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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 1.50 2005/04/24 09:14:23 swift Exp $ --> 2
3<!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd"> 3<!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd">
4 4
5<guide link="/doc/en/alsa-guide.xml"> 5<guide link="/doc/en/alsa-guide.xml">
6<title>Gentoo Linux ALSA Guide</title> 6<title>Gentoo Linux ALSA Guide</title>
7
7<author title="Author"> 8<author title="Author">
8 <mail link="zu@pandora.be">Vincent Verleye</mail> 9 <mail link="fox2mike@gmail.com">Shyam Mani</mail>
9</author> 10</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 11
35<abstract> 12<abstract>
36This guide will show you how to set up the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture 13This 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> 14</abstract>
40 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 -->
41<license/> 18<license/>
42 19
43<version>1.5.12</version> 20<version>2.0</version>
44<date>2005-04-24</date> 21<date>2005-06-07</date>
45 22
46<chapter> 23<chapter>
47<title>The Advanced Linux Sound Architecture</title> 24<title>Introduction</title>
48<section> 25<section>
49<title>What is ALSA?</title> 26<title>What is ALSA?</title>
50<body> 27<body>
51 28
52<p> 29<p>
53ALSA is the <e>Advanced Linux Sound Architecture</e>, a project dedicated to the 30ALSA, which stands for <e>Advanced Linux Sound Architecture</e>, provides
54development of a high-quality Linux sound subsystem. It has replaced OSS 31audio 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. 32the Linux operating system. ALSA is the default sound subsystem in the 2.6
56</p> 33kernel thereby replacing OSS (<e>Open Sound System</e>), which was used in the
57 342.4 kernels.
58<p> 35</p>
59ALSA provides efficient support for all types of audio interfaces, is fully 36
60modularized, is SMP and thread-safe and provides a high-quality user space 37<p>
61library called <e>alsa-lib</e> to simplify application programming. It also 38ALSA's main features include efficient support for all types of audio
62provides a backwards compatibility layer with OSS. 39interfaces ranging from consumer sound cards to professional sound
40equipment, fully modularized drivers, SMP and thread safety, backward
41compatibility with OSS and a user-space library <c>alsa-lib</c> to make
42application development a breeze.
43</p>
44
45</body>
46</section>
47<section>
48<title>ALSA on Gentoo</title>
49<body>
50
51<p>
52One of Gentoo's main strengths lies in giving the user maximum control over
53how a system is installed/configured. ALSA on Gentoo follows the same
54principle. There are two ways you can get ALSA support up and running on your
55system. We shall look at them in detail in the next chapter.
63</p> 56</p>
64 57
65</body> 58</body>
66</section> 59</section>
67</chapter> 60</chapter>
61
68<chapter> 62<chapter>
69<title>Installing ALSA</title> 63<title>Installing ALSA</title>
70<section> 64<section>
71<title>USE Flags</title> 65<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> 66<body>
82</section>
83<section>
84<title>Kernel Modules</title>
85<body>
86
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. Additionally,
91make sure you disable <e>Open Sound System</e> in your kernel configuration.
92If you don't, your system may try to use these drivers rather than the alsa
93ones. If you see a message about 'sound card not detected' and you are sure
94you have the correct driver, this is probably the reason.
95</p>
96 67
97<warn> 68<warn>
98If you use a 2.6 kernel, you may use the drivers provided in the kernel, but 69The methods shown below are mutually exclusive. You cannot have ALSA compiled
99we still recommend that you use media-sound/alsa-driver as they are more up 70in your kernel and use <c>media-sound/alsa-driver</c>. It <e>will</e> fail.
100to date than what is provided in the kernel tree. If you still wish to use
101the drivers provided with your kernel, you can skip the rest of this section
102and continue with <uri link="#alsa-utils">Installing the ALSA Utils</uri>.
