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1 <?xml version='1.0' encoding="UTF-8"?>
2
3 <!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd">
4
5 <guide link="/doc/en/alsa-guide.xml">
6 <title>Gentoo Linux ALSA Guide</title>
7
8 <author title="Author">
9 <mail link="fox2mike@gmail.com">Shyam Mani</mail>
10 </author>
11
12 <abstract>
13 This document helps a user setup ALSA on Gentoo Linux.
14 </abstract>
15
16 <!-- The content of this document is licensed under the CC-BY-SA license -->
17 <!-- See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0 -->
18 <license/>
19
20 <version>2.0</version>
21 <date>2005-06-07</date>
22
23 <chapter>
24 <title>Introduction</title>
25 <section>
26 <title>What is ALSA?</title>
27 <body>
28
29 <p>
30 ALSA, which stands for <e>Advanced Linux Sound Architecture</e>, provides
31 audio and MIDI (<e>Musical Instrument Digital Interface</e>) functionality to
32 the Linux operating system. ALSA is the default sound subsystem in the 2.6
33 kernel thereby replacing OSS (<e>Open Sound System</e>), which was used in the
34 2.4 kernels.
35 </p>
36
37 <p>
38 ALSA's main features include efficient support for all types of audio
39 interfaces ranging from consumer sound cards to professional sound
40 equipment, fully modularized drivers, SMP and thread safety, backward
41 compatibility with OSS and a user-space library <c>alsa-lib</c> to make
42 application development a breeze.
43 </p>
44
45 </body>
46 </section>
47 <section>
48 <title>ALSA on Gentoo</title>
49 <body>
50
51 <p>
52 One of Gentoo's main strengths lies in giving the user maximum control over
53 how a system is installed/configured. ALSA on Gentoo follows the same
54 principle. There are two ways you can get ALSA support up and running on your
55 system. We shall look at them in detail in the next chapter.
56 </p>
57
58 </body>
59 </section>
60 </chapter>
61
62 <chapter>
63 <title>Installing ALSA</title>
64 <section>
65 <title>Options</title>
66 <body>
67
68 <warn>
69 The methods shown below are mutually exclusive. You cannot have ALSA compiled
70 in your kernel and use <c>media-sound/alsa-driver</c>. It <e>will</e> fail.
71 </warn>
72
73 <impo>
74 <c>genkernel</c> users have their config built such a way that the ALSA
75 sub-system in the kernel is active. Therefore <c>genkernel</c> users can
76 proceed to the <uri link="#alsa-utilities">ALSA Utilities</uri> section
77 directly.
78 </impo>
79
80 <p>
81 The two options are :
82 </p>
83
84 <ol>
85 <li>
86 Use ALSA provided by your kernel. This is the preferred/recommended
87 method.
88 </li>
89 <li>
90 Use Gentoo's <c>media-sound/alsa-driver</c> package.
91 </li>
92 </ol>
93
94 <p>
95 We shall take a peek into both before finally deciding on one.
96 </p>
97
98 <p>
99 If you were to use ALSA provided by the kernel, the following are the pros and
100 cons :
101 </p>
102
103 <table>
104 <tr>
105 <th>Kernel ALSA</th>
106 <th>Pros and Cons</th>
107 </tr>
108 <tr>
109 <th>+</th>
110 <ti>Pretty stable as drivers are integrated into kernel.</ti>
111 </tr>
112 <tr>
113 <th>+</th>
114 <ti>One shot solution, no repeating emerges.</ti>
115 </tr>
116 <tr>
117 <th>-</th>
118 <ti>Might be a slightly older version than <c>alsa-driver</c>.</ti>
119 </tr>
120 </table>
121
122 <p>
123 And, if you were to use alsa-driver,
124 </p>
125
126 <table>
127 <tr>
128 <th>alsa-driver</th>
129 <th>Pros and Cons</th>
130 </tr>
131 <tr>
132 <th>+</th>
133 <ti>Latest drivers from the ALSA Project.</ti>
134 </tr>
135 <tr>
136 <th>-</th>
137 <ti>Every kernel recompile requires a re-emerge of <c>alsa-driver</c>.</ti>
138 </tr>
139 <tr>
140 <th>-</th>
141 <ti>Needs certain kernel config options disabled to work correctly.</ti>
142 </tr>
143 </table>
144
145 </body>
146 </section>
147 <section>
148 <title>So...</title>
149 <body>
150
151 <p>
152 The main difference between using <c>alsa-driver</c> and ALSA that comes with
153 the kernel is that <c>alsa-driver</c> is generally more up to date than the
154 version in the kernel. Since this does not make any huge difference as
155 such, you are encouraged to use the ALSA provided by the kernel.
