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1 <?xml version='1.0' encoding="UTF-8"?>
2 <!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/alsa-guide.xml,v 1.52 2005/06/07 06:25:11 fox2mike Exp $ -->
3
4 <!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd">
5
6 <guide link="/doc/en/alsa-guide.xml">
7 <title>Gentoo Linux ALSA Guide</title>
8
9 <author title="Author">
10 <mail link="fox2mike@gentoo.org">Shyam Mani</mail>
11 </author>
12
13 <abstract>
14 This document helps a user setup ALSA on Gentoo Linux.
15 </abstract>
16
17 <!-- The content of this document is licensed under the CC-BY-SA license -->
18 <!-- See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0 -->
19 <license/>
20
21 <version>2.2</version>
22 <date>2005-06-09</date>
23
24 <chapter>
25 <title>Introduction</title>
26 <section>
27 <title>What is ALSA?</title>
28 <body>
29
30 <p>
31 ALSA, which stands for <e>Advanced Linux Sound Architecture</e>, provides
32 audio and MIDI (<e>Musical Instrument Digital Interface</e>) functionality to
33 the Linux operating system. ALSA is the default sound subsystem in the 2.6
34 kernel thereby replacing OSS (<e>Open Sound System</e>), which was used in the
35 2.4 kernels.
36 </p>
37
38 <p>
39 ALSA's main features include efficient support for all types of audio
40 interfaces ranging from consumer sound cards to professional sound
41 equipment, fully modularized drivers, SMP and thread safety, backward
42 compatibility with OSS and a user-space library <c>alsa-lib</c> to make
43 application development a breeze.
44 </p>
45
46 </body>
47 </section>
48 <section>
49 <title>ALSA on Gentoo</title>
50 <body>
51
52 <p>
53 One of Gentoo's main strengths lies in giving the user maximum control over
54 how a system is installed/configured. ALSA on Gentoo follows the same
55 principle. There are two ways you can get ALSA support up and running on your
56 system. We shall look at them in detail in the next chapter.
57 </p>
58
59 </body>
60 </section>
61 </chapter>
62
63 <chapter>
64 <title>Installing ALSA</title>
65 <section>
66 <title>Options</title>
67 <body>
68
69 <warn>
70 The methods shown below are mutually exclusive. You cannot have ALSA compiled
71 in your kernel and use <c>media-sound/alsa-driver</c>. It <e>will</e> fail.
72 </warn>
73
74 <impo>
75 <c>genkernel</c> users have their config built such a way that the ALSA
76 sub-system in the kernel is active. Therefore <c>genkernel</c> users can
77 proceed to the <uri link="#alsa-utilities">ALSA Utilities</uri> section
78 directly.
79 </impo>
80
81 <p>
82 The two options are :
83 </p>
84
85 <ol>
86 <li>
87 Use ALSA provided by your kernel. This is the preferred/recommended
88 method.
89 </li>
90 <li>
91 Use Gentoo's <c>media-sound/alsa-driver</c> package.
92 </li>
93 </ol>
94
95 <p>
96 We shall take a peek into both before finally deciding on one.
97 </p>
98
99 <p>
100 If you were to use ALSA provided by the kernel, the following are the pros and
101 cons :
102 </p>
103
104 <table>
105 <tr>
106 <th>Kernel ALSA</th>
107 <th>Pros and Cons</th>
108 </tr>
109 <tr>
110 <th>+</th>
111 <ti>Pretty stable as drivers are integrated into kernel.</ti>
112 </tr>
113 <tr>
114 <th>+</th>
115 <ti>One shot solution, no repeating emerges.</ti>
116 </tr>
117 <tr>
118 <th>-</th>
119 <ti>Might be a slightly older version than <c>alsa-driver</c>.</ti>
120 </tr>
121 </table>
122
123 <p>
124 And, if you were to use alsa-driver,
125 </p>
126
127 <table>
128 <tr>
129 <th>alsa-driver</th>
130 <th>Pros and Cons</th>
131 </tr>
132 <tr>
133 <th>+</th>
134 <ti>Latest drivers from the ALSA Project.</ti>
135 </tr>
136 <tr>
137 <th>-</th>
138 <ti>Every kernel recompile requires a re-emerge of <c>alsa-driver</c>.</ti>
139 </tr>
140 <tr>
141 <th>-</th>
142 <ti>Needs certain kernel config options disabled to work correctly.</ti>
143 </tr>
144 </table>
145
146 </body>
147 </section>
148 <section>
149 <title>So...</title>
150 <body>
151
152 <p>
153 The main difference between using <c>alsa-driver</c> and ALSA that comes with
154 the kernel is that <c>alsa-driver</c> is generally more up to date than the
155 version in the kernel. Since this does not make any huge difference as
156 such, you are encouraged to use the ALSA provided by the kernel.
