Simultaneous sounds with ALSA?

Christoph Wickert christoph.wickert at
Thu Apr 8 03:32:15 UTC 2004

Am Do, den 08.04.2004 schrieb Mike Frisch um 04:52: 
> On Wed, Apr 07, 2004 at 11:44:23PM -0300, Nelson Guedes Paulo Junior wrote:
> > I could configure xmms to play in DSP1, but I figure that it had only
> > two DSP's (0 and 1) to chose from and on windows I'm almost certain that
> > it could play at least 4 simultaneous sounds! Am I wrong????
> I think the 'proper' solution is to use either artsd or esd for
> multiplexing accesses to the soundcard.  (I am joining this thread late,
> so I apologize if this has already been mentioned)

Sorry, but I think are wrong: With alsa there's no need for a
sounddaemon like arts or esd. Softwaremixing needs additional hardware
resources (CPU and Mem), so I prefer hardware mixing.

And (sorry:-)) I think Chadley is wrong, too. If alsa is set up with
oss-emulation layer it is completely transparent, you can play multiple
sounds at once without changing to another dsp device.

__BUT_(of course): Your soundcard needs to support hardware mixing. See
if your card is marked with a "4" in the "Notes" column.

So I'd like to ask Nelson to post the relevant parts of his
/etc/modules.conf. These are mine:

# ALSA portion
alias char-major-116 snd
alias snd-card-0 snd-emu10k1
# module options should go here
post-install snd-card-0 /usr/sbin/alsactl restore >/dev/null 2>&1 || :
pre-remove snd-card-0 /usr/sbin/alsactl store >/dev/null 2>&1 || :
alias snd-card-1 snd-intel8x0 # (onboard, not used)
# module options should go here
post-install snd-card-1 /usr/sbin/alsactl restore >/dev/null 2>&1 || :
pre-remove snd-card-1 /usr/sbin/alsactl store >/dev/null 2>&1 || :
                                                                                                                             # OSS/Free portion
alias char-major-14 soundcore
alias sound-slot-0 snd-card-0
alias sound-slot-1 snd-card-1
# card #1
alias sound-service-0-0 snd-mixer-oss
alias sound-service-0-1 snd-seq-oss
alias sound-service-0-3 snd-pcm-oss
alias sound-service-0-8 snd-seq-oss
alias sound-service-0-12 snd-pcm-oss
# card #2 (not used)
alias sound-service-1-0 snd-mixer-oss
#alias sound-service-1-1 snd-seq-oss (sequenzer can only be used once)
alias sound-service-1-3 snd-pcm-oss
alias sound-service-1-8 snd-seq-oss
alias sound-service-1-12 snd-pcm-oss

Hope this might be helpful. 

(If your card is does not support hardwaremixing forget about this mail
and use esd or arts :-)


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