156 </p>
157
158 </body>
159 </section>
160 <section id="lspci">
161 <title>Before you proceed</title>
162 <body>
163
164 <p>
165 Whichever method of install you choose, you need to know what drivers your
166 sound card uses. <c>lspci</c> will help you in digging out the required
167 information. Please <c>emerge sys-apps/pciutils</c> to get <c>lspci</c>, if
168 you don't have it installed already. We now proceed to find out details about
169 the sound card.
170 </p>
171
172 <pre caption="Soundcard Details">
173 # <i>lspci -v | grep -i audio</i>
174 0000:00:0a.0 Multimedia audio controller: Creative Labs SB Live! EMU10k1 (rev 06)
175 </pre>
176
177 <p>
178 We now know that the sound card on the machine is a Sound Blaster Live! and
179 the card manufacturer is Creative Labs. Head over to the
180 <uri link="http://www.alsa-project.org/alsa-doc/"> ALSA Soundcard Matrix</uri>
181 page and select Creative Labs from the drop down menu. You will be taken to
182 the Creative Labs matrix page where you can see that the SB Live! uses the
183 <c>emu10k1</c> module. That is the information we need for now. If you are
184 interested in detailed information, you can click on the link next to the
185 "Details" and that will take you to the <c>emu10k1</c> specific page.
186 </p>
187
188 </body>
189 </section>
190 <section id="kernel">
191 <title>Using ALSA provided by your Kernel</title>
192 <body>
193
194 <p>
195 If you're a person who likes to keep things simple like I do, then this is
196 the way to go.
197 </p>
198
199 <note>
200 Since the 2005.0 release, Gentoo Linux uses 2.6 as the default kernel. Unless
201 you are specifically using the 2.4 profile, <c>gentoo-sources</c> will be a
202 2.6 kernel on <e>most</e> architectures. Please check that your kernel is a
203 2.6 series kernel. This method will <e>not</e> work on a 2.4 kernel.
204 </note>
205
206 <p>
207 Let us now configure the kernel to enable ALSA.
208 </p>
209
210 <pre caption="Heading over to the source">
211 # <i>cd /usr/src/linux</i>
212 # <i>make menuconfig</i>
213 </pre>
214
215 <note>
216 The above example assumes that <path>/usr/src/linux</path> symlink points to
217 the kernel sources you want to use. Please ensure the same before proceeding.
218 </note>
219
220 <p>
221 Now we will look at some of the options we will have to enable in the 2.6
222 kernel to ensure proper ALSA support for our sound card.
223 </p>
224
225 <note>
226 Please note that for the sake of ease, all examples show a modular kernel. It
227 is advisable to follow the same. Please do <e>not</e> skip the
228 <uri link="#alsa-config">Configuration</uri> section of this document. If
229 you still like to have options built-in, ensure that you make changes to your
230 config accordingly.
