Can't hear SP through new headphones

I’m back in the classroom after a year and a half out and so excited to be able to teach Sonic Pi today. Got a new set of headphones and they don’t seem to work with SP. I’ve never experienced this before.

I can hear other sounds (Windows chimes, YouTube music, etc.), but nothing from SP. I’ve played with all the settings under the Audio tab, but I’m wondering if there is something I’m missing.

The headphones are educational ones I got off Amazon and seem to work fine for everything else.

Using Windows 10, SP 3.3.1.

What am I missing??

Bob Irving
Porter-Gaud School
Charleston, SC

Just to add to the confusion, I noticed 2 things today:

  1. If I reboot SP, the headphones sometimes seem to work. Sometimes if I leave them plugged in during boot process, and sometimes when I don’t.

  2. I did see a message that scsynth is using my microphone. I have no idea why that would be, but I don’t know much beyond that scsynth is a SuperCollider process that SP uses.


Can you show us a screenshot about your audio settings ?

Yes, thank you. This is how they are by default while SP is running.

I’ve experimented with different output settings for scsynth, and restarting SP usually seems to restore sound. Usually, but non always. I had students reset SP today during class and had about 85% success rate.

maybe the sample rate on the default audio card is not the one expected by supercollider…

First, I’m not sure where to check those 2 values. Secondly, how would that explain the seeming randomness of when it actually works?

I’m trying to see if I can get it installed on my Raspberry Pi’s to see if it’s a Windows issue.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Hi there @birv2,

A few questions to help figure out what’s going on:

  1. Are these standard headphones with a headphone jack, or are they USB/bluetooth?
  2. If they’re standard headphone jack headphones, do you still have the issue with the headphones you previously used (i.e. can you use the old headphones reliably but the new headphones are unreliable).
  3. When an instance of Sonic Pi doesn’t start up, could you send a copy of the scsynth.log from that machine. It’s located in ~\.sonic-pi\log'syscynth.log where ~ represents the user’s ‘home’ directory.

Also, with respect to microphone use - Sonic Pi works with both audio in and out (so musicians can plug in microphones, sound cards with many inputs and outputs). I think in this case it’s just the operating system letting you know this for security reasons. scsynth.exe, as you correctly point out is the internal process which handles audio.

Hopefully we can get to the bottom of this soon.

Hello Sam and thank you for your reply. It happens with all headphones, both old and new. Sonic Pi always starts up, so that’s not a problem. They are standard headphone jacks, not USB or BT.

I hate to say this, because you know that I am a massive SP fan, but I don’t have the time/student focus in class to troubleshoot this problem, so we’re going to have to move on to some other unit. I’ve already spent several hours, brought in tech support at my school, and searched the forum and github. In an already crowded day, I simply don’t have any more time to devote to this.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to revisit this at some point in the future. I could log an issue on github and hope that others will have some time to track this down.

No worries, but without a copy of the scsynth log it will be hard to know what’s going wrong on the machine.

My guess is that there’s something funky going on with the audio settings that quite likely can be fixed by modifying the audio settings config file.

Sorry you had issues but sound is really hard to get working on all kinds of hardware. We try our best.