Sound quality with PulseAudio FINALLY restored. No more slightly grainy music

May 7th, 2009 | By | Category: Technology

When I finally solve the problem I nearly broke down.  The effect that hearing crystal clear music for the first time in months, especially the likes of Bear Mcreary, is an emotional experience.  For a LONG time I have been plagued with this extremely subtle but in Ubuntu where my music would have this very slight graininess to it.  It is even hard to describe what it was because it was so sublte, the best analogy I can think of would be looking through glasses that were covered in dust, or a jpeg image that has 5-10% too much compression on it.  It really isn’t enough to notice most of the time, especially with loud progressive trance.  Over time you simply get used to it, your brain adjusts but in the back of my mind I knew this was happening, especially when I would put on classical music where this graininess would be more pronounced with the delicate sounds of a violin.  I searched and searched for a solution to no avail and every time I heard the heart wrenching compositions of Bear Mcreary it is like a part of my soul just died in defeat.

I had found a few days back while going through the hellish experience that is Amarok 2 that if I was running pulse as root the audio quality would resume.  But I never really put two and two together as my settings in /etc/pulse/daemon.conf were identical to those in ~/.pulse/daemon.conf .  In fact I even deleted the latter and replaced it with the former.  What as most perplexing is that I would adjust the resampler method from something like speex-float-1 all the way to src-best-quality without any change in CPU usage or any change in quality.

But today I went one step further as I noticed that in my ~/.pulse/ directory I was missing 3 files:  “client.conf , default.pa, and system.pa” .  I am not sure why these were missing, pulse loaded fine without them but they were.  This was the only difference now between my /etc/pulse and ~/.pulse so I went and deleted everything from ~/.pulse and replaced it with what was in /etc/pulse  and VIOLA!!  I now have perfectly crystal clear sound and what a bloody relief.

So if this is you I hope this helps

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7 Comments to “Sound quality with PulseAudio FINALLY restored. No more slightly grainy music”

  1. nike984 says:

    Thank you so much.
    I was also facing the same problem and your
    hack solve the problem right away.

  2. Pete says:

    Used:

    resample-method = src-sinc-best-quality

    instead of

    resample-method = speex-float-1

    and copied the files from /etc/pulse to ~/.pulse. The sound is still way too sharp.

    Thanks anyway.

  3. Jose says:

    Hey thanks a lot my audio sounds good now 🙂

  4. Vladimir says:

    Thank you!

  5. Alex K says:

    Just wanted to chime in a also say Thank You! This solved my issue as well after a reboot.

  6. Marein says:

    This solved my issue with horrible sound quality! Thanks a lot.

  7. Wian says:

    Wow, this was also the problem on rasbian jessie :D. Thank you very much

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