231 </note>
232
233 <pre caption="Kernel Options for ALSA">
234 Device Drivers ---&gt;
235 Sound ---&gt;
236
237 <comment>(This needs to be enabled)</comment>
238 &lt;M&gt; Sound card support
239
240 <comment>(Make sure OSS is disabled)</comment>
241 Open Sound System ---&gt;
242 &lt; &gt; Open Sound System (DEPRECATED)
243
244 <comment>(Move one step back and enter ALSA)</comment>
245 Advanced Linux Sound Architecture ---&gt;
246 &lt;M&gt; Advanced Linux Sound Architecture
247 <comment>(Select this if you want MIDI sequencing and routing)</comment>
248 &lt;M&gt; Sequencer support
249 <comment>(Old style /dev/mixer* and /dev/dsp* support. Recommended.)</comment>
250 &lt;M&gt; OSS Mixer API
251 &lt;M&gt; OSS PCM (digital audio) API
252
253 <comment>(You now have a choice of devices to enable support for. Generally,
254 you will have one type of device and not more. If you have more than one
255 sound card, please enable them all here.)</comment>
256
257 <comment>(Mostly for testing and development purposes, not needed for normal
258 users unless you know what you are doing.)</comment>
259 Generic devices ---&gt;
260
261 <comment>(For ISA Sound cards)</comment>
262 ISA devices ---&gt;
263 <comment>(IF you had the Gravis, you would select this option)</comment>
264 &lt;M&gt; Gravis UltraSound Extreme
265
266 <comment>(Move one level back and into PCI devices. Most sound cards today are
267 PCI devices)</comment>
268 PCI devices ---&gt;
269 <comment>(We now select the emu10k1 driver for our card)</comment>
270 &lt;M&gt; Emu10k1 (SB Live!, Audigy, E-mu APS)
271 <comment>(Or an Intel card would be)</comment>
272 &lt;M&gt; Intel/SiS/nVidia/AMD/ALi AC97 Controller
273 <comment>(Or if you have a VIA Card)</comment>
274 &lt;M&gt; VIA 82C686A/B, 8233/8235 AC97 Controller
275
276 <comment>(Move one level back and select in case you have an USB sound card)</comment>
277 USB Devices ---&gt;
278 </pre>
279
280 <p>
281 Now that your options are set, you can (re)compile the kernel and ALSA support
282 for your card should be functional once you reboot into the new kernel.
283 You can now proceed to <uri link="#alsa-utilities">ALSA Utilities</uri> and
284 see if everything is working as it should.
285 </p>
286
287 </body>
288 </section>
289 <section id="alsa-driver">
290 <title>Using the ALSA Driver package</title>
291 <body>
292
293 <p>
294 So you've decided to go the <c>alsa-driver</c> way. Let's get started then.
295 There are a few minor things to be done to ensure only the drivers for your
296 sound card are compiled. Although this is not really necessary, it cuts down
297 on the unnecessary drivers that will be compiled otherwise.
298 </p>
299
300 <p>
301 If you don't have an idea of what drivers your sound card might need, please
302 take a look at the <uri link="#lspci">lspci</uri> section of this guide. Once
303 you have your driver name (<c>emu10k1</c> in our example), edit
304 <path>/etc/make.conf</path> and add a variable, <c>ALSA_CARDS</c>.
305 </p>
306
307 <pre caption="Adding ALSA_CARDS to make.conf">
308 <comment>(For one sound card)</comment>
309 ALSA_CARDS="emu10k1"
310 <comment>(For more than one, seperate names with spaces)</comment>
311 ALSA_CARDS="emu10k1 via82xx"
312 </pre>
313
314 <p>
315 If you have compiled your kernel and want to use <c>alsa-driver</c>, please
316 ensure the following before proceeding, else <c>alsa-driver</c> is likely to
317 fail. The next code listing gives you one way of performing the checks.
318 </p>
319
320 <ol>
321 <li>
322 <c>CONFIG_SOUND</c> is set. (Basic Sound support enabled)
323 </li>
324 <li>
325 <c>CONFIG_SOUND_PRIME</c> is not set. (In-built OSS support disabled)
326 </li>
327 <li>
328 <c>CONFIG_SND</c> is not set. (In-built ALSA support disabled)
329 </li>
330 <li>
331 <path>/usr/src/linux</path> points to the kernel you want ALSA working on.
332 </li>
333 </ol>
334
335 <pre caption=".config checks">
336 <comment>(Assuming the linux symlink points to the correct kernel)</comment>
337 # <i>cd /usr/src/linux</i>
338 # <i>grep SOUND .config</i>
339 <comment>(1. is true)</comment>
340 CONFIG_SOUND=y
341 <comment>(2. is true)</comment>
342 CONFIG_SOUND_PRIME is not set
343 # <i>grep SND .config</i>
344 <comment>(and 3. is true)</comment>
345 CONFIG_SND is not set
346 </pre>
347
348 <p>
349 Now all you have to do is type the magic words...and no, its not abracadabra.
350 </p>
351
352 <pre caption="Installing alsa-driver">
353 # <i>emerge alsa-driver</i>
354 </pre>
355
356 <impo>
357 Please note that you will have to run <c>emerge alsa-driver</c> after every
358 kernel (re)compile, as the earlier drivers are deleted.