103</warn> 71</warn>
104 72
105<p> 73<impo>
106The first step in installing your sound drivers is figuring out what sound 74<c>genkernel</c> users have their config built such a way that the ALSA
107card you have. If you don't already know, an easy trick is to search 75sub-system in the kernel is active. Therefore <c>genkernel</c> users can
108for "audio" in the output of the <c>lspci</c> command. You can install 76proceed to the <uri link="#alsa-utilities">ALSA Utilities</uri> section
109this tool with <c>emerge pciutils</c>. 77directly.
78</impo>
79
110</p> 80<p>
81The two options are :
82</p>
111 83
112<pre caption="Finding out the soundcard type"> 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>
95We shall take a peek into both before finally deciding on one.
96</p>
97
98<p>
99If you were to use ALSA provided by the kernel, the following are the pros and
100cons :
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>
123And, 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>
152The main difference between using <c>alsa-driver</c> and ALSA that comes with
153the kernel is that <c>alsa-driver</c> is generally more up to date than the
154version in the kernel. Since this does not make any huge difference as
155such, 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>
165Whichever method of install you choose, you need to know what drivers your
166sound card uses. <c>lspci</c> will help you in digging out the required
167information. Please <c>emerge sys-apps/pciutils</c> to get <c>lspci</c>, if
168you don't have it installed already. We now proceed to find out details about
169the sound card.
170</p>
171
172<pre caption="Soundcard Details">
113# <i>lspci | grep -i audio</i> 173# <i>lspci -v | grep -i audio</i>
114Multimedia audio controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82C686 AC97 Audio Controller (rev 64). 1740000:00:0a.0 Multimedia audio controller: Creative Labs SB Live! EMU10k1 (rev 06)
115</pre> 175</pre>
116 176
117<p>
118Now go to the <uri link="http://www.alsa-project.org/alsa-doc">ALSA Soundcard
119Matrix</uri> and search for your soundcard. In the above example you should go
120to the "VIA" manufacturer. You will receive a table with the known chipsets of
121that vendor. The chipset in the above example is "via82c686"; the "Details" link
122then informs me that the driver is called <path>via82xx</path>. This is all the
123information you need, so you can safely discard the rest of that document.
124</p> 177<p>
125 178We now know that the sound card on the machine is a Sound Blaster Live! and
179the card manufacturer is Creative Labs. Head over to the
180<uri link="http://www.alsa-project.org/alsa-doc/"> ALSA Soundcard Matrix</uri>
181page and select Creative Labs from the drop down menu. You will be taken to
182the 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
184interested 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.
126<p> 186</p>
127Based on this information we can now install the <c>alsa-driver</c> for our 187
128soundcard. First edit <path>/etc/make.conf</path> and <e>add</e> a new option 188</body>
129called ALSA_CARDS to it. Inside this variable you declare the soundcard driver 189</section>
130you want to use: 190<section id="kernel">
191<title>Using ALSA provided by your Kernel</title>
192<body>
193
131</p> 194<p>
195If you're a person who likes to keep things simple like I do, then this is
196the way to go.
197</p>
132 198
133<pre caption="Editing /etc/make.conf for ALSA_CARDS"> 199<note>
200Since the 2005.0 release, Gentoo Linux uses 2.6 as the default kernel. Unless
201you are specifically using the 2.4 profile, <c>gentoo-sources</c> will be a
2022.6 kernel on <e>most</e> architectures. Please check that your kernel is a
2032.6 series kernel. This method will <e>not</e> work on a 2.4 kernel.
204</note>
205
206<p>
207Let 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>
216The above example assumes that <path>/usr/src/linux</path> symlink points to
217the kernel sources you want to use. Please ensure the same before proceeding.
218</note>
219
220<p>
221Now we will look at some of the options we will have to enable in the 2.6
222kernel to ensure proper ALSA support for our sound card.
223</p>
224
225<note>
226Please note that for the sake of ease, all examples show a modular kernel. It
227is advisable to follow the same. Please do <e>not</e> skip the
228<uri link="#alsa-config">Configuration</uri> section of this document. If
229you still like to have options built-in, ensure that you make changes to your
230config accordingly.
