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1<?xml version='1.0' encoding="UTF-8"?> 1<?xml version='1.0' encoding="UTF-8"?>
2<!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/alsa-guide.xml,v 1.37 2004/06/15 07:21:07 bennyc Exp $ --> 2<!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/alsa-guide.xml,v 1.52 2005/06/07 06:25:11 fox2mike Exp $ -->
3
3<!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd"> 4<!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd">
4 5
5<guide link = "/doc/en/alsa-guide.xml"> 6<guide link="/doc/en/alsa-guide.xml">
6<title>Gentoo Linux ALSA Guide</title> 7<title>Gentoo Linux ALSA Guide</title>
8
7<author title="Author"> 9<author title="Author">
8 <mail link="zu@pandora.be">Vincent Verleye</mail> 10 <mail link="fox2mike@gentoo.org">Shyam Mani</mail>
9</author> 11</author>
10<author title="Author">
11 <mail link="g2boojum@gentoo.org">Grant Goodyear</mail>
12</author>
13<author title="Author">
14 <mail link="agenkin@gentoo.org">Arcady Genkin</mail>
15</author>
16<author title="Author">
17 <mail link="eradicator@gentoo.org">Jeremy Huddleston</mail>
18</author>
19<author title="Editor"><!-- zhen@gentoo.org -->
20 John P. Davis
21</author>
22<author title="Editor">
23 <mail link="swift@gentoo.org">Sven Vermeulen</mail>
24</author>
25<author title="Editor">
26 <mail link="bennyc@gentoo.org">Benny Chuang</mail>
27</author>
28<author title="Editor">
29 <mail link="blubber@gentoo.org">Tiemo Kieft</mail>
30</author>
31<author title="Editor">
32 <mail link="erwin@gentoo.org">Erwin</mail>
33</author>
34 12
35<abstract> 13<abstract>
36This guide will show you how to set up the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture 14This document helps a user setup ALSA on Gentoo Linux.
37(ALSA) on Gentoo Linux. In addition to the Gentoo Linux Desktop Configuration
38Guide, this guide is supposed to give you more information on this subject.
39</abstract> 15</abstract>
40 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 -->
41<license/> 19<license/>
42 20
43<version>1.5.0</version> 21<version>2.1</version>
44<date>May 18, 2004</date> 22<date>2005-06-07</date>
45 23
46<chapter> 24<chapter>
47<title>The Advanced Linux Sound Architecture</title> 25<title>Introduction</title>
48<section> 26<section>
49<title>What is ALSA?</title> 27<title>What is ALSA?</title>
50<body> 28<body>
51 29
52<p> 30<p>
53ALSA is the <e>Advanced Linux Sound Architecture</e>, a project dedicated to the 31ALSA, which stands for <e>Advanced Linux Sound Architecture</e>, provides
54development of a high-quality Linux sound subsystem. It has replaced OSS 32audio and MIDI (<e>Musical Instrument Digital Interface</e>) functionality to
55(<e>Open Sound System</e>) as default sound subsystem in the 2.6 kernel series. 33the Linux operating system. ALSA is the default sound subsystem in the 2.6
56</p> 34kernel thereby replacing OSS (<e>Open Sound System</e>), which was used in the
57 352.4 kernels.
58<p> 36</p>
59ALSA provides efficient support for all types of audio interfaces, is fully 37
60modularized, is SMP and thread-safe and provides a high-quality user space 38<p>
61library called <e>alsa-lib</e> to simplify application programming. It also 39ALSA's main features include efficient support for all types of audio
62provides a backwards compatibility layer with OSS. 40interfaces ranging from consumer sound cards to professional sound
41equipment, fully modularized drivers, SMP and thread safety, backward
42compatibility with OSS and a user-space library <c>alsa-lib</c> to make
43application development a breeze.
44</p>
45
46</body>
47</section>
48<section>
49<title>ALSA on Gentoo</title>
50<body>
51
52<p>
53One of Gentoo's main strengths lies in giving the user maximum control over
54how a system is installed/configured. ALSA on Gentoo follows the same
55principle. There are two ways you can get ALSA support up and running on your
56system. We shall look at them in detail in the next chapter.
