Provided by: oss4-base_4.2-build2005-2ubuntu1_amd64 bug

NAME

       oss_sblive - Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live/Audigy family driver.

DESCRIPTION

       Open  Sound  System  driver  for  Creative  Labs  Sound  Blaster  Live!,  Audigy, Audigy2,
       Audigy2-Value and sound cards.

       The sblive driver supports:

       ·  8-48Khz Playback/Recording

       ·  8 or 16 bits

       ·  SPDIF digital output and Input

       ·  Multi channel 5.1 (Live!) and 7.1 (Audigy) output.

       AC3 passthrough is only supported on Audigy series of the soundcards.

OTHER SIMILAR CARDS

       There are several Sound Blaster cards that are also called  as  Live  or  Audigy.  However
       these  cards  are  based on entirely different hardware design and they are not compatible
       with this driver.

       ·  Sound Blaster Live 5.1 card is used in some  Dell  machines  but  it's  driven  by  the
          emu10k1x driver.

       ·  Sound Blaster AudigyLS and Live 7.1 models are driven by the audigyls driver of OSS.

   SBLIVE COMBO SPDIF AND AUDIO JACKS
       Most  models of Live! and Audigy cards have an orange combo jack that is used both for the
       analog center/LFE output and for digital DIN (S/PDIF) output. The output mode is  selected
       by  a  driver  configuration  option  (seel  below)  which  should  be set to proper value
       depending on the actual speaker configuration.

       ·  Noisy analog center/LFE output. The  orange  combo  jack  at  the  rear  plate  of  the
          Live/Audigy  card  is shared between the digital DIN and the analog center/LFE outputs.
          In digital DIN mode (default) you  will  hear  very  noisy  output  from  the  speakers
          connected  to  this  output  jack.  If  you have analog center/LFE (subwoofer) speakers
          connected then you need to turn  off  the  sblive_digital_din  (or  audigy_digital_din)
          option.

       ·  There  is  a  new  configuration  option to enable/disable the "digital DIN" output. By
          default the digital DIN interface is  enabled  which  disables  the  center/LFE  analog
          output   (uses   the   same   combo   jack).  By  setting  the  sblive_digital_din  (or
          audigy_digital_din) option to 0 you can enable the analog C/LFE  output  feature.  When
          digital  DIN  is  disabled  you  can  still get S/PDIF (or AC3) output from the digital
          (optical/coax) outputs of the optional livedrive unit.

   SBLIVE MIXER
       SB Live cards have actually two mixer chips. In OSS both of them are controlled  together.
       However only limited set of features can be controlled using ordinary mixer programs (such
       as the mixer applet included in OSS).  Majority of features can only be accessed using the
       ossmix and ossxmix programs included in OSS.

       The AC97 mixer is used to control volumes of the back bracket inputs (mic and line in) and
       the _analog_ CD input connector on the soundcard. The 'mic' volume controls the  level  of
       the  rear  bracket  microphone input sent directly to the front (only front) speakers. The
       'line' and 'cd' controls do the same for the back bracket line in  connector  and  the  on
       board analog CD input connector. It's usually recommended to set these volumes to 0.

       Another  function  of  the AC97 mixer is selecting the signal that is passed to the master
       mixer (for example for recording). One of the 'mic', 'line' or the recording source in the
       AC97 mixer. The 'rec' volume control slider can be used to adjust the signal strength. The
       'igain' control doesn't usually have any effect but some hardware revisions may use it for
       controlling the microphone recording level.

   SBLIVE MASTER MIXER
       Other  mixer  functions  are  handled  by the DSP engine of the EMU 10k1 chip.  Most input
       signals (including all digital signals and LiveDrive inputs).

       There are only two master mixer settings that can be controlled using all mixer  programs.
       The  'vol'  setting  is  the  master  output  volume  that affects both the front and rear
       speakers and the headphone output (digital output volumes are  not  affected).  The  'pcm'
       setting controls volumes of all PCM playback channels (/dev/dsp#).

       In  addition  to  volume sliders most inputs have a stereo VU meter pair (only in ossxmix)
       that can be used to monitor the input and to adjust the input levels properly.

       The master mixer consists of several sections that are:

       ·  Primary section: This section has two  settings.  The  "spkmode"  setting  selects  how
          front/rear  speakers are used for PCM playback (outputs from programs using /dev/dsp#).
          The possible settings are FRONT, REAR and FRONT+REAR. The default is FRONT+REAR. Change
          this  setting  if  you  like  to get PCM playback only from front or rear speakers. The
          "autoreset" flag is used to control the "/dev" section.

       ·  "/dev" section: This section  controls  the  volumes  of  each  /dev/dsp#  device  file
          supported by the device (there are 8 of them at this moment). These volumes will return
          back to maximum every time the device is  opened.  However  this  can  be  disabled  by
          setting  the 'autoreset' option to OFF. The ossxmix program has special ability to show
          the application using the particular /dev/dsp device (for layout reasons only the first
          4 characters of the program name are shown).

       ·  The  equalizer  section: This section controls the graphic equalizer for front speakers
          only.

       ·  The front rear, and record sections: These three identical sections control the  levels
          of  external  inputs  and PCM playback (/dev/dsp# devices) to be sent to the front/rear
          speakers and to the recording device.  The CD Analog audio will only be heard from  the
          FRONT speakers.

