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Old 08-04-2003, 11:38 AM   #1
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Registered: Apr 2003
Distribution: Mandrake Linux
Posts: 17

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Question two sound cards

My questions:

Do both cards have to be identical?

Would I be better off using two pci cards rather than mixing pci and isa? (two isa's is not an option, I only have one isa slot)

Are there specific cards that will and will not work together?

My explanation:

I have recently setup a multimedia machine in my living room for playing dvds, music, and for use as a digital vcr using Mandrake 9.1. I have had a linux server in my home a couple years, but I am a newby to setting up a linux workstation.

I want to be able to use two sound cards at once. Sound card "A" would be used by xine or another program say to watch a dvd in the living room. Sound card "B" would be used by xmms to play mp3's over speakers in my one year old's room adjacent to the living room.

I know that you can have more that one sound card, but I have no idea where to begin to set it up.

I currently am using a yamaha pci card. I attempted to install and setup an old sound blaster 16 isa pnp card I found in my parts box, but I could not get it configured. The only way I know to configure it is using sndconfig. When running sndconfig, it detected the card, but when it tryed to play the sample sound, sndconfig exits and gives some errors. I know the card is good, I have an identical one working fine in another computer, and even swapped cards.

Whatever help anyone could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Old 08-04-2003, 02:57 PM   #2
Registered: May 2003
Location: Lisbon Falls, Maine
Distribution: RH 8.0, 9.0, FC2 - 4, Slack 9.0 - 10.2, Knoppix 3.4 - 4.0, LFS,
Posts: 789

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Hmmmmm...... First off, I'm pretty sure that mandy comes with ALSA, and not OSS, so I'll go off of that assumption. It certainly is possible to do, it is more going to be a matter of getting the ALSA config right. I am no expert, but I assume that info can be found on ALSA's website about setting up the alias' correctly so that both cards will function.

Old 08-05-2003, 02:45 AM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Apr 2003
Distribution: Mandrake Linux
Posts: 17

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It works!

I didn't find much in the ALSA documentation other than which cards were not yet supported by ALSA, but then I haven't had the time to sit down and do an exhaustive seach for setting up multiple sound cards.

Here's what I did to make it work:

1. I dropped by a buddy's house on my way home from work and collected all of the pci sound cards from his junk box.

2. I tried each card until I found one that was supported by ALSA and that the Mandrake Control Center would configure. I ended up trying about four cards.

3. I made a copy of /etc/modules.conf

4. I re-installed my yamaha card and configured it using the MDK Control Center.

5. I opened up /etc/modules.conf and the copy I made earlier and edited it to make sure each module is loaded for each card. Before I did this, the yamaha module was loaded for both cards.

6. I rebooted because I wasn't sure what services to restart. When it came back up, everything plays by default through the first card I configured (it is also in the pci slot below the other). I was able to get xmms to play through the 2nd card only by using the OSS driver plugin instead of the ALSA driver. I selected this in the xmms preferences.

Here's what is in my /etc/modules.conf

probeall usb-interface usb-uhci
above snd-cmipci snd-pcm-oss
alias eth0 3c59x
alias sound-slot-0 snd-cmipci
alias synth0 opl3
above snd-ymfpci snd-pcm-oss
alias sound-slot-1 snd-ymfpci
alias synth1 opl3
above snd-cmipci snd-pcm-oss

Hopefully this will be of some help to someone. I am not sure if it is all correct, but it works for me. If anyone sees any errors I should fix, please let me know.


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