359 </impo>
360
361 </body>
362 </section>
363 </chapter>
364
365 <chapter>
366 <title>Configuring/Testing ALSA</title>
367 <section id="alsa-utilities">
368 <title>ALSA Utilities</title>
369 <body>
370
371 <p>
372 <c>alsa-utils</c> forms an integral part of ALSA as it has a truckload of
373 programs that are highly useful, including the ALSA Initscripts. Hence we
374 strongly recommend that you install <c>alsa-utils</c>
375 </p>
376
377 <pre caption="Install alsa-utils">
378 # <i>emerge alsa-utils</i>
379 </pre>
380
381 <note>
382 If you activated ALSA in your <uri link="#kernel">kernel</uri> <e>and</e> did
383 not compile ALSA as modules, please proceed to the
384 <uri link="#initscript">ALSA Initscript</uri> section. The rest of you need
385 to configure ALSA. This is made very easy by the existence of the
386 <c>alsaconf</c> tool provided by <c>alsa-utils</c>.
387 </note>
388
389 </body>
390 </section>
391 <section id="alsa-config">
392 <title>Configuration</title>
393 <body>
394
395 <note>
396 Please shut down any programs that <e>might</e> access the sound card while
397 running <c>alsaconf</c>.
398 </note>
399
400 <p>
401 The easiest way to configure your sound card is to run <c>alsaconf</c>. Just
402 type <c>alsaconf</c> in a shell as root.
403 </p>
404
405 <pre caption="Invoking alsaconf">
406 # <i>alsaconf</i>
407 </pre>
408
409 <p>
410 You will now see a neat menu guided interface that will automatically probe
411 your devices and try to find out your sound card. You will be asked to pick
412 your sound card from a list. Once that's done, it will ask you permission to
413 automatically make required changes to <path>/etc/modules.d/alsa</path>.
414 It will then adjust your volume settings to optimum levels and run
415 <c>modules-update</c> and starts the <path>/etc/init.d/alsasound</path>
416 service. Once <c>alsaconf</c> exits, you can proceed with setting up the ALSA
417 initscript.
418 </p>
419
420 </body>
421 </section>
422 <section id="initscript">
423 <title>ALSA Initscript</title>
424 <body>
425
426 <p>
427 We're now almost all setup. Whichever method you chose to install ALSA, you'll
428 need to have something load your modules or initialize ALSA and restore your
429 volume settings when your system comes up. The ALSA Initscript handles all of
430 this for you and is called <c>alsasound</c>. Add it to the default run-level.
431 </p>
432
433 <pre caption="Adding ALSA to default">
434 # <i>rc-update add alsasound default</i>
435 * alsasound added to runlevel default
436 * rc-update complete.
437 </pre>
438
439 <p>
440 Next, just check the <path>/etc/conf.d/alsasound</path> file and ensure that
441 SAVE_ON_STOP variable is set to yes. This saves your sound settings when you
442 shutdown your system.
443 </p>
444
445 </body>
446 </section>
447 <section>
448 <title>Volume Check!</title>
449 <body>
450
451 <p>
452 We've completed all the setups and pre-requisites, so let's fire up ALSA. If
453 you ran <c>alsaconf</c>, you can skip this step, since <c>alsaconf</c> already
454 does this for you.
455 </p>
456
457 <pre caption="Start the service">
458 <comment>(Modular Kernels)</comment>
459 # <i>/etc/init.d/alsasound start</i>
460 * Loading ALSA modules ...
461 * Loading: snd-card-0 ... [ ok ]
462 * Loading: snd-pcm-oss ... [ ok ]
463 * Loading: snd-seq ... [ ok ]
464 * Loading: snd-emu10k1-synth ... [ ok ]
465 * Loading: snd-seq-midi ... [ ok ]
466 * Restoring Mixer Levels ... [ ok ]
467 <comment>(ALSA compiled in)</comment>
468 # <i>/etc/init.d/alsasound start</i>
469 * Loading ALSA modules ...
470 * Restoring Mixer Levels ... [ ok ]
471 </pre>
472
473 <p>
474 Now that the required things have been take care of, we need to check up on
475 the volume as in certain cases, it is muted. We use <c>alsamixer</c> for this purpose.