157 </p>
158
159 </body>
160 </section>
161 <section id="lspci">
162 <title>Before you proceed</title>
163 <body>
164
165 <p>
166 Whichever method of install you choose, you need to know what drivers your
167 sound card uses. <c>lspci</c> will help you in digging out the required
168 information. Please <c>emerge sys-apps/pciutils</c> to get <c>lspci</c>, if
169 you don't have it installed already. We now proceed to find out details about
170 the sound card.
171 </p>
172
173 <pre caption="Soundcard Details">
174 # <i>lspci -v | grep -i audio</i>
175 0000:00:0a.0 Multimedia audio controller: Creative Labs SB Live! EMU10k1 (rev 06)
176 </pre>
177
178 <p>
179 We now know that the sound card on the machine is a Sound Blaster Live! and
180 the card manufacturer is Creative Labs. Head over to the
181 <uri link="http://www.alsa-project.org/alsa-doc/"> ALSA Soundcard Matrix</uri>
182 page and select Creative Labs from the drop down menu. You will be taken to
183 the Creative Labs matrix page where you can see that the SB Live! uses the
184 <c>emu10k1</c> module. That is the information we need for now. If you are
185 interested in detailed information, you can click on the link next to the
186 "Details" and that will take you to the <c>emu10k1</c> specific page.
187 </p>
188
189 </body>
190 </section>
191 <section id="kernel">
192 <title>Using ALSA provided by your Kernel</title>
193 <body>
194
195 <p>
196 If you're a person who likes to keep things simple like I do, then this is
197 the way to go.
198 </p>
199
200 <note>
201 Since the 2005.0 release, Gentoo Linux uses 2.6 as the default kernel. Unless
202 you are specifically using the 2.4 profile, <c>gentoo-sources</c> will be a
203 2.6 kernel on <e>most</e> architectures. Please check that your kernel is a
204 2.6 series kernel. This method will <e>not</e> work on a 2.4 kernel.
205 </note>
206
207 <p>
208 Let us now configure the kernel to enable ALSA.
209 </p>
210
211 <pre caption="Heading over to the source">
212 # <i>cd /usr/src/linux</i>
213 # <i>make menuconfig</i>
214 </pre>
215
216 <note>
217 The above example assumes that <path>/usr/src/linux</path> symlink points to
218 the kernel sources you want to use. Please ensure the same before proceeding.
219 </note>
220
221 <p>
222 Now we will look at some of the options we will have to enable in the 2.6
223 kernel to ensure proper ALSA support for our sound card.
224 </p>
225
226 <note>
227 Please note that for the sake of ease, all examples show a modular kernel. It
228 is advisable to follow the same. Please do <e>not</e> skip the
229 <uri link="#alsa-config">Configuration</uri> section of this document. If
230 you still like to have options built-in, ensure that you make changes to your
231 config accordingly.
