speech-dispatcher distorts all sound

Bug #1736222 reported by Edward
140
This bug affects 30 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
speech-dispatcher (Ubuntu)
High
Unassigned

Bug Description

So, a brand new computer running Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS.
In hardinfo summary, my audio adapters are
• HDA-Intel - HDA Intel HDMI
• HDA-Intel - HDA Intel PCH
• HDA-Intel - HDA NVidia
In detail: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200 v3/4th Gen Core Processor HD Audio Controller (rev 06)
Memory 16kb (non-prefetchable), snd_hda_intel

As soon as I load a website in Firefox that utilizes speech-dispatcher (fimfiction.net) all sounds get distorted, whether I click a paragraph for TTS reading or not. The problem seems to go away if I don't use the site after a while. When I close down Firefox the problem still lingers a bit, but maybe not as long. One thing I did which seemed faster was close down everything, then load what I wanted to listen to (Skype, Discord), and if it still persisted I would go into "Sound Settings" and after a few blinks in that window the sound is normal again.

While the site is open, according to "Sound Settings" (from the speaker icon menu) and Pulse Audio Volume Controller (pavu) there are 4 copies of this package. Muting them did not help the problem, but moving one of them, and a very specific one, from the "Built-in Audio Analog Stereo" to something else like HDA NVidia (HDMI 3) seems to be a workaround.

Just so you know, I do not use the HDMI cable for sound, but instead use the "headphones" jack. If you need any more details, I'll try to provide them.

/Edward

Edward (edward-leuf)
description: updated
description: updated
Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in speech-dispatcher (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Brian Campbell (bacam) wrote :

I'm still getting this with Ubuntu 18.04, with Intel sound and HDMI output.

Revision history for this message
Tommy Trussell (tommy-trussell) wrote :

Workaround: when I hear the distorted sound, I open a terminal and issue this command

$ killall speech-dispatcher

This works until the next time I hit a web site that causes the issue.

I don't know anything about speech dispatcher, but I wonder if multiple speech-dispatcher processes be interfering with each other? I usually start with

$ ps uax | grep speech

and I usually see five or six processes

twt@host:~$ ps uax | grep speech
twt 9165 0.0 0.0 289000 5092 ? Sl 11:01 0:00 /usr/lib/speech-dispatcher-modules/sd_dummy /etc/speech-dispatcher/modules/dummy.conf
twt 9168 0.0 0.0 289012 4976 ? Sl 11:01 0:00 /usr/lib/speech-dispatcher-modules/sd_generic /etc/speech-dispatcher/modules/generic.conf
twt 9171 0.0 0.0 289000 5088 ? Sl 11:01 0:00 /usr/lib/speech-dispatcher-modules/sd_cicero /etc/speech-dispatcher/modules/cicero.conf
twt 9176 0.0 0.0 327320 8756 ? Sl 11:01 0:00 /usr/lib/speech-dispatcher-modules/sd_espeak /etc/speech-dispatcher/modules/espeak.conf
twt 9181 0.0 0.0 97216 2220 ? Ssl 11:01 0:00 /usr/bin/speech-dispatcher --spawn --communication-method unix_socket --socket-path /run/user/1000/speech-dispatcher/speechd.sock

Revision history for this message
Tommy Trussell (tommy-trussell) wrote :

My comment above about extra processes is described in Bug #1496542

Revision history for this message
Sean (sea9) wrote :

This is also affecting me. I am running an Alienware R4 i7 with an 1070gt gpu.

Ubuntu has other sound issues with this laptop to. However randomly speech-dispatcher distorts all sound.

For me it's not a specific website the process seems to start whenever it wants, but doesn't always cause a problem.

I would like some attention on this though as it causes problems using Ubuntu to work remotely, as I need to communicate with my team and can't when speech-dispatcher causes problems. I'm using my Mac for now but would like to get this fixed for Ubuntu.

Affected both 16.04 and 18.04 on this laptop.
Killing the process resolves the issue until it next runs.

Revision history for this message
Jan Morten Rausch (scytale89) wrote :

This affects Ubuntu 18.10 as well. Gets triggered every time while a YT video is playing and i open a website in firefox in special reading view.

Overkill in KDE because the sound error starts when checking mails in kmail or refreshing akkregator.

Removing speech-dispatcher "solves" the problem.

Revision history for this message
Václav Haisman (vzeman79) wrote :

Yup. I have just diagnosed this as well on Cosmic. Suddenly, it started while I was watching film on Netflix in browser. I looked around and noticed three new speech-dispatcher processes connected to pulseaudio. I kept the film running and issued `killall speech-dispatcher` and the distortion stopped immediately.

Revision history for this message
woob (thetoastcaper) wrote :

For those affected by this who want or need speech-dispatcher, another workaround may be to disable timer-based scheduling for PulseAudio.

For most, this can be done by locating the following line in your default.pa file:

    load-module module-udev-detect

...and replacing it with this:

    load-module module-udev-detect tsched=0

(Note: default.pa is usually "/etc/pulse/default.pa", or "~/.config/pulse/default.pa" if you have a local configuration)

This works well on my current system so far. Though, most of my machines over the past few years have been affected by this bug, and I'm not sure if it's quite worked for all of them.

