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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Suggestions
Better sound in linux
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Diamond

Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 141

PostPosted: Wed 23 Sep 2009, 16:13    Post subject:  Better sound in linux  

Hi there!
I just want to ask,is there any chance that linux drivers for sound will be better ? I am using SB audigy SE sound card,and in Windows everything sounds better than in Linux.
I set 16 bit sound in KDE,still windows is better.
Thanx!
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disciple

Joined: 20 May 2006
Posts: 6455
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep 2009, 01:31    Post subject:  

Please describe what you mean by "better".
Usually Linux sound drivers are fine, but it depends of course on how good a specific driver is on your specific hardware. You might want to look around to see if there are any alternative drivers for your hardware, or it might even be better with a different version of the Linux kernel, or of alsa.

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Diamond

Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 141

PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep 2009, 07:43    Post subject:  

I mean that when I listen to music in windows it sounds richer and better,than in Linux.
I don't know where to find an alternative drivers for SB audigy SE,or alsa or kernel.
I just want to ask everyone with SB audigy card,what is their experience,wich drivers/alsa/kernel produce the best sound for playing music files ?
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Pizzasgood


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 6270
Location: Knoxville, TN, USA

PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep 2009, 11:30    Post subject:  

That might be an effect of the media player you use in 'doze. It could be applying a filter to the audio to enhance it. Some media players have options like "Extra Stereo" and stuff. Or it could be equalizer settings. Both the media player and the drivers can have their own equalizer settings. In fact, the Windows drivers for my sound chip even have filters to add echos to make it sound like I'm in a stadium and stuff (not that I ever use it).

I don't know what kind of support Alsa has for equalization and fancy filters because I don't really bother with that stuff. I do know that some of the Linux media players do have their own equalizers and filters though.

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Diamond

Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 141

PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep 2009, 13:23    Post subject:  

I think it is about drivers.For example I tried several drivers in windows and with each new driver sound got better and better.
It isn't any filter,because I don't use any filter from soundcard,and I don't use equalizers in winamp.
I mean just clean sound that could be better.
For example it seems to me that Amarok produces "cleaner" tones than Audacious ,which sounds a little "filtered" to me.
Nevertheless,I hope that audio drivers for linux will produce richer and better sound.
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disciple

Joined: 20 May 2006
Posts: 6455
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep 2009, 17:52    Post subject:  

Quote:
for example I tried several drivers in windows and with each new driver sound got better and better.

No offense, but I don't think they would ship a sound card with faulty drivers in the first place. It must be the sort of enhancement Pizzasgood described - but this can actually be a setting of the sound card, not the software. If you run alsamixer you might have settings for it, but I can confirm that sometimes Linux drivers don't let you access settings like this when windows drivers do.

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scsijon

Joined: 23 May 2007
Posts: 1047
Location: the australian mallee

PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep 2009, 00:12    Post subject:  

have a look at ttuuxxx's amarock
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tempestuous

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 5285
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep 2009, 00:39    Post subject:  

Diamond, what's your reference for "good"? What amplifier and speakers do you have?
Are your audio files compressed? If so, this is a sub-optimal foundation upon which to make judgments, and may mean your audio files are not particularly good.

I cannot talk about the specific ALSA driver (snd-ca0106) for the Audigy SE sound card,
but the Linux ALSA audio subsystem, itself, is fundamentally superior to the audio subsystem in Windows XP.
You can read about it here -
"Linux Audio the way to go!?"
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?t=93315
The practical results, through listening tests, match the theory.
This is a group of hifi fanatics who listen through music systems which sometimes cost more than a car.

Windows Vista is better than XP, but still not as good as ALSA, particularly if you configure your ALSA driver to bypass its internal plugin mechanism (which means bypassing volume control).

I, personally, have heard an Envy 24HT-S based soundcard (better than Audigy) running under Linux playing through a very expensive hifi system. When I boot the same system into Windows, the superior sound of Linux/ALSA is evident.

If your sound card doesn't sound as good in Linux, then ...
- you have a configuration problem.
- or your audio player application is confusing the issue (try the commandline application, ecasound)
- or you have poor quality (harsh, for example) audio files, and the ALSA driver is revealing this to you for the first time.

