sirozha
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:44 am

Inexpensive microphone that works well with Raspbian running Mate Desktop

Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:02 pm

I purchased this USB Blue Snowflake microphone for $22 on Amazon. It has a solid build and a very good sound quality for the price. The input level can be controlled in Sound Preferences in the System Tray as well as by Pulse Audio Volume Control (pavucontrol).

I'm able to use Rosetta Stone with speech recognition from the Rosetta Stone web site, using the Creative Pebble Speakers and the Blue Snowflake microphone. Everything works amazingly well.

petracus
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 10:06 pm

Re: Steps for Configuring Mate Desktop on 4GB Raspberry Pi 4B - (Rev.7)

Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:22 pm

Hi.

I follow all steps and everything works ok, except the audio.

The sound is distort and cracked.

Any help?

Thanks

sirozha
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:44 am

Re: Steps for Configuring Mate Desktop on 4GB Raspberry Pi 4B - (Rev.7)

Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:31 pm

Change the output from multichannel to analog in the audio switcher applet and reboot.

petracus
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 10:06 pm

Re: Steps for Configuring Mate Desktop on 4GB Raspberry Pi 4B - (Rev.7)

Sat Mar 28, 2020 7:12 pm

Thanks for the reply.

No luck. The analog option is selected by default.

When I uninstall pulseaudio the sound is fine, but can't change de volume.

Regards.

sirozha
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:44 am

Re: Steps for Configuring Mate Desktop on 4GB Raspberry Pi 4B - (Rev.7)

Sun Mar 29, 2020 1:50 am

If you don't need to use Bluetooth audio, you don't really need PulseAudio. You can use ALSA, which is what standard Rasbian with LXDE is using.

I had the same issues with PulseAudio causing crackling and distorted sound as well, but toggling the audio output in the Switcher applet from Analog to multi-channel rebooting, then toggling it back to Analog, and rebooting normally fixed that problem for me.

If you want to continue without PulseAudio, install the pnmixer package from the standard Raspbian repository. It's a systray GUI applet that you can use to control sound with ALSA. In that case, uninstall the pavucontrol package and disable the mate-volume-control applet from loading into systray upon logging in to Mate. You can also uninstall the sound switcher package because it only works with PulseAudio.
Note: The pavucontrol and the mate-volume-control utilities work with PulseAudio but not with ALSA.

Just a little background if you are interested to know. The Raspbian Foundation decided to get rid of PulseAudio in their distribution a while back. The problem is that ALSA has no native mechanism for switching audio output from analog to Bluetooth audio or vice versa. So, the Raspbian developers created a package pimixer that allows you to switch from analog to Bluetooth without having to use PulseAudio. Unfortunately, pimixer installs only in the LXDE system tray, so it can't be used in Mate. So, in Mate, in order to be able to switch from Analog to Bluetooth audio, you have to install PulseAudio and the Sound Switcher Indicator applet. That's why my instructions had those steps in them. So, the necessity of having Bluetooth audio installed in Mate on Raspbian in order to be able to switch the audio output to Bluetooth audio is a weakness of this solution. The crackling and distorted sound issue with PulseAudio installed in Raspbian keeps coming back every now and then.

Perhaps the long awaited Ubuntu version for Raspberry Pi 4b certified by the Raspbian Foundation will solve this issue and the audio output will be able to be switched to Bluetooth audio without requiring PulseAudio. Ubuntu has a Mate desktop version as one of their official forks.

sirozha
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:44 am

Re: Steps for Configuring Mate Desktop on 4GB Raspberry Pi 4B - (Rev.7)

Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:24 am

Here's a Youtube video that came out not so long ago that shows you how to install Ubuntu Mate on the Raspberry Pi 4. You may want to try that. It may be a better way to run Mate on Raspberry Pi 4 than modifying Raspbian Buster according to my instructions.

JonG
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:23 am

Re: Steps for Configuring Mate Desktop on 4GB Raspberry Pi 4B - (Rev.7)

Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:23 am

Tried 64 bit Ubuntu MATE. Some things are a bit faster. The main problem is that Chromium is not hardware accelerated, so that youtube, etc. is not as good as with Raspbian.

sirozha
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:44 am

Re: Steps for Configuring Mate Desktop on 4GB Raspberry Pi 4B - (Rev.7)

Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:12 am

JonG wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:23 am
Tried 64 bit Ubuntu MATE. Some things are a bit faster. The main problem is that Chromium is not hardware accelerated, so that youtube, etc. is not as good as with Raspbian.
Did you try to turn on hardware acceleration in Chromium?

JonG
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:23 am

Re: Steps for Configuring Mate Desktop on 4GB Raspberry Pi 4B - (Rev.7)

Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:43 pm

It is my understanding that the Raspbian development team have optimised chromium for the Pi 4 hardware, but only the 32-bit version. So there's nothing to do for 64-bit chromium.

If you know otherwise, please let me know how to do it.


JonG
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:23 am

Re: Steps for Configuring Mate Desktop on 4GB Raspberry Pi 4B - (Rev.7)

Mon Mar 30, 2020 2:37 pm

Tried that. After the changes, the "flags" show that the hardware acceleration is enabled, but it doesn't actually make any difference to the performance.
Presumably the 64-bit version does not have the Pi 4 optimization code.

kerry_s
Posts: 280
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:14 pm

Re: Steps for Configuring Mate Desktop on 4GB Raspberry Pi 4B - (Rev.7)

Mon Mar 30, 2020 2:52 pm

petracus wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:22 pm
Hi.

I follow all steps and everything works ok, except the audio.

The sound is distort and cracked.

Any help?

Thanks
pulseaudio sound fix i use on raspbian lite + gnome-core. worth a try.

Code: Select all

sudoedit /etc/pulse/default.pa
line #47

Code: Select all

this:
load-module module-udev-detect
to:
load-module module-udev-detect tsched=0

sirozha
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:44 am

Re: Steps for Configuring Mate Desktop on 4GB Raspberry Pi 4B - (Rev.7)

Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:42 pm

JonG wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 2:37 pm
Tried that. After the changes, the "flags" show that the hardware acceleration is enabled, but it doesn't actually make any difference to the performance.
Presumably the 64-bit version does not have the Pi 4 optimization code.
What about the 32-bit version of Ubuntu?

JonG
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:23 am

Re: Steps for Configuring Mate Desktop on 4GB Raspberry Pi 4B - (Rev.7)

Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:50 am

I have no interest in other 32-bit systems. No reason to change from Raspbian.

JonG
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:23 am

Re: Steps for Configuring Mate Desktop on 4GB Raspberry Pi 4B - (Rev.7)

Sat Apr 04, 2020 9:03 am

I have revisited Ubuntu MATE 64-bit and have the following observations on performance:
  • 1. Both Raspbian with MATE and Ubuntu MATE 64-bit are generally very responsive, without undue lag.
    2. As I reported previously, Chromium definitely streams better with Raspbian. Fewer lost frames.
    3. I work with some large spreadsheets. They definitely open considerably faster with the 64-bit architecture. For one particular spreadsheet, time to open the spreadsheet is reduced from around 17 seconds to around 10 to 11 seconds.
    4. There is one extreme case, which I cannot explain. I use Thunderbird as my mail client. With Raspbian, it is extremely slow, taking well over a minute to open. However with Ubuntu MATE 64-bit, it opens within a few seconds.
My conclusion is that if you want to use the Pi 4 as a desktop computer for real everyday tasks, Ubuntu MATE appears to perform better than Raspbian.

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