476 </p>
477
478 <pre caption="Starting alsamixer">
479 <comment>(Opens up a console program. Only required settings are shown)</comment>
480 # <i>alsamixer</i>
481 </pre>
482
483 <p>
484 This is how the ALSA Mixer <e>might</e> look the first time you open it. Pay
485 attention to the Master and PCM channels which both have an MM below them.
486 That means they are muted. If you try to play anything with <c>alsamixer</c>
487 in this state, you will not hear anything on your speakers.
488 </p>
489
490 <figure link="/images/docs/alsa-mixermuted.png" short="AlsaMixer Muted" caption="The Alsa Mixer Main Window, Muted"/>
491
492 <p>
493 Now, we shall unmute the channels, and set volume levels as needed.
494 </p>
495
496 <warn>
497 Both Master <e>and</e> PCM need to be unmuted and set to audible volume levels if
498 you want to hear some output on your speakers.
499 </warn>
500
501 <ul>
502 <li>
503 To move between channels, use your left and right arrow keys. (&lt;-
504 &amp; -&gt;)
505 </li>
506 <li>
507 To toggle mute, move to the specific channel, for example Master and press
508 the <e>m</e> key on the keyboard.
509 </li>
510 <li>
511 To increase and decrease the volume levels, use the up and down arrow keys
512 respectively.
513 </li>
514 </ul>
515
516 <note>
517 Be careful when setting your Bass and Treble values. 50 is usually a good
518 number for both. Extremely high values of Bass may cause <e>jarring</e>
519 on speakers that are not designed to handle them.
520 </note>
521
522 <p>
523 After you're all done, your ALSA Mixer should look similar to the one below.
524 Note the 00 instead of the MM and also the volume levels for some optimum
525 settings.
526 </p>
527
528 <figure link="/images/docs/alsa-mixerunmuted.png" short="AlsaMixer Unmuted" caption="Alsa Mixer ready to roll"/>
529
530 </body>
531 </section>
532 <section>
533 <title>Sound Check!</title>
534 <body>
535
536 <p>
537 Finally. Some music. If everything above is perfect, you should be able to now
538 listen to some good music. A quick way to test is to use a command line tool
539 like <c>media-sound/madplay</c>. You could also use something more well known
540 like <c>mpg123</c> or <c>xmms</c>. If you are an ogg fan, you could use
541 <c>ogg123</c> provided by <c>media-sound/vorbis-tools</c>. Use any player you
542 are comfortable with. As always, <c>emerge</c> what you need.
543 </p>
544
545 <pre caption="Getting the software">
546 <comment>(Install the applications you want)</comment>
547 # <i>emerge madplay mpg123 xmms</i>
548 <comment>(To play .ogg files)</comment>
549 # <i>emerge vorbis-tools</i>
550 </pre>
551
552 <p>
553 And then play your favorite sound track...
554 </p>
555
556 <pre caption="Playing Music">
557 # <i>madplay -v /mnt/shyam/Music/Paul\ Oakenfold\ -\ Dread\ Rock.mp3</i>
558 MPEG Audio Decoder 0.15.2 (beta) - Copyright (C) 2000-2004 Robert Leslie et al.
559 Title: Dread Rock
560 Artist: Paul Oakenfold
561 Album: Matrix Reloaded
562 Year: 2003
563 Genre: Soundtrack
564 Soundtrack
565 00:04:19 Layer III, 160 kbps, 44100 Hz, joint stereo (MS), no CRC
566
567 # <i>ogg123 Paul\ Oakenfold\ -\ Dread\ Rock.ogg</i>
568 Audio Device: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) output
569
570 Playing: Paul Oakenfold - Dread Rock.ogg
571 Ogg Vorbis stream: 2 channel, 44100 Hz
572 Genre: Soundtrack
573 Transcoded: mp3;160
574 Title: Dread Rock
575 Artist: Paul Oakenfold
576 Date: 2003
577 Album: Matrix Reloaded
578 Time: 00:11.31 [04:28.75] of 04:40.06 (200.6 kbps) Output Buffer 96.9%
579 </pre>
580
581 </body>
582 </section>
583 <section>
584 <title>Issues?</title>
585 <body>
586
587 <p>
588 If for some reason you're unable to hear sound, the first thing to do would
589 be to check your <uri link="#doc_chap3_pre5">alsamixer</uri> settings. 80% of
590 the issues lie with muted channels or low volume. Also check your Window
591 Manager's sound applet and verify that volumes are set to audible levels.
592 </p>
593
594 <p>
595 <path>/proc</path> is your friend. And in this case, <path>/proc/asound</path>
596 is your best friend. We shall just take a short look at how much info is made
597 available to us there.
