Sound card recommendations?

Pyun YongHyeon pyunyh at
Sat Nov 26 03:50:04 GMT 2005

On Fri, Nov 25, 2005 at 11:53:18PM +0800, Ariff Abdullah wrote:
 > On Fri, 25 Nov 2005 16:33:48 +0100
 > Sascha Klauder <sklauder at> wrote:
 > > On Fri, Nov 25, 2005 at 01:15:48PM +0100, Alexander Leidinger wrote:
 > > > Sascha Klauder <sklauder at> wrote:
 > > > >treble mixer controls.  I've got an SB Live! as well, and it
 > > > >just sounds crappy in comparison to the AWE, even with 4Front
 > > > >drivers.
 > > > Which FreeBSD version did you used to test? If anything below a
 > > > recent
 > > 
 > >  I'm running a recent 6.0-STABLE with PREEMPTION and 
 > > hw.snd.pcm0.buffersize set to 16384.
 > > 
 > > > ( If with the patches: did you
 > > > played with with the new pci latency_timer sysctl (it may help to
 > > > get a very good sound output)?
 > > 
 > >  I'm well aware of Ariff's quite excellent patchset, but
 > > I was not refering to the problem with crackling noise and
 > > stuttering output on SB Live cards.  
 > > 

In the days of FreeBSD 2.2.x, I also used AWE64 with sound font. It was
well made card and I'm satisfied with its quality of sound. Now I had
to use SB Live due to lack of ISA slots and I lost bass/treble/MIDI
support and suffered from stuttering issues. :-(

Since I noticed some audio cards does not show stuttering issue(even
with Giant lock and without PREEMTION option), I guess the real issue
is in driver itself. ATM it seems that increasing pcm buffersize is
the only way to remedy the issue. As you know, it has side effect of
lagging audio playback and DMA memory extravagance.
I'm really like to make emu10k1(4) to use its hardware MMU. This would
be the prerequisite condition to support sound font. However due to
lack of documentation, it's not easy to add this capability, I think.

 > >  Without lapsing into an audiophile discussion, the Live
 > > card sounds just ?flat? in comparison to the AWE64 with
 > > properly adjusted bass and treble mixers.
 > > 
 > This is a known deficiency of sblive especially among audiophiles. Its
 > internal sample rate converter (convertor?) and the behaviour of
 > sampling everything out as 48k are pretty much unsatisfactory.
 > Now, if you're talking about crackling or stuttering sound, you should
 > give those patchsets a try. If you think something had to be done
 > about the pci latency timer, you can use pciconf(8) to adjust/increase
 > its value or perhaps using this wrapper:
 > .. since pci latency_timer is available only for snd_es137x.

Probably not, as maestro(4) also provides R/W access to PCI latency
timer in PCI configuration space. I guess all sane PCI interface
hardwares provides R/W access to the register. It seems that cheap PCI
audio hardware are exception.

Pyun YongHyeon

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