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Homebrew CMI 8738 drivers
Protonus
post Mar 18 2009, 23:38
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Hi Dogbert and others using this wonderful driver (thanks Dogbert!)
I reported an issue on the Google Code page re: this driver here:
http://code.google.com/p/cmediadrivers/issues/detail?id=44
Anytime my PC enters standby with this driver, after resume/wake the audio control panel is broken and I lose audio on the SPDIF out. I detailed it including screenshots at the aforementioned link. Anyone else try standby with this driver and/or have had issues with it?
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Arthur Drummond
post Apr 17 2009, 23:23
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I had many problems with the onboard audio on my HTPC's motherboard. I had an HDA X-Mystique 7.1 Gold soundcard in my old parts bin but remembered that sometimes the audio would drop out every now and then. Installed it with the "official drivers" on new HTPC and choppy audio was still there.

I came across Dogbert's 1.2.3 drivers on the 'net and gave them a try. Problem solved and the audio has never sounded so sweet through my AV receiver. Many thanks. These drivers are gold.
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sam987
post May 9 2009, 21:53
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Asus A7S333 motherboard with CMI8738 6 ch MX chip with your very nice 1.2.3 driver.

Just bought a USB keyboard with special built-in volume control buttons --- volume up and down works perfectly. The mute button --- correctly "mutes" Control Panel's Sounds and Audio Devices Property (device volume/speaker). However there is still sound coming out of my speakers.

This post has been edited by sam987: May 9 2009, 21:54
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Dogbert
post May 11 2009, 10:10
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QUOTE (sam987 @ May 9 2009, 21:53) *
Just bought a USB keyboard with special built-in volume control buttons --- volume up and down works perfectly. The mute button --- correctly "mutes" Control Panel's Sounds and Audio Devices Property (device volume/speaker). However there is still sound coming out of my speakers.


this is to be expected - the master mute control is a fake because the hardware hasn't got a working master mute switch, but some software requires its existence. I suggest you map the mute control switch of your keyboard to the PCM mute control.


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http://code.google.com/p/cmediadrivers
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kevbirder
post May 14 2009, 22:40
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I am running Windows XP.
I have just loaded these drivers. They installed easily - Thanks for that.

I was hoping to solve a problem that I had with the '5.12.1.644' drivers.
The problem was that when recording from Wave or Stereo Mix, i.e. just record what you hear through the speakers, I was getting corruption of the output. Short parts of the sound appeared to be randomly repeated. I guess I would call them glitches. I presume this is some sort of timing/buffering problem although the sound was perfect when heard while recording.

Anyway I hoped these drivers would help but I cannot see any option to record from Wave. Is this option just missing? I dont still have the cmedia mixer, do I need it?

If these drivers will not record wave are there any drivers for XP that will? The latest drivers 8.17.33 from cmedia appear to be corrupted. Is there an uncorrupted version around?

Thanks for your help

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Dogbert
post May 14 2009, 23:19
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I haven't come around implementing a "Stereo Mix" recording pin yet because it's quite a messy job. There is however a piece of software with which you can achieve this: Virtual Audio Cable.


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http://code.google.com/p/cmediadrivers
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kevbirder
post May 18 2009, 14:01
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QUOTE (Dogbert @ May 14 2009, 23:19) *
I haven't come around implementing a "Stereo Mix" recording pin yet because it's quite a messy job. There is however a piece of software with which you can achieve this: Virtual Audio Cable.

Thanks for the hint on VAC. That does the job for me.

Apart from Dogberts drivers, does anyone know which are the latest 'working' drivers from Cmedia themselves for the CMI8738? If you think it is 8.17.33 then where is a good copy of these? All the ones I have found appear to be in a corrupted rar file.

Thanks again to Dogbert for your quick help.
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sam987
post May 19 2009, 20:07
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For testing, I tried to install the new official drivers from CMI onto my computer --- but it wouldn't install because the inf file doesn't have my soundcard device listed on the new driver.

My device ID is PCI\VEN_13F6&DEV_0111&SUBSYS_80E21043&REV_10\3&61AAA01&0&28

Can you tell me where to add my device ID on the inf file?
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Berki
post Jun 1 2009, 08:28
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Hi everybody,

I want to get the best possible quality out of my high end preamp (stereo and AC3) over SPDIF and I am having a hard time deciding between the ESI Juli@, the E-MU 1212M, the Trust 514DX 5.1 and the TerraTec Aureon 5.1/7.1 (the former two with original drivers and the latter two with the open source cmedia driver) sound card.

The price difference doesn't matter at all. What card would you recommend? I am using Windows Server 2008 SP2 (similar to Vista) as my operating system.

I would really like to hear your recommendations.

- Daniel
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Dogbert
post Jun 5 2009, 13:46
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The spdif is a digital low data rate interface where the cheapest working solution will do just fine. You wouldn't base your decision to buy a simple ethernet controller on any arbitrary "quality" factors, so why should you do this for other digital interfaces?


