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#1 2012-02-12 22:38:13

purzel
Member
Registered: 2012-01-05
Posts: 34

ALSA Jack usb-soundcard problems (SB X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB)

Hey folks,

After successfully using the Creative SB X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB soundcard on arch32 with pulseaudio, I switched to a new laptop (Thinkpad E320 :-)) and arch64 and since then pulseauio is causing nothing but trouble.
Regardless of configuration (stereo/surround) and with tsched=0 a very loud, repetitive clicking noise is audible when pausing or resuming mplayer. After a while it stops, but this can't be the solution.

So I decided to switch to jack2. The sound for stereo is working fine so far, no problems whatsoever, but now I can't configure jack to use  the 6 channel output of my soundcard.

In qjackctl there are three devices for the USB-sound-card:

hw:1 SB X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro
hw:1,0 USB Audio
hw:1,1 USB Audio #1

Only with hw:1,1 and channels=2, jackd will start, otherwise it will give me the error:

23:29:59.521 JACK was started with PID=7056.
could not open component .so '/usr/lib/jack/jack_firewire.so': libffado.so.2: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
jackdmp 1.9.8
Copyright 2001-2005 Paul Davis and others.
Copyright 2004-2011 Grame.
jackdmp comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY
This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it
under certain conditions; see the file COPYING for details
JACK server starting in non-realtime mode
control device hw:0
control device hw:1
audio_reservation_init
Acquire audio card Audio0
Acquire audio card Audio1
creating alsa driver ... hw:1,1|hw:0|1024|3|48000|0|6|nomon|swmeter|-|32bit
control device hw:1
configuring for 48000Hz, period = 1024 frames (21.3 ms), buffer = 3 periods
ALSA: final selected sample format for capture: 32bit integer little-endian
ALSA: use 3 periods for capture
ALSA: final selected sample format for playback: 16bit little-endian
ALSA: cannot set channel count to 6 for playback
ALSA: cannot configure playback channel
Cannot initialize driver
JackServer::Open() failed with -1
Failed to open server
23:29:59.745 JACK was stopped with exit status=255.
23:30:01.658 Could not connect to JACK server as client. - Overall operation failed. - Unable to connect to server. Please check the messages window for more info.
Cannot connect to server socket err = No such file or directory
Cannot connect to server socket
jack server is not running or cannot be started

I'm quite at a loss here since I don't exactly know where to start looking for the real problem. (On a side note, pulseaudio "worked" with 6 channels)

A little bit more info:
uname -a

Linux 3.2.5-1-ARCH #1 SMP PREEMPT Tue Feb 7 08:34:36 CET 2012 x86_64 Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-2330M CPU @ 2.20GHz GenuineIntel GNU/Linux

aplay -L

null
    Discard all samples (playback) or generate zero samples (capture)
pulse
    PulseAudio Sound Server
sysdefault:CARD=PCH
    HDA Intel PCH, CONEXANT Analog
    Default Audio Device
front:CARD=PCH,DEV=0
    HDA Intel PCH, CONEXANT Analog
    Front speakers
surround40:CARD=PCH,DEV=0
    HDA Intel PCH, CONEXANT Analog
    4.0 Surround output to Front and Rear speakers
surround41:CARD=PCH,DEV=0
    HDA Intel PCH, CONEXANT Analog
    4.1 Surround output to Front, Rear and Subwoofer speakers
surround50:CARD=PCH,DEV=0
    HDA Intel PCH, CONEXANT Analog
    5.0 Surround output to Front, Center and Rear speakers
surround51:CARD=PCH,DEV=0
    HDA Intel PCH, CONEXANT Analog
    5.1 Surround output to Front, Center, Rear and Subwoofer speakers
surround71:CARD=PCH,DEV=0
    HDA Intel PCH, CONEXANT Analog
    7.1 Surround output to Front, Center, Side, Rear and Woofer speakers
hdmi:CARD=PCH,DEV=0
    HDA Intel PCH, HDMI 0
    HDMI Audio Output
sysdefault:CARD=Pro
    SB X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro, USB Audio
    Default Audio Device
front:CARD=Pro,DEV=0
    SB X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro, USB Audio
    Front speakers
surround40:CARD=Pro,DEV=0
    SB X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro, USB Audio
    4.0 Surround output to Front and Rear speakers
surround41:CARD=Pro,DEV=0
    SB X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro, USB Audio
    4.1 Surround output to Front, Rear and Subwoofer speakers
surround50:CARD=Pro,DEV=0
    SB X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro, USB Audio
    5.0 Surround output to Front, Center and Rear speakers
surround51:CARD=Pro,DEV=0
    SB X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro, USB Audio
    5.1 Surround output to Front, Center, Rear and Subwoofer speakers
surround71:CARD=Pro,DEV=0
    SB X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro, USB Audio
    7.1 Surround output to Front, Center, Side, Rear and Woofer speakers
iec958:CARD=Pro,DEV=0
    SB X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro, USB Audio
    IEC958 (S/PDIF) Digital Audio Output

