[linux-audio-dev] Soundblaster Live DSP support?

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Subject: [linux-audio-dev] Soundblaster Live DSP support?
From: Nicola Bernardini (nicb_AT_axnet.it)
Date: ti joulu  08 1998 - 05:45:35 EST

Dear Friends,

some weeks ago I was in Barcelona for the first Digital Audio Effects
Workshop (DAFX98). Among other very interesting things there has been
a presentation by Steve Hoge (Emu-Creative) who introduced us to the
internals of the FX8010, a DSP chip which under another name - can't
remember, is contained among other boards into the Soundblaster Live.

I was very impressed by the specs and the API described (the paper should
be available soon from the DAFX98 site http://www.iua.upf.es/dafx98/) and
I asked Mr.Hoge whether there was any plan of either publishing the specs
of the card or writing drivers for linux. I was interested not only in having
the SBlive working (it should be SB compatible, so it might work right away)
but in accessing the DSP inside and in building tools for it. A fairly
interesting discussion ensued, which I'll try to resume below:

1) of course, Creative does not want to publish the specs: they've seen
   their profits reducing constantly due to card cloning and SB-compatibles
   and they're afraid of this (this is the standard reply anyway, from
   what I understand)

2) *BUT* (and these are the news!): THEY ARE VERY MUCH AWARE OF LINUX!
   with the MS trial, Windows NT failures, halloween paper and photo of
   Linus on Time magazine, Linux has entered into their radar screens, so...

3) yes, they're interested in having drivers (and DSP support and whatever
   we wish to write) for Linux!

I promised Mr.Hoge, who was very kind to me and very open to discussion,
that I would contact him so that he could give me a hint on who and how
to approach the management at Creative to discuss the matter. Before
doing that, I'd like your (more expert than mine) opinion on these matters.

In particular:

1) Is anybody already working on this? Particularly Jaroslav and/or OSS?

2) I'd like to add this support to the wonderful work Jaroslav Kysela
   (ALSA) is doing (bravo Jaroslav!), but

3) it's possible that they ask to sign NDAs and the like, and I would ask
   in exchange

4) to get the sources of their API and port those to linux (Mr.Hoge said
   it should be fairly easy to do) - I don't want to give free manpower
   to Creative just for nothing

or else, should we point at having open sources a` tout prix? I am a rabid
open source pusher, but in this case I don't know what the strategy could
be - every time I proposed open source Linux work for the ADI shark they
disappeared for months...

Please advise (but read the SBlive specs before rejecting everything in
block! http://www.sblive.com/).



Nicola Bernardini
E-mail: nicb_AT_axnet.it
Re graphics: A picture is worth 10K words -- but only those to describe
the picture. Hardly any sets of 10K words can be adequately described
with pictures.

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