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Thread: Linux Sound Blaster Z driver testing

  1. #1

    Linux Sound Blaster Z driver testing

    Hi! I've recently spent the last couple of months attempting to make the Sound Blaster Z work in Linux with the DSP. So far, on my card, I've got everything I can think of working. Here's a list:

    Outputs:
    Line out
    Surround
    Front and Rear Headphone
    Digital SPD/IF output
    All output effects, including equalizer presets.
    Stereo direct is missing, but I didn't include it because it really is meant to be used with a 192khz sample rate, and sampling everything up to that seems silly (to me) . But if you guys want it, I can put it in.

    Inputs:
    Front Mic, Rear Mic/Line-in.
    All input effects.
    Digital SPD/IF input.

    So, what I need is for people to test this out. You'll need to compile your own kernel to do so, and the patch files are located here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...JQfJ8KCOyqrr_d

    You'll need to put the 'ctefx-sbz.bin' file in your /lib/firmware folder, and then compile the 'patch_ca0132.c' in your kernel.

    So far, I have only tested it out on my Sound Blaster Z, which has a revision of 1102:0023. Looking at the inf from the windows driver, it looks like there are also variants:

    1102:0024
    1102:0025

    1102:0027 - Tested and works, however, needs a full shutdown before working. Reboots break it. Need someone who can run QemuHDADump so I can get the shutdown sequence for this card.

    You can get your card's ID by running the hda-verb command:

    hda-verb /dev/snd/hwC2D1 0x01 0xF20 0x00
    nid = 0x1, verb = 0xf20, param = 0x0
    value = 0x11020023

    Of course, your /dev/snd will be different.

    If your card doesn't work, and you're willing to help me fix it, PM me. I can guide you through getting me the information I need to make it work. The program I made to do it is located here: https://github.com/Conmanx360/QemuHDADump

    Let me know if you've tested it and it works, I'd love to hear feedback. Thanks!

    Edit: Also, once I've got all of the Z's working, I'd be willing to help get the ZxR working, or any other variant. It shouldn't be TOO much work, but you never know until you get into it.
    Last edited by Conmanx360; 04-26-2018 at 10:18 PM. Reason: New tests.

  2. #2
    Moderator HT-CL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    1,358

    Re: Linux Sound Blaster Z driver testing

    Quote Originally Posted by Conmanx360 View Post
    Hi! I've recently spent the last couple of months attempting to make the Sound Blaster Z work in Linux with the DSP. So far, on my card, I've got everything I can think of working. Here's a list:

    Outputs:
    Line out
    Surround
    Front and Rear Headphone
    Digital SPD/IF output
    All output effects, including equalizer presets.
    Stereo direct is missing, but I didn't include it because it really is meant to be used with a 192khz sample rate, and sampling everything up to that seems silly (to me) . But if you guys want it, I can put it in.

    Inputs:
    Front Mic, Rear Mic/Line-in.
    All input effects.
    Digital SPD/IF input.

    So, what I need is for people to test this out. You'll need to compile your own kernel to do so, and the patch files are located here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...JQfJ8KCOyqrr_d

    You'll need to put the 'ctefx-sbz.bin' file in your /lib/firmware folder, and then compile the 'patch_ca0132.c' in your kernel.

    So far, I have only tested it out on my Sound Blaster Z, which has a revision of 1102:0023. Looking at the inf from the windows driver, it looks like there are also variants:

    1102:0024
    1102:0025
    1102:0027

    You can get your card's ID by running the hda-verb command:

    hda-verb /dev/snd/hwC2D1 0x01 0xF20 0x00
    nid = 0x1, verb = 0xf20, param = 0x0
    value = 0x11020023

    Of course, your /dev/snd will be different.

    If your card doesn't work, and you're willing to help me fix it, PM me. I can guide you through getting me the information I need to make it work. The program I made to do it is located here: https://github.com/Conmanx360/QemuHDADump

    Let me know if you've tested it and it works, I'd love to hear feedback. Thanks!

