Contributed by jl on from the can-you-hear-me dept.
The envy(4) driver is for "professional" audio interfaces based on the VIA Envy24 chip, like the M-Audio Delta 1010, currently only AK4524 codecs are supported. Such cards can play and record up to 10 audio streams in full-duplex. They use 24-bit sample precision and can work at 96kHz sample frequency. The hardware design is very simple and elegant compared to typical over-engineered "consumer-grade" cards, so the driver code is very simple; this is good for its maintainability and robustness.
From the user point of view this allows one to do multi-channel recordings, for instance to simultaneously record voice, guitar and piano on separate tracks, so they can be mixed and processed later. Unfortunately there are few applications that support 10-channel 24-bit sample formats, however one example is the audacity port.If you have an envy(4) device please provide feedback to ratchov@ and help test this in time for the 4.3 release.
From the developers point of view, having a driver that supports 24-bit formats and many channels gives the basics (a kind of "playground") for working on the generic audio layer (code common to all drivers) and on userland code. Indeed, to improve usability of envy-like cards (ie support for advanced audio), various interesting changes and features are required. Some of which are:
All sound devices, not just envy(4), would benefit from such changes.
- make the mixer multi-channel
- add a generic format and sample rate converter
- allow multiple soft audio devices to share a single physical device
Alas that's a lot of work...
(Comments are closed)