231</note>
232
233<pre caption="Kernel Options for ALSA">
234Device 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>
241Open Sound System ---&gt;
242 &lt; &gt; Open Sound System (DEPRECATED)
243
244<comment>(Move one step back and enter ALSA)</comment>
245Advanced 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,
254you will have one type of device and not more. If you have more than one
255sound card, please enable them all here.)</comment>
256
257<comment>(Mostly for testing and development purposes, not needed for normal
258users unless you know what you are doing.)</comment>
259Generic devices ---&gt;
260
261<comment>(For ISA Sound cards)</comment>
262ISA 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
267PCI devices)</comment>
268PCI 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>
277USB Devices ---&gt;
278</pre>
279
280<p>
281Now that your options are set, you can (re)compile the kernel and ALSA support
282for your card should be functional once you reboot into the new kernel.
283You can now proceed to <uri link="#alsa-utilities">ALSA Utilities</uri> and
284see 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>
294So you've decided to go the <c>alsa-driver</c> way. Let's get started then.
295There are a few minor things to be done to ensure only the drivers for your
296sound card are compiled. Although this is not really necessary, it cuts down
297on the unnecessary drivers that will be compiled otherwise.
298</p>
299
300<p>
301If you don't have an idea of what drivers your sound card might need, please
302take a look at the <uri link="#lspci">lspci</uri> section of this guide. Once
303you 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>
309ALSA_CARDS="emu10k1"
310<comment>(For more than one, seperate names with spaces)</comment>
134ALSA_CARDS="via82xx" 311ALSA_CARDS="emu10k1 via82xx"
312</pre>
313
314<p>
315If you have compiled your kernel and want to use <c>alsa-driver</c>, please
316ensure the following before proceeding, else <c>alsa-driver</c> is likely to
317fail. The next code listing gives you one way of performing the checks.
135</pre> 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>
340CONFIG_SOUND=y
341<comment>(2. is true)</comment>
342CONFIG_SOUND_PRIME is not set
343# <i>grep SND .config</i>
344<comment>(and 3. is true)</comment>
345CONFIG_SND is not set
346</pre>
347
348<p>
349Now 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>
357Please note that you will have to run <c>emerge alsa-driver</c> after every
358kernel (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
373programs that are highly useful, including the ALSA Initscripts. Hence we
374strongly 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>
382If you activated ALSA in your <uri link="#kernel">kernel</uri> <e>and</e> did
383not compile ALSA as modules, please proceed to the
384<uri link="#initscript">ALSA Initscript</uri> section. The rest of you need
385to 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>
396Please shut down any programs that <e>might</e> access the sound card while
397running <c>alsaconf</c>.
398</note>
399
400<p>
401The easiest way to configure your sound card is to run <c>alsaconf</c>. Just
402type <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>
410You will now see a neat menu guided interface that will automatically probe
411your devices and try to find out your sound card. You will be asked to pick
412your sound card from a list. Once that's done, it will ask you permission to
413automatically make required changes to <path>/etc/modules.d/alsa</path>.
414It 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>
416service. Once <c>alsaconf</c> exits, you can proceed with setting up the ALSA
417initscript.
418</p>
419
420</body>
421</section>
422<section id="initscript">
423<title>ALSA Initscript</title>
424<body>
425
426<p>
427We're now almost all setup. Whichever method you chose to install ALSA, you'll
428need to have something load your modules or initialize ALSA and restore your
429volume settings when your system comes up. The ALSA Initscript handles all of
430this 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>
440Next, just check the <path>/etc/conf.d/alsasound</path> file and ensure that
441SAVE_ON_STOP variable is set to yes. This saves your sound settings when you
442shutdown your system.
