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Hmmm. Way too complicated probably, but if you can actually get the device to pair and sink it as an audio device, then you can do this:

mplayer -ao alsa:device=bluetooth

and it may or may not require ~/.asoundrc that looks like

pcm.bluetooth {
    type bluetooth
}

I heard audio at least one time from my headphones via mplayer that way...at least before the batteries ran out.

Open question: Why doesn't it just show up like a normal alsa device? Meh.

Ok, enough is enough. You gotta help me out.

I can't be the only person running Linux on a Lenovo Thinkpad T410 (Conexant CX20585) that has audio volume problems. How is it that I've owned this machine for 6+ months and have tried kernel upon kernel, scoured message boards, compiled alsa from trunk, tweaked endless permutations of snd-intel-hda kernel module options, yet still can't get a reasonable audio volume from this Intel HDA audio card on my T410!? It's unthinkable!

I know, I know, the driver is still relatively "new", and the good work that *has* been done has been based on hacking some undocumented codecs without support from the manufacturers...but come on! Output volume is critical!

You see, sound works just fine...but the output power is lacking. Something, somewhere, is preventing the output amplifier from being turned on or otherwise being configured correctly. I have to *crank* the alsa master and pcm output to 100% for music or movies to even be listenable, and even then it's not quiet loud enough. Thinkpads are still considered "good", Linux friendly laptops, so how is it that people are living with this problem? Certainly I can't be the only one!

I've tinkered with hda-analyzer and hda-verb, and have some vague indication that an output amplifier is muted, but there's no apparent way to enable it.

I guess its time to dig in and try and grok the source...but I kinda dread it. Don't get me wrong, I love hacking source and learning and trying things, but sometimes I just want stuff to work. I assumed 5 or 6 years ago that the "oooooh, audio on Linux is so *hard*" problem had been solved...but I guess I was wrong. After so many years of ALSA "just working" and doing what I needed, I guess it is actually a problem again...and that sucks.

If you have any insights into this issue or want to steer me down a path, please send me an email...otherwise wish me luck.

Infiltration Lab played a live, hour-long drone/noise set on KBOO FM on February 1st, 2010.

infiltration lab

In the unfortunate event that KBOO loses funding or they change their url scheme or de-archives material or bombs hit Portland or whatever, I have also archived the show on archive.org. Hopefully this embedded player continues to work:

A few random tech details: I played the set on my audiopint computer that I built a couple years ago, running some Pd patches that I designed specifically for this show. As usual, the computer (as underpowered as it is!) had no problems keeping up. All sounds in the recording were rendered through Pd in realtime. Some audio material (for the granular synthesis) was taken from a(n unnamed) commercial recording, and the spoken sample material was mixed blind (previously unheard by me) from a psychological tape sourced at the Goodwill bins.

This piece is intended to be a contrast of sorts, a juxtaposition, and an overt psychological response to the reflection of time collapse. There really is no time. If your current self could revert to its earlier self in an instant, what would that event sound like?

Many thanks to Sean for having me. May radio live on!

On the transition from New Years Eve to New Years Day I made a recording of the sounds in my neighborhood, similar to the one I made last year.

Here's a link to the archive.org page for it in case you want to download it or read more:
http://www.archive.org/details/NewYears2010WoodstockPortlandOr.

It has reminded me just how much I enjoy the sound of binaural recording. I'm still tickled by the spacial placement of sounds in a 3D field. If you listen, you should ideally wear headphones and keep the volume very high (I didn't alter the signal and left a bunch of headroom).

Rock the Cradle Of Love Grunts
Wednesday, June 24th 2009 10:59pm
Tags: billyidol sound noise audio cutup

Sometimes when bogged down by responsibility I can find it rejuvenating to embrace the right kind of distraction.

billy idol

So my distraction involved hearing a radio cut of the Billy Idol hit "Cradle of Love" and finally following thru on a long-time desire to cut the thing into its most fundamental (read: important) parts: The grunts.

"That's right!" Sir Cyborg Himself. Despite having such a HUGE hit in the 90s, there are probably between zero and 3 people on the planet who actually know all the lyrics -- it's a slurred bozo fest of nonsense sexual innuendo and rockstar spittle. Simply brilliant.

So I leave you with "Rock The Cradle of Love Grunts".

scream that sound

I recently acquired a certain netbook so that I could be frugal but still have the ability to hack while mobile. Of course, I have to run Debian...it's a curse...but it rules.

Surprisingly, things work altogether very very well. I still don't think I'm that savvy, but I've gotten things to play together quite nicely. I will create a real page and post my results/settings/findings soon....but I made a stupid simple hack tonight that I thought I'd share.

So I'm running Fluxbox again. It's clean, simple, and takes up very little screen real-estate. It's been a few years, but it's as elegant and non-intrusive as I remember it.

The default keys file for fluxbox has commands that grok asla (via alsactl) and are able to nudge the volume up/down based on the magical function modifier keys (like Fn+F7 or Fn+F8 on the Wind). That's all great...but at least with the sound apps I run (including Flash!), the defaults aren't enough because this "Front" control keeps stomping on things (eg. it apparently needs to be massaged after the Master is massaged). I wish this wasn't the case, it's stupid, I should complain...Whatever.

Scripts to the rescue.

For the MSI Wind, I made three scripts, one does muting, the other two do volume up/down. They look something like this:

#!/bin/bash
for control in Master Front ; do
        amixer sset ${control},0 1+
done
aplay ~/media/sounds/volume_change.wav

The 1+ indicates volume up, change to 1- for volume down.

And then in ~/.fluxbox/keys we can map things like:

176 :Exec ~/bin/volume_up
174 :Exec ~/bin/volume_down
160 :Exec ~/bin/volume_mute

What this provides is two things. First, when you press Fn+F7, for example, the Master and Front volume levels will both decrement. The Front is changed last, so that the actual volume output level is applied. Secondly, the 'aplay' line gives a little chime to audibly indicate the volume level...something akin to the sound that those $2000 Macintoshes make.

I found this bink sound on freesound and think it works quite well.

Until I can create a real page for my Wind setup, scream loud and enjoy the hack.