   SBLIVE RECORDING
       Before  recording  anything you need to set the volumes in the recording section properly.
       To enable recording from the AC97 connected inputs (mic, line in and analog  CD)  use  the
       AC97  mixer  to  select the desired input and then tune the input level using the rec (and
       igain) setting.

       Finally set the 'ac97' slider in the record section  of  the  master  mixer  so  that  the
       recording level is suitable.

       The OSS drivers permit recording any application that's currently playing.

       To record audio that's playing on any of the SB Live channels:

       ·  Turn  down  the AC97 control in the "record" section. This prevents any audio being fed
          to the soundcard from MIC/Line-in/CD-in from getting mixed with the audio  produced  by
          the application that's currently playing.

       ·  Type ossrecord -s<sampling rate> -b<bits/sample> -c<channels> test.wav

       ·  To  stop  recording  press  <Ctrl-c> and then you can play back the test.wav file using
          ossplay command.

              RECORDING ISSUES: In most cases noise is caused by the  microphone  input  or  some
              other  (unused)  input.  Use  the ossxmix program to turn off all unused inputs and
              finally save the current mixer settings (see below).

       Hint: Look at the VU meter panels of ossxmix. It's usually very easy to locate  the  noise
       source by looking which input has some signal coming from it.

              WARNING! If you turn off some of the signals in recording section or the AC97 mixer
              section this affects all subsequent recordings. Remember to raise the volume  prior
              doing any recording. After that decrease the volumes again if necessary.

   SBLIVE HARDWARE MIXING
       You  can  use  /dev/oss/oss_sblive0/  pcm0-pcm7  to play multiple audio programs using the
       hardware mixing.  Simply specify the device name with the application. A simple test is to
       do    the   following:   ossplay   -d/dev/oss/oss_sblive0/pcm0   <file1.wav>   &   ossplay
       -d/dev/oss/oss_sblive0/pcm1 <file2.wav> & ossplay -d/dev/oss/oss_sblive0/pcm2  <file3.wav>
       &

       You should hear all three wav files playing simultaneously.

       NOTE: Some apps may desire the old /dev/dspN names. e.g. /dev/dsp0 - /dev/dsp7.

       NOTE:  You  can  increase  the  number of output devices from the standard 8 devices to 32
       device. For this, run soundconf, select Set configuration options and look for  the  entry
       "sblive_device", now type any number between 1 and 32 for the number of channels you wish.
       You can also do this manually by editing oss_sblive.conf and  inserting  sblive_devices=XX
       entry, e.g.: sblive_devices=27

   CDROM CONNNECTIONS
       There are two alternative ways to connect audio signal from a CD-ROM drive tor the SB Live
       soundcard. You can use a (three wire) analog cable or a (2 wire) digital  cable.  OSS  now
       supports  both  of  these choices. Note that there are separate mixer settings for both of
       these connections.

       The analog CD-ROM wire is connected to the AC97 code chip and this method  works  in  most
       cases.  To route the analog CD -input to the (front) speakers you need to raise the volume
       of the 'cd' control in mixer. However if you like to hear the analog CD  input  both  from
       the  front  and  rears speakers you need to do this in slightly different way (please read
       the description of the mixer above).

       The digital connection works only with CD-ROM drives that has support for it.   Note  that
       some  CD-ROM drives having this digital output connector use a different signal level than
       the one required by SB Live. This means that the digital connection doesn't work with  all
       CD-ROM  drives (no sound). If you have problems with the digital connection you should use
       the analog one.  When using the the digital CD input you may need to  adjust  the  'digcd'
       volumes using ossxmix (or ossmix).

       It  should  be  noted  that SB Live works internally at 48 kHz. This means that all S/PDIF
       input signals are automatically sample rate converted to 48 kHz.  If  you  record  from  a
       44.1  kHz  (CD-ROM)  and save the result to a 44.1 kHz file the signal will be sample rate
       converted twice. First from the 44.1 kHz input to internal 48 kHz and then  back  to  44.1
       kHz.  While  the  sample  rate  converter  of SB Live is very precise this will cause some
       change. This should not be any problem when  doing  audio  recordings  but  it  may  cause
       unwanted  results  when  transferring  digital data (such as AC3/DTS) using the S/PDIF the
       interface.

CONFIGURATION OPTIONS

       ·  sblive_digital_din=<0|1> - This option is to enable/disable the "digital DIN" output of
          SB  Live. By default the digital DIN interface is disabled which enables the center/LFE
          analog output (uses the same combo jack). By setting the sblive_digital_din option to 0
          you  can  enable the analog Center/LFE output feature. When digital DIN is disabled you
          can still get S/PDIF (or AC3) output from the digital  (optical/coax)  outputs  of  the
          optional livedrive unit. Default: 0=analog output.

       ·  audigy_digital_din=<0|1>  -  same  as "sblive_digital_din" option except for the Audigy
          soundcards. Default: 1=digital output.

       ·  sblive_devices=<1..32> - Number of audio devices to be configured.

LIMITATION

       ·  SB Live! devices will not work in Sparc systems due to PCI addressing limitations. Only
          Audigy/Audigy2 models work under Sparc.

       ·  EMU Wavetable MIDI synthesizer is not supported

       ·  AC3 passthrough only supported on Audigy/Audigy but not on SB Live! devices.

FILES

       /etc/oss4/conf/oss_sblive.conf Device configuration file

AUTHOR

       4Front Technologies

                                         05 February 2012                           oss_sblive(7)