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Old 08-28-2012, 06:22 PM   #1
Roken
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ALSA or OSS with AudigyLS (ca0106) surround sound


OK, here's the deal. I just bought a shiny new 5:1 surround set of speakers. Personally, I prefer oss4, but having read of many woes (and failed to get the surround working properly) I've reverted to alsa. Now, I have proper surround sound working using the surround51 pcm driver, but only from a single application at a time.

Personally, I'd prefer to get proper 5:1 from oss4, but my research says that isn't going to happen (I can duplicate the LR stereo across speakers, but that's not the same thing), but my ultimate goal is real 5:1 with multiple applications able to access the sound card concurrently.

My current asoundrc is as follows:

Code:
defaults.pcm.card 0
defaults.pcm.device 0
defaults.ctl.card 0

pcm.!default {
    type plug
    slave.pcm "surround51"
    slave.channels 6
    route_policy duplicate
}
Which, as I said, gives me true surround using alsa, but will only allow exclusive access to applications. I'm aware that tricks can be used to setup .asoundrc with multiple channels combined accessing pcm front, rear and centre_lfe, but I've not been able to get it working (though the very limited success I've had which at least played through one channel each on different ports worked in as much as I got a left playing through a left rear or centre channel, but still only two channel only without using surround51, which doesn't seem to play nice with dmix.

So time to throw it open, does anyone know of an asounrc to allow dmix with surround51 (which DOES provide true 5:1 audio as tested with a 6 channel wave) via alsa, or preferably, some way to get true surround with oss4

My card is a Creative X-Fi audio, PCI card (which is not a true X-Fi card, but is rather an overhyped Soundblaster), running Arch (not that that should matter).

I've spent every spare moment for two days trying to get true surround working with concurrent access and come up with NIL. I either have 2 channel concurrent access or 5:1 exclusive. asound language is like a completely new programming language to me, and whilst I can happilly battle on with bash, python, perl and even COBOL, there just doesn't seem to be the information out there to properly understand asound.

If I wasn't already bald, I'd be tearing my hair out about now.
 
Old 08-30-2012, 01:53 PM   #2
business_kid
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I've been suffering with alsa recently

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...re-4175423838/

There's a lot of preconfiguration locked in /var/lib/alsa/asound.state. You can edit that - I did. If your chip doesn't line up completely with the 'theoretical' chip stored somewhere, alsa configures it ' using a generic method' = guesses(Like it does on mine). There is a patch facility for some drivers - to patch the config at startup. Be prepared to put unreal time into this.
 
Old 09-28-2012, 04:15 PM   #3
kedaha
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@ Roken
For superb 5.1 surround sound with OSS4, I recommend the SB0570 (Creative Labs CA0106) SoundBLASTER card.
No problems in Debian squeeze or testing.
I also have a Creative X-Fi pci-e SB1040 audio, PCI card but only got stereo 2.1 sound with OSS4 but no luck with 5.1.
So probably the best option is to get a SB0570 pci card.

Last edited by kedaha; 09-28-2012 at 04:17 PM.
 
Old 09-29-2012, 03:06 AM   #4
business_kid
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I never forgave Creative for their es1371 chip. I had kids who were fed up with messing over Opti soundcards (Which were comatose until correctly prodded), and Yamaha ones, and ordered me "No sh**, get us a decent soundcard this time!" I got them a Creative 64(es1371), and boy did they regret it. It's the only PCI card I've ever seen thrown out of a box in favour of an ISA card.
 
Old 09-29-2012, 03:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kedaha View Post
@ Roken
For superb 5.1 surround sound with OSS4, I recommend the SB0570 (Creative Labs CA0106) SoundBLASTER card.
No problems in Debian squeeze or testing.
I also have a Creative X-Fi pci-e SB1040 audio, PCI card but only got stereo 2.1 sound with OSS4 but no luck with 5.1.
So probably the best option is to get a SB0570 pci card.
SB0570 is Audigy SE.