63</p> 57</p>
64 58
65</body> 59</body>
66</section> 60</section>
67</chapter> 61</chapter>
62
68<chapter> 63<chapter>
69<title>Installing ALSA</title> 64<title>Installing ALSA</title>
70<section> 65<section>
71<title>USE Flags</title> 66<title>Options</title>
72<body>
73
74<p>
75Gentoo provides an <c>alsa</c> USE flag which you should set in
76<path>/etc/make.conf</path> to allow our available packages to compile with
77ALSA support. If you have <c>oss</c> in your USE variable as well, ALSA will
78compile with OSS backward compatibility.
79</p>
80
81</body> 67<body>
82</section> 68
69<warn>
70The methods shown below are mutually exclusive. You cannot have ALSA compiled
71in 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
76sub-system in the kernel is active. Therefore <c>genkernel</c> users can
77proceed to the <uri link="#alsa-utilities">ALSA Utilities</uri> section
78directly.
79</impo>
80
81<p>
82The 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>
96We shall take a peek into both before finally deciding on one.
97</p>
98
99<p>
100If you were to use ALSA provided by the kernel, the following are the pros and
101cons :
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>
124And, 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>
83<section> 147</section>
84<title>Kernel Modules</title> 148<section>
149<title>So...</title>
150<body>
151
152<p>
153The main difference between using <c>alsa-driver</c> and ALSA that comes with
154the kernel is that <c>alsa-driver</c> is generally more up to date than the
155version in the kernel. Since this does not make any huge difference as
156such, you are encouraged to use the ALSA provided by the kernel.
157</p>
158
85<body> 159</body>
160</section>
161<section id="lspci">
162<title>Before you proceed</title>
163<body>
86 164
87<p>
88First of all, before continuing, make sure your kernel has <e>Sound Card
89Support</e> enabled. If you used <c>genkernel</c> to build your kernel, then
90this is automatically true. Otherwise reconfigure your kernel.
91</p> 165<p>
92 166Whichever method of install you choose, you need to know what drivers your
167sound card uses. <c>lspci</c> will help you in digging out the required
168information. Please <c>emerge sys-apps/pciutils</c> to get <c>lspci</c>, if
169you don't have it installed already. We now proceed to find out details about
170the sound card.
93<p> 171</p>
94If you use a 2.6 kernel you can skip the rest of this section and continue with 172
95<uri link="#alsa-utils">Installing the ALSA Utils</uri> as 2.6 already has the 173<pre caption="Soundcard Details">
96necessary ALSA drivers in it. Of course, don't forget to enable support for the 174# <i>lspci -v | grep -i audio</i>
97sound card you have when configuring your kernel. 1750000:00:0a.0 Multimedia audio controller: Creative Labs SB Live! EMU10k1 (rev 06)
176</pre>
177
98</p> 178<p>
99 179We now know that the sound card on the machine is a Sound Blaster Live! and
180the card manufacturer is Creative Labs. Head over to the
181<uri link="http://www.alsa-project.org/alsa-doc/"> ALSA Soundcard Matrix</uri>
182page and select Creative Labs from the drop down menu. You will be taken to
183the 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
185interested 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.
100<p> 187</p>
101Users of 2.4 kernel sources will have to install the necessary ALSA drivers for 188
102their soundcard. First find out what soundcard you have. An easy trick is to 189</body>
103search for "audio" in <path>/proc/pci</path>: 190</section>
191<section id="kernel">
192<title>Using ALSA provided by your Kernel</title>
193<body>
194
104</p> 195<p>
105 196If you're a person who likes to keep things simple like I do, then this is
106<pre caption="Finding out the soundcard type"> 197the way to go.
107# <i>grep -i audio /proc/pci</i>
108Multimedia audio controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82C686 AC97 Audio
109Controller (rev 64).
