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[solved] How to get PulseAudio simultaneous 5.1 output
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sliwowitz
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Joined: 21 Jan 2005
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Location: Europe/Prague

PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:33 pm    Post subject: [solved] How to get PulseAudio simultaneous 5.1 output Reply with quote

I installed PulseAudio, hoping it woudl allow me to output sound to two soundcards simultaneously. I'm almost there - using paprefs I enable simulatenous output device, but it shows as stereo only, regradless of the configurations of the hardware. Outof the box, the situation goes like:

#1 SB Audigy configured using Gnome volume control to use 5.1 channels
#2 Intel HDA configured using Gnome volume control to use 5.1 channels
#3 Simultaneous output, which is only stereo.

Code:
speaker-test -c6 -t wav
works correctly on cards #1 and #2, but I only get front-left and front-right on virtual card #3

I tweaked /etc/pulse/daemon.conf a little bit:
Code:

default-sample-channels = 6
default-channel-map = front-left,front-right,rear-left,rear-right,front-center,lfe

Now cards #1 and #2 work correctly as before and simultaneous output has 5 channels, but no subwoofer. Speakertest shows it is testing LFE, but no sound is produced from any soundcard (when configured with #3)

Any ideas on how to make all 6 channels working with PulseAudio simultaneous output?
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Last edited by sliwowitz on Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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VoidMage
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Joined: 14 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you're tweaking in the wrong direction.
Drop those daemon changes and start checking pacmd.
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sliwowitz
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Joined: 21 Jan 2005
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Location: Europe/Prague

PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, you're right. Using various pacmd commands (list-modules nad list-sinks) I discovered, that module-combine (loaded without parameters - as set by paprefs) had wrong default channel configuration (rear-center instead of lfe).

I reverted my /etc/pulse/daemon.conf to initial state, removed ~/.pulse and added one line at the end of /etc/pulse/default.pa:
Code:

load-module module-combine channels=6 channel_map=front-left,front-right,rear-left,rear-right,front-center,lfe

It now correctly redirects all sounds to both soundcards using full 5.1 channels, it doesn't interfere with input settings, it is completely transparent for all running applications and it even plays nice with JACK when I need it, which is exactly what I wanted my computer to do since 2006 :-)

Thanks for your help.
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Landtodd
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Joined: 17 Nov 2012
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Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:40 pm    Post subject: Worked! Reply with quote

This approached worked to activate the center-channel (so-called) subwoofer in my HP Envy w/ Beats Audio (running Ubuntu).
Thank you for the solution and the education, too! I also cross-posted this over at AskUbuntu. :D
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