Emu10k1 mixer in ALSA

An attempt to understand the audio pathway of the emu10k1 chip. Specifically Live! 5.1 model SB0100 under Linux (ALSA).

My system

# lspci -d 1102: -v
0000:00:09.0 Multimedia audio controller: Creative Labs SB Live! EMU10k1 (rev 07)
        Subsystem: Creative Labs SB Live! 5.1 Model SB0100
        Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 64, IRQ 11
        I/O ports at d000 [size=32]
        Capabilities: [dc] Power Management version 1

0000:00:09.1 Input device controller: Creative Labs SB Live! MIDI/Game Port (rev 07)
        Subsystem: Creative Labs Gameport Joystick
        Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 64
        I/O ports at d800 [size=8]
        Capabilities: [dc] Power Management version 1

Mixer map

Volume control names as in:

amixer contents

Most controls are accessible with:


Emu10k1 SB0100 mixer map
[svg] [pdf]


SB0100 PCB

Historia Creative - Pictures of Sound Blaster cards


Creative Sound Blaster Live! Digital Entertainment 5.1 User's Guide (PDF) (p. 14)

Emu10k1 block schematic

(Doesn't really tell that much, though.)

The EMU10K1 Digital Audio Processor (PDF) (p. 2)

STAC9708-11 mixer functional diagram

Sigmatel STAC9708-11 AC97 Codec (PDF) (p. 23)

AD_EXT connector pinout

AD_EXT connector pinout (from an unknown card). Seems to be called AUD_EXT on SB0100, but is it the same pinout?

kX Project Knowledge Base - AD_EXT Pinout

S/PDIF 3-pole minijack pinout

S/PDIF 3-pole minijack pinout.

ALive! - The Sound Blaster Live! Resource - Digital I/O & Mini-DIN

S/PDIF 4-pole minijack pinout

S/PDIF 4-pole minijack pinout. Used in Live! 5.1 (?).

Based on information from driverheaven.net forum.

Commands and files

lspci -d 1102: -vGet card model
alsamixerGood mixer (ncurses)
amixer contentsCommand-line mixer: Show detailed mixer info.
Use this to play with "EMU10K1 PCM Send Routing" etc.
aplay -lList playback devices
arecord -lList capture devices
/proc/asoundThere's lots of interesting info in the files here
/proc/asound/pcmPlayback/capture devices
speaker-test -Dplug:surround40 -c4Four-channel test
speaker-test -Dplug:surround51 -c6Six-channel test
sox x.wav -c 4 y.wav
aplay -Dplug:surround40 y.wav
Four-channel file test



From /proc/asound/pcm:

x,0Standard PCM PlaybackADC Capture
x,1(none)Mic Capture (?)
x,2PT Playback (raw S/PDIF output?)Multichannel Capture (?)
x,3Multichannel Playback (?)(none)

From /usr/share/doc/alsa-base/driver/SB-Live-mixer.txt.gz [CVS]:

DAC    - digital to analog converter
ADC    - analog to digital converter
I2S    - one-way three wire serial bus for digital sound by Philips Semiconductors
         (this standard is used for connecting standalone DAC and ADC converters)
LFE    - low frequency effects (subwoofer signal)
AC97   - a chip containing an analog mixer, DAC and ADC converters
FX-bus - the EMU10K1 chip has an effect bus containing 16 accumulators.
         Each of the synthesizer voices can feed its output to these accumulators
         and the DSP microcontroller can operate with the resulting sum.


Signal flow, mixer chart, mixer map, audio path, audio pathway, audio routing, audio mixer, emu10k1, SB Live! 5.1.

Contact me

Errors in the diagram? Comments? Please mail me!

HÃ¥kon A. Hjortland:
Email: haakoh - ifi uio no