Provided by: oss4-base_4.2-build2005-2ubuntu1_i386 bug


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


       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.


       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.

       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.

       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.

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

       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"

       ·  "/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

       ·  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

       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

       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>

       ·  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).
       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.

       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  -

       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

       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

       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.


       ·  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.


       ·  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!


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


       4Front Technologies

                               05 February 2012                  oss_sblive(7)