232 </note>
233
234 <pre caption="Kernel Options for ALSA">
235 Device Drivers ---&gt;
236 Sound ---&gt;
237
238 <comment>(This needs to be enabled)</comment>
239 &lt;M&gt; Sound card support
240
241 <comment>(Make sure OSS is disabled)</comment>
242 Open Sound System ---&gt;
243 &lt; &gt; Open Sound System (DEPRECATED)
244
245 <comment>(Move one step back and enter ALSA)</comment>
246 Advanced Linux Sound Architecture ---&gt;
247 &lt;M&gt; Advanced Linux Sound Architecture
248 <comment>(Select this if you want MIDI sequencing and routing)</comment>
249 &lt;M&gt; Sequencer support
250 <comment>(Old style /dev/mixer* and /dev/dsp* support. Recommended.)</comment>
251 &lt;M&gt; OSS Mixer API
252 &lt;M&gt; OSS PCM (digital audio) API
253
254 <comment>(You now have a choice of devices to enable support for. Generally,
255 you will have one type of device and not more. If you have more than one
256 sound card, please enable them all here.)</comment>
257
258 <comment>(Mostly for testing and development purposes, not needed for normal
259 users unless you know what you are doing.)</comment>
260 Generic devices ---&gt;
261
262 <comment>(For ISA Sound cards)</comment>
263 ISA devices ---&gt;
264 <comment>(IF you had the Gravis, you would select this option)</comment>
265 &lt;M&gt; Gravis UltraSound Extreme
266
267 <comment>(Move one level back and into PCI devices. Most sound cards today are
268 PCI devices)</comment>
269 PCI devices ---&gt;
270 <comment>(We now select the emu10k1 driver for our card)</comment>
271 &lt;M&gt; Emu10k1 (SB Live!, Audigy, E-mu APS)
272 <comment>(Or an Intel card would be)</comment>
273 &lt;M&gt; Intel/SiS/nVidia/AMD/ALi AC97 Controller
274 <comment>(Or if you have a VIA Card)</comment>
275 &lt;M&gt; VIA 82C686A/B, 8233/8235 AC97 Controller
276
277 <comment>(Move one level back and select in case you have an USB sound card)</comment>
278 USB Devices ---&gt;
279 </pre>
280
281 <p>
282 Now that your options are set, you can (re)compile the kernel and ALSA support
283 for your card should be functional once you reboot into the new kernel.
284 You can now proceed to <uri link="#alsa-utilities">ALSA Utilities</uri> and
285 see if everything is working as it should.
286 </p>
287
288 </body>
289 </section>
290 <section id="alsa-driver">
291 <title>Using the ALSA Driver package</title>
292 <body>
293
294 <p>
295 So you've decided to go the <c>alsa-driver</c> way. Let's get started then.
296 There are a few minor things to be done to ensure only the drivers for your
297 sound card are compiled. Although this is not really necessary, it cuts down
298 on the unnecessary drivers that will be compiled otherwise.
299 </p>
300
301 <p>
302 If you don't have an idea of what drivers your sound card might need, please
303 take a look at the <uri link="#lspci">lspci</uri> section of this guide. Once
304 you have your driver name (<c>emu10k1</c> in our example), edit
305 <path>/etc/make.conf</path> and add a variable, <c>ALSA_CARDS</c>.
306 </p>
307
308 <pre caption="Adding ALSA_CARDS to make.conf">
309 <comment>(For one sound card)</comment>
310 ALSA_CARDS="emu10k1"
311 <comment>(For more than one, seperate names with spaces)</comment>
312 ALSA_CARDS="emu10k1 via82xx"
313 </pre>
314
315 <p>
316 If you have compiled your kernel and want to use <c>alsa-driver</c>, please
317 ensure the following before proceeding, else <c>alsa-driver</c> is likely to
318 fail. The next code listing gives you one way of performing the checks.
319 </p>
320
321 <ol>
322 <li>
323 <c>CONFIG_SOUND</c> is set. (Basic Sound support enabled)
324 </li>
325 <li>
326 <c>CONFIG_SOUND_PRIME</c> is not set. (In-built OSS support disabled)
327 </li>
328 <li>
329 <c>CONFIG_SND</c> is not set. (In-built ALSA support disabled)
330 </li>
331 <li>
332 <path>/usr/src/linux</path> points to the kernel you want ALSA working on.
333 </li>
334 </ol>
335
336 <pre caption=".config checks">
337 <comment>(Assuming the linux symlink points to the correct kernel)</comment>
338 # <i>cd /usr/src/linux</i>
339 # <i>grep SOUND .config</i>
340 <comment>(1. is true)</comment>
341 CONFIG_SOUND=y
342 <comment>(2. is true)</comment>
343 CONFIG_SOUND_PRIME is not set
344 # <i>grep SND .config</i>
345 <comment>(and 3. is true)</comment>
346 CONFIG_SND is not set
347 </pre>
348
349 <p>
350 Now all you have to do is type the magic words...and no, its not abracadabra.
351 </p>
352
353 <pre caption="Installing alsa-driver">
354 # <i>emerge alsa-driver</i>
355 </pre>
356
357 <impo>
358 Please note that you will have to run <c>emerge alsa-driver</c> after every
359 kernel (re)compile, as the earlier drivers are deleted.
