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suicidal_orange_II
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:54 pm    Post subject: M-Audio soundcard experiences Reply with quote

Currently I am using onboard sound, and its terrible. There is constant background noise, and I have had enough of it.

I am not interested in gaming performance, and currently only have stereo speakers and headphones but would like to have the option to switch to surround sound in the future. From the alsa sound matrix it seems that M-Audio Revolution 5.1 and 7.1 are all fully supported in alsa, yet there seem to be many posts of problems in these forums. Trouble is, no-one posts when they find their hardware works :)

Are there any satisfied M-Audio users out there? All reviews I have found agree that these are great sounding cards (and thats what I care about second most - after Linux support :)) and I am sure they would all be a huge improvement on my poor onboard sound. At the moment I'm leaning towards a £54 Revolution 5.1 on ebay, I'm very tempted.


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coplaniuk
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking as an audiophile who does a lot of music mixing...I can say that m-audio cards are overhyped and not at all worth having. Especially if you're running linux. They're hard enough to get working in Windows, let alone in Linux. The sound quality to an untrained ear might be decent...but it distorts very quickly once it gets to anything greater than 8 channels. Oh, it can handle more...but not without some noise. I used to have an m-audio card. I quickly sold it.

Now I know you're looking for sound cards that work in Linux. Sadly...I can't really help you much there because I don't have any PERSONAL experience (word-of-mouth, though...read on). My dual-boot machine became a server and no longer has sound. My other linux machine is a laptop where I have an AC'97 on-board card working pretty clean. At least there's no noise. I have heard some motherboards don't handle shielding properly though, which could be a problem.

As for cards I've heard work well? If you're looking for something a little more high-end...Terratec EWS64 series is reputable in Linux. Hoontech has a few cards that work pretty well. I've also heard that Turtle Beach has a few working cards as well.

***EDIT***
As it turns out, Hoontech is going through a wierd situation right now. They sold their high-end line, ST-Audio...which is a bad move. If you don't mind buying used...Hoontech and ST Audio are great cards (and I had my c-port working in linux before). But it seems like the company may be a bit unstable right now. So I am going to retract my recommendation for the Hoontech cards.
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Last edited by coplaniuk on Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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darkphader
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many of the RME cards work great in Linux. I've been using an RME 9632 for a few years now, and it's great - although it does require a PCI slot :) http://www.rme-audio.com/english/hdsp/hdsp9632.htm


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suicidal_orange_II
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So M-Audio really are that bad... thats a shame.

Unfortunately I have a PCI-E motherboard, so only have 3 PCI slots - tv card and a RAID card mean I cant fit an RME, guess I'd best keep looking


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

suicidal_orange_II wrote:
Unfortunately I have a PCI-E motherboard, so only have 3 PCI slots - tv card and a RAID card mean I cant fit an RME, guess I'd best keep looking


I only have 2 PCI slots - one for TV and the other for the RME, have RAID built in to the motherboard but I don't use it.

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suicidal_orange_II
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So you have a single slot RME? from all the pics they all looked at least 2 slots, some as big as 4 :o

Ill have another look...


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

suicidal_orange_II wrote:
So you have a single slot RME?

Yes, the 9632 is a single slot device, although it doesn't do 32 channels in that configuration but I only need the 4 (2 in 2 out).
Unfortunately their Fireface 800 is not a supported device.

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GWilliam
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

#NULL

Last edited by GWilliam on Sat Jul 24, 2010 10:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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toofastforyahuh
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

M-Audio Revolution 7.1 is a lousy card in Linux.
The ice-1724 support in alsa is a joke.

For one thing, the mixer always mutes one channel at boot time -- REGARDLESS of your previous settings. Indeed, if you open alsamixer, you will find NO channels are supposed to be muted. And raising/lowering a volume slider fixes the problem. It's just a bug in the alsa driver itself. So after every boot you must run alsamixer. (Yes, a bug was filed years ago and it took them about a year just to acknowledge its existence. But as of kernel-2.6.17.4 there is still no fix.)

Next problem. Left and right channels seem swapped. blah.

