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SubjectRe: ALSA vs. OSS
On Tuesday 20 January 2004 13:18, Mark Borgerding wrote:
> Me too. I cannot get ALSA working on my SB Live.
> If I may be so bold as to make a suggestion: Maybe the developer in
> charge of ALSA's e-mu driver could work with us poor unfortunates.
> There may be some commonality between our systems that causes this
> (besides the sound blaster live).
> My system:
> Sound: SBLive Value
> Redhat 7.3 (w/ piecemeal recompiles & upgrades)
> Kernel: 2.6.1
> CPU: Athlon XP 2100+
> Mobo: ASUS (I think it's A7V333. I can confirm this later.)

ALSA works fine with my EMU10K1; you might find you've selected the "Virtual
MIDI" device in the kernel config -- for some strange reason if you build
ALSA into the kernel, this always gets device #0, and it breaks stuff that's
looking for /dev/dsp (not /dev/dsp1).

However, "fine" from the above paragraph is fairly subjective. The ALSA driver
is noticably inferior to the OSS driver in that the ALSA developers, despite
multiple bug reports and complaints, still persist to use the most horrible
software tone controls. Enabling them is an utter waste of time, as putting
them above 60 causes clipping and artifacts.

The OSS userspace utilities, however, program the EMU10k1 dsp with a very nice
tone control patch that produces a very high quality control with no

If ALSA does or could support working with the programmable dsp, I'd be happy
to switch to it. Right now my "deprecated" SBLive! OSS drivers output higher
quality audio.

This is all getting a little OT, because it seems the problems most people
have with ALSA are userspace concerns, not a problem with the kernel
architecture. Certainly in my case, this is true.


personal: alistair()devzero!co!uk
university: s0348365()sms!ed!ac!uk
student: CS/AI Undergraduate
contact: 7/10 Darroch Court,
University of Edinburgh.
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