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Old 12-19-2003, 11:03 PM   #1
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need help configuring C-Media PCI Audio 8738

Like the title says, I am having problem configuring the sound card. Vector linux sound card utility identifies the card beautifully but fails to get it working for me. Vector linux has redhat linux sound card configuration utility and my sound card used to work with redhat linux. ANy help on how to configure it will be greatly appreciated.
P.S I have installed a slackware based linux distro and its going better then the last time I tried installing it
Old 12-21-2003, 11:25 AM   #2
Registered: Aug 2002
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I have the same soundcard and use Slackware, so maybe this will help. I don't know if Vector comes with the same tools as Slack, but it's based on Slack, so keep your fingers crossed.

This is for if you have ALSA installed:

Go into a shell or terminal and su to root.
cd up to the " / " directory
Type in "alsaconf" (w/out quotes for all of these commands)
Then if that works, type in "alsamixer" to set the default volumes.
If that works, type in "alsactl store"
Also, I always " chmod 666 /dev/dsp* /dev/mixer "

Add users who need access to sound to the "sys" group in /etc/groups.

Let me know if you need any help understanding these directions.
Siri Amrit

Last edited by tigerflag; 12-21-2003 at 11:26 AM.
Old 12-21-2003, 03:31 PM   #3
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I also have a C-Media 8738 base sound card. I do get sound, but with only one application at a time. Has anyone been able to play a game with sound while also being able to listen to music in the back ground?
Old 12-21-2003, 04:34 PM   #4
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Georgia
Distribution: Slackware 10.2
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I have an 8738 also.. if anyone can get multiple streams to play at once please let me know. It is a full duplex sound card. I have tried a lot of thing to try to get it to work. Most I can do is have one program using the device and then after it stops it will play the rest of the "queued" sounds from other applications.
Old 12-28-2003, 03:50 PM   #5
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I am still trying to configure my C-Media 8738 (on-board, onboard, on board a7v266e) sound card with alsa. I worked fine with the Debian 3.0 built-in/default c-media module but I could not get it configured for recording, anyway that's why I switched to alsa, but for now it is a headache.

Regarding writing/playing to the sound-card/dsp from multiple programs I think it has to do with configuring the alsa/oss for non blocking mode. I started reading about it in the “Documentation” directory in the alsa-driver.xx.tar.gz distribution. Read these two files (look for stuff about not blocking “opening busy PCM devices”:


If you beat me to figuring out how to do it, please post a response.

Another issue I have is:
When logging-in as root I always get sound (Debian 3.0, starting KDE), but when logging-in as user (member of groups: audio, sys, cdrom, admin... even root) I would occasionally get sound playing on startup, sometimes the sound would come after few minutes, sometimes never.
If anyone knows the solution to this I would appreciate if they can replay.


Ottawa, Canada
Old 12-28-2003, 04:57 PM   #6
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The simplest way of having multiple applications play sounds at the same time is to use a sound server, which is a sort of a software mixer. eSound and arts are two common ones, the former one was originally part of Enlightenment (but has become popular without that particular window manager), and the latter one comes as default with KDE. Configure your applications to use the sound server you're running as output.

I have never used any of my cmpci-based cards for recording so I can't help you with that.



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