443</p>
444
445</body>
446</section>
447<section>
448<title>Volume Check!</title>
449<body>
450
451<p>
452We've completed all the setups and pre-requisites, so let's fire up ALSA. If
453you ran <c>alsaconf</c>, you can skip this step, since <c>alsaconf</c> already
454does 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>
474Now that the required things have been take care of, we need to check up on
475the 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>
484This is how the ALSA Mixer <e>might</e> look the first time you open it. Pay
485attention to the Master and PCM channels which both have an MM below them.
486That means they are muted. If you try to play anything with <c>alsamixer</c>
487in 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>
493Now, we shall unmute the channels, and set volume levels as needed.
494</p>
136 495
137<warn> 496<warn>
138If you have multiple sound cards in your system, separate them with a comma 497Both Master <e>and</e> PCM need to be unmuted and set to audible volume levels if
139in the ALSA_CARDS variable. Ex: ALSA_CARDS="via82xx,emu10k1" 498you want to hear some output on your speakers.
140</warn> 499</warn>
141 500
142<p> 501<ul>
143If you want OSS compatibility (highly recommended), you should add 'oss' to 502 <li>
144your USE flags in <path>/etc/make.conf</path>. After that, you are ready to 503 To move between channels, use your left and right arrow keys. (&lt;-
145install <c>alsa-driver</c>: 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>
517Be careful when setting your Bass and Treble values. 50 is usually a good
518number for both. Extremely high values of Bass may cause <e>jarring</e>
519on speakers that are not designed to handle them.
520</note>
521
146</p> 522<p>
147 523After you're all done, your ALSA Mixer should look similar to the one below.
148<pre caption="Installing ALSA Drivers"> 524Note the 00 instead of the MM and also the volume levels for some optimum
149# <i>emerge alsa-driver</i> 525settings.
150</pre> 526</p>
151 527
152<impo> 528<figure link="/images/docs/alsa-mixerunmuted.png" short="AlsaMixer Unmuted" caption="Alsa Mixer ready to roll"/>
153Whenever you (re)compile your kernel sources, chances are that the ALSA drivers
154will be deleted. It is therefore adviseable to rerun <c>emerge alsa-driver</c>
155every time you (re)compile your kernel. Note that this will compile the
156drivers for the kernel in /usr/src/linux, NOT the running kernel.
157</impo>
158 529
159</body> 530</body>
531</section>
160</section> 532<section>
161<section id="alsa-utils"> 533<title>Sound Check!</title>
162<title>Installing the ALSA Utils</title> 534<body>
535
536<p>
537Finally. Some music. If everything above is perfect, you should be able to now
538listen to some good music. A quick way to test is to use a command line tool
539like <c>media-sound/madplay</c>. You could also use something more well known
540like <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
542are 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>
553And 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>
558MPEG 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>
568Audio Device: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) output
569
570Playing: Paul Oakenfold - Dread Rock.ogg
571Ogg Vorbis stream: 2 channel, 44100 Hz
572Genre: Soundtrack
573Transcoded: mp3;160
574Title: Dread Rock
575Artist: Paul Oakenfold
576Date: 2003
577Album: Matrix Reloaded
578Time: 00:11.31 [04:28.75] of 04:40.06 (200.6 kbps) Output Buffer 96.9%
579</pre>
580
163<body> 581</body>
582</section>
583<section>
584<title>Issues?</title>
585<body>
164 586
165<p>
166If the in-kernel OSS compatibility is not sufficient for your needs, you will
167want to install <c>alsa-oss</c>. This will provide you with the 'aoss'
168executable which can be used as demonstrated:
169</p> 587<p>
170 588If for some reason you're unable to hear sound, the first thing to do would
171<pre caption="More OSS compatibility layer"> 589be to check your <uri link="#doc_chap3_pre5">alsamixer</uri> settings. 80% of
172# <i>emerge alsa-oss</i> 590the issues lie with muted channels or low volume. Also check your Window
173# <i>aoss mpg123 music.mp3</i> 591Manager's sound applet and verify that volumes are set to audible levels.