Diamond wrote:
it seems to me that Amarok produces "cleaner" tones than Audacious ,which sounds a little "filtered" to me.

Well this difference is clearly between different applications. Both applications are outputting to the same ALSA driver.
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disciple

Joined: 20 May 2006
Posts: 6455
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep 2009, 02:31    Post subject:  

Quote:
Windows Vista is better than XP, but still not as good as ALSA, particularly if you configure your ALSA driver to bypass its internal plugin mechanism (which means bypassing volume control).

Cool, I didn't know you could do that. Does it apply to audio input as well as output?

Quote:
If your sound card doesn't sound as good in Linux, then ...

Or the linux driver for your soundcard isn't very good, or isn't very good with your specific soundcard. But I doubt that is the issue with the card we are discussing.

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tempestuous

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 5285
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep 2009, 04:01    Post subject:  

Yes, the ALSA system is very flexible.
To configure your ALSA driver to bypass all "dmix" processing, create this text file -
Code:
pcm.MYSOUNDCARD {
   type hw
   card 0
}

and save it as /etc/asound.conf
Reboot.

To confirm success, launch alsamixer, and your volume controls will have no effect.
For further information, see
http://www.alsa-project.org/alsa-doc/alsa-lib/pcm_plugins.html

disciple wrote:
Does it apply to audio input as well as output?

Well input is controlled by individual audio applications.

If we take the example of an audio application with a volume control, the bypass of this control will depend on how it has been implemented;
some audio applications implement volume control with calls to ALSA (or OSS) - so if dmix has been bypassed then obviously these types of volume controls will be rendered ineffectual.

But some audio applications use their own internal software volume control, and obviously these types of volume controls will remain effective even if dmix has been bypassed.
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disciple

Joined: 20 May 2006
Posts: 6455
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep 2009, 06:54    Post subject:  

Thanks, although I though dmix was about more than one application being able to play at once... and I remember it was enabled by default in older alsa versions.
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glassparrot


Joined: 01 Jun 2008
Posts: 285
Location: Durango, Colorado - USA

PostPosted: Thu 12 Nov 2009, 04:25    Post subject:  

People might get some improvement in sound by installing one of the pets on this page, such as Alsa-3in1-k262516-1.0.20.pet

These are not packages made expressly for puppy 4.31, but they seem to work.

In addition, it will help to turn the volume all the way up in alsamixer on "Master" "Front" and "PCM."
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ttuuxxx


Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 10843
Location: Ontario Canada,Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Thu 12 Nov 2009, 06:50    Post subject: Re: Better sound in linux  

Diamond wrote:
Hi there!
I just want to ask,is there any chance that linux drivers for sound will be better ? I am using SB audigy SE sound card,and in Windows everything sounds better than in Linux.
I set 16 bit sound in KDE,still windows is better.
Thanx!


Hi Diamond hmmm have you tried 2.14X
It has a tweaked verson of BMP with LadSpa
click plugins, effects and then enable it and select which ones you like, I'm sure it will sound better than windows, you just have to set it first to the way you like it.
ttuuxxx
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glassparrot


Joined: 01 Jun 2008
Posts: 285
Location: Durango, Colorado - USA

PostPosted: Thu 12 Nov 2009, 13:17    Post subject:  

Those Ladspa sound tools look very exciting, ttuuxxx. Do you know of any way in which I might get those things into XFCE? Is there a place where I can find those resources which you are picturing there, so I can compile them from scratch?

By the way, just a note for anyone who is interested in learning about the ALSA sound stuff. It's important to realise that there are TWO sites devoted to this project which look almost exactly alike. There is the official wiki, and the unofficial wiki.
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ttuuxxx


Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 10843
Location: Ontario Canada,Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Fri 13 Nov 2009, 04:26    Post subject:  

glassparrot wrote:
Those Ladspa sound tools look very exciting, ttuuxxx. Do you know of any way in which I might get those things into XFCE? Is there a place where I can find those resources which you are picturing there, so I can compile them from scratch?


Yes sure http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=349956#349956
you need bmp,tap,ladspa, for that, plus there's others to add.
why not compile xfce for 2.14X, could be easier Smile
ttuuxxx
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=42553 <---2.14X

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