The OP has a AudigyLS (SB0312 / SB0310) which IIRC is another 'cut down' version with no hardware acceleration, using the same CA-0106 chip, not the 'proper' CA-0100 (EMU10K2) chip.

The best option is to avoid creative and its marketoid naming schemes. I'd get an Asus Xonar DG over an Audigy SE, a Xonar DS over an X-Fi Xtreme audio, etc..
 
Old 09-29-2012, 07:00 AM   #6
kedaha
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
SB0570 is Audigy SE.

The OP has a AudigyLS (SB0312 / SB0310) which IIRC is another 'cut down' version with no hardware acceleration, using the same CA-0106 chip, not the 'proper' CA-0100 (EMU10K2) chip.

The best option is to avoid creative and its marketoid naming schemes. I'd get an Asus Xonar DG over an Audigy SE, a Xonar DS over an X-Fi Xtreme audio, etc..

The Audigy SE (SB0570) does work with OSS4 and provides 5.1 surround sound. The Asus Xonar DG and Xonar are not listed in the OSS4 Sound card List. No sound resulted from using these cards with OSS4 according to these posts: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4786 and viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3942.
 
Old 09-29-2012, 07:16 AM   #7
Roken
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Well, for now I have my system working (almost) well with pulse after hours of tweaking and experimenting with various applications. It still has glitches (such as not allowing access via pactl after launching something with padsp or after switching from 5.1 to 2.0 (for headphones).

When I have some spare cash I'll probably dump the Creative and get something more oss friendly, though.
 
Old 09-29-2012, 07:56 AM   #8
kedaha
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The Audigy SE card I referred to - while just a standard card - produces excellent 5.1 sound with OSS4, and, since it's inexpensive, is certainly a reasonable choice until one can acquire a better OSS4-compatible card. I prefer to use OSS4 on such a card to using ALSA/PulseAudio on a better card but that's just my choice.
 
Old 09-30-2012, 02:32 AM   #9
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roken View Post
Well, for now I have my system working (almost) well with pulse after hours of tweaking and experimenting with various applications. It still has glitches (such as not allowing access via pactl after launching something with padsp or after switching from 5.1 to 2.0 (for headphones).
Ugh, pulse. Well, at least its semi-working now. Even if there are glitches.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kedaha View Post
The Audigy SE (SB0570) does work with OSS4 and provides 5.1 surround sound. The Asus Xonar DG and Xonar are not listed in the OSS4 Sound card List. No sound resulted from using these cards with OSS4 according to these posts: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4786 and viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3942.
That is annoying if they dont run with oss. sorry, I'm not expert on oss, I havent used it for years. I have run most of the asus cards with alsa, no issues at all.

I wouldnt even suggest asus if my old favourite was still available (chaintech av-710). Not that I know if they one would run with oss, and I cant recall if I ran my old av-710 with oss or alsa.
 
Old 10-01-2012, 03:55 AM   #10
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From my memory of OSS, the principal difference was that the cards that worked had drivers better suited to them than you sometimes find with alsa (Says he, remembering his own recent HDA-Intel hassle). But at a certain point in time, they stopped writing drivers for OSS, so it has to be an old dsp before you'd go that route.

IIRC, you can't do above 44 or 48 khz sampling. Some cards do write files at much higher speeds.
 
Old 10-01-2012, 09:45 AM   #11
kedaha
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For anyone interested in trying OSS4 with Debian, please see my posts on another forum:
For current stable (squeeze): viewtopic.php?f=20&t=70166&start=15#p394523;
For testing (wheezy): viewtopic.php?f=20&t=81129.
To set up Jack for use with OSS4, please see a post by another user: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=52919#p358024.
I might mention - for those who are not familiar with it - that Jack, among other advantages like incredibly low latency, enables one, using Audacity, to record directly -i.e., without a microphone - sound tracks from other open applications like Totem Movie Player or Minitube.
 
  


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