174</pre>
175
176<p> 592</p>
177Now install the ALSA Utils on your system (this is mandatory): 593
178</p> 594<p>
179 595<path>/proc</path> is your friend. And in this case, <path>/proc/asound</path>
180<pre caption="Installing ALSA Utils"> 596is your best friend. We shall just take a short look at how much info is made
181# <i>emerge alsa-utils</i> 597available to us there.
182</pre>
183
184<p> 598</p>
185Now that the utils are installed, it is time to configure ALSA... 599
600<pre caption="Fun with /proc/asound">
601<comment>(First and foremost, if /proc/asound/cards shows your card, ALSA has
602picked up your sound card fine.)</comment>
603# <i>cat /proc/asound/cards</i>
6040 [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
608you are from alsa-driver, this displays current running ALSA version)</comment>
609# <i>cat /proc/asound/version</i>
610Advanced 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>
614Sound Driver:3.8.1a-980706 (ALSA v1.0.8 emulation code)
615Kernel: Linux airwolf.zion 2.6.11ac1 #2 Wed May 4 00:35:08 IST 2005 i686
616Config options: 0
617
618Installed drivers:
619Type 10: ALSA emulation
620
621Card config:
622Sound Blaster Live! (rev.6, serial:0x80271102) at 0xb800, irq 11
623
624Audio devices:
6250: EMU10K1 (DUPLEX)
626
627Synth devices: NOT ENABLED IN CONFIG
628
629Midi devices:
6300: EMU10K1 MPU-401 (UART)
631
632Timers:
6337: system timer
634
635Mixers:
6360: SigmaTel STAC9721/23
186</p> 637</pre>
187 638
188</body> 639</body>
189</section> 640</section>
190</chapter> 641</chapter>
642
191<chapter> 643<chapter>
192<title>Configuring ALSA</title> 644<title>Other things ALSA</title>
193<section>
194<title>Automatically Loading the Kernel Modules</title>
195<body>
196
197<p>
198If you use a modular kernel (such as when using <c>genkernel</c>) you have to
199edit <path>/etc/modules.d/alsa</path> so that it activates the necessary
200modules at boot time. For the soundcard in our example:
201</p>
202
203<pre caption="/etc/modules.d/alsa">
204alias snd-card-0 snd-via82xx
205<comment># The following is only needed when you want OSS compatibility</comment>
206alias sound-slot-0 snd-via82xx
207alias /dev/mixer snd-mixer-oss
208alias /dev/dsp snd-pcm-oss
209alias /dev/midi snd-seq-oss
210</pre>
211
212<p>
213Now run <c>modules-update</c> to save the changes you made to the
214<path>alsa</path> file into <path>/etc/modules.conf</path>:
215</p>
216
217<pre caption="Running modules-update">
218# <i>modules-update</i>
219</pre>
220
221</body>
222</section> 645<section>
223<section> 646<title>Setting up MIDI support</title>
224<title>Verifying the Device Files</title>
225<body>
226
227<p>
228This should be done automatically for you on recent installs, but if you run
229into problems, check that your ALSA devices and permissions are set correctly
230by your /dev manager. If you use DevFS, check <path>/etc/devfsd.conf</path>
231</p>
232
233<pre caption="/etc/devfsd.conf">
234# ALSA/OSS stuff
235# Comment/change these if you want to change the permissions on
236# the audio devices
237LOOKUP snd MODLOAD ACTION snd
238LOOKUP dsp MODLOAD
239LOOKUP mixer MODLOAD
240LOOKUP midi MODLOAD
241REGISTER sound/.* PERMISSIONS root.audio 660
242REGISTER snd/.* PERMISSIONS root.audio 660
243</pre>
244
245</body> 647<body>
246</section>
247<section>
248<title>Having ALSA Activated at Boot</title>
249<body>
250 648
251<p>
252To activate ALSA support at boot, add the <c>alsasound</c> init script to the
253boot runlevel:
254</p> 649<p>
255 650If your sound card is one of those that come with on-board MIDI synthesizers
256<pre caption="Adding alsasound to the boot runlevel"> 651and you would like to listen to some .mid files, you have to install
257# <i>rc-update add alsasound boot</i> 652<c>awesfx</c> which is basically a set of utilities for controlling the AWE32
258# <i>/etc/init.d/alsasound start</i> 653driver. We need to install it first. If you don't have a hardware synthesizer,
259</pre> 654you can use a virtual one. Please see the section on
260 655<uri link="#vsynth">Virtual Synthesizers</uri> for more information.