360 </impo>
361
362 </body>
363 </section>
364 </chapter>
365
366 <chapter>
367 <title>Configuring/Testing ALSA</title>
368 <section id="alsa-utilities">
369 <title>ALSA Utilities</title>
370 <body>
371
372 <p>
373 <c>alsa-utils</c> forms an integral part of ALSA as it has a truckload of
374 programs that are highly useful, including the ALSA Initscripts. Hence we
375 strongly recommend that you install <c>alsa-utils</c>
376 </p>
377
378 <pre caption="Install alsa-utils">
379 # <i>emerge alsa-utils</i>
380 </pre>
381
382 <note>
383 If you activated ALSA in your <uri link="#kernel">kernel</uri> <e>and</e> did
384 not compile ALSA as modules, please proceed to the
385 <uri link="#initscript">ALSA Initscript</uri> section. The rest of you need
386 to configure ALSA. This is made very easy by the existence of the
387 <c>alsaconf</c> tool provided by <c>alsa-utils</c>.
388 </note>
389
390 </body>
391 </section>
392 <section id="alsa-config">
393 <title>Configuration</title>
394 <body>
395
396 <note>
397 Please shut down any programs that <e>might</e> access the sound card while
398 running <c>alsaconf</c>.
399 </note>
400
401 <p>
402 The easiest way to configure your sound card is to run <c>alsaconf</c>. Just
403 type <c>alsaconf</c> in a shell as root.
404 </p>
405
406 <pre caption="Invoking alsaconf">
407 # <i>alsaconf</i>
408 </pre>
409
410 <p>
411 You will now see a neat menu guided interface that will automatically probe
412 your devices and try to find out your sound card. You will be asked to pick
413 your sound card from a list. Once that's done, it will ask you permission to
414 automatically make required changes to <path>/etc/modules.d/alsa</path>.
415 It will then adjust your volume settings to optimum levels and run
416 <c>modules-update</c> and starts the <path>/etc/init.d/alsasound</path>
417 service. Once <c>alsaconf</c> exits, you can proceed with setting up the ALSA
418 initscript.
419 </p>
420
421 </body>
422 </section>
423 <section id="initscript">
424 <title>ALSA Initscript</title>
425 <body>
426
427 <p>
428 We're now almost all setup. Whichever method you chose to install ALSA, you'll
429 need to have something load your modules or initialize ALSA and restore your
430 volume settings when your system comes up. The ALSA Initscript handles all of
431 this for you and is called <c>alsasound</c>. Add it to the default run-level.
432 </p>
433
434 <pre caption="Adding ALSA to default">
435 # <i>rc-update add alsasound default</i>
436 * alsasound added to runlevel default
437 * rc-update complete.
438 </pre>
439
440 <p>
441 Next, just check the <path>/etc/conf.d/alsasound</path> file and ensure that
442 SAVE_ON_STOP variable is set to yes. This saves your sound settings when you
443 shutdown your system.
444 </p>
445
446 </body>
447 </section>
448 <section>
449 <title>Volume Check!</title>
450 <body>
451
452 <p>
453 We've completed all the setups and pre-requisites, so let's fire up ALSA. If
454 you ran <c>alsaconf</c>, you can skip this step, since <c>alsaconf</c> already
455 does this for you.
456 </p>
457
458 <pre caption="Start the service">
459 <comment>(Modular Kernels)</comment>
460 # <i>/etc/init.d/alsasound start</i>
461 * Loading ALSA modules ...
462 * Loading: snd-card-0 ... [ ok ]
463 * Loading: snd-pcm-oss ... [ ok ]
464 * Loading: snd-seq ... [ ok ]
465 * Loading: snd-emu10k1-synth ... [ ok ]
466 * Loading: snd-seq-midi ... [ ok ]
467 * Restoring Mixer Levels ... [ ok ]
468 <comment>(ALSA compiled in)</comment>
469 # <i>/etc/init.d/alsasound start</i>
470 * Loading ALSA modules ...
471 * Restoring Mixer Levels ... [ ok ]
472 </pre>
473
474 <p>
475 Now that the required things have been take care of, we need to check up on
476 the volume as in certain cases, it is muted. We use <c>alsamixer</c> for this purpose.
