Had a chance to install the latest menu/system and 5.1 kernel. Went smoothly for me executed from the old menu update page.
I want to discuss the new option Expert option "ENABLE/DISABLE realtime manual assignment"
On questioning Piero in detail about what this was all about it's to do with IRQ and audio application priorities - very important things actually! AudoLinux is already pretty compact as it's a built-up OS rather than a cut down from a large OS. But unless the assignment of priorities of what is going on internally is set correctly, the computer won't rank important priorities like "play back" over say less important priorities like "displaying/searching lists of music" correctly.
I believe that is what the Extreme modes and Normal modes are already doing when AL allows one to select them. But you can get much finer control over the settings.
What follows are specific to the Pink Faun 2.16x and my particular set up but it might be useful for general computers as well.
There are 2 files being controlled by the realtime manual assignment switch. When it is on, the rtirq.conf and rtapp.conf priorities for IRQ and audio applications respectively are in place and active. Both seem to affect the sound.
1. rtirq.conf (IRQ priority)
I used File Editor as Root and went to /etc/rtirq.conf
From suggestions on this link https://www.audio-linux.com/html/realtime.html I did the checked rtstatus and rtcards to figure out which IRQ item referred to my connected DAC. For my computer it turned out to be xhci_hcd. The original IRQ priority was simply any connected usb. If I had other USB devices connected, my PF would have given the same priority to any connected USB device - clearly not want I want. The connected DAC should be first. So
2. rtapp.conf (audio app priority)
I found the following on a French discussion board http://forum-hifi.fr/archive/index.php?thread-4783-14.html where someone asked and RoonLab support replied to define the Roon apps being used during playback. Seems that RoonAppliance engages in both foreground and background processes in different threads, and adjusting process-level priority would unduly elevate background work. So perhaps it shouldn't have a higher priority as an audio app.
After some back and forth with Piero and some analysis of what is running in the computer when playing music, we came to the following few options for listening tests:
I again used File Editor as Root and went to /etc/rtapp/rtapp.conf
Original APPLICATIONS="jackd mpd hqplayer hqplayerd RoonAppliance RoonBridge mediacenter24 networkaudiod deadbeef a2jmidid ardour-5.12.0 rosegarden audacity”
This lists priority of apps with names in the order of the priority. So HQplayer has higher priority than RoonAppliance and RoonBridge etc.Technically you can remove all names of apps not being used. But leaving them there should make no difference ... or does it...?!
Option 1 - Disable rtapp
Disabling rtapp by command: systemctl disable rtapp.timer then rebooting means no priority for applications but continue to have priority for irq makes my system duller, treble is affected.
Option 2 - Disable both rtapp and rtirq
Disabling realtime manual assignment makes my system much less clear, imaging far softer. I prefer it on
Option 3 - Using rtapp APPLICATIONS="RoonAppliance"
Makes the image fatter and less separated.
Option 4 - Using rtapp APPLICATIONS="RoonBridgeHelper RAATServer”
Nice. Clear but not bright, engaging and good imaging. But slightly too forward imaging.
For flexibility, it should be possible to add back the other unused apps in the rtapp file but for some unknown reason, it doesn't sound as good to me! Perhaps I am imagining it.. If added back it would then be:
APPLICATIONS="jackd mpd hqplayer hqplayerd RoonBridgeHelper RAATServer RoonBridge mediacenter24 networkaudiod deadbeef a2jmidid ardour-5.12.0 rosegarden audacity”
This sounds really good - but might need some speaker adjustments as the image is slightly more forward than before.
rtirq.conf (IRQ priority)
rtapp.conf (audio app priority)