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http://code.google.com/p/cmediadrivers
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Berki
post Jun 5 2009, 17:27
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I just bought a Trust SC-5250 and installed it today. But when I try to install your driver, the device manager shows an exclamation mark saying "Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware. The driver may be corrupted or missing. (Code 39)". I have tried the WaveRT and the normal version. Restarted my computer. And tried to install it with your installer and without. Alwyas the same. Also tried to uninstall driver and "Detect hardware changes" - still the same error message.

I am using Windows Server 2008 SP1 x64 Edition. Do you know if your driver works on Server 2008? If not this would be really bad news for me sad.gif.

What else could I tried? I have read the infos on your project page but didn't find any advice. I would really appreciate any further infos and help. Please tell me if I could be of further assistance debugging the problem (is there a log file anywhere?).

I would really like to use your great driver for my high end system.

Thank you
- Daniel

This post has been edited by Berki: Jun 5 2009, 17:29
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Dogbert
post Jun 5 2009, 17:30
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That OS probably requires a signed driver. You can either permanently enable test-signing and sign the driver with such a certificate or you can press F8 during boot-up and disable driver signing. There is a a brief outline in the FAQ on my site.


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http://code.google.com/p/cmediadrivers
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Berki
post Jun 5 2009, 19:25
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This shouldn't be the problem. The OS asked me, if I want to install the unsigned driver and I clicked "Yes, installe anywway..." and installation succeeded so far. I am quite sure I have already disabled driver signing.
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Dogbert
post Jun 5 2009, 19:34
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it is - "code 39" is a dead giveaway for that.


--------------------
http://code.google.com/p/cmediadrivers
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Berki
post Jun 5 2009, 20:13
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Damn, you're right, it really was the case. Booted with F8 and it works like a charm now. So it looks like I will have to enable test signing (how annoying that there is no disable functionality provided by M$ except the test signing mode).

But anyway, thank you very much for your quick help!!!

PS: Why the hell does Windoze ask me "if I want to install the unsigned driver anyway" if it knows for sure that it won't work? And then it gives me such a cryptic error message in the device manager. But, hey, it's Windoze...
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Berki
post Jun 5 2009, 21:00
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Ok, I played arround a bit now and got bit perfect playback working in foobar200 by installing the wasapi plugin and decreasing the buffer length to 500 ms (some cryptic error message otherwise).

Is it correct, that I still need to use the AC3 filter for Media Player Classic to get AC3 playback with movies?
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Dogbert
post Jun 5 2009, 21:57
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iirc, the x64 version of vista sp2 fixed a bug which hindered ac3 passthrough from 32bit applications to a 64bit system, so it's presumably also fixed for Server 2k8.


--------------------
http://code.google.com/p/cmediadrivers
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dstrimbu
post Jun 6 2009, 21:18
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Thank you, Dogbert! I have been using an Unslung Linksys NSLU2 as a music server with Firefly (MT-DAAPD) to drive my first floor home music system. A Roku M1000 source, coaxial digital out to GW Labs DSP upsampler/re-clocker; then AES/EBU to a MSB "Full Nelson" Link III DAC. The analog signal goes thru a Musical Fidelity X10v3 tube buffer, then to my McIntosh MA-6100 (refurbished recently by AudioClassics). I'm driving a pair of Paradigm Studio/20 v4 speakers. Needless to say, it sounded very good with the Radio Paradise 192k stream, and my music collection - about 110Gb of 320k MP3s and FLAC rips.

I always ran the Roku at 100% volume to prevent any "bit discarding" behaviour, and I had several people comment on the overall quality. One day, I decided to plug my Sennheiser SD-600s into the McIntosh. That's when I knew I needed a bitperfect source. :-)

The Roku was replaced with an older IBM Intellistation M-Pro with 1Gb RAM, running XP SP3. The machine has root on a 16Gb internal SCSI and my music library on a 250Gb Hitachi IDE. I'm running MediaMonkey Gold 3.06 in kiosk mode, with the CPU in the next room to minimize fan noise. I installed a SIIG Soundwave 7.1 PCI that I picked up on Amazon for 32 USD, and also installed a USB 2.0 card to facilitate backup and offload of music files to an external drive.

So, in other words - thanks to you and your work, I have a phenomenal bit-perfect audio source with a full video interface for... like 50 USD? OK, I didn't factor in the Intellistation's cost, or the NEC monitor - but they've been sitting in my basement for several years. The NSLU2 is going to be used as a print server, I think.

With the bitperfect output, even the 320kb MP3s sound great. The "crunchiness" is gone. I'm listening to Tears for Fears "Songs from the Big Chair" - a recording that is extremely bright. Wow - the sense of air and space is just unreal. I've been listening for several hours at decent levels and sense no listening fatigue whatsoever... and the FLAC output is... pristine.

I had thought that maybe I should invest in a PS Audio Perfect Wave transport, or a Slim Devices Transporter... but no longer. Thank you, my friend. This is an incredible piece of work that I'll be telling all of my friends about... you've done us a great service.

Any way we can renumerate you for your work? Let me know...

Cheers,

-don
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Dogbert
post Jun 11 2009, 20:13
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Thank you very much for your enthusiastic report!

