Pirate Radio Audio Issue - Scratchy


Thank you @csx333!

I’ll look into the super-loud-audio-on-first-boot issue, there must be a fix for that.

I already have a fix for the VU, but it’s not very elegant. It involves setting a vu-scale value in the asound.conf which controls what the upper-bound is for scaling the LEDs. I really need to get some sort of moving average in place, since the goal is to have a pretty VU, and not necessarily an accurate one.

Pi VU Meter is teetering on the edge of a move to mostly-Python, but it’s one of those cans of worms I’ve been afraid to open!


@gadgetoid A little more action from the VU meter would be cool. Nice to hear your working on it. For me, at the volume level I usually use, I see the bottom 1 or 2 LED’s lit. Just a very gentle flicker. I would also take a “pretty VU” over accurate. An “enhanced VU” as an option would likely satisfy most people.

I have to say though, as it is now, I am a very happy camper. Nice clean sound, no pops, = good stuff =).
Anything added now is just icing on the cake IMHO.


Wow, setting the compressor-makeup-gain to zero, really improves the sound quality. This is a step improvement vs. just stopping pulseaudio. Thanks for this.

It could also explain why this post found better sound quality when not using VLC with the phat beat


Looks good. I’m going to backup and try a stretch install today. Out of wonder, If fixes come through (e.g. for the VU meter), how do we install them?

Many thanks.


Is this still a thing?

I have the old hardware version, it’s been sitting in an unloved piradio that I wanted to set up over the weekend (I partly stopped using it because of the original jarring pops).

Fresh raspbian, vlc script, horrible scratchy sound.

It’s got the right makeup-gain value, I tried reduxing gain in vlcrc, and disabling pulse audio, still scratchy, actually even when fairly quiet.

Considering just getting the later phat beat if it makes the radio usable?


I have one of the original versions here running Pirate Radio. Audio quality is good after doing the stock install. The one liner for the phat beat and the VLC radio install. I get a few pops on boot up but the audio is nice and clean when playing a stream.


Thanks, that’s good to know!

🤔 Hmm, maybe my hardware has developed a fault?


I’d reimage your Micro SD card with the latest Raspbian. Rerun the installer and go from there. No special edits etc. I get a few extra pops I’d rather not hear on bootup, but other than that audio quality is good. I can remeber doing the edit once many moons ago. Before Pimoroni rolled the fix into the installer.
I will say though, I’m likely not running the latest Raspbian. I do believe I’m running Stretch, just haven’t done an apt-get update upgrade in a while. Why mess with something that works. ;) Plus its running headless, I’d have to hook up a monitor keyboard etc.


I’m tempted to try Jessie even


I’m trying to remeber when I last redid my Pirate Radio, its been a while, probably a year ago or so? It might still be running Jessie? If I get a chance latter on today I’ll pull the Pi Zero out and hook it up to a monitor and keyboard and see what version of Raspbian its running.
That Pi has a 90 degree header and its not bolted in with stand offs, easy to remove if need be.


Just ran cat /etc/debian_version from the command line and got 9.4.
That I believe means I’m running Stretch. 7 is Wheezy and 8 is Jessie.

EDIT: cat /etc/os-release is showing Stretch.