My /etc/asound.conf

# convert alsa API over jack API
# use it with
# % aplay foo.wav

# use this as default
pcm.!default {
    type plug
    slave { pcm "jack" }
}

ctl.mixer0 {
    type hw
    card 1
}

# pcm type jack
pcm.jack {
    type jack
    playback_ports {
        0 system:playback_1
        1 system:playback_2
    }
    capture_ports {
        0 system:capture_1
        1 system:capture_2
    }
}

TL;DR

Hardware?: SB X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB
Software?: ALSA + Jack2
Problem?: 6 channel output worked with pulseaudio but not with jack

Thanks for having a look at this!

cheers!
purzel

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#2 2012-02-13 13:46:32

purzel
Member
Registered: 2012-01-05
Posts: 34

Re: ALSA Jack usb-soundcard problems (SB X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB)

Ok, now I've got a headache but I think I've narrowed the problem down somewhat. I think the trick is to find an .asoundrc that somehow configures the card to use all 6 channels and then intertwine it with the jack.
Does perchance anyone happen to use this combination and can paste me his/her .asoundrc?
I've seen some configs for using the card with up and downmixing, making them too complex for me to understand.. and since I will do my mixing in mplayer this is also quite undesired...

cheers!

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#3 2012-02-14 18:38:27

masutu
Member
Registered: 2010-01-30
Posts: 40

Re: ALSA Jack usb-soundcard problems (SB X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB)

have you already read http://alsa.opensrc.org/SurroundSound#U … _with_JACK at the alsa wiki? maybe this is what you are looking for!

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#4 2012-02-15 12:26:50

purzel
Member
Registered: 2012-01-05
Posts: 34

Re: ALSA Jack usb-soundcard problems (SB X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB)

Yeah but then I receive this error..

[user@pc ~]$ jackd -r -d alsa --device jack51 --inchannels 2 --outchannels 6
jackdmp 1.9.8
Copyright 2001-2005 Paul Davis and others.
Copyright 2004-2011 Grame.
jackdmp comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY
This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it
under certain conditions; see the file COPYING for details
could not open component .so '/usr/lib/jack/jack_firewire.so': libffado.so.2: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
could not open driver .so '/usr/lib/jack/jack_firewire.so': libffado.so.2: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
jack_get_descriptor returns null for 'jack_firewire.so'
could not open component .so '/usr/lib/jack/jack_firewire.so': libffado.so.2: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
JACK server starting in non-realtime mode
audio_reservation_init
Failed to acquire device name : Audio1 error : Method "RequestRelease" with signature "i" on interface "org.freedesktop.ReserveDevice1" doesn't exist

Audio device jack51 cannot be acquired...
Cannot initialize driver
JackServer::Open() failed with -1
Failed to open server

with this asound.conf

ctl.jack51 {
    type hw
    card 1
}

pcm.jack51 {
    # "asym" allows for different
    # handling of in/out devices
    type asym
    playback.pcm {
         # route for mmap workaround
         type plug
         slave.pcm "surround51"
         slave.channels 6
         route_policy duplicate
    }
    capture.pcm {
        # 2 channels only
        type hw
        card 1
    }
}

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#5 2012-02-15 20:59:48

purzel
Member
Registered: 2012-01-05
Posts: 34

Re: ALSA Jack usb-soundcard problems (SB X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB)

Ok I think I'm giving up now, I've searched for several hours and it appears the main problem is, that the soundcard is only recognized as full speed USB 1.1 device and not as USB 2.0 as it should.
I've read several posts of people how managed to get this device working with pulseaudio (as is/was true for me) but it seems the bandwidth is not wide(?) enough to support anything beyond 44.1kHz/16bit on 6 channels. which is quite the point buying such a relative expensive device.
There is already a bug-report filed on this but it is nearly a year old so it seems there is little hope on getting a patch for this (since only two devices are affected anyhow (1090/1095)).
I'm still a bit suprised how few devices are available for surround sound via USB compared to the amount of pci(e) cards..

cheers!

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#6 2013-03-25 20:58:26

EvanCarroll
Member
Registered: 2013-03-25
Posts: 1

Re: ALSA Jack usb-soundcard problems (SB X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB)

I filed a bug report here, http://tracker.ardour.org/view.php?id=5405

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