And maybe this is just some obscure setup issue I don't understand, but how do you get a volume slider on xine working? It literally does nothing for me.

So I would just avoid ice-1724 at all costs.
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Bill Thompson
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is not a scientific response.

I have an M-Audio Audiophile 2496 and it works brilliantly. If I needed more power I would go to the RME which has more features.
envy24control works for me; SPDIF passthrough works for me. The quality is superb.

There may well be other experiences, but I think the quality is there.
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longship
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also have the M-Audio Audiophile 2496. It is a very nice card and works 100%. Envy24control works perfectly. It sounds very, very nice, much better than any other sound card I've used.

No, I've not tried the Hoontech, nor the RME cards. However, the M-Audio card costs less than $100 while the others can set you back some bucks. For the money, the AP 2496 is a wonder. I sincerely doubt if most people will hear an audible difference between it and the more expensive cards.

I'm sure that music pros may have different opinions, but for general, high quality music reproduction, you can't beat the AP 2496 for the price. On top of that, it's not a SoundBluster.

This thing just plain works, and works exceptionally well.
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Al Al Cool J
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm curious how people have 2496s that work perfectly, because I just bought one, and after spending a day wrestling with it, I've given up, and gone back to onboard sound.

Problem #1 - no hardware mixing. OK, no big deal, I expected that. Dug into the alsa config and set up software mixing. Worked perfectly.

Problem #2 - volume control. The 2496 has totally separate channels for left and right analog out. Programs like kmix expect a single channel for volume control, and so could only control the volume of one speaker. A lot of googling and more time spent messing with alsa, and eventually I created a PCM Volume channel that controlled both speakers at once. Worked surprisingly well, except...

Problem #3 - mute. The 2496's analog outs have no mute function. Could find no solution in alsa, so I had to hack together a bash script using dcop commands, storing the volume level in a temp file. This took 10 times longer than it should because the kmix panel icon refused to display an unmuted icon on unmute unless I also muted and unmuted channel #12 (for no obvious reason). It finally worked, but this was now seeming less than perfect.

At long last I settled down to enjoy my favorite movie in the splendor of my new sound card, and thirty seconds later I noticed...

Problem #4 - popping sounds in mplayer. It seems mplayer is throwing alsa errors, and resetting the stream every few seconds. More googling, playing around with different buffer values, but still no improvement. Then all of a sudden...

Problem #5 - audio goes off-pitch. Everything suddenly became deeper, like the audio was being played 10% slower. Nothing I did, including removing .asoundrc and rebooting, fixed it.

At that point I gave up.

Now your mileage may vary, but that was my experience today with an Audiophile 2496.
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shakti
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Al Al Cool J wrote:
I'm curious how people have 2496s that work perfectly, because I just bought one, and after spending a day wrestling with it, I've given up, and gone back to onboard sound.
Problem #2 - volume control. The 2496 has totally separate channels for left and right analog out. Programs like kmix expect a single channel for volume control, and so could only control the volume of one speaker. A lot of googling and more time spent messing with alsa, and eventually I created a PCM Volume channel that controlled both speakers at once. Worked surprisingly well, except...


how did you do that?

Al Al Cool J wrote:


Problem #4 - popping sounds in mplayer. It seems mplayer is throwing alsa errors, and resetting the stream every few seconds. More googling, playing around with different buffer values, but still no improvement. Then all of a sudden...

Problem #5 - audio goes off-pitch. Everything suddenly became deeper, like the audio was being played 10% slower. Nothing I did, including removing .asoundrc and rebooting, fixed it.


sound like a samplerate problem, there is a setting in envy24control to lock the samplerate otherwise it might set itself wrong.
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Al Al Cool J
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shakti wrote:
Al Al Cool J wrote:

Problem #2 - volume control. The 2496 has totally separate channels for left and right analog out. Programs like kmix expect a single channel for volume control, and so could only control the volume of one speaker. A lot of googling and more time spent messing with alsa, and eventually I created a PCM Volume channel that controlled both speakers at once. Worked surprisingly well, except...


how did you do that?