110</pre>
111
112<p> 198</p>
113Now go to the <uri link="http://www.alsa-project.org/alsa-doc">ALSA Soundcard 199
114Matrix</uri> and search for your soundcard. In the above example you should go 200<note>
115to the "VIA" manufacturer. You will receive a table with the known chipsets of 201Since the 2005.0 release, Gentoo Linux uses 2.6 as the default kernel. Unless
116that vendor. The chipset in the above example is "via82c686"; the "Details" link 202you are specifically using the 2.4 profile, <c>gentoo-sources</c> will be a
117then informs me that the driver is called <path>via82xx</path>. 2032.6 kernel on <e>most</e> architectures. Please check that your kernel is a
2042.6 series kernel. This method will <e>not</e> work on a 2.4 kernel.
205</note>
206
118</p> 207<p>
119 208Let us now configure the kernel to enable ALSA.
120<p> 209</p>
121Based on this information we can now install the <c>alsa-driver</c> for our 210
122soundcard. First edit <path>/etc/make.conf</path> and <e>add</e> a new option 211<pre caption="Heading over to the source">
123called ALSA_CARDS to it. Inside this variable you declare the soundcard driver 212# <i>cd /usr/src/linux</i>
124you want to use: 213# <i>make menuconfig</i>
214</pre>
215
216<note>
217The above example assumes that <path>/usr/src/linux</path> symlink points to
218the kernel sources you want to use. Please ensure the same before proceeding.
219</note>
220
125</p> 221<p>
126 222Now we will look at some of the options we will have to enable in the 2.6
127<pre caption="Editing /etc/make.conf for ALSA_CARDS"> 223kernel to ensure proper ALSA support for our sound card.
128ALSA_CARDS="via82xx"
129</pre>
130
131<p> 224</p>
132Now install <c>alsa-driver</c>: 225
226<note>
227Please note that for the sake of ease, all examples show a modular kernel. It
228is advisable to follow the same. Please do <e>not</e> skip the
229<uri link="#alsa-config">Configuration</uri> section of this document. If
230you still like to have options built-in, ensure that you make changes to your
231config accordingly.
232</note>
233
234<pre caption="Kernel Options for ALSA">
235Device 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>
242Open Sound System ---&gt;
243 &lt; &gt; Open Sound System (DEPRECATED)
244
245<comment>(Move one step back and enter ALSA)</comment>
246Advanced 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,
255you will have one type of device and not more. If you have more than one
256sound card, please enable them all here.)</comment>
257
258<comment>(Mostly for testing and development purposes, not needed for normal
259users unless you know what you are doing.)</comment>
260Generic devices ---&gt;
261
262<comment>(For ISA Sound cards)</comment>
263ISA 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
268PCI devices)</comment>
269PCI 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>
278USB Devices ---&gt;
279</pre>
280
133</p> 281<p>
282Now that your options are set, you can (re)compile the kernel and ALSA support
283for your card should be functional once you reboot into the new kernel.
284You can now proceed to <uri link="#alsa-utilities">ALSA Utilities</uri> and
285see if everything is working as it should.
286</p>
134 287
288</body>
289</section>
290<section id="alsa-driver">
291<title>Using the ALSA Driver package</title>
292<body>
293
294<p>
295So you've decided to go the <c>alsa-driver</c> way. Let's get started then.
296There are a few minor things to be done to ensure only the drivers for your
297sound card are compiled. Although this is not really necessary, it cuts down
298on the unnecessary drivers that will be compiled otherwise.
299</p>
300
301<p>
302If you don't have an idea of what drivers your sound card might need, please
303take a look at the <uri link="#lspci">lspci</uri> section of this guide. Once
304you 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>
310ALSA_CARDS="emu10k1"
311<comment>(For more than one, seperate names with spaces)</comment>
312ALSA_CARDS="emu10k1 via82xx"
313</pre>
314
315<p>
316If you have compiled your kernel and want to use <c>alsa-driver</c>, please
317ensure the following before proceeding, else <c>alsa-driver</c> is likely to
318fail. 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>
341CONFIG_SOUND=y
342<comment>(2. is true)</comment>
343CONFIG_SOUND_PRIME is not set
344# <i>grep SND .config</i>
345<comment>(and 3. is true)</comment>
346CONFIG_SND is not set
347</pre>
348
349<p>
350Now all you have to do is type the magic words...and no, its not abracadabra.
