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Old 23rd March 2010, 06:47 PM   #1541
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Originally Posted by soundcheck View Post
Generations of PRO-Audio musicians are using very successfully OSX...

..."Arrogance". No Sir - I do have a problem with people claiming they know everything about Linux for about 20 or moreyears, but won't look left or right.
And if I actually used my audio toys to make a living, I'd be all over Apple/OSX. The time saved by not having to dick with a bunch of broken software would more than offset the expense of the requisite hardware, OS, and commercial software.

But I don't. I make my living running the IT infrastructure of a successful multi-state enterprise, most of that built on open-source solutions running on Linux. So again, please spare us the condescending implication that anyone who doesn't want to deal with the mess that is Linux audio support is actually someone who can't. Do I know everything about Linux? Of course not. No one does. I certainly never claimed to. But I do know that if I had to deal with the type of disorganized mess that Linux audio support is in order to accomplish, say, the task of running an enterprise class mail server, I'd be looking for other solutions.

But I don't, because the support for the hardware involved in moving/managing email is all but invisible. It just works. And the software that actually handles the mail? It just works too. Not that there isn't room for lots of tweaking, in order to support this or that special feature, or to enhance performance/security/etc. Even then, however, the work involved is typically straightforward and well documented.
It is, perhaps, important to note here that this is the case because the developers who have contributed to the various projects that make up the tools that go into an open-source email platform have worked together to ensure interoperability. We do not see anywhere near that level of cooperation in the community of Linux audio developers. There is far too much fragmentation; multiple projects aimed at accomplishing the same task, usually with very different and of course, incompatible approaches.

The whole discussions are about HW and SW and not Alsa only - we're talking about a very complex system here.
Agreed, but again, there is no reason that this needed to be the case. We can lay many of the hardware problems squarely at the feet of the manufacturers who, all too often, refuse to provide support for their products. Video suffers as much as audio, if not more so. So why are there nowhere near this many issues for, say, storage and networking hardware under Linux? Where are the initiatives to draft standards that will eliminate, or at least minimize these issues?
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Old 28th March 2010, 04:21 PM   #1542
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Hi folks.

Instead of shaping up the Wiki I am playing with other little toys.

My headphones! (I just bought a new pair - "in-ears" - replacing my Etymotics ER4S )

I read some time ago that by adding binaural filters, the stereo image of your headphones would build up slightly in front of you, with a bit more realistic stage. These filters would also reduce stress on your brain - sounds tempting doesn't it? I thought I'd give it a try on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

After a little reading today I stepped over the "Bauer stereophonic-to-binaural DSP" open source solution, which you can make work pretty simple under Linux:

More reading:

Bauer stereophonic-to-binaural DSP


The tar file can be dowlnoaded here:

Browse Bauer stereophonic-to-binaural DSP Files on

Download libbs2b-3.1.0.tar.gz

It installs quite well you just need to install libsndfile-dev

sudo apt-get install libsndfile-dev checkinstall build-essential
sudo cp libbs2b-3.1.0.tar.gz /usr/src
cd /usr/src
sudo tar xvvf libbs2b-3.1.0.tar.gz
cd libbs2b-3.1.0
sudo configure --prefix=/usr
sudo make
sudo checkinstall # just enter libbs2b-3.1.0 as package name if being asked , and then use the default settings

You'll find two binaries: bs2bconvert bs2bstream

bs2bconvert is a standalone converter and bs2bstream you can use in a pipe setup. The stream app gives you plenty of possibilities to incorporate it into
apps like MPD, SqueezeBoxServer,......
(There is even a LADSPA and a vst plugin available.)

Lets do first some tests, to see how it performs.

Find out your options by typing

bs2bconvert --help

e.g. to apply the default setting just run

bs2bconvert in.wav out.wav

Now. I tried all 3 modes - default,meier,moy.

Summary: I liked "meier" best.

To explain what kind of effect I experienced.

If you normally have the feeling that music is played at 1200-1300 (1200=top/center of your head, and 0900=tip of your nose).
The music seems to shift to 1130. It is not what I'd call day and night.
Anyhow it is a slight improvement.