Using alsa's softvol plugin. See for example the last post here
http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=76788&page=4

shakti wrote:

Al Al Cool J wrote:

Problem #5 - audio goes off-pitch.


sound like a samplerate problem, there is a setting in envy24control to lock the samplerate otherwise it might set itself wrong.


Ok that fixed it, but only by locking into a 48KHz samplerate. Now sounds from other sources, such as cube and foobillard, are all sped up. I'll play around with it some more, but I get the feeling that the 2496 is great for music, but is not a good general-purpose sound card (just as a Ferrari is a great sportscar, but not a good general-purpose vehicle).
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ahubu
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I have the audiophile 2496 too for half a year now I think. I never dug too deep into my problems, and I do recognise some of these down below.

Al Al Cool J wrote:

Problem #1 - no hardware mixing. OK, no big deal, I expected that. Dug into the alsa config and set up software mixing. Worked perfectly.

True, I have an sblive as well and I must say I see no difference between the two after setting up software mixing.


Al Al Cool J wrote:

Problem #2 - volume control. The 2496 has totally separate channels for left and right analog out. Programs like kmix expect a single channel for volume control, and so could only control the volume of one speaker. A lot of googling and more time spent messing with alsa, and eventually I created a PCM Volume channel that controlled both speakers at once. Worked surprisingly well, except...

Also true, and I will look into this. For me it is no problem, because I have a receiver hooked up, with a nice big wheel for my volume needs :). I keep the 2496 at a certain volume and it never changes.

Al Al Cool J wrote:

Problem #3 - mute. The 2496's analog outs have no mute function. Could find no solution in alsa, so I had to hack together a bash script using dcop commands, storing the volume level in a temp file. This took 10 times longer than it should because the kmix panel icon refused to display an unmuted icon on unmute unless I also muted and unmuted channel #12 (for no obvious reason). It finally worked, but this was now seeming less than perfect.

I don't know what is the problem. I use gnome, amarok, and I have a multimediakeyboard. When I press the mute key, it mutes. Never had to look into it. Maybe I understood it wrong, but I never had issues with this.

Al Al Cool J wrote:

Problem #4 - popping sounds in mplayer. It seems mplayer is throwing alsa errors, and resetting the stream every few seconds. More googling, playing around with different buffer values, but still no improvement. Then all of a sudden...

I have been watching movies/series with mplayer and totem, and I checked this, mplayer does never give me errors on audio, nor do I hear popping. Totem neither, by the way.

Al Al Cool J wrote:

Problem #5 - audio goes off-pitch. Everything suddenly became deeper, like the audio was being played 10% slower. Nothing I did, including removing .asoundrc and rebooting, fixed it.

Never happened with me, I also never hard-set the sampling rate, so that might be the culprit indeed.

Before I had my card (when it was being shipped), I looked up the values I had to set and drivers I had to merge for alsa on the alsa wiki, which you can find here. So I set the values/config blindly, without testing. When I put the card in, all worked. Maybe I was lucky :)

Only one thing is not working, and that is 5.1 audio with totem. For some reason I only hear the back channels, no matter what I set in the preferences. Mplayer plays it fine though.
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micmac
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello!

Al Al Cool J wrote:
I'm curious how people have 2496s that work perfectly, because I just bought one, and after spending a day wrestling with it, I've given up, and gone back to onboard sound.

Problem #1 - no hardware mixing. OK, no big deal, I expected that. Dug into the alsa config and set up software mixing. Worked perfectly.

Bad idea IMHO. Now you have to resample. Why waste money on a HiFi card when you end up with that. I can live with not being able to play multiple sounds at once, but resampling I can live without.
Al Al Cool J wrote:

Problem #2 - volume control. The 2496 has totally separate channels for left and right analog out. Programs like kmix expect a single channel for volume control, and so could only control the volume of one speaker. A lot of googling and more time spent messing with alsa, and eventually I created a PCM Volume channel that controlled both speakers at once. Worked surprisingly well, except...

