simultaneous/multiple outputs with Alsa? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 08-12-2010, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm 99.9% certain alsa can do this.. and I've found some .asoundrc's for it.. altho I can't believe it should be as involved as they are.

Situation is this..

- speakers in zone 2 (outside on the back deck)
- most mid-level AVRs cannot send signals to Zone 2 that originate from a digital input (ie. from my HTPC) (the new Denon's (11 series) appear to deal with this finally.. I think.. but I have an 10-series, so...)
- htpc is configured to send 5.1 out HDMI
- figured why not echo/mirror front L/R to the analog output jack on the rear.. I could input that to the AVR on, say, the CD inputs, and then Zone 2 would be able to access that audio (ie. internet radio, etc)

The examples I find (ie. http://www.mail-archive.com/alsa-use.../msg23645.html) (perhaps by poor choice of search keywords) all seem to involve much more than I would expect.. but maybe that's what it takes. I just want to send the same audio to 2 outputs at the same time (hdmi + 2-ch analog)

anyone have this setup and willing to share info?

EDIT: I do not have any real desire to send different sounds to the 2 outputs.. same signal... just being sent out as digital and analog...
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post #2 of 28 Old 08-12-2010, 12:13 PM
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I know this might not be the answer you want, but I have pulseaudio and it seamlessy redirects audio to multiple outputs (what it calls "sinks"). I often have it going to my HT system and bluetooth headphones.
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post #3 of 28 Old 08-12-2010, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmears View Post

I know this might not be the answer you want, but I have pulseaudio and it seamlessy redirects audio to multiple outputs (what it calls "sinks"). I often have it going to my HT system and bluetooth headphones.

do tell... I use Ubuntu 10.04 and I've not truly ripped PA out of it.. so I'm not sure how much is there and usable... but it might give me a reason to like it...

I have the Pulse audio volume control panel installed... it shows me the same kind of info the stock Ubuntu panel does.. it shows both outputs.. I just can get any sound out of the internal audio.

It could be that my .asoundrc file is preventing this (sending all audio to HDMI), but I'm 99% sure I need this file to keep my HDMI audio (nvidia) so I'd need to add to it.. hence the searches I did.

I also tried speaker-test.. and got nothing...
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post #4 of 28 Old 08-12-2010, 05:40 PM
 
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Well, it *should* be as simple as setting up slaves for each of your outputs then using the "copy" plugin.

Reference: http://www.alsa-project.org/alsa-doc...m_plugins.html
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post #5 of 28 Old 08-13-2010, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mythmaster View Post

Well, it *should* be as simple as setting up slaves for each of your outputs then using the "copy" plugin.

Reference: http://www.alsa-project.org/alsa-doc...m_plugins.html

that looks a bit more straight-forward than what I was finding, thanks! Will give it a try over the weekend.

Still puzzled that I could not get speaker-test to work, explicitly specifying the output channel (0,0) (my HDMI is 1,3)
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post #6 of 28 Old 08-13-2010, 07:35 AM
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In pulseaudio, in the volume control panel, you can choose (via a dropdown if I recall correctly) to have simultaneous outputs. We're in the middle of a move so I don't have access to my system, but I'll try to look it up once its up and running. I recall that there was another place where you had to enable simultaneous audio output but I can't remember where.

I really dislike the obscure documentation for Linux audio, so I think you're probably better off trying mythmaster's suggestion above first, before messing around with pulseaudio. Just to reduce the aggravation.
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post #7 of 28 Old 08-13-2010, 08:12 AM
 
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Also, I don't remember if I had to log out and back in for the changes in .asoundrc to take effect, but it's not a bad idea.
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post #8 of 28 Old 08-13-2010, 12:30 PM
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Does ALSA (or PA) have Dolby Digital or DTS decoding built in? I ask this because your media player is only outputting AC3 or DTS encoded audio to ALSA (or PA). So ALSA (or PA) would have to decode that (and downmix the 5.1 to 2.0 channels) to be able to output 2-channel analog audio.
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post #9 of 28 Old 08-14-2010, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
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I am stumpified... I can now _choose_ between HDMI *OR* analog output but cannot get both working at the same time.

I've tried 2 approaches in .asoundrc
Code:
pcm.!default hdmi:NVidia
pcm:iec958 hdmi:NVidia

pcm.foo {
        type copy               # Copy PCM
        slave {                 # Slave definition
            pcm {
                    type hw;
                    card 0; 
                    device 0;
                   # subdevice 0;
            }   
        }
}
and
Code:
pcm.!default hdmi:NVidia
pcm:iec958 hdmi:NVidia

pcm.copy {
        type hw;
        card 0; 
        device 0;
        subdevice 0;
}    

pcm.duplicate {
type copy
slave.pcm "copy"
slave.channels 2
route_policy duplicate
}
Using the Ubuntu sound panel (or the PulseAudio cound panel) I can toggle the sound to either output, but see no option there to allow both.

