Running SC + JACK from laptop soundcard

I’m experiencing some very frustrating audio problems (non-SC related) which is causing me to rethink how my computer is set up. Without going too into detail, I’m trying to work out if I will ever need to run SC without my external sound card plugged in - the only context I can think of is in live concerts eg. parties (obviously not right now, but in the distant future…) where I might not want to bring an external sound card with me.

Do any of you have experience performing live from just a laptop? eg. with just a 3.5mm cable to a mixing board or something similar? Or have any tips for making this work? I’ve never had any problems but I’ve also never really tried pushing SC particularly hard away from my main setup and I figure this might lead to crashing. But I’m only speculating here!


You’ve external usb soundcards in the size of a old Nokia. I think the problem is your internal laptop soundcard. If the soundcard is the problem, I think the solution is not there…

I also have this issue with Jack sometimes. my laptop’s internal soundcard never wants to connect with Jack… the frustrating part is that if I install a different distro (ubuntu studio for instance vs ubuntu vanilla) it works. for that reason I figure there must be a solution but I haven’t found what it might be yet.

Then the configuration might be the problem. I would suggest to take a look at this script and change some of the configurations (except for the timers).

And install a lowlatency/realtime kernel might help.

But sure, a preconfigured distro like Ubuntu Studio or AVLinux will give you a better out-of-the-box proaudio experience probably. All though the script gives me a good platform as well (with a small external usb card).

You need also to adjust your JACK settings, if you work with a onboad card. You can’t work with 2ms latency obviously. Frames/Period of 1024 and Periods/Buffer of 3, for instance.

PipeWire makes it more easy in the future to work with lower performance / Desktop audio setups probably. But for lowest latencies JACK seems to be best still.

Yeah ok fair point about the small external sound cards. I think in my case configuration is almost certainly the problem, will try the script and see if it helps. One idea I had was to just set up two users so that one user, for audio work, only uses an external sound card, and that the other, for non-audio work (zoom meetings etc) uses my internal sound card. But that’s just me clutching at straws in this case…

I have done several live with just laptop connected to mixing board with 3.5 jack. I see no problem with that. Except maybe that I always forget to change soundcard in jack config so jack fail to start and scare me. I use qjackctl to change soundcard, once the server is started from qjackctl, the config used by jack_control is updated so everything work fine after.

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So no performance issues? Awesome, thanks.

Re: off-topic audio problems, turns out I do indeed have a hardware problem.