No Sound in Blender 2.48a in Ubuntu 8.10

February 22nd, 2009 by heathenx

A few weeks ago I screwed up some things and had to format my main computer at home (which acts as my desktop and server) and reload Ubuntu 8.10. In the end it was probably a good thing since I had done an upgrade from Ubuntu 8.04. For some unknown reason I never really trust upgrades. I normally backup and format before installing a new version of any distro and that goes for openSUSE and Ubuntu.

I’m not sure when it happened but at some point in the last day or two (or three or four…) I lost the capability of scrubbing my audio strips in Blender 2.48a. I have been using Blender about 100% of the time for all of my video projects for the last few months. It’s super stable and I get excellent results. However, not being able to hear my audio tracks while I am editing is a real pain in the rear. What good is a video editor that does that, right? I am not really sure who to blame – Ubuntu, PulseAudio, Alsa, Blender, or me. I tried various things to rectify the situation to no avail. That included installing the official Blender 2.46 (which is not very good for video work if FFMpeg isn’t up to snuff on your system) from the Ubuntu repo. Also, it included me killing PulseAudio (which I hate but won’t get into now). I even tried changing my sound configuration from Alsa to OSS and PulseAudio and none of that worked. Rebooting and logging in and out were failures too.

After a few swear words and giving what I saw on my lcd the finger, I decided to take a trip to Google and see what I could dig up. Surely other people were having the same problem. What I found was a lot of info. Most of it was blaming Ubuntu’s PulseAudio. I didn’t really care who’s fault it was I just wanted a workaround so that I could get back to editing my home videos again. A “workaround” is definitely what I ended up locating. So for all of you people in the situation that I was in, try this:

# Open Rhythmbox and play a song
# While the song is playing open Blender
# Add an audio track to the Sequence Editor. Should be able to hear sound now.
# You can close Rhythmbox now but if you close Blender too then repeat the steps above

The above worked like a charm for me…but…it seems silly doesn’t it? Wonder what would happen if I uninstall PulseAudio…Hmm…

4 Responses to “No Sound in Blender 2.48a in Ubuntu 8.10”

  1. Ufuk_k Says:

    Hello heathenx,
    I also use Ubuntu (installed Ubuntu Studio, but using it with kubuntu-desktop, not a fan of Gnome), and I tried to use pulse audio a few times since they started to include it with Ubuntu as a default application. I have a Creative SB Live sound card, and I couldn’t use it well with pulse audio for once. It didn’t give me full channel control in alsamixer, and it also creates problems when using it with Jack and audio apps, beside these it needs some unnecessary daemons running in background. So, I never use pulse audio anymore, and I suggest to remove it to everyone who has problems with pulseaudio. I and lots of people share these kind of problems in ubuntustudio users mailing list, and as far as I know most people removes pulseaudio.
    Since it’s a part of ubuntu-desktop and ubuntustudio-desktop meta package, removing pulseauido removes these meta packages as well, which is not important. So everytime I made a fresh install (I rarely do it, since I have no problems with dist-upgrade), I remove pulseauido and I configure my sound with alsa settings, using an .asoundrc if needed. Sometimes I need additionally install some alsa versions of sound packages after removing pulseaudio (like libsdl-debian-alsa, something like that).
    Besides removing it, I suggest you control the user’s group settings if your user is a member of audio, pulse, pulse-rt groups as well.

  2. flo Says:

    try starting blender with -g noaudio option, this will disable game sound and give space to sequencer audio, add also export SDL_AUDIODRIVER=alsa to .the .profile file in your home, that should do, it works for me.

  3. heathenx Says:


    Sweet! the “-g noaudio” switch did the trick. Thanks a ton. 🙂

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