261</body>
262</section>
263<section>
264<title>Unmute the Channels</title>
265<body>
266
267<p> 656</p>
268By default, all sound channels are muted. To fix this, run <c>amixer</c>:
269</p>
270 657
271<pre caption="Running amixer">
272# <i>amixer</i>
273</pre>
274
275<p>
276If <c>amixer</c> produces lots of output then you're ready to unmute the
277channels. If you receive an error, doublecheck that your soundcard module is
278started.
279</p>
280
281<p>
282Now unmute the <e>Master</e> and <e>PCM</e> channels. If this isn't sufficient,
283also unmute the <e>Center</e> and <e>Surround</e> channels. Do not unmute the
284channels of which you can not change the volume; this might actually result in
285ALSA producing no sound at all...
286</p>
287
288<pre caption="Unmuting the sound channels">
289<comment>(If you prefer an ncurses method:)</comment>
290
291# <i>alsamixer</i>
292
293<comment>(or)</comment>
294
295# <i>amixer set Master 100% unmute</i>
296# <i>amixer set PCM 100% unmute</i>
297<comment>(Only if the above isn't sufficient:)</comment>
298# <i>amixer set Center 100% unmute</i>
299# <i>amixer set Surround 100% unmute</i>
300# <i>amixer set Headphone 100% unmute</i>
301</pre>
302
303
304<p>
305To check if your sound works, play a wave file (using <c>aplay</c>), mp3 (using
306<c>mpg123</c> or even <c>mplayer</c>) or any other sound file for that matter.
307</p>
308
309</body>
310</section>
311</chapter>
312<chapter>
313<title>Activating MIDI Support</title>
314<section>
315<title>Installing the Necessary Packages</title>
316<body>
317
318<p>
319Some soundcards come with onboard MIDI synthesizers. To use them, you must first
320install the <c>awesfx</c> package:
321</p>
322
323<pre caption="Installing the awesfx package"> 658<pre caption="Installing awesfx">
324# <i>emerge awesfx</i> 659# <i>emerge awesfx</i>
325</pre> 660</pre>
326 661
327<p> 662<note>
328If you have a collection of sound fonts somewhere, place them in 663You will need to copy over SoundFont (SF2) files from your sound card's driver
329<path>/usr/share/sfbank</path>. For instance, the SBLive has a sound font file 664CD or a Windows installation into <path>/usr/share/sounds/sf2/</path>. For
330called <path>8MBGMSFX.SF2</path> or <path>CT4GMSFX.SF2</path>. 665example a sound font file for the Creative SBLive! card would be 8MBGMSFX.SF2.
666</note>
667
331</p> 668<p>
332 669After copying over the Soundfont files, we can then play a midi file as shown.
670You can also add the <c>asfxload</c> command to
671<path>/etc/conf.d/local.start</path>, so that the sound font is loaded
672every time the system starts up.
333<p> 673</p>
334After copying over the sound font, select them using <c>asfxload</c>:
335</p>
336 674
675<note>
676<path>/mnt</path> paths mentioned in the code listing(s) below will <e>not</e>
677be the same in your machine. They are just an example. Please be careful to
678change the path to suit your machine.
679</note>
680
337<pre caption="Loading the sound font"> 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>
338# <i>asfxload /usr/share/sfbank/8MBGMSFX.SF2</i> 685# <i>asfxload /usr/share/sounds/sf2/8MBGMSFX.SF2</i>
339</pre> 686</pre>
340 687
341<p>
342You must have this command run every time you boot, so it is adviseable to add
343it to <path>/etc/conf.d/local.start</path> as well.
