Author Topic: multi-soundcards for audio zones  (Read 5653 times)

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multi-soundcards for audio zones
« on: August 23, 2005, 06:24:42 pm »
How can i set up my CORE to handle multi-zone audio without having players in each room? i want to have multi audio comming out of my core into a multizone amp and drive my in room speakers.
Can i just add a bunch of soundcards into the server and have each output controlled as a diffrent zone?

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Re: multi-soundcards for audio zones
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2005, 12:45:07 pm »
Quote from: "sp00nhead"
How can i set up my CORE to handle multi-zone audio without having players in each room? i want to have multi audio comming out of my core into a multizone amp and drive my in room speakers.
Can i just add a bunch of soundcards into the server and have each output controlled as a diffrent zone?


Hi,

I wanted same some time ago. So I worked with Pluto Xine guy and we did preliminary test on Audio only xine player, that could run in multiple instances on same machine.

As Pluto is designed this could be easy job to do (adding parameter for "Audio only", "Alsa device") and running Xine according to that could solve the problem (I had this running as additional xine device, that was controlled from Orbiter). But Pluto guy is not there anymore and I'm not sure about priority of this feature (last time it was not considered as high priority)...

Can send sources or work with Pluto guys if desired (I would like to have that option too  - so MD could provide 1 video and more audio zones - I still think that this will be useful)..

Regards,

Rob.

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multi-soundcards for audio zones
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2005, 01:02:10 pm »
hi there. thats just how i was thinking it would work.
If you've got any configs and tips on doing this please send them. keith @ blissav.co.uk . I'm trying to get my head into designing a new looking skin at the moment, but i think setting up mulizone audio will be far more interesting.

This feature is a really big need for me, as i have a few clients looking for a whole house server and have speakers wired up to a central control room already. If i can offer them a one box solution then i'd be really happy.

i'll have a play with what you have and see what i can come up with. Still cutting my teeth on programming , but i have a skill when it comes to makeing stuff already out there to work.

Cheers
Keith

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multi-soundcards for audio zones
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2005, 05:05:42 pm »
Hi,

I've sent you details over email.

I hope that Pluto guys will help on that one...?

There is also one drawback - audio player should be able to synhronize in case of 1 stream to multiple players - is Pluto-Xine player able to do this, or is VLC taking role in this situation ?

Should we adapt pluto wrappers for Xine and VLC players ?

Regards,

Rob.

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multi-soundcards for audio zones
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2005, 08:50:57 pm »
hi, at the moment what happens is when the destination is only one area it uses xine, and when you move it to multiple areas it uses VLC.  However our integration with VLC is not very good at the moment, and we found some problems with VLC that we have to fix before it works 100%.  You can change his behavior in the VLC plug-in by changing the priority parameter to zero, and then Pluto will not use VLC at all.  of course the other possibility is to use multiple network audio players, like the squeezebox, but that's not a very clean or cost-effective solution.

also the guy who was xine expert is not here anymore, and we're a bit shorthanded.  So if there is a programmer who wants to do this, will be glad to help, but at the moment were pretty busy getting the VLC issues fixed.

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multi-soundcards for audio zones
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2005, 10:26:34 pm »
Quote from: "michael.a"
hi, at the moment what happens is when the destination is only one area it uses xine, and when you move it to multiple areas it uses VLC.  However our integration with VLC is not very good at the moment, and we found some problems with VLC that we have to fix before it works 100%.  You can change his behavior in the VLC plug-in by changing the priority parameter to zero, and then Pluto will not use VLC at all.  of course the other possibility is to use multiple network audio players, like the squeezebox, but that's not a very clean or cost-effective solution.

also the guy who was xine expert is not here anymore, and we're a bit shorthanded.  So if there is a programmer who wants to do this, will be glad to help, but at the moment were pretty busy getting the VLC issues fixed.

Hi,

thanks for info. I'd just like to clear this up:
- can Pluto Xine player synhronize to slimserver (I remember that efforts were put into this feature?)? If that's true, then I guess we could use Xine player as audio only player as single and multiple destinations - am I right ?

VLC will be harder to adapt to audio only, so I hope Xine will let us get through...

Regards,

Rob.

-

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multi-soundcards for audio zones
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2006, 09:17:55 pm »
Hi,

  What is the current status of this issue?  I am also trying to setup multizone audio in my house.  I would like to be able to use multiple soundcards in the core.  All of my speaker wiring is terminated in a central location and running the audio out of the core makes the most sense (also cost effective).  I have a dedicated core and have been trying to use the xine audio plugin tied to the core as it's controlling device.  Any hints or is this still a work in progress.

Thanks,
Jason

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multi-soundcards for audio zones
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2006, 08:11:55 am »
Quote from: "jspeckman"
Hi,

  What is the current status of this issue?  I am also trying to setup multizone audio in my house.  I would like to be able to use multiple soundcards in the core.  All of my speaker wiring is terminated in a central location and running the audio out of the core makes the most sense (also cost effective).  I have a dedicated core and have been trying to use the xine audio plugin tied to the core as it's controlling device.  Any hints or is this still a work in progress.

Thanks,
Jason


Hi,

I still didn't give up - but I had to stall a little bit, cause I had to dig it by myself into Xine Audio Player code and I run into problems I couldn't solve - so my Xine Audio crashes. at that time all Pluto stuff was busy, so I gave it aside for a while.  Also there were some major problems with xine under Pluto so I decided to start doing things again when Xine will be more or less stable.

If anyone from Pluto  is reading this, I'd appreciate some more info how Xine pluto wrapper is progressing and if there is any chance of helping doing this.