351</p>
352
135<pre caption="Installing ALSA Drivers"> 353<pre caption="Installing alsa-driver">
136# <i>emerge alsa-driver</i> 354# <i>emerge alsa-driver</i>
137</pre> 355</pre>
138 356
139<impo> 357<impo>
140Whenever you (re)compile your kernel sources, chances are that the ALSA drivers 358Please note that you will have to run <c>emerge alsa-driver</c> after every
141will be overwritten. It is therefore adviseable to rerun <c>emerge 359kernel (re)compile, as the earlier drivers are deleted.
142alsa-driver</c> every time you (re)compile your kernel <e>after</e> having
143rebooted into the new kernel.
144</impo> 360</impo>
145 361
146</body> 362</body>
147</section> 363</section>
364</chapter>
365
366<chapter>
367<title>Configuring/Testing ALSA</title>
148<section id="alsa-utils"> 368<section id="alsa-utilities">
149<title>Installing the ALSA Utils</title> 369<title>ALSA Utilities</title>
150<body> 370<body>
151 371
152<p>
153If you want backwards compatibility with OSS, you need to install
154<c>alsa-oss</c>:
155</p> 372<p>
156 373<c>alsa-utils</c> forms an integral part of ALSA as it has a truckload of
157<pre caption="Installing the ALSA OSS compatibility layer"> 374programs that are highly useful, including the ALSA Initscripts. Hence we
158# <i>emerge alsa-oss</i> 375strongly recommend that you install <c>alsa-utils</c>
159</pre>
160
161<p> 376</p>
162Now install the ALSA Utils on your system (this is mandatory):
163</p>
164 377
165<pre caption="Installing ALSA Utils"> 378<pre caption="Install alsa-utils">
166# <i>emerge alsa-utils</i> 379# <i>emerge alsa-utils</i>
167</pre> 380</pre>
168 381
169<p> 382<note>
170Now that the utils are installed, it is time to configure ALSA... 383If you activated ALSA in your <uri link="#kernel">kernel</uri> <e>and</e> did
384not compile ALSA as modules, please proceed to the
385<uri link="#initscript">ALSA Initscript</uri> section. The rest of you need
386to 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>
397Please shut down any programs that <e>might</e> access the sound card while
398running <c>alsaconf</c>.
399</note>
400
171</p> 401<p>
402The easiest way to configure your sound card is to run <c>alsaconf</c>. Just
403type <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>
411You will now see a neat menu guided interface that will automatically probe
412your devices and try to find out your sound card. You will be asked to pick
413your sound card from a list. Once that's done, it will ask you permission to
414automatically make required changes to <path>/etc/modules.d/alsa</path>.
415It 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>
417service. Once <c>alsaconf</c> exits, you can proceed with setting up the ALSA
418initscript.
419</p>
420
421</body>
422</section>
423<section id="initscript">
424<title>ALSA Initscript</title>
425<body>
426
427<p>
428We're now almost all setup. Whichever method you chose to install ALSA, you'll
429need to have something load your modules or initialize ALSA and restore your
430volume settings when your system comes up. The ALSA Initscript handles all of
431this 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>
441Next, just check the <path>/etc/conf.d/alsasound</path> file and ensure that
442SAVE_ON_STOP variable is set to yes. This saves your sound settings when you
443shutdown your system.
444</p>
445
446</body>
447</section>
448<section>
449<title>Volume Check!</title>
450<body>
451
452<p>
453We've completed all the setups and pre-requisites, so let's fire up ALSA. If
454you ran <c>alsaconf</c>, you can skip this step, since <c>alsaconf</c> already
455does 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>
475Now that the required things have been take care of, we need to check up on
476the 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>
485This is how the ALSA Mixer <e>might</e> look the first time you open it. Pay
486attention to the Master and PCM channels which both have an MM below them.
487That means they are muted. If you try to play anything with <c>alsamixer</c>
488in 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>
494Now, we shall unmute the channels, and set volume levels as needed.
495</p>
496
497<warn>
498Both Master <e>and</e> PCM need to be unmuted and set to audible volume levels if
499you 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>
518Be careful when setting your Bass and Treble values. 50 is usually a good
519number for both. Extremely high values of Bass may cause <e>jarring</e>
520on speakers that are not designed to handle them.