Revision history for this message
Diego (eologolo) wrote :

18.04.2 LTS (Bionic Beaver) Gets triggered every time any sound is playing and I need any screen reading (like a website in firefox in special reading view)
It feels like the existing previous sound output gets used as input for mixing with the screen reader... with the added pronlem that at least 3 screen reader processes are created, thus adding 3 echoes that constitute the noise...

`killall speech-dispatcher` stops the noise but kills the screeen reading

Revision history for this message
Jan Morten Rausch (scytale89) wrote :

It may be that it's fixed in most recent version. I am atm using OpenSUSE Tumbleweed and it's the first time since 3-4 years that i do not get this error.

Revision history for this message
Jan Morten Rausch (scytale89) wrote :

I was wrong, speech-dispatcher is just not installed on TW by default.

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Jukka (jukkaleppikangas-elisanet) wrote :

This bug is still present on 20.04 beta I installed yesterday. I was playing a song on Youtube and it became distorted as I started to read a New York Times article. Removing speech-dispatcher fixed the issue once again.

Revision history for this message
Connor Beaton (cdbeaton) wrote :

I'm experiencing this issue on my desktop and my laptop, both of which are running 19.10. The problem went away when I removed speech-dispatcher. I'm going to upgrade to 20.04 later today and will report back on whether that solves the problem.

Revision history for this message
Connor Beaton (cdbeaton) wrote :

Yes, problem persists in a fresh install (not upgrade) of 20.04 LTS. Fixed when killing or removing speech-dispatcher.

Changed in speech-dispatcher (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → High
Revision history for this message
Roger Hsu (rogermhsu) wrote :

I have the same experience as Comment #14 - on a fresh install of 20.04 LTS, this problem randomly (at least it seems random) occurs and is fixed by killing speech-dispatcher.

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Roger Davis (rogerdavis-d) wrote :

I have the same problem. Killing speech-dispatcher fixes this, but I want to keep it available.

Revision history for this message
Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Could someone having the issue report it upstream on https://github.com/brailcom/speechd/issues ?

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Tim Richardson (tim-richardson) wrote :

This bug started affecting me in the past week although I've been on 20.04 since launch. I have removed the packages including orca.

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Tim Richardson (tim-richardson) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Tim Richardson (tim-richardson) wrote :

My sound control panel reports three speech-dispatcher entries in Volume Levels. I don't know why.

My session is about two days old and I haven't had any instance of distortion, so the workaround referred to in my previous comment, a config change, may be a good idea for package maintainers to implement.

Revision history for this message
treloar (treloar) wrote :

I started having issue's with sound being off as it were, I tried different browsers and headphones and was starting to think it was just me... then I notice in the sound settings - application tab that I had 5 speech-dispatchers going and upon doing a Google on them landed here.

Upon using the command: killall speech-dispatcher
My sound went back to normal, I never got these before what has change recently to cause this? (Specifically I had updates come through last week and since then I've had this crap)

Revision history for this message
TM (fairthoas) wrote :

Is this relevant? Looks it might have been swept under the rug?
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1252732

Revision history for this message
Tim Richardson (tim-richardson) wrote :

I just installed Ubuntu 20.10 on a machine that was running Pop!os 20.04 and 20.10 (a fairly new AMD Ryzen desktop system, different to the machine I had the problem on earlier, which was a laptop). Not 24 hours later, this problem again. I thought there was something wrong with Team app ('bloody microsoft') but then my next meeting in Google Meet had the same problem. And YouTube.

Then I remembered this.

This time I just removed speech-dispatcher. Maybe it is not installed by default on pop, not sure. An ugly papercut.

Revision history for this message
Lin Manfu (linmanfu) wrote :

This bug is still present in Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS, running KDE Plasma.

I can duplicate the mystery "Speech Dispatcher" items in the volume control and the "killall speech-dispatcher" temporarily works around the bug.

Revision history for this message
Lin Manfu (linmanfu) wrote :

This bug is reported (https://github.com/brailcom/speechd/issues/446#issuecomment-740828838) to be fixed in speechd 0.10.0 and higher. The 0.10.1 release notes (https://github.com/brailcom/speechd/releases/tag/0.10.1) include "Fix default pulse latency to 10ms to avoid pulseaudio distorted output."

Revision history for this message
Coeur Noir (coeur-noir) wrote :

So it's not fixed in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS,
where speech-dispatcher is 0.9.1-4

Revision history for this message
Lin Manfu (linmanfu) wrote :

> So it's not fixed in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS,
where speech-dispatcher is 0.9.1-4

That is correct. It would be nice if the patch could be backported.

Revision history for this message
Madgemade (madgemade-v) wrote :

Just experienced this bug today. It seems to be triggered by certain websites. I'm not using any feature of speech-dispatcher. Until I experienced this issue I was unaware of it's existence as a daemon. Running killall speech-dispatcher corrects the issued temporarily as others have said. The problem reoccurs quite frequently however. I have no use for speech-dispatcher so I have simply uninstalled it. It's quite unfortunate that this bug exists in the default install of Ubuntu 20.04. Is nothing really going to be done to fix this?

Revision history for this message
Marvin Sequera (marvinsequera) wrote :

Same problem Here using ubuntu 20.04 on a ryzen 4800h with 1650ti laptop, I have use this machine over a year and last week, the problem starts to show. Fix with deleting seech-dispatcher.

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