Tuesday, 16 January 2018

No ALSA devices in Bitwig Studio 1.3.6 on Ubuntu

This is entirely the fault of the Bitwig developers, and after all of this time they have still not fixed the fault. I cannot take credit for this, please see the original thread where this was found.

Here is how the problem manifests itself: You'll go into Options > Preferences > Audio, select ALSA, and find that there are no compatible ALSA devices in the devices list.

The problem is that the Bitwig .deb package does not list libxcb-icccm4 as a dependency; presumably they assumed you'd have it installed. Simply install it:

$ sudo apt-get install libxcb-icccm4

ALSA devices should now be visible in the device selector. Now! If you get a message about the audio device being busy or that it could not be opened for some reason, remember that there is a high chance you're using a sound daemon of some sort. I'm going to assume you're using PulseAudio, because this is a post specific to Ubuntu, but if you're on some other distribution that uses a different sound daemon, then just look up what the equivalent for that daemon is.

To fix this, you need to run Bitwig studio like this:

$ pasuspender -- bitwig-studio

This suspends the PulseAudio sound daemon while Bitwig runs, so that Bitwig can have exclusive access to the underlying sound-card without going through PulseAudio, and then un-suspends it when you exit Bitwig.