344</p> 688<p>
345 689You 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
691to play the file on.
346<p> 692</p>
347If you can't find soundfonts on your driver CD you can download some online from 693
348<uri>http://www.parabola.demon.co.uk/alsa/awe64.html</uri>. 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>
349</p> 705</pre>
350 706
351</body> 707</body>
352</section>
353<section> 708</section>
709<section id="vsynth">
354<title>Timidity++ Virtual Synthesizer</title> 710<title>Virtual Synthesizers</title>
355<body> 711<body>
356 712
357<p>
358If your sound card does not come with a hardware synthesizer (or you don't want
359to use it), you can use <c>timidity++</c> to provide you with a virtual
360synthesizer. Start by emerging this package:
361</p> 713<p>
714If your sound card lacks a hardware synthesizer, you could use a virtual one
715like <c>timidity++</c>. Installation is a breeze.
716</p>
362 717
363<pre caption="Installing Timidity++"> 718<pre caption="Installing timidity++">
364# <i>emerge timidity++</i> 719# <i>emerge timidity++</i>
365</pre> 720</pre>
366 721
367<p> 722<p>
368For timidity to play sounds, it needs a soundfont. If you do not have any, 723For timidity to play sounds, it needs a sound font. If you do not have any,
369install <c>timidity-eawpatches</c> or <c>timidity-shompatches</c> which will 724install <c>timidity-eawpatches</c> or <c>timidity-shompatches</c> which will
370give you some soundfonts. You can have multiple soundfont configurations 725give you some sound fonts. You can have multiple sound font configurations
371installed, and you can place your own in <path>/usr/share/timidity/</path>. 726installed, and you can place your own in <path>/usr/share/timidity/</path>.
372To switch between different timidity configurations, you should use the 727To switch between different timidity configurations, you should use the
373<e>timidity-update</e> tool provided in the timidity++ package. 728<e>timidity-update</e> tool provided in the timidity++ package.
374</p> 729</p>
375 730
376<pre caption="Installing soundfonts"> 731<pre caption="Installing sound fonts">
377# <i>emerge timidity-eawpatches</i> 732# <i>emerge timidity-eawpatches</i>
378# <i>timidity-update -g -s eawpatches</i> 733# <i>timidity-update -g -s eawpatches</i>
379 734
380<comment>(or)</comment> 735<comment>(or)</comment>
381 736
390<pre caption="Adding timidity to the default runlevel"> 745<pre caption="Adding timidity to the default runlevel">
391# <i>rc-update add timidity default</i> 746# <i>rc-update add timidity default</i>
392# <i>/etc/init.d/timidity start</i> 747# <i>/etc/init.d/timidity start</i>
393</pre> 748</pre>
394 749
750<p>
751You can now try out <uri link="#doc_chap4_pre3">Playing MIDI</uri> files.
752</p>
753
395</body> 754</body>
396</section>
397<section> 755</section>
398<title>Testing MIDI Support</title>
399<body>
400
401<p>
402You can use <c>aplaymidi</c> from the ALSA Utils to test your MIDI
403configuration.
404</p>
405
406<p>
407To see what MIDI output ports are available on your system, use the <c>-l</c>
408option:
409</p>
410
411<pre caption="Viewing the MIDI output ports">
412# <i>aplaymidi -l</i>
413</pre>
414
415<p>
416If all looks fine, try playing a MIDI file to make sure everything works. With
417the <c>-p</c> option you define what MIDI port you want to use.
418</p>
419
420<pre caption="Playing a MIDI file">
421# <i>aplaymidi -p 65:0 "Final Fantasy 7 - Aerith' Theme.mid"</i>
422</pre>
423
424</body>
425</section>
426</chapter>
427<chapter>
428<title>Final Remarks</title>
429<section> 756<section>
430<title>Tools and Firmware</title> 757<title>Tools and Firmware</title>
431<body> 758<body>
432 759
433<p> 760<p>
440<pre caption="Selecting ALSA Tools in /etc/make.conf"> 767<pre caption="Selecting ALSA Tools in /etc/make.conf">
441ALSA_TOOLS="as10k1 ac3dec" 768ALSA_TOOLS="as10k1 ac3dec"
442</pre> 769</pre>
443 770
444<p> 771<p>
772If the ALSA_TOOLS variable is not set, all available tools will be built.
