Sound problems with Linux

Nov 2, 2010 at 9:23 PM


I am running pcsx 1.9.92 64 bits installed through the deb on th download page. (I have Ubuntu 10.10).

The problem is that the sound crackles with every games. I tried to compile other plugins from sources such as :

=> Pulseaudio : no change

=> Alsa : no sound at all

=> OSS : I have to aoss it, no change

=> SPL : no change (default)

=> I also tried to compile Peops alsa plugin : segmentation fault when launching game :)

I have pcsx on 2 different PCs, same problem on both.

Thanks fo helping ;)

Nov 24, 2010 at 11:25 PM

I have the same problem. Running  on xubuntu 10.10 but without any sound at all. Tried Gran Turismo I and II which used to work on 10.04 and now, besides the no sound problem, i can't get past the main screen. Also installed through the playdeb site. Tried also to set diferent bios but none worked out these problems. At least now i can access my memory card from previous xubuntu version, which i couldnt back then.


Hope devs can help. Thanks :)

Nov 25, 2010 at 3:32 PM

Sound = don't know.

Gran Turismo 1 works okay in SVN (windows build). Sorry, don't know where to get pre-compiled linux builds.

Nov 25, 2010 at 10:02 PM

Just putting my experience in

Sound is also choppy for me.

Ubuntu 10.04-10.10 64&32bits

Dec 15, 2010 at 1:56 PM
Edited Dec 15, 2010 at 2:10 PM

No sound at all for me either, sound is fine on the rest of the system, just no sound in pcsxr. Tried several plugins with no luck. Mint 10 32 bit on Dell Optiplex GX280


Sound works fine with same OS on Compaq Presario S5008NX. Both have nothing but factory parts. Downloaded the emulator here for both computers, any ideas why one works and the other doesn't?

Feb 9, 2011 at 5:34 PM
Edited Feb 10, 2011 at 2:53 PM

Hi, I got same problem here.

Today,  Pcsx R doesn't have sound ,  i still have sound before.

I have Playing Game with Pcsx R couple a day before, and sound work fine.

i have try deleted ~/.pcsx and reconfigure again, still no sound.


trying running game with pSX ( ), I have sound, but i don't like pSX.

trying running pcsx2, i have sound too.

trying Dolphin Emu, i have sound too.


i'am running PCLinuxOS 2010.12  32bit, with Lxde desktop.

I use Pcsx R  1.13.29

Please help me.



Thanks before.




Oke, It's some solved when i  uninstall to old Pcsx-R instalation.

then compile again with the latest svn today, then install it,

with option: ./configure --prefix=/Game/Pcsx-R

somehow this not working, because plugins cannot be configured.

then I go back to the old Pcsx-R, and I have sound again.


very strange...... >.<




Feb 12, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Same problem here: running PCSX-R 1.7 RC1 in Ubuntu 10.04 LTS = no sound at all.

Problem is said to be pulseaudio-related, but even killing PA (no respawn) or using padsp did not help.

May 2, 2012 at 2:01 AM

I'm throwing my name in, too. If I'm not mistaken, the OP's problem was not a total lack of sound (except in one or two plugins) but that the audio crackles. I have the same problem, which is that sound seems to work but crackles and pops with both the default SDL plug-in and Pete's ALSA plug-in (which I was able to compile without any problems). I haven't tried any other plug-ins.

To me, it sounds like an underrun problem, but setting my ALSA dmix period to a much smaller value seems to have no effect, and, since the problem is uniform across multiple plugins, I'm afraid that the problem is in PCSX-R. pSX and my other emulators work perfectly, regarding sound. This is my first time trying PCSX of any fork, so I can't say when the problem was introduced.

I'm really loving this emulator, and I finished Tenchu using it even with the crackling sound getting on my nerves. Now, I'm starting Tenchu 2, and I'm having to choose between using pSX and PCSX-R because of the sound issues, which is a shame.

I'm grateful that the devs put as much work into this emulator as they do and have, and I'm really looking forward to a time when this bug is squashed. In the meantime, if anybody has any tips or ideas to try, that'd be awesome.


