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Old 06-25-2009, 08:54 PM   #1
i92guboj
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Is audigy+alsa a lost cause?


Disclaimer: take this with a grain of salt. I am particularly picky about the state of the sound system in linux. I truly think it is not in good shape so just bear with me.

The story.

I migrated long about to oss4 because I could not stand alsa any longer. It's overly complicated to configure. I am one of these strange persons that think that you shouldn't need to read a bible just to understand how to get a 5.1 speaker set working.

However oss4 is not any better in some regards. It works with software mixing and the whole speaker set just out of the box. That's way better that what alsa can do. But in oss4 you don't get midi (yes, I know the work is ongoing, it's been that way for a long time). To make the things worse, no serious audio applicaiton will work with oss4 (and some of them not even with oss3, but I really don't care about that).

I am giving alsa another try but the thing seems even worse than in the past. Alsamixer worked from the beginning, however I was getting no sound, I've solved that, I had to *mute* (yes, mute, not un-mute) one control called IEC958 so I could get sound.

The rest of the controls are *all of them but one* useless. They don't do a thing at all. Only one of them does actually something, it's called "ANALOG F", which I guess stands for "analog front".

I haven't even have a master channel, nor a pcm one, I can't use any dockapp applets because they all expect at least a master channel and a pcm channel (yes, I know that's too much to ask from a sound driver), everything goes weirder and weirder.

Only the front side speakers work, by the way, but well, I am leaving the speaker thing appart until I can get this thing working normally. speaker-test -c6 works only for the two front-side speakers. No center, no rear, no woofer.

I am using a 2.6.30 kernel, with the in-kernel snd_ca0106 driver. Alsa version seems to be 1.0.20, which is the latest release I think.

I am using no .asoundrc because everything I try only makes the things worse.

The questions: I would really like to get a decent mixer setting, so all the sane applications in the world can work decently. That's the first milestone.

The second one would be to get working the 5.1 speakers.

Maybe both problems could be solved with a decent asoundrc file, maybe this is all the result of my own lack of knowledge about alsa, but well... I'll better shut up now and wait for any response that anyone can give.


Thanks for reading, and for any possible answer you can give. It's much appreciated.

Last edited by i92guboj; 06-25-2009 at 09:01 PM.
 
Old 06-27-2009, 08:04 AM   #2
jay73
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So which audigy would that be? Someone here recommended me the ASUS Xonar for my new system because "audigy sucks" and the Xonar would give me that many more options. Well, no way. The Audigy Soundblaster has like a million more controls (plus it costs less than half the money without sounding so much the poorer...). Anyway, alsa works fine with the soundblaster series as does pulseaudio. It is true that other audigy cards are not as well supported, though, but with driver information having been made available only recently, what else did you expect?

Last edited by jay73; 06-27-2009 at 08:05 AM.
 
Old 06-28-2009, 10:48 AM   #3
i92guboj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay73 View Post
what else did you expect?
A master control. But, as I say, maybe that's too much to expect from a sound driver... Maybe I am crazy to expect such a simple functionality...

That hasn't anything to do with having a tech sheet of the card. A master control is just a convenient way to mute, unmute, or change the levels of all the rest of the controls with a single click or a key combo. And the complete full of profesional audio applications require a master channel to operate properly.

The card is this one:

Code:
02:09.0 Multimedia audio controller: Creative Labs CA0106 Soundblaster

Last edited by i92guboj; 06-28-2009 at 10:50 AM.
 
Old 06-28-2009, 11:47 AM   #4
jay73
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That would appear to be the SE version. It should simply work for all I know.
Maybe this can be of some use?

Last edited by jay73; 06-28-2009 at 11:56 AM.
 
Old 06-28-2009, 11:58 AM   #5
i92guboj
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Onboard audio is disabled in the BIOS, and the driver for it is not in my kernel anyway.

It shouldn't have anything to do with that even if it was enabled anyway.

There are more persons having this problem. I haven't found a solution still, I guess I will have to read another bible to solve this. The fact that dmix doesn't work with surround enabled is also very annoying. The alsa driver for this card just sucks. Period.

Thanks for the answers though, ideas are always welcome

Last edited by i92guboj; 06-28-2009 at 11:59 AM.
 
Old 06-28-2009, 11:59 AM   #6
jay73
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Please see previous post again for a link; you seem to have posted back before I had completed my edits.
 
Old 06-28-2009, 12:11 PM   #7
i92guboj
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Thanks so much.

It doesn't work, but it's a starting point, I will investigate in that direction. There must be a bug or whatever in the ca0106 driver or something... In principle, dmix should just work for all cards that can't do hardware mixing.

Anyway, if I can't solve this, I will probably end buying another card. It's a nonsense to have these kind of problems with a card that's soooo common and broadly used.
 
Old 09-10-2009, 10:05 AM   #8
i92guboj
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The latest alsa drivers do fix the master channel issue. Dmix still doesn't work with surround though.
 
  


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