I thought the .asoundrc would do that.. but no luck so far.

From what I read, I do not need to reboot/restart between .asoundrc changes, only to relaunch the application in question (I say this in case someone knows better so hey can correct me)

Pics of the Alsa panel (http://joustingwindmills.com/mac/ubuntu_panel.png) and the Pulse panel (http://joustingwindmills.com/mac/pulse_panel.png and http://joustingwindmills.com/mac/pulse_output.png)

EDIT: trying with 2-ch internet radio and music right now.
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post #10 of 28 Old 08-14-2010, 10:24 AM
 
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Here's something to try. Substitute your actual device numbers, of course. I have no way of testing it:

Code:
pcm.!default plug:both

pcm.both {
    type copy
    slaves.a.pcm "hw:0,0"
    slaves.b.pcm "hw:0,1"
}
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post #11 of 28 Old 08-14-2010, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mythmaster View Post

Here's something to try. Substitute your actual device numbers, of course. I have no way of testing it:

Code:
pcm.!default plug:both

pcm.both {
    type copy
    slaves.a.pcm "hw:0,0"
    slaves.b.pcm "hw:0,1"
}

Nope.. same thing.. I can toggle between the 2 (which is more than I could do yesterday), but nada zippo for getting them both on at the same time...

as part of getting the Nvidia HDMI to work, I had to edit modprobe/sound.conf
Code:
alias snd-card-0 snd-hda-intel
alias sound-slot-0 snd-hda-intel
options snd-hda-intel enable_msi=0 probe_mask=0xffff,0xfff2
could anything in that be gumming up the works?
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post #12 of 28 Old 08-14-2010, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmears View Post

In pulseaudio, in the volume control panel, you can choose (via a dropdown if I recall correctly) to have simultaneous outputs. We're in the middle of a move so I don't have access to my system, but I'll try to look it up once its up and running. I recall that there was another place where you had to enable simultaneous audio output but I can't remember where.


what version of ? (Ubuntu?) are you running? The docs I see say many of the Pulse control panels have been deprecated.. paman seemed to have the sink controls.. but is gone now
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post #13 of 28 Old 08-14-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zim2dive View Post

...could anything in that be gumming up the works?

I doubt it.

I'm not 100% on the syntax of that code that I gave you. You want something *similar* to this, but I think that there's a bunch of stuff in there that you wouldn't need.

You could probably do a few substitutions in that file and get it to work, namely, the "card" names in the 2 bottom ctl sections and the pcm "hw:..." numbers in the 2 pcm sections above them (aureon and intel8x0) if that makes any sense to you.

Go ahead and post the output of
Code:
aplay -L
and I'll look deeper into it.

EDIT: or I might have meant "aplay -l"
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post #14 of 28 Old 08-14-2010, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mythmaster View Post

I doubt it.

I'm not 100% on the syntax of that code that I gave you. You want something *similar* to this, but I think that there's a bunch of stuff in there that you wouldn't need.

You could probably do a few substitutions in that file and get it to work, namely, the "card" names in the 2 bottom ctl sections and the pcm "hw:..." numbers in the 2 pcm sections above them (aureon and intel8x0) if that makes any sense to you.

Go ahead and post the output of
Code:
aplay -L
and I'll look deeper into it.

EDIT: or I might have meant "aplay -l"

I'm willing to try the substitions on my own, but not sure what strings to use... here are both outputs
Code:
>aplay -l
**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 0: ALC883 Analog [ALC883 Analog]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 1: ALC883 Digital [ALC883 Digital]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 3: NVIDIA HDMI [NVIDIA HDMI]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
htpc:zimmy/tmp/makemkv_v1.5.8_oss >aplay -L
null
    Discard all samples (playback) or generate zero samples (capture)
front:CARD=Intel,DEV=0
    HDA Intel, ALC883 Analog
    Front speakers
surround40:CARD=Intel,DEV=0
    HDA Intel, ALC883 Analog
    4.0 Surround output to Front and Rear speakers
surround41:CARD=Intel,DEV=0
    HDA Intel, ALC883 Analog
    4.1 Surround output to Front, Rear and Subwoofer speakers
surround50:CARD=Intel,DEV=0
    HDA Intel, ALC883 Analog
    5.0 Surround output to Front, Center and Rear speakers
surround51:CARD=Intel,DEV=0
    HDA Intel, ALC883 Analog
    5.1 Surround output to Front, Center, Rear and Subwoofer speakers
surround71:CARD=Intel,DEV=0
    HDA Intel, ALC883 Analog
    7.1 Surround output to Front, Center, Side, Rear and Woofer speakers
iec958:CARD=Intel,DEV=0
    HDA Intel, ALC883 Digital
    IEC958 (S/PDIF) Digital Audio Output
hdmi:CARD=NVidia
    HDA NVidia, NVIDIA HDMI
    HDMI Audio Output
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post #15 of 28 Old 08-14-2010, 05:07 PM
 