521</note>
522
523<p>
524After you're all done, your ALSA Mixer should look similar to the one below.
525Note the 00 instead of the MM and also the volume levels for some optimum
526settings.
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>
538Finally. Some music. If everything above is perfect, you should be able to now
539listen to some good music. A quick way to test is to use a command line tool
540like <c>media-sound/madplay</c>. You could also use something more well known
541like <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
543are 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>
554And 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>
559MPEG 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>
569Audio Device: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) output
570
571Playing: Paul Oakenfold - Dread Rock.ogg
572Ogg Vorbis stream: 2 channel, 44100 Hz
573Genre: Soundtrack
574Transcoded: mp3;160
575Title: Dread Rock
576Artist: Paul Oakenfold
577Date: 2003
578Album: Matrix Reloaded
579Time: 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>
589If for some reason you're unable to hear sound, the first thing to do would
590be to check your <uri link="#doc_chap3_pre5">alsamixer</uri> settings. 80% of
591the issues lie with muted channels or low volume. Also check your Window
592Manager'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>
597is your best friend. We shall just take a short look at how much info is made
598available 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
603picked up your sound card fine.)</comment>
604# <i>cat /proc/asound/cards</i>
6050 [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
609you are from alsa-driver, this displays current running ALSA version)</comment>
610# <i>cat /proc/asound/version</i>
611Advanced 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>
615Sound Driver:3.8.1a-980706 (ALSA v1.0.8 emulation code)
616Kernel: Linux airwolf.zion 2.6.11ac1 #2 Wed May 4 00:35:08 IST 2005 i686
617Config options: 0
618
619Installed drivers:
620Type 10: ALSA emulation
621
622Card config:
623Sound Blaster Live! (rev.6, serial:0x80271102) at 0xb800, irq 11
624
625Audio devices:
6260: EMU10K1 (DUPLEX)
627
628Synth devices: NOT ENABLED IN CONFIG
629
630Midi devices:
6310: EMU10K1 MPU-401 (UART)
632
633Timers:
6347: system timer
635
636Mixers:
6370: SigmaTel STAC9721/23
638</pre>
172 639
173</body> 640</body>
174</section> 641</section>
175</chapter> 642</chapter>
643
176<chapter> 644<chapter>
177<title>Configuring ALSA</title> 645<title>Other things ALSA</title>
178<section>
179<title>Automatically Loading the Kernel Modules</title>
180<body>
181
182<p>
183If you use a modular kernel (such as when using <c>genkernel</c>) you have to
184edit <path>/etc/modules.d/alsa</path> so that it activates the necesary modules
185at boot time. For the soundcard in our example:
186</p>
187
188<pre caption="/etc/modules.d/alsa">
189alias snd-card-0 snd-via82xx
190<comment># The following is only needed when you want OSS compatibility</comment>
191alias sound-slot-0 snd-card-0
192alias /dev/mixer snd-mixer-oss
193alias /dev/dsp snd-pcm-oss
194alias /dev/midi snd-seq-oss
195</pre>
196
197<p>
198Now run <c>modules-update</c> to save the changes you made to the
199<path>alsa</path> file into <path>/etc/modules.conf</path>:
200</p>
201
202<pre caption="Running modules-update">
203# <i>modules-update</i>
204</pre>
205
206</body>
207</section> 646<section>
208<section> 647<title>Setting up MIDI support</title>
209<title>Verifying the Device Files</title>
210<body>
211
212<p>
213If you use DevFS (which is the default for Gentoo installations) make sure that
214<path>/etc/devfsd.conf</path> has the ALSA devices and permissions correctly
215registered:
216</p>
217
218<pre caption="/etc/devfsd.conf">
219# ALSA/OSS stuff
220# Comment/change these if you want to change the permissions on
221# the audio devices
222LOOKUP snd MODLOAD ACTION snd
223LOOKUP dsp MODLOAD
224LOOKUP mixer MODLOAD
225LOOKUP midi MODLOAD
226REGISTER sound/.* PERMISSIONS root.audio 660
227REGISTER snd/.* PERMISSIONS root.audio 660
228</pre>
229
230</body> 648<body>
231</section>
232<section>
233<title>Having ALSA Activated at Boot</title>
234<body>
235 649
236<p>
237To activate ALSA support at boot, add the <c>alsasound</c> init script to the
238boot runlevel:
239</p> 650<p>
240 651If your sound card is one of those that come with on-board MIDI synthesizers
241<pre caption="Adding alsasound to the boot runlevel"> 652and you would like to listen to some .mid files, you have to install
242# <i>rc-update add alsasound boot</i> 653<c>awesfx</c> which is basically a set of utilities for controlling the AWE32
243# <i>/etc/init.d/alsasound start</i> 654driver. We need to install it first. If you don't have a hardware synthesizer,
244</pre> 655you can use a virtual one. Please see the section on
245 656<uri link="#vsynth">Virtual Synthesizers</uri> for more information.