445Then install the <c>alsa-tools</c> (and/or <c>alsa-firmware</c>) package(s): 773Now, install the <c>alsa-tools</c> (and/or <c>alsa-firmware</c>) package(s):
446</p> 774</p>
447 775
448<pre caption="Installing ALSA Tools"> 776<pre caption="Installing ALSA Tools">
449# <i>emerge alsa-tools</i> 777# <i>emerge alsa-tools</i>
450</pre> 778</pre>
451 779
452</body> 780</body>
453</section> 781</section>
454<section> 782<section>
455<title>Activating Joystick Support</title> 783<title>A Big thank you to...</title>
456<body>
457
458<p>
459If your soundcard has a joystick plug, you might be interested in activating
460joystick support for your soundcard. If so, start by verifying if your soundcard
461driver has a joystick parameter. You can verify this by running <c>modinfo</c>
462against your kernel module. For instance, for the <c>snd-via82xx</c>:
463</p>
464
465<pre caption="Running modinfo">
466# <i>modinfo snd-via82xx</i>
467filename: /lib/modules/2.4.22-ck2/snd-via82xx.o
468description: "VIA VT82xx audio"
469author: "Jaroslav Kysela &lt;perex@suse.cz&gt;"
470license: "GPL"
471parm: index int array (min = 1, max = 8), description "Index value for
472 VIA 82xx bridge."
473parm: id string array (min = 1, max = 8), description "ID string for VIA
474 82xx bridge."
475parm: enable int array (min = 1, max = 8), description "Enable audio part
476 of VIA 82xx bridge."
477parm: mpu_port long array (min = 1, max = 8), description "MPU-401 port.
478 (VT82C686x only)"
479<i>parm: joystick int array (min = 1, max = 8), description "Enable
480 joystick. (VT82C686x only)"</i>
481parm: ac97_clock int array (min = 1, max = 8), description "AC'97 codec
482 clock (default 48000Hz)."
483parm: dxs_support int array (min = 1, max = 8), description "Support for
484 DXS channels (0 = auto, 1 = enable, 2 = disable, 3 = 48k only, 4 =
485 no VRA)
486</pre>
487
488<p>
489If it has the <c>joystick</c> parameter, append <c>joystick=1</c> to your
490<c>options</c> line in <path>/etc/modules.d/alsa</path>. For instance:
491</p>
492
493<pre caption="Adding the joystick parameter">
494alias snd-card-0 snd-via82xx
495options snd-via82xx joystick=1
496</pre>
497
498</body> 784<body>
499</section> 785
786<p>
787Everyone who contributed to the earlier version of the Gentoo ALSA Guide:
788Vincent Verleye, Grant Goodyear, Arcady Genkin, Jeremy Huddleston,
789John P. Davis, Sven Vermeulen, Benny Chuang, Tiemo Kieft and Erwin.
790</p>
791
792</body>
500<section> 793</section>
794<section>
501<title>Resources</title> 795<title>References</title>
502<body> 796<body>
503 797
504<ul> 798<ul>
505 <li><uri link="http://www.alsa-project.org">The ALSA Project</uri></li> 799 <li><uri link="http://www.alsa-project.org/">The ALSA Project</uri></li>
506 <li><uri link="http://www.djcj.org">ALSA Howto's and FAQs</uri></li>
507 <li><uri link="http://linux-sound.org">Linux Sound/MIDI Software</uri></li> 800 <li><uri link="http://linux-sound.org">Linux Sound/MIDI Software</uri></li>
508</ul> 801</ul>
509 802
510</body> 803</body>
511</section> 804</section>

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