Beaglebone as audio development platform (distro with JACK & JACK apps & USB audio?)


I haven't fired up my BeagleBone for about a year, when I did some
consulting on it. At the time, I found it to a frustrating environment for
audio development, maybe partially due to my ignorance and impatience. In
the meantime, I've been doing audio development in iOS.

Recently, I became frustrated with that environment for various reasons and
decided to give Linux another look. I was surprised to see how much is
going on with Linux low latency audio these days, with real time kernel
features being standard now and many achieving really good latency numbers
with off the shelf JACK hosts and such. It sounds very promising. I
especially like the idea of being able to create an audio hardware
appliance eventually, and with a Linux platform that would be possible.

But here is what I don't know. Most of the audio oriented distro stuff like
AV Linux seems oriented towards Intel PC sized platforms. That isn't what I
need - I need a platform that could eventually be a hardware appliance. The
concept is to develop on a platform with keyboard/monitor/mouse, and then
use the result in embedded mode headless.

So to get started in an ideal world, I would load a distro onto my
BeagleBone, plug in one of my USB audio interfaces, fire up a JACK host
application, and figure how real it all is. If it all works, then I can
take some of my existing DSP code and get it working as JACK client.
Eventually I would run headless with my app as turnkey.

Is this all a dream or is it regularly done? Forgive my ignorance.

What I _don't_ want to do is have to do right off the bat is load a
kazillion packages and/or compile a bunch of source code and/or wade around
in an information vacuum in order to get a working low latency audio
system. I can deal with a little setup, but it needs to be a road well
travelled that is known to work.

I appreciate any advice that anyone has to offer!

- Andy Voelkel

Hi Andy!

I’m no audio expert, but I know that my libpruio project is used in the bela audio project. You may find some inspiration at