The backside - first impression after 10 minutes of listening:

There are nasty filtering side-effects. The filters really seem to mess around with the data. You'll face quite some "losses" compared to the base material.
I'd consider it similar to a 128kbits mp3 - you seem to loose details at all angles. Sound stage collapses. Reverberation gets heavily cut off, etc. ( This shouldn't stop you from trying it. )

Perhaps I've done something wrong here. But if that's really it - there is no way I'd use that kind of filter. I also read the e.g. earwax from Sox is supposed to be much worse - I didn't try it by myself though.

Did anybody run similar tests? Can you confirm what I experienced? Your conclusions?
Are there better solution then the one above? E.g. Brutefir&Binaural Filter?

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Old 28th March 2010, 04:25 PM   #1543
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sound abit like ambiophonics

May be the author of brutefir can help. He has also written a different software for this

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Old 28th March 2010, 04:36 PM   #1544
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Originally Posted by ackcheng View Post
sound abit like ambiophonics

May be the author of brutefir can help. He has also written a different software for this

I think the main issue will be to get a reasonable filter-coeff file. This you won't find in AlmusVCU. If we'd have the coefficients we could try it with brutefir. Perhaps we should ping Uli on that subject.
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Old 29th March 2010, 01:26 AM   #1545
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Originally Posted by soundcheck View Post
Did anybody run similar tests? Can you confirm what I experienced? Your conclusions?
Are there better solution then the one above? E.g. Brutefir&Binaural Filter? Cheers
If you'd like to do some further experiments, there is a publicly available binaural recording of the impulse response of an empty concert hall. You could convolve it in BruteFIR and check out the result with headphones. The site is: Concert Hall Impulse Responses - Pori, Finland

And the binaural zip file url is:
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Old 29th March 2010, 05:20 PM   #1546
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Originally Posted by soundcheck View Post
Did anybody run similar tests? Can you confirm what I experienced? Your conclusions?
I did, though rather quickly. Tried also "earwax" from sox. Conclusion basically same as yours. No way.

I'm still unable to listen through head/earphones, can't stand that "sound in the head" feeling.

Those tricks didn't really helped with that but definitely worsened the sound.
"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we would let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines." N.P.
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Old 6th April 2010, 08:19 PM   #1547
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I'm struggling with piping from mpd to brutefir. What happens is this:
Apr 06 23:58 : output: opened plugin=pipe name="brutefir" audio_format=44100:16:2
Apr 06 23:58 : client: [0] command returned 0
Apr 06 23:58 : client: [0] process command list
Apr 06 23:58 : command_process_list: process command "status"
Apr 06 23:58 : command_process_list: command returned 0
Apr 06 23:58 : command_process_list: process command "stats"
Apr 06 23:58 : command_process_list: command returned 0
Apr 06 23:58 : client: [0] process command list returned 0
Apr 06 23:58 : output: "brutefir" [pipe] failed to play: Write error on pipe: Broken pipe
Apr 06 23:58 : output: closed plugin=pipe name="brutefir"
This is the input part in brutefir_config_
input  "l_in", "r_in" {
	device: "file" { path: "/dev/stdin"; };
and this the corresponding part in mpd.conf:

audio_output {
	type		"pipe"
	name		"brutefir"
	command		"brutefir  2>/dev/null"
	enable 		"yes"
	format		"44100:16:2"
Brutefir (v 1.0k) alone is running, as well as mpd (0.15.8) is playing music through alsa. mpd is compiled using 'pipe' as an output option.

Kernel is the current gentoo rt-sources (

If someone has a clue....

"I can feel what's going on inside a piece of electronic equipment. I have a sense that I know what's going on inside the transistors." Robert Moog
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Old 7th April 2010, 12:49 PM   #1548
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Originally Posted by soundcheck View Post
Hi phofman.

If I look at my RME 9632. The mixer and config apps are not comparable to the ones you'll find under Windows. They lack quite some features etc. Nobody maintains them since years.
You need quite complicated ( for a normal user almost impossible to handle) .asoundrc configs to be able to get the card under control - to make it default device. etc.)


How do I get amixer and HDSPmixer in sync?

Does all this sound like a well done soundcard implementation? Do you think there is hope for improvements?
I agree - however, there are lots of factors in building a complete solution. I think the counter argument would simply be that a Windows solution would probably involve purchasing some convolver app and perhaps some other packages and I haven't checked, but I wouldn't be surprised if you told me it was a few hundred £s to purchase all that software?

