Laptop has ESS soundcard; SB compatibility?

Laptop has ESS soundcard; SB compatibility?

Post by Karl_Kleinpa.. » Thu, 10 Aug 1995 04:00:00



My laptop (Hyperdata Expor CD100) has an ESS 688 sound system, which
is getting significant air time in comp.sys.laptops as being extremely
SB-compatible.  Unfortunately, I'm not finding this to be terribly
much the case, from the Linux perspective.  I've tried quite a few
kernel sound configurations, trying to pick the thing up properly and
have had very limited success.  It seems that it is "plain" (8-bit)
SB-compatible, but the obvious acid test is to try to run Doom, in
which case sndserver complains, "Could not play signed 16 data," and
makes a truly hideous noise when permitted to continue.

/dev/sndstat on this system shows:
________________


Config options: 35e02

Installed drivers:
Type 1: OPL-2/OPL-3 FM
Type 2: SoundBlaster
Type 6: SoundBlaster16
Type 7: SB16 MIDI
Type 10: MS Sound System

Card config:
(MS Sound System at 0x530 irq 10 drq 3)
SoundBlaster at 0x220 irq 5 drq 1
(SoundBlaster16 at 0x220 irq 5 drq 6)
(SB16 MIDI at 0x330 irq 5 drq 0)
OPL-2/OPL-3 FM at 0x388 irq 0 drq 0

PCM devices:
0: SoundBlaster Pro 3.1

Synth devices:
0: Yamaha OPL-3

Midi devices:
0: SoundBlaster

MIDI Timers:
0: System Timer

1 mixer(s) installed
________________

The obvious question is, Where is the 16-bit DMA channel in order to
be SB16-compatible?  I've tried forcing particular sound
configurations with LILO boot options (e.g., sound=0x622051,0x138800,
sound=0x622056,0x138800, sound=0x222051,0x622056,0x138800, I even
tried sound=0xa22051,0x138800 to attempt MS Sound System), all of
which result in /dev/sndstat showing no useful entries as available.
I've tried talking to tech.sup at Hyperdata, who have been simply
stunning in their lack of informativeness.

If it matters, I am able to, e.g., "cat /dev/audio > /some/file" and
thereafter record sounds around me with the builtin mike, and can also
"cat /some/file > /dev/audio" and get the playback of those sounds.

Would anyone else with an ESS 688 have an idea what's going on here?
Is the ESS restricted to 8-bit compatibility?  If the sound driver
authors are listening, are there plans for ESS-specific enhancements?

The system is:
486DX4/100, 20Mb/810Mb, ESS 688 normally seen at 0x220,IRQ5,DMA1,
CDROM at 0x300 for which there is not yet a Linux driver.
(DOS/Windows definitely sees the sound device at 0x220/5/1.)
Built from the InfoMagic March 1995 set, upgraded to kernel 1.2.11 +
modules 1.2.8 + PCMCIA 2.6.3.

 
 
 

Laptop has ESS soundcard; SB compatibility?

Post by Piercarlo Gran » Fri, 11 Aug 1995 04:00:00


Karl> My laptop (Hyperdata Expor CD100) has an ESS 688 sound system, [
Karl> ... ] It seems that it is "plain" (8-bit) SB-compatible, but the
Karl> obvious acid test is to try to run Doom,

Linux Doom only works with 16 bit cards...

Karl> in which case sndserver complains, "Could not play signed 16
Karl> data,"

Indeed.

Karl> The obvious question is, Where is the 16-bit DMA channel in order to
Karl> be SB16-compatible?

As Hannu writes in README.cards in the latest Voxware release, _there
are no SB16 compatible cards at all_. There are Sb compatible cards, and
16 bit cards, and some are both, that is both SB compatible and 16 bits,
but none is SB16 compatible, and advertising plays on the sutble
difference to make people think otherwise.

Karl> Would anyone else with an ESS 688 have an idea what's going on
Karl> here?  Is the ESS restricted to 8-bit compatibility?

It depends. If it is restricted to 8 bits, you can find on the usual FTP
sites an hack (with an obvious name) that allows running Linux Doom on 8
bit cards, by truncating 16 bit sound to 8 bit sound (perfectly
acceptable quality, BTW).

But I seem to remember that the ESS is the system used in the Echo
card,s and in that case it is supported by the latest (3.0) version of
voxware. Get a recent kernel, e.g. 1.3.17, and compile it.

 
 
 

Laptop has ESS soundcard; SB compatibility?

Post by Karl_Kleinpa.. » Sat, 12 Aug 1995 04:00:00



> But I seem to remember that the ESS is the system used in the Echo
> cards, and in that case it is supported by the latest (3.0) version of
> voxware. Get a recent kernel, e.g. 1.3.17, and compile it.

I got a similar recommendation last evening, and so went out to pick
up VoxWare 3.0 from sunsite, figuring I would drop it into my 1.2.11
system.  Unfortunately, Readme.cards observes that ESS support is
pending, but not yet present.

I might try 1.3.17 anyhow, just to see what's up.  But I'd been
concerned with its stability.

 
 
 

Laptop has ESS soundcard; SB compatibility?

Post by Hannu Savolain » Tue, 15 Aug 1995 04:00:00



>I got a similar recommendation last evening, and so went out to pick
>up VoxWare 3.0 from sunsite, figuring I would drop it into my 1.2.11
>system.  Unfortunately, Readme.cards observes that ESS support is
>pending, but not yet present.

Unfortunately ESS cards don't work yet with Linux. ESS Technology
has sent me some specs but I have not received them yet. It's possible
that ESS support gets implemented within few weeks or months.

Hannu
--
Hannu Savolainen
Methods Analyst, Carelcomp Base Industry, Espoo, Finland.