246</body>
247</section>
248<section>
249<title>Unmute the Channels</title>
250<body>
251
252<p> 657</p>
253By default, all sound channels are muted. To fix this, run <c>amixer</c>:
254</p>
255 658
256<pre caption="Running amixer">
257# <i>amixer</i>
258</pre>
259
260<p>
261If <c>amixer</c> produces lots of output then you're ready to unmute the
262channels. If you receive an error, doublecheck that your soundcard module is
263started.
264</p>
265
266<p>
267Now unmute the <e>Master</e> and <e>PCM</e> channels. If this isn't sufficient,
268also unmute the <e>Center</e> and <e>Surround</e> channels.
269</p>
270
271<pre caption="Unmuting the sound channels">
272# <i>amixer set Master 100 unmute</i>
273# <i>amixer set PCM 100 unmute</i>
274<comment>(Only if the above isn't sufficient:)</comment>
275# <i>amixer set Center 100 unmute</i>
276# <i>amixer set Surround 100 unmute</i>
277</pre>
278
279<p>
280To check if your sound works, play a wave file (using <c>aplay</c>), mp3 (using
281<c>mpg123</c> or even <c>mplayer</c>) or any other sound file for that matter.
282</p>
283
284<p>
285To fine-tune the sound channel settings you can use the <c>alsamixer</c>
286application.
287</p>
288
289</body>
290</section>
291</chapter>
292<chapter>
293<title>Activating MIDI Support</title>
294<section>
295<title>Installing the Necessary Packages</title>
296<body>
297
298<p>
299Some soundcards come with onboard MIDI synthesizers. To use them, you must first
300install the <c>awesfx</c> package:
301</p>
302
303<pre caption="Installing the awesfx package"> 659<pre caption="Installing awesfx">
304# <i>emerge awesfx</i> 660# <i>emerge awesfx</i>
305</pre> 661</pre>
306 662
307<p> 663<note>
308If you have a collection of sound fonts somewhere, place them in 664You will need to copy over SoundFont (SF2) files from your sound card's driver
309<path>/usr/share/sfbank</path>. For instance, the SBLive has a sound font file 665CD or a Windows installation into <path>/usr/share/sounds/sf2/</path>. For
310called <path>8MBGMSFX.SF2</path> or <path>CT4GMSFX.SF2</path>. 666example a sound font file for the Creative SBLive! card would be 8MBGMSFX.SF2.
667</note>
668
311</p> 669<p>
312 670After copying over the Soundfont files, we can then play a midi file as shown.
671You can also add the <c>asfxload</c> command to
672<path>/etc/conf.d/local.start</path>, so that the sound font is loaded
673every time the system starts up.
313<p> 674</p>
314After copying over the sound font, select them using <c>sfxload</c>:
315</p>
316 675
676<note>
677<path>/mnt</path> paths mentioned in the code listing(s) below will <e>not</e>
678be the same in your machine. They are just an example. Please be careful to
679change the path to suit your machine.
680</note>
681
317<pre caption="Loading the sound font"> 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>
318# <i>sfxload /usr/share/sfbank/8MBGMSFX.SF2</i> 686# <i>asfxload /usr/share/sounds/sf2/8MBGMSFX.SF2</i>
319</pre> 687</pre>
320 688
321<p>
322You must have this command run every time you boot, so it is adviseable to add
323it to <path>/etc/conf.d/local.start</path> as well.
