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#1 2005-04-07 03:48:24

vik2483
Member
Registered: 2005-04-07
Posts: 4

*very* strange dual sound cards and ALSA problem

I'm currently running archlinux with two sound cards installed.  ALSA detects them just fine.  The first card is an intel8x0 onboard chipset and the second is an audigy ls.  I'm running into a strange problem that I can't seem to find a solution to. 

If both cards are active (IE onboard sound is enabled from BIOS), ALSA detects both and loads the drivers correctly.  Now, when I run xmms, if I choose the first sound card (hw:0,0), which is the onboard chip (and incidently default) it plays through it just fine.  When I switch the alsa output in the xmms config dialog to (hw:1,0) (the audigy ls) I hear the music but it's chops at regular, quick intervals and I think it is also playing back too fast (from what I can make out).  Other programs trying to using ALSA with the audigy ls also have problems.  For example, xine or mplayer will play back a movie with the sound coming from the audigy but I can't control the volume at all. 

However, when I disable onboard sound, ALSA loads my regular sound card (audigy ls) fine and all the applications play through it just fine without any hitches or problems.  It seems to ONLY happen when I have both sound cards enabled (by enabling the onboard sound in BIOS).  I know this because I tried forcing the audigy ls to be the default sound card thinking that could be the problem (by editing my asound.conf file) and with both cards enabled at boot.  After I reboot with the new asound.conf, the same problem arises with xmms, mplayer, xine, etc. 

**EDIT** It seems the mplayer/xine problem still persist even after disabling the onboard sound.  However, xmms plays back mp3s just fine, but ONLY if i select device as "default" instead of (hw:0,0).  I'm thinking it's either an audigy driver bug, or more likely, i'm not setting my asound.conf correctly.

Further, I believe some of the sound playback is just fine through my audigy ls card when both cards are enabled.  For example, running "aplay /usr/share/sounds/gaim/alert.wav" seems to playback just fine on my audigy ls when both cards enabled.  Doing "aoss mpg321 /path/to/some/mp3" plays back the mp3 just fine. 

What is also funny is that using the xmms OSS driver seems to playback only to my onboard card even though that's not my default as set by my asound.conf.

Here is the output of "cat /proc/asound/cards" :

0 [ICH5           ]: ICH4 - Intel ICH5
                     Intel ICH5 with ALC650F at 0xfc001000, irq 17
1 [CA0106         ]: CA0106 - CA0106
                     AudigyLS [SB0310] at 0xa400 irq 23

here is my asound.conf (this is when I try to force the audigy ls card to be default pcm device):

pcm.dsp {
    type plug
    slave.pcm "dmixer-audigy"
}

pcm.dsp0 {
    type plug
    slave.pcm "dmixer-audigy"
}

pcm.!default {
    type plug
    slave.pcm "dmixer-audigy"
   
}

ctl.!default {
    type hw           
    card 1
}

pcm.dmixer-audigy  {
    type dmix
    ipc_key 1024
    slave {
        pcm "hw:1,0"
        period_time 0
        period_size 1024
        buffer_size 4096
        rate 44100
    }
    bindings {
        0 0
        1 1
    }
}
 
ctl.dmixer-audigy {
    type hw
    card 1
}

here is the output of my lsmod (relevant modules shown):

snd_ca0106             31140  3
snd_intel8x0           34624  0
snd_ac97_codec         79224  2 snd_ca0106,snd_intel8x0
snd_pcm_oss            56224  0
snd_mixer_oss          21120  1 snd_pcm_oss
snd_pcm                98564  4 snd_ca0106,snd_intel8x0,snd_ac97_codec,snd_pcm_oss
snd_timer              27268  1 snd_pcm
snd                    59492  13 snd_ca0106,snd_intel8x0,snd_ac97_codec,snd_pcm_oss,snd_mixer_oss,snd_pcm,snd_timer
soundcore              10848  1 snd

I'm at my wits end, I'd appreciate any help. 

On a side note, anyone know how to force modules not to be loaded at boot time?  I ask because I'm trying to disable the pcspkr module from loading but even if I edit my /etc/rc.conf file and type "!pcspkr" in the MODULES section, it still gets loaded.

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#2 2005-04-07 09:38:31

tomk
Forum Fellow
From: Ireland
Registered: 2004-07-21
Posts: 9,837

Re: *very* strange dual sound cards and ALSA problem

Can't help you with your sound cards, except to suggest that you just stick to the Audigy - surely its better that the onboard anyway?

Hotplug loads pcspkr, so you need to put it on hotplug's blacklist.

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#3 2005-04-08 02:53:15

vik2483
Member
Registered: 2005-04-07
Posts: 4

Re: *very* strange dual sound cards and ALSA problem

Thanks for the tip on hotplug.  I just removed the audigy card since it doesn't play back correctly in xmms/xine/mplayer even with onboard disabled.  I guess either 1.) I need to set up my asound.conf some special way to get the audigy to playback correctly 2.) the audigy ls driver is somewhat buggy.  Now i'm using onboard without a problem.

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#4 2005-04-08 08:20:31

iphitus
Forum Fellow
From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: 2004-10-09
Posts: 4,927

Re: *very* strange dual sound cards and ALSA problem

Try disabling dmix with the audigy, im *sure* that audigys do real hardware mixing.

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#5 2005-04-08 22:18:27

vik2483
Member
Registered: 2005-04-07
Posts: 4

Re: *very* strange dual sound cards and ALSA problem

actually the audigy ls is one of the few crappy cards that has no hardware mixing.. it doesn't even uses the emu10k1 chipset, but the ca0106 chipset.  The reason it was so cheap was that the drivers provide the software mixing.  I guess I learned my lesson with this one sad.

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#6 2005-04-09 02:44:57

neotuli
Lazy Developer
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: 2004-07-06
Posts: 1,201
Website

Re: *very* strange dual sound cards and ALSA problem

Open up any old alsa mixer and play with the AC97 levels...they have some odd effects..sometimes things like chop.


The suggestion box only accepts patches.

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