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stf92 11-06-2010 05:09 PM

What are the most usual ALSA utilities in GNU/Linux based operating systems?

There is a package, in the slackware distros, alsa-utils-xxxx.tgz by name, xxxx = some version #, with stuff such as alsamixer, arecordmidi, aplay, etcetera. Are these programs typical of a GNU/Linux O.S. or, on the contrary, few distros include them?

I have being googling and searching wikipedia in order to answer this question, but with no results. On the other hand, I understand ALSA is a main component in linux systems sound/audio subarchitecture(?).


Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (known by the acronym ALSA) is a Linux kernel component ...

But then, utilities associated with ALSA, I bet are a must in a linux system.

Well..., I have just learned ALSA was added for kernel >= 2.5 and at the same time OSS was deprecated! All the more so, then, those applications ought to be typical of a GNU/Linux O.S., I guess. Am I right? All the best.

EDIT: At the risk of being tiresome, I dare ask the analogous question in regard to cdrecord. Is it a main component of most linux systems?

aus9 11-06-2010 06:53 PM


I am not sure what sound problems you are having to ask this question but each kernel may have a different alsa so try


cat /proc/asound/version
your alsa-utils version will be seen by checking your package manager pls.

2) because different distros are free to distribute whatever Gnu/Linux or GPL variants there are around they are not forced to include your version of the utils package or include it at all.

However I suggest most make it available in their repositories and certainly the main distros do.

So either way if you try a diff distro you can install it if its not automatically included

good luck

I am not a burner so suggest you separate post cdrecord

stf92 11-06-2010 08:24 PM

Thank you aus9 for your kind reply. It's more of a general problem than a particular one. You'll see. Just now, my problem is an insignificant one. I happened to record audio into a WAVE file, via the arecord command, and now I realize I did it with the recording level at 100%. The outcome, distortion.

And I assumed I could fix the file by using software in the alsa-utils. As I am no expert, in order to do this, I thought LQ could be a good source of info, as it generally is. But here comes the everlasting question: what could be the most suitable LQ forum for me to refer to? Two possibilities: either every linux user is acquainted with the alsa-utils tools, assuming he has some interest in audio/computer stuff, or this is not the case (pretty tautology). In fact I tended to believe the former was the most likely case.

Now, thanks to your post, I know I can rely on a generalized knowledge, by LQ users interested in sound, of command line tools for ALSA. I recognize all this may sound ridiculous, but consider every now and then I find myself involved in audio tasks like the present one. So what I need is kind of a general solution to a wide class of audio related problems. And a good starting point is to know where to look for advise, i.e., what is the more suitable forum for the case. Pity LQ has no multimedia forum, though.

I could have answered your question by simply stating that I have no sound problems at all, with the possible exception of this trifle, at the present time. So it only remains for me, to determine at which forum I would get the more useful and faster reply. Although I always can accelerate the process, by making inroad into the alsa-utils manuals. I'll look into the LQ tutors to see if I find something about sound recording and digital signal processing. Please forgive the length of this post and all the best.

frankbell 11-06-2010 08:34 PM

I'm not an ALSA expert, but it seems to primarily for sound driver management, not for audio editing.

I would suggest taking a look at Audacity; it's specifically a sound editor. There are Slackbuilds for versions 11 up.

stf92 11-06-2010 10:03 PM

Yes. I think I'll download the slackbuilds for audacity once and for all. They even have it for the exact slack version I am running.

Your tip about ALSA makes much sense to me, not withstanding the little I know about the audio/computer thing. For instance, it is easily seen that alsamixer does no other thing than pass commands to the driver(s) under user supervision. LQ forever.

aus9 11-07-2010 06:51 AM

try sox?

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