    Edit: Also, once I've got all of the Z's working, I'd be willing to help get the ZxR working, or any other variant. It shouldn't be TOO much work, but you never know until you get into it.
    Hi Conmanx360,

    Thank you for the driver of the Sound Blaster Z for Linux.
    Om Vajrapani Hum,
    HT-CL

    http://www1.wfp.org/

  3. #3

    Re: Linux Sound Blaster Z driver testing

    Seems like with Recon3D, at least there's no regression - there's audio output from rear panel, What-U-Hear input works and nothing else works, except the detection of headphones in front panel - which is improvement from current ca0132 patch in kernel.
    I will try to QemuHDADump this weekend.

  4. #4

    Re: Linux Sound Blaster Z driver testing

    So far mceier and I have gotten the headphone and speaker outs of the Recon3Di working, and we're working on getting the inputs working. I'm still looking for people with Recon3D's and the other Sound Blaster Z variants to help test the driver.

  5. #5

    Re: Linux Sound Blaster Z driver testing

    Okay, we now have all inputs and outputs working on the Recon3Di (Recon3D Integrated, seems to be on Gigabyte motherboards primarily) if anyone wants to try it, it's in the google drive link. Use the regular patch_ca0132.c and put the ctefx-r3di.bin in your /lib/firmware. We haven't tested output effects, but that shouldn't be much more difficult.

    Like I said before, still looking for people with other Sound Blaster Z variants to help test, and people with the Recon3D non integrated. We can probably get all of them working on Linux, which would be nice, because they haven't worked for years.

  6. #6
    Contributor
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    12

    Re: Linux Sound Blaster Z driver testing

    I have a wireless headset connected to S/PDIF, compiled with your code, confirmed working.
    but how to set the output to 5.1ch? only S/PDIF showed at sound config panel, and only stereo output working.

    I'm on linux mint 18.3.

  7. #7

    Re: Linux Sound Blaster Z driver testing

    Have you tried other outputs, other than the S/PDIF and tested them to confirm they work? Just want to make sure.

    As I said in my PM, I'm not sure you can get 5.1 through the S/PDIF output unless it's a video with audio encoded in the AC3 format.

  8. #8

    Re: Linux Sound Blaster Z driver testing

    I would like to thank Conmanx360 publicly for absolutely amazing work! I contacted him through PM after not being able to get it working and after a quick troubleshoot, we discovered I had a different revision of the card and after changing one line, everything worked as expected.

    I'm absolutely blown away by the quality of this driver! Creative owes Conmanx360 big time! SBZ is such an awesome card that rivals many external USB amp/dac combos but the lack of Linux drivers prevented so many people from using it.

    Thank you Conmanx360!

    BTW, my card was 1102:0023 revision.

  9. #9
    Trusted Contributor
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Brazil
    Posts
    155

    Re: Linux Sound Blaster Z driver testing

    Amazing work! Here is me hoping that someday the X-Fi's DSP will also be supported in Linux.

    Quote Originally Posted by Conmanx360 View Post
    Have you tried other outputs, other than the S/PDIF and tested them to confirm they work? Just want to make sure.

    As I said in my PM, I'm not sure you can get 5.1 through the S/PDIF output unless it's a video with audio encoded in the AC3 format.
    I guess maybe Sylphia wants the DSP to downmix the 5.1 input from the PC to the card to stereo with HRTF through the DSP, and then send the downmixed audio to S/PDIF which is then connected to the wireless headset somehow.
    This would be possible only if the DSP is receiving the full 5.1 audio stream, and for that the programs using ALSA and PulseAudio must believe the sink is 5.1 (even though it is 2.0 after downmixing)

  10. #10

    Re: Linux Sound Blaster Z driver testing

    Hmm, sounds like the option to send stereo mix to digital setting in Windows, which is just a parameter that is set. I'm not sure if it down mixes surround to stereo, I guess I could try it.

    Edit: Also, on the X-Fi, I'm pretty sure there is a driver for it in Linux, unless you have an unusual version or something.
    Last edited by Conmanx360; 05-17-2018 at 08:10 AM.

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