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Ok, I found and modified this for you:

Code:
pcm.!default {
        type plug
        slave {
                pcm multi
        }
        ttable.0.0 1.0
        ttable.1.1 1.0
        ttable.0.2 1.0
        ttable.1.3 1.0
}

pcm.multi {
        type multi
        slaves.a.pcm "hw:0,0"
        slaves.a.channels 2
        slaves.b.pcm "hw:1,3"
        slaves.b.channels 2
        bindings.0.slave a
        bindings.0.channel 0
        bindings.1.slave a
        bindings.1.channel 1
        bindings.2.slave b
        bindings.2.channel 0
        bindings.3.slave b
        bindings.3.channel 1
}

ctl.!default {
        type hw
        card "Nvidia"
}
It needs to be adjusted for 6 channels on the HDMI, but I'm not sure how to do that with the ttables yet. This is the bindings part, though:
Code:
        bindings.0.slave a
        bindings.0.channel 0
        bindings.1.slave a
        bindings.1.channel 1
        bindings.2.slave b
        bindings.2.channel 0
        bindings.3.slave b
        bindings.3.channel 1
        bindings.4.slave b
        bindings.4.channel 2
        bindings.5.slave b
        bindings.5.channel 3
        bindings.6.slave b
        bindings.6.channel 4
        bindings.7.slave b
        bindings.7.channel 5
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post #16 of 28 Old 08-14-2010, 05:51 PM
 
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I *think* this is correct now:

Code:
pcm.!default {
        type plug
        slave {
                pcm multi
        }
        ttable.0.0 1.0
        ttable.1.1 1.0
        ttable.0.2 1.0
        ttable.1.3 1.0
        ttable.2.4 1.0
        ttable.3.5 1.0
        ttable.4.6 1.0
        ttable.5.7 1.0

}

pcm.multi {
        type multi
        slaves.a.pcm "hw:0,0"
        slaves.a.channels 2
        slaves.b.pcm "hw:1,3"
        slaves.b.channels 6
        bindings.0.slave a
        bindings.0.channel 0
        bindings.1.slave a
        bindings.1.channel 1
        bindings.2.slave b
        bindings.2.channel 0
        bindings.3.slave b
        bindings.3.channel 1
        bindings.4.slave b
        bindings.4.channel 2
        bindings.5.slave b
        bindings.5.channel 3
        bindings.6.slave b
        bindings.6.channel 4
        bindings.7.slave b
        bindings.7.channel 5
}

ctl.!default {
        type hw
        card "Nvidia"
}
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post #17 of 28 Old 08-14-2010, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Beyond stumped now... same as before... I can choose one OR the other... never get both on at the same time....

I tried this as ~/.asoundrc and as /etc/asound.conf
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post #18 of 28 Old 08-14-2010, 08:04 PM
 
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Well, that's the end of my rope. Maybe someone on the ALSA mailing list will be able to figure this one out. The alias defs could very well have something to do with it, I really don't know.

I'd probably just run a cable from the TV's headphone jack to the receiver.
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post #19 of 28 Old 08-15-2010, 09:22 AM
 
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Yeah, I know, you prob don't have a h/p jack on your TV.

Anyway, one last thing: you should take PA out of the mix just to be sure that the .asoundrc is being properly used. Run "killall pulseaudio" then something like this:
Code:
mplayer -ao alsa http://streamer-mtc-aa03.somafm.com:80/stream/1018
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post #20 of 28 Old 08-16-2010, 07:02 AM
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Ouch! I hate when I get forced into an inelegant solution too. Re. the version of Ubuntu I'm using it's 10.04 - but I had this all set up in the 9.x versions.
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post #21 of 28 Old 08-16-2010, 08:34 AM
 
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I saw the PA option that you mentioned dmears in Ubuntu Studio 10.04, but it's not in kxstudio. So, I don't know if it's just in older or newer versions of PA or if it only shows up depending on other settings. That would certainly be the easiest approach for zim.

