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Ambience and binaural sound under Linux

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by koolas, Mar 28, 2014.
  1. koolas
    There are several threads about binaural sound and Dolby Headphone plugin use under Windows. But I haven't found anyone talking about solutions for Linux.

    I decided to move my post from http://www.head-fi.org/t/555263/foobar2000-dolby-headphone-config-comment-discuss thread to new thread.

    I was interested in simulation of binaural sound environment by building graph of LADSPA plugins.

    You can download the complete set of files tar-bzipped in:

    The environment I tried to simulate was acoustics of huge hall, like Jaarbeurs in Utrecht, where EDM gigs are happening. I tried to simulate roughly the same experience of what I think it feels like being there on the gig.


    These are all jack-rack instances, each hosting some LADSPA plugins that are processing the sound.


    The CPU usage is reasonably low. The peaks in network usage are Spotify activity.

    In order to setup all of this follow these steps:

    1) Extract downloaded file:
    tar -xjf LiveEvent.tar.bz2
    2) Launch Jack Audio Connection Kit:
    If you don't have it you can install it with following command:
    sudo apt-get install qjackctl
    3) Click Setup button and in the window that pops-up set whatever is needed for your DAC.
    In my case settings for iDSD @ 176 kHz looks like this:


    4) Save settings and click Start button, which will hopefully start Jack server (if not refer to manual)

    5) Redirect PulseAudio to Jack

    pactl load-module module-jack-sink channels=2
    pactl load-module module-jack-source channels=2
    pacmd set-default-sink jack_out
    6) Select Jack sink (PulseAudio JACK Sink) like on this screen:


    7) Launch my script
    cd LiveEvent
    This script requires jack-rack to be installed:
    sudo apt-get install jack-rack
    and also LADSPA plugins:
    sudo apt-get install blop
    sudo apt-get install bs2b-ladspa
    sudo apt-get install cmt
    sudo apt-get install swh-plugins
    I'm not sure which of the above are needed (probably cmt only).

    8) Go back to Jack Audio Connection Kit and click Patchbay and then click Load and select:
    When you do that you should see this:


    9) Click Activate button and close Patchbay window

    10) Now click Connect button and connect PulseAudio JACK Sink with jack_rack_inputlevel and you should see this:


    (On the picture there is also jack_mixer and japa, but these are not needed, I use them for monitoring only)

    Now you can play music using any application you like and it will go through this chain :)

    Hopefully there is someone using Linux (Mint?) on this forum who would test it and tell what he thinks :D :rolleyes:
  2. squishware
    I might be your tester. Out of curiosity what player do you like/use?
  3. koolas
    I use Spotify for online listening and Audacious for offline, and I'm running on Linux Mint Nadia.
  4. koolas
    Here is new, quite simpler setup. It simulates studio and equalizes for Alpha-Dog headphones. Shown on picture is JACK setup for iDSD @ 176kHz.


    Not clear from the picture, but EQ goes after Binaural/Studio simulation.
  5. yay101
    Interesting... how does this compare to foobar2000's many profiles?
  6. koolas
    As topic suggests, it is for Linux users. Under Windows to achieve similar results I run VBCable + VSTHost + VST plugins (mostly from ToneBoosters). You use Foobar to play your own music, and if you want to have SFX applied to tracks played by Spotify or Youtube you need other solution.

    Comparing my Windows solution (VBCable + VSTHost + VST plugins) with Linux one (JACK + JackRack) I'd say to my ears I get better SQ under Linux (out of iDSD + PanAm).

    Worth nothing is I'm listening on Alpha Dogs, and because they are very resolving I can have rich reverb applied and still it doesn't sound congested. On other headphones too much reverb feels more like noise, and instead of gaining 3D effect you loose detail. This is not happening when I use Alpha Dogs, but it would on Momentum.

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