UberStudent Forums

Sound not working in Praat
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Author:  Cormac MacAindir [ Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Sound not working in Praat

I'm having difficulty getting Praat to work on Uberstudent.

Praat a piece of software used in acoustic analysis and is essential to me in my work. I can instal it okay, but can't get the audio to work. The audio is, however, fine on every other program I have tried; just in Praat it won't work. Originally, I installed it via synaptic, but when that didn't work I removed it completely and then compiled it from the source files as per the instructions here http://www.fon.hum.uva.nl/praat/download_linux.html and here http://www.fon.hum.uva.nl/praat/download_sources.html .

Another funny thing is that on an older machine, running an earlier version of Uberstudent, it works just fine. Also, a colleague who is running the latest Ubuntu also says that it works for him.

Can anyone out there help me – it would make life so much easier for me if I could get it working.


Author:  Stephen Ewen [ Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sound not working in Praat

Greetings, Professor MacAindir.

If it runs on Ubuntu 14.04, it will run on UberStudent 4.x. It runs for me just fine.
praat.png [ 124.64 KiB | Viewed 10757 times ]

How did you you install praat? Since it's available in the repository, all you have to do is use Synaptic Package Manager, search for it, and install it.

If installing it that way does not solve the issue, please hit F12 on your keyboard and run the program from command line (type in praat and hit Enter) and then post the output here.

Author:  Cormac MacAindir [ Thu Feb 26, 2015 3:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sound not working in Praat

Well met Professor Ewen,

It runs for me too but when I try to 'view and edit' an audio file (.wav, .mpg etc.) everything shows up but there is no sound. I can hear the same files just fine in Audacity, Audacious etc.; just in Praat they don't work.

I installed praat via synaptic and then, when I encountered this problem, I removed it entirely and tried to compile it on my machine, as per the instructions in the links above.

A colleague suggested that the problem might have to do with an inconsistency between the default sampling frequency of my driver and those of the audio files I am playing, but that doesn't seem to be the case. He says that sound works reasonably in Ubuntu 14.04. For this reason that I thought the problem might be specific to UberStudent although there may well be another explanation.

Thanks for your help,

Author:  Stephen Ewen [ Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sound not working in Praat

Like I said, if it works in Ubuntu 14.04 it will work in UberStudent 4.x. UberStudent is built from Ubuntu. Nothing in the software regarding sound is different between the two. This issue is very probably related to your sound card and the limitations of Praat (or it may actually be a designed-in feature) that requires the sound card to be a certain sampling rate.

PortAudio cannot open sound output: Invalid sample rate

When you try to play a file, is that the error you get?

Now, let's please get info about your current sound hardware. Run this command in a terminal (hit F12 in UberStudent):

pactl list > pactl-list.txt

Then, please attach to your next post the pactl-list.txt file that will be located in your home directory.

Finally, do you still have the older machine you mentioned earlier? If so, does it have some type of a PCI-style sound card (i.e., one not integrated in to the motherboard but that you insert in to a PCI socket inside your computer)? If so, is it possible for you to take the sound card out of the older computer and put it in your new one?

Author:  Cormac MacAindir [ Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sound not working in Praat

I don't actually get any error message at all. Everything looks just fine but there is no audio output.

I've attached the file here.

My impression is that the sound card in my old computer is integrated but I will open it up tomorrow to find out.

Thanks a lot for helping out.

pactl-list.txt [19.39 KiB]
Downloaded 442 times

Author:  Stephen Ewen [ Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sound not working in Praat

Praat is not an officially supported application in UberStudent, nor in Ubuntu, but I did spend a few hours investigating this today.

Using the version of Praat in the Ubuntu repository, I cannot get it to play sound in either plain Ubuntu 14.04 or UberStudent 4.1. Whenever I try from either one, I get the same basic error message:
praat.png [ 175.88 KiB | Viewed 10722 times ]

Then there's the below screenshot I just took from this page at the Praat website:

praat-lin.png [ 37.05 KiB | Viewed 10722 times ]

I really don't think this is a Linux issue, as they say. I've never once in over five years of using Linux had troubles getting any audio program to "just work" in Linux. I'm guessing that getting Praat to work consistently in Linux is just not much of a priority for the Praat developers? It may also be that none of my three soundcards work with Praat, even though all of them are VERY well-supported in the Linux kernel. Given the strong and proven driver support of my sound cards, this would again strongly suggest a Praat and not a Linux problem. :!:

I've tried removing pulseaudio and using plain alsa. No go. The dependencies of the Praat package in Ubuntu actually depend on pulseaudio.

Praat has changed sound backends in Linux in the recent past (some probably outdated hints are here).

Literally nothing is different regarding backend sound software between Ubuntu 14.04 and UberStudent 4.x -- I checked package by package by package. No. Difference.

So except to direct you to the Praat developers and to perhaps others who may have gotten sound working with it on an Ubuntu 14.04 or any Ubuntu 14.04-based system to ask advice (do so here), there isn't much more I can do. :|

It's very easy to do, so if it exists it still might be worth trying the older PCI sound card from your old computer, but Praat's functioning from earlier times may have resulted from it using OSS, its former Linux sound backend; or, perhaps, from limited sound card support.

So, I'm officially stumped, and I don't say that very often at all. :) If I have some flash of inspiration in the night, I'll come back here and let you know; so, keep tabs. :lol:

If you do get this working, please, by all means, come back and share how. :geek: ;)

Author:  Cormac MacAindir [ Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sound not working in Praat

Thanks a million for looking into it for me anyway :).

I really appreciate what you're doing with Uberstudent.

I suppose I'll have a go at contacting the developers as you suggest and see if they can come up with anything. I'll also ask my colleague who did have some success with it in Linux and see how he might have set it up.

Thanks again and I will for sure let you know if I can get it working.

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