#14 via 82c 686 a driver probably broken

Jeff Garzik
misc (7)
Philo Vivero

The sound is 95% correct, but has a strange grating
'buzz' and nasty pops and clicks whenever mixer
settings are changed.

Thought it was bad MP3 encoding at first, but then
listened to WAVs ripped (via cdparanoia) straight from
the CD, and those sounded identical to the MP3 (bad).

Then thought maybe it was my stereo, so plugged
headphones straight into the audio-out jack. Still bad.

Then thought maybe it's clipping from the mixer, so I
turned down all levels. Still bad.

At this point, I think that the driver that's sending
data to the sound-out jack is bad. Unless I just have
bad hardware (?).

Don't have Windows loaded. Is there some way I can
figure if it's my hardware or if the driver has a bug?


  • Philo Vivero
    Philo Vivero

    Logged In: YES

    Oops. Okay, I just now figured out it's NOT my hardware.

    More info:

    Driver version is

    #define VIA_VERSION "1.1.14a"

    Player is either ESD or XMMS playing via ESD or via OSS
    sound driver.

    Here's a very precise description:

    1: Playing a piano tune, I hear grating distorted sound
    underneath the normal sound.

    2: Stop playing piano tune, go to Gnome sound events, and
    play some event.

    3: I hear in the 'grated distorted' area of the sound the
    piano tune I heard before, and in the 'normal' area of the
    sound, the short beep that is the system sound event.

    What this means to me is that there are two buffers (or one
    buffer with two pointers into it?) and that one buffer is
    accidentally being played (very wrongly) at the same time as
    another buffer is playing (probably correctly, possibly
    slightly wrong).

    If you play loud, distorted music like Gravity Kills, White
    Zombie, or Garbage, you won't notice it so much until they
    play something simple and quiet. I REALLY noticed it first
    on Rammstein's Angel song, where there's essentially a sine
    whistle melody at the start.

    If you play soft, subtle music like Chopin or Mozart, you
    will notice it like a wart on a supermodel's nose. I can't
    even listen to my Chopin without cringing.

  • Philo Vivero
    Philo Vivero

    Logged In: YES

    Wow. Okay, so whatever the bug is, it's gonna be
    intermittent. I just powered down my box and brought it back
    up again.

    Everything sounds fine.


    If I try to use "mpg123" to play the MP3s, it sounds really,
    really bad. I'm not sure, because it's been a week or so,
    but I think I had run mpg123 right before these problems

    But other variables that may have affected things? I
    recompiled my 2.4.1 kernel to 2.4.2 (I know, doubtful this
    made any difference) and changed a couple of variables in
    the driver .c file (including turning on /proc/driver/via

    Since I doubt any of the tweaks I made to the driver
    actually fixed anything, I won't go into detail.

    I'm pretty sure the driver worked correctly after boot, just
    somehow I put it into this nasty broken mode.

    So my question becomes finally: is there a way to reset the
    state of the audio device other than a hard power down?


  • Jeff Garzik
    Jeff Garzik

    • labels: --> 101522
    • assigned_to: nobody --> jgarzik
  • Tuomo Soini
    Tuomo Soini

    Logged In: YES

    Yes. Same problem on my motherboard (Biostar VKB v1.1). I
    don't know if this matters but here is part of lspci -vvv

    00:07.5 Multimedia audio controller: VIA Technologies, Inc.
    AC97 Audio Controller (rev 20)
    Subsystem: Sigmatel Inc: Unknown device 7609
    Control: I/O+ Mem- BusMaster- SpecCycle- MemWINV-
    VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B-
    Status: Cap+ 66Mhz- UDF- FastB2B- ParErr-
    DEVSEL=medium >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR-
    Interrupt: pin C routed to IRQ 15
    Region 0: I/O ports at ac00 [size=256]
    Region 1: I/O ports at b000 [size=4]
    Region 2: I/O ports at b400 [size=4]
    Capabilities: [c0] Power Management version 2
    Flags: PMEClk- DSI- D1- D2- AuxCurrent=0mA
    Status: D3 PME-Enable- DSel=0 DScale=0 PME-

    00:0a.0 SCSI storage controller: Adaptec AHA-294x / AIC-7871
    (rev 03)
    Control: I/O- Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV-
    VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B-
    Status: Cap- 66Mhz- UDF- FastB2B+ ParErr-
    DEVSEL=medium >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR-
    Latency: 32 (2000ns min, 2000ns max), cache line size 08
    Interrupt: pin A routed to IRQ 15
    Region 0: I/O ports at bc00 [disabled] [size=256]
    Region 1: Memory at db000000 (32-bit,
    non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
    Expansion ROM at <unassigned> [disabled] [size=64K]

    So audio is sharing irq with scsi-controller.

    And sound works once after modules are loaded. So rh7.1
    sndconfig gives clear sound. But playing with xmms (esound
    plugin) or mpg123 gives noise with sound.

  • Jan Sembera
    Jan Sembera

    Logged In: YES

    I have exactly same problems. I tried kernel 2.4.2 (default
    from RH 7.1), but it sound like it plays music two times at
    once, one "track" seems normal, and one sounds very bad =>
    result is _extremely_ bad. My motherboard is MicroStar
    MS-6340. When I'm playing first MP3 (in mpg123), everything
    is ok, except crash-like sound when playing starts. Every
    next sound played is damaged. I tried to update to newer
    kernel, but newest 2.4.4-ac14 has same bug.

    When I send SIGINT (^C) to mpg123, bad "track" seems to
    disappear, I can hear correct sound for a few seconds, then
    mpg123 finally dies.

  • Jeff Garzik
    Jeff Garzik

    • priority: 5 --> 6
  • Logged In: NO

    ESD is likely to blame. I had the same problem as you
    (mpg123 sounds terrible), so I tried compiling without ESD
    support and everything is okay now.

  • Jeff Garzik
    Jeff Garzik

    • status: open --> closed
  • Jeff Garzik
    Jeff Garzik

    • labels: 101522 --> misc
    • status: closed --> closed-fixed
  • Jeff Garzik
    Jeff Garzik

    Logged In: YES

    This problem is fixed in the latest version of the driver. You
    can download the driver from the download section on this
    SourceForge web page.