Actually as someone who has hacked on the 9632 kernel driver, the missing facilities to get the kernel mixer and hdsp mixer in sync amount to just a small amount of code. I am backed up with other projects and it's not something which worries me (sorry, but I manage fine without the hdspmixer app at all...), but I wouldn't be surprised to find that you couldn't spend your few hundred £s employing a programmer to write the missing features for you (should pay for 2 days of coding, which is about all it requires)

So, here is the classic dilemma of opensource vs closedsource - it's not about price, its about the ability to own the whole thing and modify it to meet your needs. With the 9632 *linux* driver you own all the code and if you want to do something like say adding a new feature such as the ability for the Kernel code to talk to the hdspmixer application (something not in the original app), then you can employ a programmer to make this change for you.

Compare with the closed source alternative, eg try and modify the RME Fireface and for example make that mixer talk to your application... Oh, what's that you say, there isn't even a driver or published specifications to make the card work under your operating system... Oh, too bad then...

Don't misunderstand, neither answer may feel ideal to you. Different strokes and all that...

Now, you also mentioned Ubuntu allowing closed source and paid apps on their app store. I think the "paid for" bit is very welcome because revenue streams are often conducive to encouraging innovation. The closed source (non "free") bit is less welcome for ideological reasons...

I think people confuse "Free" code with "free" code. "Free" means you buy it and own it. "free" means it costs nothing, but possibly you don't own it. They are not one and the same thing. In fact "Free" code can cost significant amounts of money...

Eg, I used to buy a lot of Borland development products back before we had "Free" software. Borland used to give you nearly all the source code for their development tools, and this was tremendously useful. However you also had to pay for the development tools, which again was very reasonable. The point being that "Open" doesn't have to mean that it costs no money...

So in conclusion, yes there is a lot of cr*ppy "Free" and "free" software, but try to encourage "Free" because it gives you a lot of extra rights that are missing with closed source software. The soundblaster/vista fiasco should be enough to remind people why closed source is not necessarily aligned with your interests...
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Old 7th April 2010, 02:00 PM   #1549
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@ Rüdiger

Below worked for me last time I tried it.

audio_output {
type "pipe"
name "pipe-brutefir-4416"
format "44100:16:2"
command "brutefir -nodefault /path-to-yourconf/brut/brutconf4416-pipe 2>/dev/null"
enable "no" }

Brutefir config-file example:
device: "file" {path: "/dev/stdin"; };
sample: "S32_LE"; # sample format
Note: S32_LE format was required. Otherwise brutefir were not able to read the data from mpd.

Good luck.
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Old 7th April 2010, 02:45 PM   #1550
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The whole discussion is a matter of who's considered the "targeted" target group for Linuxes like Ubuntu and Linux Mint and Fedora and Suse ......

Shuttleworth just announced that with Ubuntu 10.10 in October he expects his Linux to be on the same level as Windows. So the target group is clear - isn't it. No more hacker-land!

I do see a huge gap between reality and his vision though. Of course he needs to push his message out to the world if he really intends to make sales with his app-store.

I tell you he'll fail on that one. He just still havn't understood what's wrong with Linux and that he won't get it solved until October 2010 and not until October 2011. He tries to built his house on sand. This won't work. He just missed to built a solid fundament first - and I consider a rock solid working multimedia environment incl. hw vendor commitments a key fundamental issue which need to be addressed first. Something like that will break his neck.

When it comes to financing opensource projects and the guys behind it. As
you might have realized a lot of opensource programmers put a "DONATE"
button on their homepage. From what I know/read people are willing to spent the "appropriate" amount of cash. If people feel they get value for the money they pay for it. Of course they'd expect a certain commitment of that programmer. You can learn a lot form the Apple app-store community here. Through the user feedback you can't afford to mess with your customers even if your app just cost 2$ there is an underlying quality an maintenance commitment between you and your customer. This is the least what people expect if they pay for SW. Paying you just two days of work won't work. If you takeover full responsibility on commitment for that driver. People would pay you for this or that new valuable feature or certain maintenance. You could even get much closer to RME by being the Linux guy in charge for their stuff.

When it comes to RME support. They sell - I don't know how many devices I'd guess a lot - to Linux people. What would it cost them to assign a designer (even anonymously) for a couple of days to get the code straight. They would sell many more products by actively supporting Linux - that's for sure. The OSX code is even there. What's the issue?

Anyhow we won't change the world by talking about it over here.

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