PS: This issue seems to be effecting Mac users as well, and an issue has been raised here: . Cast your votes, since I think that's how the devs are made aware that a fix is high in demand... or something.

May 2, 2012 at 5:49 PM

Hey, thank you for responding, Dario! I've been using and having the problem with the SVN version compiled after the last commit on April 21st, but I'll recompile anyway just in case my misunderstanding of codeplex is concealing the fact that the new version has changed.

May 2, 2012 at 6:45 PM
Edited May 2, 2012 at 6:47 PM

EDIT: This is all with the most recent SVN, fetched and built about an hour ago and tested.

I just rebuilt PCSXR and discovered that, by using the --enable-sound=... option at ./configure, I can choose a sound plug-in (rather than having to choose between the default SDL and a self-compiled Pete's ALSA). The problem persists, but I've done a bit of testing and can offer more details. First off, this really seems like a latency problem, with the audio cutting out when it can't keep up, resulting in little pops. If any plug-ins had a latency slider, maybe this could be confirmed.

PCSXR's SDL plugin: The problem is the same as it ever was, with intermittent pops occur two or three times per second, distracting from the gameplay experience.

PCSXR's ALSA plugin: This plug-in has similar popping, but it's much worse -- the ratio of game sound to pops is about 50/50, so it's essentially a constant, grating buzz in the background.

PCSXR's OPENAL plugin: I actually thought that this plug-in was working perfectly at first, but it actually has about as much skipping as the SDL plug-in except that it handles the problem in a different way: rather than cutting out and back in, resulting in a pop, it repeats the last bit of audio that it got BEFORE the audio cut-out, resulting in its sounding like a skipping CD. This happens once or twice a second, similar to the SDL plug-in. I went back to the SDL plug-in because the popping is less distracting than the skipping.

Like I said above, this seems like a latency problem, and because it only happens comparatively seldomly with the SDL and OpenAL plugins, my guess is that the sound latency is only barely too low for my system. This could also explain why this problem presumably isn't affecting everyone, as different soundcards and configurations would accommodate different latencies. That being said, I don't have this problem with any other Playstation emulator, and I don't feel like they're laggy or anything because of their audio.

Maybe a latency slider would help (I don't know how complex this would be to implement), or maybe the built-in audio latency could be a bit more forgiving? If that is the problem, anyway.


PS: One of the original reasons that I wrote off latency as being the problem, originally, is that the problem seems exactly the same even at the lowest, fastest audio and video settings. I'd think that the problem would be slightly alleviated in this case of latency was the problem. Emulator code is black magic as far as I'm concerned, so I can't offer any better information, sadly. Thanks for all of your hard work, and I'm still going to use PCSXR for Tenchu 2, even with the popping and clicking, haha. I love this emu.

May 3, 2012 at 5:46 PM

I don't think that I build PCSXR through any IDE or even a package. I just download the SVN through codeplex and then:

autoreconf --force --install

./configure [--enable-sound=... when I was testing the different plugins]

make --always-make

sudo make install


When I run PCSXR, I always don't notice a lot of debug information in the console or anything. I don't think that this is the problem, but maybe I misunderstand. Thanks for your help.


May 4, 2012 at 6:29 AM
Edited May 4, 2012 at 6:35 AM

Thanks again for your help, Dario. I deleted my .pcsxr folder so that PCSXR would generate a new one (I noticed that dynamic recompilation is enabled by default upon configuration, so I've always been using it), and, sure enough, my sound problems are alleviated. It appears that my issue is a latency problem after all and is related to using an OpenGL graphics plug-in, despite my earlier claims to the contrary (when I tested the Xvideo plug-in before, some other settings must have been corrupting my results).

With all of the settings at default, I don't hear any popping, but as soon as I turn on the OpenGL plugin, I get popping. If this were my thread, I'd mark this problem as solved. I'm sorry for wasting your time, haha. This problem wasn't as mysterious as I thought.