For me, there is enough remuneration in knowing that some people actually do understand the "raison d'etre" of my driver and that they can fully appreciate it smile.gif. Enjoy your system!


--------------------
http://code.google.com/p/cmediadrivers
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Doujinshi
post Jun 26 2009, 14:45
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Thanks for this great driver smile.gif

Im using it since 1.2.1, my setup is Xbox360->PC(SL-8870)->AC3 Decoder (X-tatic Digital headset)

IT works great passing trough from Xbox (Loop S/Pdif in to out) and from PC, my only sugestion is , could you make the Loop On/Off option as a button or something better accessible cause i do have to switch quite often between PC and xbox

ALso i have a small problem playing movies, i dont know if its driver related, but when i passtrough to my external AC3 decoder and the sound falls to single channel (for example only center plays) often i loose all audio, same thing happens if the source is mono (AC3 encoder then kicks in) i can see in AC3Filter panel that this one channel is sent via SPDIF but i get no sound. can anyone suggest something ?smile.gif

This post has been edited by Doujinshi: Jun 26 2009, 14:48
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Dogbert
post Jun 28 2009, 14:39
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QUOTE (Doujinshi @ Jun 26 2009, 14:45) *
IT works great passing trough from Xbox (Loop S/Pdif in to out) and from PC, my only sugestion is , could you make the Loop On/Off option as a button or something better accessible cause i do have to switch quite often between PC and xbox

cmicontrol has command line parameters with which you can easily generate one-click solutions - call it with '/?' to get a list of parameters.

QUOTE
ALso i have a small problem playing movies, i dont know if its driver related, but when i passtrough to my external AC3 decoder and the sound falls to single channel (for example only center plays) often i loose all audio, same thing happens if the source is mono (AC3 encoder then kicks in) i can see in AC3Filter panel that this one channel is sent via SPDIF but i get no sound. can anyone suggest something ?smile.gif

That sounds like an application related problem indeed.


--------------------
http://code.google.com/p/cmediadrivers
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Vchat20
post Jul 7 2009, 09:51
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Well I finally got around to swapping cards around and getting my Cmedia card put back in my main machine here, overriding the built-in soundmax card.

Couple extra thoughts came to mind:

1) Any luck on the 24 bit audio support? Doubt it considering it seems a hard limit in the chip, but one can dream. wink.gif
2) How possible is it to, in 2 channel output mode, to dupe the output on another jack like the rear or lfe/center jacks? Or would I be better off just finding some way to set that up in my application of choice?
3) This is more hardware focused, but I have been itching to get the spdif in and outs working on this card since I got it, but the only way seems to be tying directly onto the chip with an outboard coax/optical panel. There is also a 10 pin (5x2) solder pad here where a header is obviously supposed to go. Doubtful, but I am curious if anyone else has had any luck with a similar laid out card in finding out what these pins map to and by chance if they trace back to the spdif in/out pins on the chip?
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Dogbert
post Jul 7 2009, 09:58
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1.) 24bit support is still something I haven't been able to implement. Maybe I'm missing something, but chances are that the chip doesn't support it at all: with the official cmedia driver, 24 bit output is unattainable.
2.) I'm avoiding any kind of signal processing within the driver, so that's a functionality that must be implemented by user mode applications.
3.) I've linked to a picture of the header's pinout on the "supported hardware" page.


--------------------
http://code.google.com/p/cmediadrivers
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Manzoku
post Jul 7 2009, 23:04
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QUOTE (Vchat20 @ Jul 7 2009, 08:51) *
3) This is more hardware focused, but I have been itching to get the spdif in and outs working on this card since I got it, but the only way seems to be tying directly onto the chip with an outboard coax/optical panel. There is also a 10 pin (5x2) solder pad here where a header is obviously supposed to go. Doubtful, but I am curious if anyone else has had any luck with a similar laid out card in finding out what these pins map to and by chance if they trace back to the spdif in/out pins on the chip?


Which sound card are you using? On for example the Sweex SC012 (which has no digital connectors) there's a 5x2 solder pad next to the CMI8738 chip, like this:



and pin 98 (SPDIF out) of the 8738 goes to a pcb track (highlighted in purple) connected to pad (2). Pad (3) is ground, and a very quick & dirty connection to these 2 pads with an 82 ohm resistor in the signal lead will drive the coax input of my receiver successfully (it's not standard SPDIF +/- 0.5 V but it works to demonstrate the connection). There's an example of another 8738 (without the solder pads) that I connected up & have been using for several weeks now that's linked to on the Supported Devices page.

This post has been edited by Manzoku: Jul 7 2009, 23:16
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Vchat20
post Jul 8 2009, 12:21
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Sorry for the delay. Thanks dogbert. Answered all my questions there. smile.gif

Manzoku: No idea. This card has no distinctive labeling other than the cmedia chip. I have a good photo though if it helps:

The pin layout looks identical to yours with the 'key' up in that corner. Whether or not it matches up is another story. Really all I am after is at least one spdif input via coaxial especially if I can get a bit-perfect recording or live decode to the analog 5.1 outs (which, unless I am mistaken, ac3filter is now capable of doing to some effect from a live input?)
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