is this IT or not/

Ian Smith smithi at
Thu Nov 22 06:23:41 PST 2007

On Wed, 21 Nov 2007 10:25:35 -0800 Gary Kline wrote:
 > On Wed, Nov 21, 2007 at 06:23:29PM +0100, Roland Smith wrote:
 > > On Wed, Nov 21, 2007 at 12:12:50AM -0800, Gary Kline wrote:
 > > > 
 > > > 	guys, one last thing before i call it a days; i just tried 
 > > > 	kmidi and tried to configure the audio.
 > > > 	got the sound of a breaking glass and the warning that something 
 > > > 	was already using "dev/sequencer". i tried a
 > > > 	ps -alx, but couldn't tell very much..  can anybody shed a light?

It actually says "could not open /dev/sequencer to get some info. 
Probably there is another program using it". where 'probably' may often
be true on Linux, but here it's proved a less than helpful hint.

 > > Does /dev/sequencer actually exist?
 > > 
 > > I think it's looking for a deprecated device. On my 7.0-BETA2 machine,
 > > the sound(4) manpage only lists /dev/audio*, /dev/dsp* and /dev/sndstat.
 > > 
 > > Looking at the manual pages on the FreeBSD site, there was a
 > > /dev/sequencer in 4.x, but not in 5.x and later.

That's about right, FreeBSD hasn't had MIDI since newpcm arrived, IIRC. 
I vaguely recall a few people missing it, but nobody offering any code.
 > > BTW, 'cat /dev/sndstat' shows you the installed sound devices.
 > 	Right; I tried catting /dev/sndstat awhile ago. Didn't see much

It's all in the handbook, but check out sound|snd|pcm(4) re tuning .. 

 paqi% sysctl hw.snd
 hw.snd.targetirqrate: 32
 hw.snd.report_soft_formats: 1
 hw.snd.verbose: 2
 hw.snd.unit: 0
 hw.snd.maxautovchans: 4
 hw.snd.pcm0.buffersize: 4096
 hw.snd.pcm0.vchans: 4

With .verbose=2 you'll see plenty of info :) and you can make good use
of the vchans to stop KDE sounds and non-KDE programs (like XMMS etc) 
tripping over each other, by assigning one of /dev/dsp* to KDE, say. 

 > 	beyong my cound card type.  Also, there is no /dev/sequencer.  
 > 	So why Kmid would  be hunting for it is one I'll have to look
 > 	thru the code to learn about.  It's probably trying to open the
 > 	sequencer as a last resort.

Kmid is for playing MIDI files using the soundcard synth chip, for which
/dev/sequencer is the missing device, so it's of no use to you.  I've
used audio/timidity in the past to convert some .mid files of interest
into .wav files on the way towards making .mp3s, but I never did get it
to work to play .mid files directly.  YMMV, there are later versions ..

 > 	This is also why lsof fails.  

Sorry, I don't see a connection with lsof?

 > 	Hm, no src. Kmid is build from the kde3 source.  

Unless you really want to, you don't want to go there :)

 > 	Well, I'm building kplayer which seems to be a frontt end for
 > 	mplayer.  Maybe give me some clues why things-KDE keep breaking.

KDE, despite all the *wonderful* porting done to FreeBSD, is still very
Linux-centric in lots of its assumptions, I find.  I use plenty of KDE
but the sound system has always been a bear here.  This laptop has never
worked with ArtS so I don't bother with it, and I'll use Kmix for basic
volume adjustments, yet need to use mixer(8) to switch recording device,
and prefer using commandline scripts using sox and lame for recording. 

Which brings me to your earlier (unresolved?) question about missing
sound on playing audio CDs .. first assuming your CD drive is properly
externally wired to your soundcard(?), check the level on the 'cd'
device, in Kmix 'input' tab or if in doubt, good ol' /usr/sbin/mixer:

 paqi% mixer
 Mixer vol      is currently set to  90:90
 Mixer synth    is currently set to   0:0
 Mixer pcm      is currently set to  90:90
 Mixer speaker  is currently set to  95:95
 Mixer line     is currently set to   0:0
 Mixer mic      is currently set to   0:0
 Mixer cd       is currently set to  92:92
 Mixer line1    is currently set to   0:0
 Recording source: mic

Good luck, Ian

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