324</p> 689<p>
325 690You 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
692to play the file on.
326<p> 693</p>
327If you can't find soundfonts on your driver CD you can download some online from 694
328<uri>http://www.parabola.demon.co.uk/alsa/awe64.html</uri>. 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>
329</p> 706</pre>
330 707
331</body> 708</body>
332</section>
333<section> 709</section>
710<section id="vsynth">
334<title>Timidity++ Virtual Synthesizer</title> 711<title>Virtual Synthesizers</title>
335<body> 712<body>
336 713
337<p>
338If your sound card does not come with a hardware synthesizer (or you don't want
339to use it), you can use <c>timidity++</c> to provide you with a virtual
340synthesizer. Start by emerging this package:
341</p> 714<p>
715If your sound card lacks a hardware synthesizer, you could use a virtual one
716like <c>timidity++</c>. Installation is a breeze.
717</p>
342 718
343<pre caption="Installing Timidity++"> 719<pre caption="Installing timidity++">
344# <i>emerge timidity++</i> 720# <i>emerge timidity++</i>
345</pre> 721</pre>
346 722
347<p> 723<p>
348A sample configuration file will be installed for you in
349<path>/usr/share/timidity/config/timidity.cfg</path>. If you don't have a
350timidity++ configuration setup yet, you can just use this one.
351</p>
352
353<pre caption="Using the default Timidity++ configuration file">
354# <i>cp /usr/share/timidity/config/timidity.cfg /usr/share/timidity</i>
355</pre>
356
357<p>
358For timidity to play sounds, it needs a soundfont. If you do not have any, 724For timidity to play sounds, it needs a sound font. If you do not have any,
359install <c>timidity-eawpatches</c> which will give you some soundfonts. 725install <c>timidity-eawpatches</c> or <c>timidity-shompatches</c> which will
726give you some sound fonts. You can have multiple sound font configurations
727installed, and you can place your own in <path>/usr/share/timidity/</path>.
728To switch between different timidity configurations, you should use the
729<e>timidity-update</e> tool provided in the timidity++ package.
360</p> 730</p>
361 731
362<pre caption="Installing timidity-eawpatches"> 732<pre caption="Installing sound fonts">
363# <i>emerge timidity-eawpatches</i> 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>
364</pre> 740</pre>
365 741
366<p> 742<p>
367Don't forget to add <c>timidity</c> to the default runlevel. 743Don't forget to add <c>timidity</c> to the default runlevel.
368</p> 744</p>
370<pre caption="Adding timidity to the default runlevel"> 746<pre caption="Adding timidity to the default runlevel">
371# <i>rc-update add timidity default</i> 747# <i>rc-update add timidity default</i>
372# <i>/etc/init.d/timidity start</i> 748# <i>/etc/init.d/timidity start</i>
373</pre> 749</pre>
374 750
751<p>
752You can now try out <uri link="#doc_chap4_pre3">Playing MIDI</uri> files.
753</p>
754
375</body> 755</body>
376</section>
377<section> 756</section>
378<title>Testing MIDI Support</title>
379<body>
380
381<p>
382You can use <c>pmidi</c> to test your MIDI configuration:
383</p>
384
385<pre caption="Installing pmidi">
386# <i>emerge pmidi</i>
387</pre>
388
389<p>
390To see what MIDI output ports are available on your system, use the <c>-l</c>
391option:
392</p>
393
394<pre caption="Viewing the MIDI output ports">
395# <i>pmidi -l</i>
396</pre>
397
398<p>
399If all looks fine, try playing a MIDI file to make sure everything works. With
400the <c>-p</c> option you define what MIDI port you want to use.