477 </p>
478
479 <pre caption="Starting alsamixer">
480 <comment>(Opens up a console program. Only required settings are shown)</comment>
481 # <i>alsamixer</i>
482 </pre>
483
484 <p>
485 This is how the ALSA Mixer <e>might</e> look the first time you open it. Pay
486 attention to the Master and PCM channels which both have an MM below them.
487 That means they are muted. If you try to play anything with <c>alsamixer</c>
488 in this state, you will not hear anything on your speakers.
489 </p>
490
491 <figure link="/images/docs/alsa-mixermuted.png" short="AlsaMixer Muted" caption="The Alsa Mixer Main Window, Muted"/>
492
493 <p>
494 Now, we shall unmute the channels, and set volume levels as needed.
495 </p>
496
497 <warn>
498 Both Master <e>and</e> PCM need to be unmuted and set to audible volume levels if
499 you want to hear some output on your speakers.
500 </warn>
501
502 <ul>
503 <li>
504 To move between channels, use your left and right arrow keys. (&lt;-
505 &amp; -&gt;)
506 </li>
507 <li>
508 To toggle mute, move to the specific channel, for example Master and press
509 the <e>m</e> key on the keyboard.
510 </li>
511 <li>
512 To increase and decrease the volume levels, use the up and down arrow keys
513 respectively.
514 </li>
515 </ul>
516
517 <note>
518 Be careful when setting your Bass and Treble values. 50 is usually a good
519 number for both. Extremely high values of Bass may cause <e>jarring</e>
520 on speakers that are not designed to handle them.
521 </note>
522
523 <p>
524 After you're all done, your ALSA Mixer should look similar to the one below.
525 Note the 00 instead of the MM and also the volume levels for some optimum
526 settings.
527 </p>
528
529 <figure link="/images/docs/alsa-mixerunmuted.png" short="AlsaMixer Unmuted" caption="Alsa Mixer ready to roll"/>
530
531 </body>
532 </section>
533 <section>
534 <title>Sound Check!</title>
535 <body>
536
537 <p>
538 Finally. Some music. If everything above is perfect, you should be able to now
539 listen to some good music. A quick way to test is to use a command line tool
540 like <c>media-sound/madplay</c>. You could also use something more well known
541 like <c>mpg123</c> or <c>xmms</c>. If you are an ogg fan, you could use
542 <c>ogg123</c> provided by <c>media-sound/vorbis-tools</c>. Use any player you
543 are comfortable with. As always, <c>emerge</c> what you need.
544 </p>
545
546 <pre caption="Getting the software">
547 <comment>(Install the applications you want)</comment>
548 # <i>emerge madplay mpg123 xmms</i>
549 <comment>(To play .ogg files)</comment>
550 # <i>emerge vorbis-tools</i>
551 </pre>
552
553 <p>
554 And then play your favorite sound track...
555 </p>
556
557 <pre caption="Playing Music">
558 # <i>madplay -v /mnt/shyam/Music/Paul\ Oakenfold\ -\ Dread\ Rock.mp3</i>
559 MPEG Audio Decoder 0.15.2 (beta) - Copyright (C) 2000-2004 Robert Leslie et al.
560 Title: Dread Rock
561 Artist: Paul Oakenfold
562 Album: Matrix Reloaded
563 Year: 2003
564 Genre: Soundtrack
565 Soundtrack
566 00:04:19 Layer III, 160 kbps, 44100 Hz, joint stereo (MS), no CRC
567
568 # <i>ogg123 Paul\ Oakenfold\ -\ Dread\ Rock.ogg</i>
569 Audio Device: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) output
570
571 Playing: Paul Oakenfold - Dread Rock.ogg
572 Ogg Vorbis stream: 2 channel, 44100 Hz
573 Genre: Soundtrack
574 Transcoded: mp3;160
575 Title: Dread Rock
576 Artist: Paul Oakenfold
577 Date: 2003
578 Album: Matrix Reloaded
579 Time: 00:11.31 [04:28.75] of 04:40.06 (200.6 kbps) Output Buffer 96.9%
580 </pre>
581
582 </body>
583 </section>
584 <section>
585 <title>Issues?</title>
586 <body>
587
588 <p>
589 If for some reason you're unable to hear sound, the first thing to do would
590 be to check your <uri link="#doc_chap3_pre5">alsamixer</uri> settings. 80% of
591 the issues lie with muted channels or low volume. Also check your Window
592 Manager's sound applet and verify that volumes are set to audible levels.
593 </p>
594
595 <p>
596 <path>/proc</path> is your friend. And in this case, <path>/proc/asound</path>
597 is your best friend. We shall just take a short look at how much info is made
598 available to us there.
