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Old 01-13-2004, 05:48 PM   #1
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Atlanta
Distribution: Debian, OS X
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Problems with OSS while trying to avoid problems in ALSA (scratchy sound)

Man I have the worst luck when it comes to sound . Okay, I was trying awfully hard to get ALSA working on my computer with my pos sound card (SiS 7012 Onboard Sound) and I tried many things a member by the name of ZiGiE (if I recally correctly suggested) and I was unable to get my problems fixed (at that time, I couldn't successfully compile/run StepMania, a lot of programs didn't recognize I had ALSA installed (MPlayer) and scratchy sound when using anything other than xmms). I read the HCL and found out that amos had gotten ALSA working perfectly on his computer by disabling APM and enabling ACPI. I tried that (as I have been tinkering with the 2.6.0 kernel, but I'm still unable to get things working right) but alas, my problem was still there. I tried getting rid of ACPI and APM (since I'm on a desktop, and I assume I don't need the power conserving functions like they do) yet the problems were still there. Kernel 2.6.0 doesn't have modules for my card on OSS, so I tried installing OSS on 2.4.22. Everything seemed to work out perfectly, I was extatic. However this was quickly shot down. Although the sound mixing worked perfectly, when listening to a song in xmms, about a minute and a half in, the sound starts to get staticky. Well crap. If I quickly pause it and un-pause it, it starts playing perfectly until about the same period of time has elapsed, and then it starts to get staticky again. Naturally I though it was a buffer problem, so I started tweaking the buffer settings in xmms, and nothing worked. . I tried mpg123 and it seemed to work perfectly, although when I ALSA, mpg123 -o oss worked perfectly too, so I don't entirely trust the results mpg123 has given me. play (the wav playing app that comes with OSS) plays files normally if nothing is going on and DOESN'T have the 1:30 problem that xmms does. Although when practically anything else is going on, I get static. I'm listening to some music (in xmms) while trying to compile StepMania and it works perfectly until it gets to that period I have explained earlier. Warcraft 3 running under WineX sounds horrible (originally I was happy, as I thought I'd finally be able to watch audio commentaries with the game sound too) the static doesn't ever stop. It's horrendous. ePSXe and ZSNES both have the same problem as Warcraft 3. *sigh* I just don't understand it. Sound worked flawlessly on Red Hat, why is Slackware so much more different? Is there some crucial configuration step I missed for OSS or ALSA? I don't care which one I use. I just want my stuff to work. Thanks for any help you can provide, I'm desperate :P
Old 02-05-2004, 11:55 PM   #2
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Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Western Australia
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I am no expert so as its been awhile for you to get a better reply heres my effort um and I don't have your card

files to look into include

/etc/rc.d/modules* and alsa
/etc/ asound

2) Assuming you have gui and kde, the soundserver for KDE can me modified graphically in kde's control centre

In particular you can swap between alsa and oss and the others and tweak the various sample rates.

3) IMHO its the sampe rate that is affecting your scratchy sound

4) I assume you ran alsaconf from the CLI? and set the mixer levels?

5) I found from kernel 2.4.22 onwards OSS is no longer appears to be supported so I modified my card to emulate a sound blaster.
If your card is compatible you may wish to look at the line in the /etc/rc.d/modules* file for OSS support and uncomment the sb line if you think it will work, with IRQ changes etc, and do a reboot. The good news about the comment line etc is if it fails just add the comment symbol back in, ok

6) in CLI try "dmesg | less " or "dmesg > /your dox folder/bootupmessages.txt to see if alsa is truly loading with or without errors.

7) the alsa project website may have a dox file for your card, and I am too lazy to check


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