[RDD] Distortion: the plot thickens

Bill Smith hbco2 at sbcglobal.net
Wed May 23 12:33:14 EDT 2007

Hi Rob,

I can only guess, but is it possible there are two applications competing
for the sound card?  Haven't any idea how to begin to look for them, other
than to go into YaST->System->runlevel and turn off any resident sound

KSRH is running  SuSE 10.2, currently the last published binaries 24hrs/day
without problems.  We are planning an upgrade to the current CVS.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Rob Landry" <41001140 at interpring.com>
To: "User discussion about the Rivendell Radio Automation System"
<rivendell-dev at techweb.rfa.org>
Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2007 9:23 PM
Subject: [RDD] Distortion: the plot thickens

> I decided not to try Jack; I just replaced the cound card, upgraded to the
> current Rivendell .rpms, and ran the machine on my desk for 4 days. It ran
> perfectly on my desk, so I assumed the problem must have been the sound
> card. This morning I took the machine back to the station and put it back
> on the air.
> Just now, while building an identical machine for another station, I vnc'd
> to the other machine to check some of its settings in rdadmin. I noticed
> that I had the IP address set wrong under "Manage hosts", so I changed it.
> I wasn't sure the setting would take without restarting Rivendell, so I
> quit rdairplay, su'd to root, and executed /etc/init.d/rivendell stop and
> then /etc/init.d/rivendell start.
> When I restarted rdairplay, I found the level of the audio coming from the
> machine had dropped about 15 dB! I checked alsamixer, but it showed the
> master and pcm levels set exactly where I had left them.
> Not sure what to do now, I quit rdairplay once again, su'd to root, and
> rebooted the machine. When rdairplay started again the level was still
> ridiculously low. And then... the distortion came back!
> Restarting the Rivendell daemons got rid of the distortion, but my audio
> level is still low.
> The distortion (and, in all likelihood, the level problem) seems to be
> connected to caed and ALSA. But isn't my caed the same as your caed? Isn't
> my ALSA the same as your ALSA? Yet y'all don't seem to have any problem.
> One final test: I shut down the Rivendell daemons, launched xmms, and
> played the same file that Rivendell had just played. The level was still
> low, but fading the xmms volume control down and up brought it back up.
> Restarting the daemons made the level go down again, so I launched xmms
> while rdairplay was running and tried moving the xmms volume control. It
> behaved like a dirty potentiometer, causing the level to crackle up
> and down. Eventually I managed to get the level back up, but in the words
> of C3PO, this asteroid is not entirely stable.
> Am I looking at a SuSE 10.2 bug? Should I downgrade to 10.0? What version
> of ALSA do y'all run?
> Rob
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