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Thread: Audio mixing in Linux

  1. #1
    Maximum Bitrate Change's Avatar
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    Audio mixing in Linux

    I'd love to be able to get 2-channel audio cloned to the rear channels with either my VIA's onboard audio, or with my M-Audio Revolution (the latter is preferred because of its significantly better signal-to-noise ratio). However, it looks to be extremely difficult if not impossible to do that, and then there's the matter of mixer applications...they're horrible! Audio seems to be the major area of desktop computing that Linux is lacking in.
    Thoughts? Ideas? Am I missing something that would make this really easy? (splitting front audio to the front/rear inputs of my amp isn't a very good way of doing it, I like being able to change my front/rear volume levels independently)

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate
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    Take a look at the ALSA documentation. Here are instructions on mixing stereo to all channels of a 4.0 5.1 . I had this working 4 or 5 months ago before <sheepish grin> I gave up on the front end situation and installed that other OS. The only problem I could not overcome was that the sound level from topmost audio jack on my epiaM10kN was significantly lower than the headphone jack. I have the same problem in windows so I'm guessing this is more of a hardware issue...

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    Maximum Bitrate gork's Avatar
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    Using alsa's software-based channel cloning works, but it's kind of a pain. It can also cause your sound to skip or the cloned channels to go out of sync under heavy load (especially on the fairly underpowered eipa m10k). This is what happened to me when I was trying it with my 5.1 hercules card. If you have the extra PCI slot for it, getting an EMU10K1 card (SB Live! family) will give you some extra flexibility -- the card has a hardware mixer on it and can do a simple clone or even a front/rear fader effect (ie you can adjust the volumes of the front/rear mix independently) -- this is using emu10k tools but you ought to also be able to get it working with the alsa driver if that is your thing.
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  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate Change's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gork
    Using alsa's software-based channel cloning works, but it's kind of a pain. It can also cause your sound to skip or the cloned channels to go out of sync under heavy load (especially on the fairly underpowered eipa m10k). This is what happened to me when I was trying it with my 5.1 hercules card. If you have the extra PCI slot for it, getting an EMU10K1 card (SB Live! family) will give you some extra flexibility -- the card has a hardware mixer on it and can do a simple clone or even a front/rear fader effect (ie you can adjust the volumes of the front/rear mix independently) -- this is using emu10k tools but you ought to also be able to get it working with the alsa driver if that is your thing.
    Drat. I was hoping to use my M-Audio card as it has lower distortion and a better SNR than the Creative Labs cards...guess I can't have everything, huh?

  5. #5
    Maximum Bitrate gork's Avatar
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    Well, I don't know that the M-Audio won't work -- I just know that the EMU10K1 will work. Worst case is check out the driver... maybe m-audio also has a hardware mixer? Never used one, so I don't
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  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate Change's Avatar
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    Nope...the emu10k1 is one of just a few that have hardware mixers. Curses!!!

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