401</p>
402
403<pre caption="Playing a MIDI file">
404# <i>pmidi -p 65:0 "Final Fantasy 7 - Aerith' Theme.mid"</i>
405</pre>
406
407</body>
408</section>
409</chapter>
410<chapter>
411<title>Final Remarks</title>
412<section> 757<section>
413<title>Tools and Firmware</title> 758<title>Tools and Firmware</title>
414<body> 759<body>
415 760
416<p> 761<p>
423<pre caption="Selecting ALSA Tools in /etc/make.conf"> 768<pre caption="Selecting ALSA Tools in /etc/make.conf">
424ALSA_TOOLS="as10k1 ac3dec" 769ALSA_TOOLS="as10k1 ac3dec"
425</pre> 770</pre>
426 771
427<p> 772<p>
773If the ALSA_TOOLS variable is not set, all available tools will be built.
428Then install the <c>alsa-tools</c> (and/or <c>alsa-firmware</c>) package(s): 774Now, install the <c>alsa-tools</c> (and/or <c>alsa-firmware</c>) package(s):
429</p> 775</p>
430 776
431<pre caption="Installing ALSA Tools"> 777<pre caption="Installing ALSA Tools">
432# <i>emerge alsa-tools</i> 778# <i>emerge alsa-tools</i>
433</pre> 779</pre>
434 780
435</body> 781</body>
436</section> 782</section>
437<section> 783<section>
438<title>Activating Joystick Support</title> 784<title>A Big thank you to...</title>
439<body>
440
441<p>
442If your soundcard has a joystick plug, you might be interested in activating
443joystick support for your soundcard. If so, start by verifying if your soundcard
444driver has a joystick parameter. You can verify this by running <c>modinfo</c>
445against your kernel module. For instance, for the <c>snd-via82xx</c>:
446</p>
447
448<pre caption="Running modinfo">
449# <i>modinfo snd-via82xx</i>
450filename: /lib/modules/2.4.22-ck2/snd-via82xx.o
451description: "VIA VT82xx audio"
452author: "Jaroslav Kysela &lt;perex@suse.cz&gt;"
453license: "GPL"
454parm: index int array (min = 1, max = 8), description "Index value for
455 VIA 82xx bridge."
456parm: id string array (min = 1, max = 8), description "ID string for VIA
457 82xx bridge."
458parm: enable int array (min = 1, max = 8), description "Enable audio part
459 of VIA 82xx bridge."
460parm: mpu_port long array (min = 1, max = 8), description "MPU-401 port.
461 (VT82C686x only)"
462<i>parm: joystick int array (min = 1, max = 8), description "Enable
463 joystick. (VT82C686x only)"</i>
464parm: ac97_clock int array (min = 1, max = 8), description "AC'97 codec
465 clock (default 48000Hz)."
466parm: dxs_support int array (min = 1, max = 8), description "Support for
467 DXS channels (0 = auto, 1 = enable, 2 = disable, 3 = 48k only, 4 =
468 no VRA)
469</pre>
470
471<p>
472If it has the <c>joystick</c> parameter, append <c>joystick=1</c> to your
473<c>options</c> line in <path>/etc/modules.d/alsa</path>. For instance:
474</p>
475
476<pre caption="Adding the joystick parameter">
477alias snd-card-0 snd-via82xx
478options snd-via82xx joystick=1
479</pre>
480
481</body> 785<body>
482</section> 786
787<p>
788Everyone who contributed to the earlier version of the Gentoo ALSA Guide:
789Vincent Verleye, Grant Goodyear, Arcady Genkin, Jeremy Huddleston,
790John P. Davis, Sven Vermeulen, Benny Chuang, Tiemo Kieft and Erwin.
791</p>
792
793</body>
483<section> 794</section>
795<section>
484<title>Resources</title> 796<title>References</title>
485<body> 797<body>
486 798
487<ul> 799<ul>
488 <li><uri link="http://www.alsa-project.org">The ALSA Project</uri></li> 800 <li><uri link="http://www.alsa-project.org/">The ALSA Project</uri></li>
489 <li><uri link="http://www.djcj.org">ALSA Howto's and FAQs</uri></li>
490 <li><uri link="http://linux-sound.org">Linux Sound/MIDI Software</uri></li> 801 <li><uri link="http://linux-sound.org">Linux Sound/MIDI Software</uri></li>
491</ul> 802</ul>
492 803
493</body> 804</body>
494</section> 805</section>

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