[ecasound] Synchro saga: some background

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Subject: [ecasound] Synchro saga: some background
From: Roy Cutler (rcutler@bigfoot.com)
Date: Sun Mar 18 2001 - 13:49:12 EET

Thanks for your patience. I am excited about the possibilites of ecasound and
so I am continuing to try to make it work. I am still having a major synchro
problem so I will try to lay out what I am doing in the hopes that someone
will see my problem but also as a record for anyone else having a similar

The hardware:
Duron 650, 128 Mb RAM, IBM Deskstar 20 Gb (well tuned and tweaked according
to Dave Philips article), SB PCI128

The software:
Mandrake 7.2, ALSA 0.9.0Beta2 (all general sound functions seem to be working
including driving MIDI keyboard, etc), ecasound RPMS 1.9dev4

External hardware:
I run guitar and drum machine through a yamaha mixer into the Mic or Line In
(both have same results). Line out from soundcard goes to second small mixer
which sends it power amp. Headphones plugged into power amp.

To record the drum track I type:
    ecasound -r -i:/dev/dsp0 -o drums.wav
I listen back with:
    ecasound drums.wav
and it sounds good.

To overdub:
    ecasound -b:256 -r -z:db -f:16,2,44100
> -a:1 -i drums.wav -o /dev/dsp
> -a:2 -i /dev/dsp -o guitar1.wav
Still all seems right. I can hear the drums nicely. The guitar is clear and
in the headphones.

To mix:
    ecasound -a:1 -i drums.wav -a:2 -i guitar1.wav -a:all -o /dev/dsp
And now the guitar is some odd fraction of a beat behind the drums. This
occurs both with ALSA and with OSS drivers. It occurs with every reasonable
buffer size. I have tried buffer sizes for mixing as well, without apparent

So that's where I am, folks. I built this machine primarily for the purpose
of doing multi-track recording so I have a big interest in making this work.
Ecasound seems like a program that I can really use. Thanks for listening.


Roy Cutler
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