598 </p>
599
600 <pre caption="Fun with /proc/asound">
601 <comment>(First and foremost, if /proc/asound/cards shows your card, ALSA has
602 picked up your sound card fine.)</comment>
603 # <i>cat /proc/asound/cards</i>
604 0 [Live ]: EMU10K1 - Sound Blaster Live!
605 Sound Blaster Live! (rev.6, serial:0x80271102) at 0xb800, irq 11
606
607 <comment>(If you run ALSA off the kernel like I do and wonder how far behind
608 you are from alsa-driver, this displays current running ALSA version)</comment>
609 # <i>cat /proc/asound/version</i>
610 Advanced Linux Sound Architecture Driver Version 1.0.8 (Thu Jan 13 09:39:32 2005 UTC).
611
612 <comment>(ALSA OSS emulation details)</comment>
613 # <i>cat /proc/asound/oss/sndstat</i>
614 Sound Driver:3.8.1a-980706 (ALSA v1.0.8 emulation code)
615 Kernel: Linux airwolf.zion 2.6.11ac1 #2 Wed May 4 00:35:08 IST 2005 i686
616 Config options: 0
617
618 Installed drivers:
619 Type 10: ALSA emulation
620
621 Card config:
622 Sound Blaster Live! (rev.6, serial:0x80271102) at 0xb800, irq 11
623
624 Audio devices:
625 0: EMU10K1 (DUPLEX)
626
627 Synth devices: NOT ENABLED IN CONFIG
628
629 Midi devices:
630 0: EMU10K1 MPU-401 (UART)
631
632 Timers:
633 7: system timer
634
635 Mixers:
636 0: SigmaTel STAC9721/23
637 </pre>
638
639 </body>
640 </section>
641 </chapter>
642
643 <chapter>
644 <title>Other things ALSA</title>
645 <section>
646 <title>Setting up MIDI support</title>
647 <body>
648
649 <p>
650 If your sound card is one of those that come with on-board MIDI synthesizers
651 and you would like to listen to some .mid files, you have to install
652 <c>awesfx</c> which is basically a set of utilities for controlling the AWE32
653 driver. We need to install it first. If you don't have a hardware synthesizer,
654 you can use a virtual one. Please see the section on
655 <uri link="#vsynth">Virtual Synthesizers</uri> for more information.
656 </p>
657
658 <pre caption="Installing awesfx">
659 # <i>emerge awesfx</i>
660 </pre>
661
662 <note>
663 You will need to copy over SoundFont (SF2) files from your sound card's driver
664 CD or a Windows installation into <path>/usr/share/sounds/sf2/</path>. For
665 example a sound font file for the Creative SBLive! card would be 8MBGMSFX.SF2.
666 </note>
667
668 <p>
669 After copying over the Soundfont files, we can then play a midi file as shown.
670 You can also add the <c>asfxload</c> command to
671 <path>/etc/conf.d/local.start</path>, so that the sound font is loaded
672 every time the system starts up.
673 </p>
674
675 <note>
676 <path>/mnt</path> paths mentioned in the code listing(s) below will <e>not</e>
677 be the same in your machine. They are just an example. Please be careful to
678 change the path to suit your machine.
679 </note>
680
681 <pre caption="Loading Soundfonts">
682 <comment>(First, copy the Soundfont)</comment>
683 # <i>cp /mnt/win2k/Program\ Files/CreativeSBLive2k/SFBank/8MBGMSFX.SF2 /usr/share/sounds/sf2/</i>
684 <comment>(We load the specific Soundfont)</comment>
685 # <i>asfxload /usr/share/sounds/sf2/8MBGMSFX.SF2</i>
686 </pre>
687
688 <p>
689 You can now play midi files using a program like <c>aplaymidi</c>. Run
690 <c>aplaymidi -l</c> to get a list of available ports and then pick one
691 to play the file on.