599 </p>
600
601 <pre caption="Fun with /proc/asound">
602 <comment>(First and foremost, if /proc/asound/cards shows your card, ALSA has
603 picked up your sound card fine.)</comment>
604 # <i>cat /proc/asound/cards</i>
605 0 [Live ]: EMU10K1 - Sound Blaster Live!
606 Sound Blaster Live! (rev.6, serial:0x80271102) at 0xb800, irq 11
607
608 <comment>(If you run ALSA off the kernel like I do and wonder how far behind
609 you are from alsa-driver, this displays current running ALSA version)</comment>
610 # <i>cat /proc/asound/version</i>
611 Advanced Linux Sound Architecture Driver Version 1.0.8 (Thu Jan 13 09:39:32 2005 UTC).
612
613 <comment>(ALSA OSS emulation details)</comment>
614 # <i>cat /proc/asound/oss/sndstat</i>
615 Sound Driver:3.8.1a-980706 (ALSA v1.0.8 emulation code)
616 Kernel: Linux airwolf.zion 2.6.11ac1 #2 Wed May 4 00:35:08 IST 2005 i686
617 Config options: 0
618
619 Installed drivers:
620 Type 10: ALSA emulation
621
622 Card config:
623 Sound Blaster Live! (rev.6, serial:0x80271102) at 0xb800, irq 11
624
625 Audio devices:
626 0: EMU10K1 (DUPLEX)
627
628 Synth devices: NOT ENABLED IN CONFIG
629
630 Midi devices:
631 0: EMU10K1 MPU-401 (UART)
632
633 Timers:
634 7: system timer
635
636 Mixers:
637 0: SigmaTel STAC9721/23
638 </pre>
639
640 </body>
641 </section>
642 </chapter>
643
644 <chapter>
645 <title>Other things ALSA</title>
646 <section>
647 <title>Setting up MIDI support</title>
648 <body>
649
650 <p>
651 If your sound card is one of those that come with on-board MIDI synthesizers
652 and you would like to listen to some .mid files, you have to install
653 <c>awesfx</c> which is basically a set of utilities for controlling the AWE32
654 driver. We need to install it first. If you don't have a hardware synthesizer,
655 you can use a virtual one. Please see the section on
656 <uri link="#vsynth">Virtual Synthesizers</uri> for more information.
657 </p>
658
659 <pre caption="Installing awesfx">
660 # <i>emerge awesfx</i>
661 </pre>
662
663 <note>
664 You will need to copy over SoundFont (SF2) files from your sound card's driver
665 CD or a Windows installation into <path>/usr/share/sounds/sf2/</path>. For
666 example a sound font file for the Creative SBLive! card would be 8MBGMSFX.SF2.
667 </note>
668
669 <p>
670 After copying over the Soundfont files, we can then play a midi file as shown.
671 You can also add the <c>asfxload</c> command to
672 <path>/etc/conf.d/local.start</path>, so that the sound font is loaded
673 every time the system starts up.
674 </p>
675
676 <note>
677 <path>/mnt</path> paths mentioned in the code listing(s) below will <e>not</e>
678 be the same in your machine. They are just an example. Please be careful to
679 change the path to suit your machine.
680 </note>
681
682 <pre caption="Loading Soundfonts">
683 <comment>(First, copy the Soundfont)</comment>
684 # <i>cp /mnt/win2k/Program\ Files/CreativeSBLive2k/SFBank/8MBGMSFX.SF2 /usr/share/sounds/sf2/</i>
685 <comment>(We load the specific Soundfont)</comment>
686 # <i>asfxload /usr/share/sounds/sf2/8MBGMSFX.SF2</i>
687 </pre>
688
689 <p>
690 You can now play midi files using a program like <c>aplaymidi</c>. Run
691 <c>aplaymidi -l</c> to get a list of available ports and then pick one
692 to play the file on.