It's a shame that my system doesn't appear to be powerful enough to run the OpenGL plugin without sound issues, since I get tearing with the Xvideo plug-in. Knowing that it's not a bug or anything, I'll probably just deal with the audio popping until I can upgrade my rig.

Good luck with the continued development of the emulator, and it's really awesome that you managed to help me out. Have a nice night!


EDIT: This could still potentially be a bug with Pete's XGL (and XGL2) plugin, since there doesn't seem to be any more or less crackling and popping when I'm at very low graphical settings or very high graphical settings, all of which warn of slow-down problems. You'd think that if the problem were really only about latency, the crackling would be different between minimum and max settings, but oh well. I don't know if the PCSXR team manages Pete's XGL plug-in, and I know that you guys don't deal with the XGL2 plug-in. The problem does not seem to be with PCSXR, anyway.

May 4, 2012 at 6:04 PM
Edited May 4, 2012 at 7:05 PM

I run 32-bit Arch Linux, and my video card is an NVidia GeForce 8500 GT, which has 512MB of memory. My CPU is an Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q6600 with four cores, each at 2.40 Ghz, and I have 3 gigs of RAM. My sound card is in integrated HDA_Intel card, which is fairly garbage, but I don't usually have sound issues.

I'm not very knowledgeable about computer hardware, but I understand that my set-up is quite a bit outdated, now, and I understand that something as complex as a Playstation emulator isn't going to run as smoothly as a native game with similar or even much better graphics. That being said, I can run Pete's XGL2 plugin at max settings with no speed problems except for the audio crackling (if that ~is~ a speed problem), and, like I said, the crackling is the same at minimum and maximum settings. I prefer OpenGL plugins for all of my emulators -- even for Gameboy and NES -- just because they tend to be more configurable and don't tear for me, and I run a similar LOOKING plugin for Mupen64Plus that runs perfectly smoothly at maximum, although that could very well be because emulating an N64 isn't as taxing as emulating a PSX.

Just to be clear (and to repeat myself), I have no audio crackling using PCSXR's packaged Xvideo plugin, but I do have crackling using the packaged OpenGL plugin that I get when configuring the Linux SVN build with --enable-opengl (and, if I'm not mistaken, this OpenGL plugin is Pete's MesaGL Plugin, which I assume from the plugin file names featuring 'peopsxgl' that show up in .pcsxr/plugins and .pcsxr/plugins/cfg). Because the packaged OpenGL plugin gives me some minor visual bugs (that I may report at a later time, but maybe not since you guys you don't develop this plugin), I use Pete's XGL2 plugin with PCSXR, which I acquired from Pete's webpage ( The audio crackling for both PCSXR's packaged OpenGL plugin and my own Pete's XGL2 plugin is exactly the same; only the Xvideo plugin causes no crackling.

I'll also repeat that, as I described in an earlier post in this discussion, the 'crackling' manifests itself in different ways across the various sound plugins, with SDL featuring a few pops per second, ALSA featuring pops so constant that it creates a perpetual grating buzz, and OpenAL featuring audio skips at about the frequency of the pops with the SDL plugin.

As for my screen-tearing, I think that this is a problem with my Nvidia driver, since I always get tearing with emulators that use Xvideo for graphics despite having my driver explicitly set to Vsync Xvideo as well as OpenGL graphics. Unless PCSXR's Xvideo plugin has an option somewhere to double-buffer or vsync internally, I'm probably always going to have tearing with Xvideo, and I might even still. I don't think that this problem has anything to do with PCSXR, since the tearing is common across pretty much anything that uses Xvideo, in my experience, and the Nvidia driver setting -- it does nothing.

Interesting that the old GXvideo plugin caused this same problem. Do you run Linux? I wonder if anybody else that runs Linux is able to use these graphical plug-ins without crackling. I linked to an open Issue, earlier, where Mac and Linux users were uniformly complaining of crackling, but maybe that was old-enough that it was related to the GXvideo plugin.


