[alsa-devel] [PATCH 1/2] ALSA: add LaCie Firewire Speakers/Griffin FireWave surround driver

Clemens Ladisch clemens at ladisch.de
Tue Feb 8 14:37:00 CET 2011

Stefan Richter wrote:
> Xine, although configured to the alsa backend, somehow refuses to use the
> alsa backend and falls through to jack which doesn't have any devices
> present at the moment.  Kaffeine which uses xine as backend pops up a
> window that it can't open the sound device.

Unfortunately, xine doesn't have useful error messages ...

Try "aplay -D plughw:FireWave something.wav" (or -D plughw:Speakers).

> KDE4's hardware control, sound pane, shows the card and lets me play the
> test sound on it.  First few seconds are choppy. [...]
> Next test:  Plugged the Speakers in, unloaded snd_hda_intel, loaded
> firewire-ohci, snd_firewire_speakers now gets bound to devie right away.
> Started xine and played a file.  No complaint.  (Hmm, I wonder whether I
> had an operator error in my earlier session with FireWave.)  There is the
> same problem as in the first KDE4 control panel test:  Playback starts
> with an Autechre remix during the first few seconds. ;-)

If it is the same with both devices, the problem is probably not a wrong
number of channels.

Choppy sound could indicate a wrong sample rate.  Jay used speaker-test,
which uses 48 kHz by default, but most music files are 44.1 kHz, so it
looks as if switching the sample rate does not work correctly.

> Alas the missing mixer makes the whole affair not quite usable yet:  The
> LaCie FireWire Speakers are very loud; too loud for the desk or living
> room.  On OS X, I had their volume pulled down to the lowest mark.

Attached are .conf files that enable software volume emulation for
devices "default", "front", "surround40", and "surround51", but not "hw".
Put them into /usr/share/alsa/cards/ (or wherever your distribution puts

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