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Old 10-12-2005, 05:41 AM   #1
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Bedford, UK
Distribution: Slackware 11.0, LFS 6.1
Posts: 519

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Question Latency in sound playback using ALSA OSS emulation - tuneable?

Hi all,

I use the standard ALSA drivers in my 2.6.7 kernel (Slackware 10.0). When I play sound back using the ALSA API natively I have very little latency, which is nice. When I play back using OSS emulation the latency is much larger: maybe half a second.

For this reason, I use native ALSA playback wherever possible. This is not possible when playing games: Doom 3 and Return To Castle Wolfenstein use the OSS API for maximum compatibility. Because of this, the spot sound effects are not precisely synchronised with the visuals.

It is not a great problem, because half a second's worth of latency is not so noticeable, but I wondered if there was anything I could do to tune it? My CPU is reasonably good (Athlon XP 3000+) so there should be some scope for me to reduce the audio buffer sizes without getting underruns. Is this possible?


(Other hardware info, audio controller: NForce2 on-board, Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe motherboard).
Old 10-12-2005, 10:21 PM   #2
Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: Slack!
Posts: 150

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What sound card? In my experience AC '97-based sound cards (including basically any onboard sound in existence) really can't perform. Try to get your hands on a Sound Blaster Audigy (the older model - not a SB Audigy2). It's emu10k1 driver works great on anything I can throw at it - even Flash is in sync!
Old 10-13-2005, 01:53 PM   #3
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Bedford, UK
Distribution: Slackware 11.0, LFS 6.1
Posts: 519

Original Poster
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Thanks, but the sound controller isn't the issue here. I have no problems with it using the ALSA drivers. It's a software issue really. I just want less buffering going on when using the emulated OSS API, and wanted to know if I could configure that somehow.

I told you what sound controller it is, it is an on-board NForce2.


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