Same here. I put this into /etc/asound.conf:
Code:
pcm.!default {
        type softvol
        slave.pcm plughw
        control.name PCM
}

Al Al Cool J wrote:

Problem #3 - mute. The 2496's analog outs have no mute function. Could find no solution in alsa, so I had to hack together a bash script using dcop commands, storing the volume level in a temp file. This took 10 times longer than it should because the kmix panel icon refused to display an unmuted icon on unmute unless I also muted and unmuted channel #12 (for no obvious reason). It finally worked, but this was now seeming less than perfect.

True. I don't use kmix. For muting/unmuting I use my multimedia keys. In kcontrol center I set the mute key to execute "amixer set PCM 0" and unmute to "amixer set PCM 255". But this may not be an option for you if lacking multimedia keys on your keyboard.
Al Al Cool J wrote:

At long last I settled down to enjoy my favorite movie in the splendor of my new sound card, and thirty seconds later I noticed...

Problem #4 - popping sounds in mplayer. It seems mplayer is throwing alsa errors, and resetting the stream every few seconds. More googling, playing around with different buffer values, but still no improvement. Then all of a sudden...

Here mplayer uses ALSA's default device (which I defined in the asound.conf file as "softvol"). Nothing further to do. Works like a charm.
Al Al Cool J wrote:

Problem #5 - audio goes off-pitch. Everything suddenly became deeper, like the audio was being played 10% slower. Nothing I did, including removing .asoundrc and rebooting, fixed it.

The way I use the device this doesn't happen. The driver changes the sample rate according to the input file.

The only thing that doesn't work properly is playing 24bit/96kHz material, but this may be a problem related to the players I use. Anyway, I rarely get my hands on these kinds of files anyway.

Regards
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johnny99
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first external usb sound card is the Turtle Beach "Audio Advantage Micro II".
It works great with alsa and the snd-usb-audio driver.
I updated the lsusb database to get this:
update-usbids ; lsusb
Code:
Bus 003 Device 008: ID 0d8c:0103 C-Media Electronics, Inc. CM102-A+/102S+ Audio Controller

alsaconf never found the card, so I created my own alsa config
Code:
cat  >> /etc/modules.d/alsa<<'END_CONFIG'
alias /dev/mixer snd-mixer-oss
alias /dev/dsp snd-pcm-oss
alias /dev/midi snd-seq-oss
alias snd-card-0 snd-intel8x0
alias sound-slot-0 snd-intel8x0
alias snd-card-1 snd-usb-audio
options snd-usb-audio vid=0d8c pid=0103 enable=1 index=1
END_CONFIG

Currently installed alsa packages include:
Code:
media-libs/alsa-lib-1.0.21a
media-sound/alsa-firmware-1.0.20
media-sound/alsa-headers-1.0.21
media-sound/alsa-utils-1.0.21-r1
media-sound/alsamixergui-0.9.0.1.2-r4

Listing my modules
lsmod |grep snd
Code:
snd_pcm_oss            32883  1
snd_mixer_oss          13230  1 snd_pcm_oss
snd_seq_dummy           1295  0
snd_seq_oss            23509  0
snd_seq_midi_event      4756  1 snd_seq_oss
snd_seq                42149  5 snd_seq_dummy,snd_seq_oss,snd_seq_midi_event
snd_intel8x0           24234  0
snd_ac97_codec        100272  1 snd_intel8x0
ac97_bus                1102  1 snd_ac97_codec
snd_usb_audio          65278  1
snd_pcm                60528  4 snd_pcm_oss,snd_intel8x0,snd_ac97_codec,snd_usb_audio
snd_timer              15710  2 snd_seq,snd_pcm
snd_page_alloc          6121  2 snd_intel8x0,snd_pcm
snd_usb_lib            13883  1 snd_usb_audio
snd_rawmidi            15553  1 snd_usb_lib
snd_seq_device          4605  4 snd_seq_dummy,snd_seq_oss,snd_seq,snd_rawmidi
snd_hwdep               5252  1 snd_usb_audio
snd                    46740  12 snd_pcm_oss,snd_mixer_oss,snd_seq_oss,snd_seq,snd_intel8x0,snd_ac97_codec,snd_usb_audio,snd_pcm,snd_timer,snd_rawmidi,s
soundcore               4831  2 snd
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