EDIT: Also, if there's any way that I can help (enabling debugging or logging somewhere, trying certain settings combinations, trying games that are known to react differently to sound, etc.) just let me know and I'll get on it. I've got nothing better to do, haha.

EDIT EDIT: I decided to try MegaMan 8 to see if the 2D graphics would alleviate the popping, and my results are interesting. Before I get into that, though, I was reminded of a few things that I'd like to note:

Sometimes, I get popping in periods of total in-game silence, which seems to mostly only happen during loading screens, and which doesn't ~always~ happen on loading screens. This is interesting because I tend to assume that the popping is a momentary DROP of sound, but I don't think that you'd hear a drop of sound from silence (maybe I'm wrong, since I think that you might when the silence has a non-zero offset).

Secondly, I hear a similar click (but only once) sometimes when I start any program that plays media. It's my understanding that this is due to some power-saving setting on my soundcard, and the click is the sound of my soundcard switching on. In the past, I've tried to resolve this issue, but I've never had any success, and it's a non-issue for me, now, as it only results in a single pop when I first launch a media player, an emulator, or an internet video. I don't get intermittent popping in anything but PCSXR. I can't say for sure if these problems are related... because I have similar problems across the SDL, ALSA, and OpenAL plugins, I doubt that it has anything to do with my soundcard being rapidly switched on and off. This might be a coincidence.

Thirdly, I discovered that, even with the Xvideo plugin, I sometimes still get a single audio pop on loading screens and other periods of silence, and maybe it's only ~noticeable~ in times of silence and it's actually a perpetual popping that is only much, much rarer than with the OpenGL plugins, causing me to not notice when music and sound is being played.

Finally, MegaMan 8. The audio popping is the same using the OpenGL plugins as it is in the two Tenchu games as far as regularity, but, if this makes any sense, it doesn't seem as prominent. I can hear the popping during gameplay and FMV movies, but it doesn't seem as ~prominent~ as in Tenchu; it doesn't seem to be interrupting the music or sound-effects like it does in Tenchu, but is in the background. I have a hypothesis that should obviously be taken with a grain of salt considering my total lack of knowledge of how this or any emulator works:

Maybe the popping is a certain audio channel dropping in and out. I know that the Playstation SPU works with instrument sample synthesis very similar to Soundfonts so that music can be composed and played from the chip without the CD having to contain a single, large sound file for each song. That being said, there are other ways that sound can be played as well (you know more about this than I do), including Redbook (if I'm not mistaken) and other compressed files for playing back a complete song or effect.

Maybe the popping only applies to one such method of playing sound -- one used perhaps exclusively in Tenchu and Tenchu 2 for everything from music to speech and effects, but only for some background instrument or ambient noise in MegaMan 8. In Tenchu, when the sound pops, it seems to interrupt any and all music or voices that are playing at the time. I should also note that the popping can be prominently heard on the Playstation BIOS boot sound (the synth crescendo when the PS logo is being formed) and seems to cut-out the sound the way that it does in Tenchu. In MegaMan 8, though, the popping is less distracting (although none-the-less regular) because the stage music seems to play over it and, unless it's just because MegaMan's synth beats are more accommodating to the crackles, the music and other sound effects (jumping, shooting, etc.) do not seem to be interrupted.

Tonight or tomorrow, I'll string a line cable from my soundcards output to its input so that I can record some comparisons. I don't mean to distract you with all of my ideas and half-assed research. Actually, I guess that recording audio might be too heavy for my rig to handle while playing PCSXR, so maybe I'll have to dig out some other recording device.

I just attempted recording audio on my computer while playing PCSXR on the same computer, and it had no effect on speed or the crackling, which again makes me think that this isn't a latency problem. I'll record some comparisons later tonight of the Playstation boot sound (which is a prime example), the Tenchu intro, some Tenchu dialog and music, and MegaMan 8's first stage music.


May 5, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Wow, this thread is old -- I just checked the date of the OP. The problem that I'm having is more than likely unrelated to the OP. If nobody minds, I'm going to start a new thread and post my recordings there. Again, thank you for your help, Dario.