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Re: The Great Pulseaudio Mixer Debate: a modest (productive) proposal



On Sun, 2009-04-26 at 17:15 +0200, Lennart Poettering wrote:
> On Sun, 26.04.09 11:46, Kevin Kofler (kevin kofler chello at) wrote:
> > I think that's the whole point here. We can NEVER get rid of those sliders,
> > they all exist for a reason. (Well, almost – I'm sure there's one or the
> > other bogus dummy control in some driver, but those are ALSA bugs. Showing
> > sliders which actually do something is NOT a bug.)
> 
> Uh. We certainly can get rid of them. Many of the more modern HDA
> designs got rid of the entire volume control logic and instead
> increased the PCM bit depth to 24 bit everywhere of which the usual 4-8
> bit headroom can be used for volume control. In ALSA these are all
> those devices where the 'softvol' module does volume control.
> 
> Gazillions of controls are *not* necessary. Only if you buy a Creative
> sound card these days you still get such an immsense number of those
> controls. But that's simply because otherwise there is nothing that
> would distuingish them from onboard audio. All machines today come
> with onboard sound cards whith quality nobody could ever complain
> about.
> 
> Today we have MMX and SSE and similar CPU extensions. The very reason
> we have them is to do signal processing with them. Such as
> implementing mixing, volume adjustments, equalizers, and other filters
> in them -- in high digital quality. Ironically even Creative sees that
> and nowadays a lot of logic is actually in their Windows drivers, not
> so much in their sound cards.

And once again you go on and on about "modern" and "these days", and are
completely dismissive of "Right now" and "Yesterday".

No one but you cares. End users want what they use now and have owned
for years, to work and continue to work.

I have a Vortex 2 sound card. It's *ten* years old now. It's PCI. It
outputs four channels of 16-bit output. It's output quality is
excellent. It has an optical output. It can mix and resample something
like 32 channels *in hardware*. It has hardware 10-band digital EQ. And
of course it can do HRTF in hardware but there's little chance of that
ever getting supported at this point. :P (Do we even do HRTF in Fedora
with "todays" MMX and SSE? No.)

It's drivers are rock stable, and have been for years. Which is more
than I can say for snd_intel8x0...

Sound is an area where a ten year old card still matches or exceeds
anything you end up with today. Sound is not a constant upgrade
treadmill. Stop treating it like one.

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