693 </p>
694
695 <pre caption="Playing MIDI">
696 <comment>(Check open ports)</comment>
697 # <i>aplaymidi -l</i>
698 Port Client name Port name
699 64:0 EMU10K1 MPU-401 (UART) EMU10K1 MPU-401 (UART)
700 65:0 Emu10k1 WaveTable Emu10k1 Port 0
701 65:1 Emu10k1 WaveTable Emu10k1 Port 1
702 65:2 Emu10k1 WaveTable Emu10k1 Port 2
703 65:3 Emu10k1 WaveTable Emu10k1 Port 3
704 <comment>(Pick a port, and play a mid file)</comment>
705 # <i> aplaymidi --port=65:0 /mnt/shyam/music/midi/mi2.mid</i>
706 </pre>
707
708 </body>
709 </section>
710 <section id="vsynth">
711 <title>Virtual Synthesizers</title>
712 <body>
713
714 <p>
715 If your sound card lacks a hardware synthesizer, you could use a virtual one
716 like <c>timidity++</c>. Installation is a breeze.
717 </p>
718
719 <pre caption="Installing timidity++">
720 # <i>emerge timidity++</i>
721 </pre>
722
723 <p>
724 For timidity to play sounds, it needs a sound font. If you do not have any,
725 install <c>timidity-eawpatches</c> or <c>timidity-shompatches</c> which will
726 give you some sound fonts. You can have multiple sound font configurations
727 installed, and you can place your own in <path>/usr/share/timidity/</path>.
728 To switch between different timidity configurations, you should use the
729 <c>timidity-update</c> tool provided in the timidity++ package.
730 </p>
731
732 <pre caption="Installing sound fonts">
733 # <i>emerge timidity-eawpatches</i>
734 # <i>timidity-update -g -s eawpatches</i>
735
736 <comment>(or)</comment>
737
738 # <i>emerge timidity-shompatches</i>
739 # <i>timidity-update -g -s shompatches</i>
740 </pre>
741
742 <p>
743 Don't forget to add <c>timidity</c> to the default runlevel.
744 </p>
745
746 <pre caption="Adding timidity to the default runlevel">
747 # <i>rc-update add timidity default</i>
748 # <i>/etc/init.d/timidity start</i>
749 </pre>
750
751 <p>
752 You can now try out <uri link="#doc_chap4_pre3">Playing MIDI</uri> files.
753 </p>
754
755 </body>
756 </section>
757 <section>
758 <title>Tools and Firmware</title>
759 <body>
760
761 <p>
762 Some specific sound cards can benefit from certain tools provided by the
763 <c>alsa-tools</c> and <c>alsa-firmware</c> packages. If you need
764 <c>alsa-tools</c>, be sure to define the ALSA_TOOLS variable in
765 <path>/etc/make.conf</path> with the tools you require. For instance:
766 </p>
767
768 <pre caption="Selecting ALSA Tools in /etc/make.conf">
769 ALSA_TOOLS="as10k1 ac3dec"
770 </pre>
771
772 <p>
773 If the ALSA_TOOLS variable is not set, all available tools will be built.
774 Now, install the <c>alsa-tools</c> (and/or <c>alsa-firmware</c>) package(s):
775 </p>
776
777 <pre caption="Installing ALSA Tools">
778 # <i>emerge alsa-tools</i>
779 </pre>
780
781 </body>
782 </section>
783 <section>
784 <title>A Big thank you to...</title>
785 <body>
786
787 <p>
788 Everyone who contributed to the earlier version of the Gentoo ALSA Guide:
789 Vincent Verleye, Grant Goodyear, Arcady Genkin, Jeremy Huddleston,
790 John P. Davis, Sven Vermeulen, Benny Chuang, Tiemo Kieft and Erwin.
791 </p>
792
793 </body>
794 </section>
795 <section>
796 <title>References</title>
797 <body>
798
799 <ul>
800 <li><uri link="http://www.alsa-project.org/">The ALSA Project</uri></li>
801 <li><uri link="http://linux-sound.org">Linux Sound/MIDI Software</uri></li>
802 </ul>
803
804 </body>
805 </section>
806 </chapter>
807 </guide>

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