692 </p>
693
694 <pre caption="Playing MIDI">
695 <comment>(Check open ports)</comment>
696 # <i>aplaymidi -l</i>
697 Port Client name Port name
698 64:0 EMU10K1 MPU-401 (UART) EMU10K1 MPU-401 (UART)
699 65:0 Emu10k1 WaveTable Emu10k1 Port 0
700 65:1 Emu10k1 WaveTable Emu10k1 Port 1
701 65:2 Emu10k1 WaveTable Emu10k1 Port 2
702 65:3 Emu10k1 WaveTable Emu10k1 Port 3
703 <comment>(Pick a port, and play a mid file)</comment>
704 # <i> aplaymidi --port=65:0 /mnt/shyam/music/midi/mi2.mid</i>
705 </pre>
706
707 </body>
708 </section>
709 <section id="vsynth">
710 <title>Virtual Synthesizers</title>
711 <body>
712
713 <p>
714 If your sound card lacks a hardware synthesizer, you could use a virtual one
715 like <c>timidity++</c>. Installation is a breeze.
716 </p>
717
718 <pre caption="Installing timidity++">
719 # <i>emerge timidity++</i>
720 </pre>
721
722 <p>
723 For timidity to play sounds, it needs a sound font. If you do not have any,
724 install <c>timidity-eawpatches</c> or <c>timidity-shompatches</c> which will
725 give you some sound fonts. You can have multiple sound font configurations
726 installed, and you can place your own in <path>/usr/share/timidity/</path>.
727 To switch between different timidity configurations, you should use the
728 <e>timidity-update</e> tool provided in the timidity++ package.
729 </p>
730
731 <pre caption="Installing sound fonts">
732 # <i>emerge timidity-eawpatches</i>
733 # <i>timidity-update -g -s eawpatches</i>
734
735 <comment>(or)</comment>
736
737 # <i>emerge timidity-shompatches</i>
738 # <i>timidity-update -g -s shompatches</i>
739 </pre>
740
741 <p>
742 Don't forget to add <c>timidity</c> to the default runlevel.
743 </p>
744
745 <pre caption="Adding timidity to the default runlevel">
746 # <i>rc-update add timidity default</i>
747 # <i>/etc/init.d/timidity start</i>
748 </pre>
749
750 <p>
751 You can now try out <uri link="#doc_chap4_pre3">Playing MIDI</uri> files.
752 </p>
753
754 </body>
755 </section>
756 <section>
757 <title>Tools and Firmware</title>
758 <body>
759
760 <p>
761 Some specific sound cards can benefit from certain tools provided by the
762 <c>alsa-tools</c> and <c>alsa-firmware</c> packages. If you need
763 <c>alsa-tools</c>, be sure to define the ALSA_TOOLS variable in
764 <path>/etc/make.conf</path> with the tools you require. For instance:
765 </p>
766
767 <pre caption="Selecting ALSA Tools in /etc/make.conf">
768 ALSA_TOOLS="as10k1 ac3dec"
769 </pre>
770
771 <p>
772 If the ALSA_TOOLS variable is not set, all available tools will be built.
773 Now, install the <c>alsa-tools</c> (and/or <c>alsa-firmware</c>) package(s):
774 </p>
775
776 <pre caption="Installing ALSA Tools">
777 # <i>emerge alsa-tools</i>
778 </pre>
779
780 </body>
781 </section>
782 <section>
783 <title>A Big thank you to...</title>
784 <body>
785
786 <p>
787 Everyone who contributed to the earlier version of the Gentoo ALSA Guide:
788 Vincent Verleye, Grant Goodyear, Arcady Genkin, Jeremy Huddleston,
789 John P. Davis, Sven Vermeulen, Benny Chuang, Tiemo Kieft and Erwin.
790 </p>
791
792 </body>
793 </section>
794 <section>
795 <title>References</title>
796 <body>
797
798 <ul>
799 <li><uri link="http://www.alsa-project.org/">The ALSA Project</uri></li>
800 <li><uri link="http://linux-sound.org">Linux Sound/MIDI Software</uri></li>
801 </ul>
802
803 </body>
804 </section>
805 </chapter>
806 </guide>

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