Basically I've added new parameters to Xine player Device (I'm not sure if they got into main Pluto database) and then added if/then/else on spots where we don't need video features. Some work will also be necessary on volume control (I think this one is in app_server right now) to distinguish volume controls (right now only default volume control is accessed by hardcoded default).

I'm still seeking for answer on this question in Linux sound community but still didn't get any usable response :

"is there any way to implement easily audio multizone mixer/router purely in software with multiple sound stereo outputs, where one could route/mix/select between different audio sources and outputs ?"

(my emails to linux-sound mailing list are unanswered).

Anyone with further discussion on this matter (it would be major enhancement - cause we could get rid of expensive external multizone audio devices) ?

HTH,

Regards,

Rob.

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multi-soundcards for audio zones
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2006, 04:59:06 pm »
Thanks Rob,
  It's good to know this is still being looked at.  BTW have you looked into using JACK for audio routing and mixing?  It's geared towards pro audio applications, but my initial tests with it look promising for multizone audio.  Xine would probably need an output driver writen for it though.  Hope this helps.

Thanks
Jason

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multi-soundcards for audio zones
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2006, 06:04:40 pm »
Quote from: "jspeckman"
Thanks Rob,
  It's good to know this is still being looked at.  BTW have you looked into using JACK for audio routing and mixing?  It's geared towards pro audio applications, but my initial tests with it look promising for multizone audio.  Xine would probably need an output driver writen for it though.  Hope this helps.

Thanks
Jason

Hi,

I'd be thrilled to hear more info about jack possibilities and how it can be controlled from c++ or Perl.....

Can I find some more info about Jack and whole house audio softswitch projects ?

I've asked 3 times about this on linux-sound mailing list without single respond....

Thanks in advance,

regards,

Rob.

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Multizone support
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2006, 08:14:06 pm »
If you need to start a petition you count my signature in.

I am new to Pluto and home automation so tell me if what I am trying to do is what you guys are trying to do.

I am building a new home. I plan to have ceiling speakers in every room of the house. Bedrooms, offices, workout room, entertainment room all can be controlled separately from the whole house audio that my wife wants to play during Christmas and if we have company.

So right now the only was to accomplish this is with separate devices like a squeeze box and amplifier to power the speakers.

I was hoping to run the wires while the house was being build to the network A/V closet but the way it sound the speakers will have to be run to an amp in each room. That can get very expensive very fast.

I have seen multi-source multi-zone devices in homecontrols.com catalog and wanted to go that route but then I thought how do I get the audio to go out to the speakers and the video to get pushed to the media director.

If I am rambling then I am sorry. I have to make this work the first time or my wife will become problematic.

So as of now I need to have a media director/squeezebox anywhere I want to have a separate zone and some type of device to power the speakers. Like an amp or buy powered speakers. There is no way for the speakers to be powered by the media director/squeezebox?

Thanks for any information or advice.

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multi-soundcards for audio zones
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2006, 12:54:03 am »
Rob,
  The homepage is: newbielink:http://jackit.sourceforge.net/ [nonactive]  Search around on the alsa site to configure it for multichannel soundcards.  I did my testing the an SBLive card and used xmms with the jack output plugin to switch the output channels in real time.  It also allows multiple inputs to one out put as well.  And the outputs from jack do not have to be outputs on the sound card depending on what apps are hooked to it.  Looks promising so far.

Jason

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multi-soundcards for audio zones
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2006, 11:08:26 am »
Quote from: "jspeckman"
Rob,
  The homepage is: newbielink:http://jackit.sourceforge.net/ [nonactive]  Search around on the alsa site to configure it for multichannel soundcards.  I did my testing the an SBLive card and used xmms with the jack output plugin to switch the output channels in real time.  It also allows multiple inputs to one out put as well.  And the outputs from jack do not have to be outputs on the sound card depending on what apps are hooked to it.  Looks promising so far.

Jason


Thanks for info. I'll take a look.

What I'm after is tutorials or howto or example projects how to implement whole house audio system in software (possibly with Jack - maybe ecasound) ... Any more knowledge ?

Any opinion from Pluto guys - implementing soft whole house audio would be nice feature , IMHO....

regards,

Rob.

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multi-soundcards for audio zones
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2006, 06:58:45 pm »
Tell me if I am following you guys. Sorry for being the noob here.

Are you trying to pump "audio only" to multiple zones ore are you trying to pump the audio to the speakers in the room where you are playing a movie or watching TV through a media dirrector?

I am trying to do the latter. I am building the home now and would rather have all the speakers home run so I can have one multizone amp instead of an amp in each room. I am trying to figure it out soon as the builders will be ready for wiring soon.

Any ideas if I am going about this the right way? Or should I just have the speakers run to the Media Dirrector?

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multi-soundcards for audio zones
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2006, 07:48:43 pm »
Quote from: "daddy"
Tell me if I am following you guys. Sorry for being the noob here.

Are you trying to pump "audio only" to multiple zones ore are you trying to pump the audio to the speakers in the room where you are playing a movie or watching TV through a media dirrector?

I am trying to do the latter. I am building the home now and would rather have all the speakers home run so I can have one multizone amp instead of an amp in each room. I am trying to figure it out soon as the builders will be ready for wiring soon.

Any ideas if I am going about this the right way? Or should I just have the speakers run to the Media Dirrector?

My personal choice to have sources centralized. That means that audio for audio only rooms will be prepared on core, didn't decide yet what to do with audio/video rooms. Maybe in living room separate MD iwht its own speakers, on other rooms maybe I'll put MD beside core - or maybe some day run more MDs on Core (each outputting to separate video/audio output) ....

HTH,

Rob.