I'm playing around with kxstudio now, and it has the most confusing audio setup possible. Everything runs through jack2 including PA. ALSA won't even work without jack2 running (from command-line mplayer anyway). I haven't succeeded with SPDIF passthrough yet, but it's not that big of a deal. I'll go back to Gentoo eventually for a long list of reasons.
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post #22 of 28 Old 08-16-2010, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mythmaster View Post

Anyway, one last thing: you should take PA out of the mix just to be sure that the .asoundrc is being properly used. Run "killall pulseaudio" then something like this:
Code:
mplayer -ao alsa http://streamer-mtc-aa03.somafm.com:80/stream/1018

I killed PA.. but forgot to try the -ao alsa... no change I will re-try -ao part

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmears View Post

Ouch! I hate when I get forced into an inelegant solution too. Re. the version of Ubuntu I'm using it's 10.04 - but I had this all set up in the 9.x versions.

I'm on 10.04

Quote:
Originally Posted by mythmaster View Post

I saw the PA option that you mentioned dmears in Ubuntu Studio 10.04

???? I'm searching backwards thru the thread and don't see any mention of Ubuntu studio? What would that do for me?

thanks!
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post #23 of 28 Old 08-16-2010, 11:27 AM
 
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No, I'm just saying that I saw it while using Ubuntu Studio. I don't know what he was using when he saw it.

Ubuntu Studio is just basically Ubuntu with a bunch of A/V production apps included. You can install it without all of them, though. I don't know what version of PA it uses or if it is a different version than Ubuntu uses.
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post #24 of 28 Old 08-16-2010, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
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But you are saying Ubuntu Studio contains something that enables both outputs to work at the same time?
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post #25 of 28 Old 08-16-2010, 07:31 PM
 
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I'm saying that there was an option in PulseAudio there that supposedly does. It was in the "Configuration" tab IIRC.
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post #26 of 28 Old 08-17-2010, 06:11 AM - Thread Starter
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hmmm.... ok, so I tried mplayer with -ao alsa... I tried all 4(?) .asoundrc variants... this one

Code:
pcm.!default {
        type plug
        slave {
                pcm multi
        }
        ttable.0.0 1.0
        ttable.1.1 1.0
        ttable.0.2 1.0
        ttable.1.3 1.0
        ttable.2.4 1.0
        ttable.3.5 1.0
        ttable.4.6 1.0
        ttable.5.7 1.0

}

pcm.multi {
        type multi
        slaves.a.pcm "hw:0,0"
        slaves.a.channels 2
        slaves.b.pcm "hw:1,3"
        slaves.b.channels 6
        bindings.0.slave a
        bindings.0.channel 0
        bindings.1.slave a
        bindings.1.channel 1
        bindings.2.slave b
        bindings.2.channel 0
        bindings.3.slave b
        bindings.3.channel 1
        bindings.4.slave b
        bindings.4.channel 2
        bindings.5.slave b
        bindings.5.channel 3
        bindings.6.slave b
        bindings.6.channel 4
        bindings.7.slave b
        bindings.7.channel 5
}

ctl.!default {
        type hw
        card "Nvidia"
}
gave me sound from both outputs... and was the only one that worked (the others either played thru 1 or the other).

So it can be done.. the question is what is stopping it from working more widely?
sidamos likes this.
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post #27 of 28 Old 08-17-2010, 07:40 AM
 
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My guess would be PulseAudio. I'd wipe it out unless you specifically need it for something. This should do it (found on Ubuntu forums):
Code:
sudo apt-get purge libcanberra-pulse pulseaudio pulseaudio-esound-compat pulseaudio-module-bluetooth pulseaudio-module-gconf pulseaudio-module-udev   pulseaudio-module-x11 gstreamer0.10-pulseaudio pulseaudio-utils pavucontrol 

sudo apt-get install gnome-alsamixer alsa-oss python-alsaaudio
Then reboot (maybe not necessary but won't hurt) and everything should default to ALSA using your .asoundrc.
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post #28 of 28 Old 08-20-2013, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zim2dive View Post

hmmm.... ok, so I tried mplayer with -ao alsa... I tried all 4(?) .asoundrc variants... this one

[...]

gave me sound from both outputs... and was the only one that worked (the others either played thru 1 or the other).


So it can be done.. the question is what is stopping it from working more widely?

Works perfectly for me, too. Intel audio onboard and HDMI audio over Nvidia GT 630. Thanks a lot!
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