This issue can be quite frustrating, especially when you’re trying to communicate with friends or colleagues.

Quick Answer

To fix Discord audio crackling on Ubuntu with PulseAudio, you can try modifying the PulseAudio configuration file, adjusting the PulseAudio daemon configuration, checking the PCM volume in Alsamixer, and restarting the PulseAudio server. These steps can help reduce audio crackling and static noise in Discord on Ubuntu.

Understanding the Issue

The problem of audio crackling or static noise in Discord on Ubuntu typically arises due to issues with the PulseAudio server, which is the default sound server on Ubuntu. This server communicates with your audio devices using audio drivers and provides high-level API for audio applications. However, certain settings or configurations of PulseAudio may cause the audio crackling issue in Discord.

Solution 1: Modify PulseAudio Configuration

The first solution involves modifying the PulseAudio configuration file to change how the server interacts with your audio devices.

  1. Open the terminal and use the following command to open the PulseAudio configuration file:
sudo nano /etc/pulse/default.pa
  1. In this file, locate the line that reads load-module module-udev-detect. Replace this line with load-module module-udev-detect tsched=0.

The tsched=0 parameter disables the timer-based audio scheduling in PulseAudio. This can help to reduce audio crackling as it allows for more direct communication between PulseAudio and your audio hardware.

  1. Save and close the file, then restart PulseAudio with the following command:
pulseaudio -k && sudo alsa force-reload

The pulseaudio -k command kills the running PulseAudio daemon and the sudo alsa force-reload command reloads the ALSA sound driver.

Solution 2: Modify PulseAudio Daemon Configuration

If the audio crackling persists, you can try modifying the PulseAudio daemon configuration. The daemon configuration controls the behavior of the PulseAudio server itself.

  1. Open the PulseAudio daemon configuration file with the following command:
sudo nano /etc/pulse/daemon.conf
  1. In this file, check if the variables default-fragments and default-fragment-size-msec are set to non-default values. If they are, reset them to the following values:
default-fragments = 5
default-fragment-size-msec = 2

The default-fragments parameter determines the number of fragments in the audio buffer, while the default-fragment-size-msec parameter sets the size of each fragment. By reducing the number and size of the fragments, you can potentially reduce audio crackling.

  1. If the issue persists, try setting the sample rate in /etc/pulse/daemon.conf as follows:
avoid-resampling = yes
default-sample-rate = 48000

The avoid-resampling = yes parameter prevents PulseAudio from resampling the audio, which can cause audio distortion, while the default-sample-rate = 48000 sets the default sample rate to 48000 Hz, which is a common sample rate for many audio devices.

  1. After making these changes, save and close the file, then restart the PulseAudio server.

Solution 3: Check PCM Volume in Alsamixer

Finally, if the above solutions do not resolve the issue, you can check the PCM volume in Alsamixer. PCM stands for Pulse Code Modulation, which is a method used to digitally represent analog signals. In the context of audio, this relates to the signal being sent to your speakers.

  1. Open Alsamixer with the following command:
alsamixer
  1. Check if the PCM volume is set above 0 dB. If it is, this can cause audio distortion or crackling.
  2. To fix this, modify the /etc/pulse/default.pa file by adding the line:
load-module module-udev-detect ignore_dB=1

The ignore_dB=1 parameter tells PulseAudio to ignore the dB settings of the audio device, which can help to reduce audio distortion.

  1. Save and close the file, then restart the PulseAudio server.

Conclusion

The solutions provided in this guide should help to resolve the issue of audio crackling in Discord on Ubuntu. Remember, the effectiveness of each solution may vary depending on your specific setup and configuration. If you continue to experience issues, consider seeking help from the Ubuntu community or the Discord support team.

What is PulseAudio?

PulseAudio is the default sound server on Ubuntu. It communicates with your audio devices using audio drivers and provides a high-level API for audio applications.

Why does audio crackling occur in Discord on Ubuntu?

Audio crackling in Discord on Ubuntu is typically caused by issues with the PulseAudio server. Certain settings or configurations of PulseAudio can result in audio crackling or static noise.

How can I modify the PulseAudio configuration?

To modify the PulseAudio configuration, you can open the PulseAudio configuration file using the command sudo nano /etc/pulse/default.pa. In this file, you can make changes to settings like tsched to disable timer-based audio scheduling, potentially reducing audio crackling.

What can I do if modifying the PulseAudio configuration doesn’t resolve the issue?

If modifying the PulseAudio configuration doesn’t fix the audio crackling issue, you can try modifying the PulseAudio daemon configuration. This can be done by opening the PulseAudio daemon configuration file using the command sudo nano /etc/pulse/daemon.conf and adjusting variables like default-fragments and default-fragment-size-msec.

How can I check the PCM volume in Alsamixer?

To check the PCM volume in Alsamixer, open Alsamixer using the command alsamixer. Once opened, check if the PCM volume is set above 0 dB. If it is, you can modify the /etc/pulse/default.pa file by adding the line load-module module-udev-detect ignore_dB=1 to ignore the dB settings of the audio device and potentially reduce audio distortion.

What should I do if none of the solutions work?

If none of the provided solutions resolve the audio crackling issue in Discord on Ubuntu, consider seeking help from the Ubuntu community or the Discord support team. They can provide further assistance and troubleshooting specific to your setup and configuration.

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