ALSA Default Sound Card

Steve Holmes steve at
Sun Dec 30 04:01:08 EST 2007

Hash: RIPEMD160

Yes, it does.  Thanks a bunch.  I first ran into some of the below
suggestions while googling this subject earlier this evening.  I got
that to work.  In my Slackware setup, I didn't have a cards_limit deal
in there but I might as well go out and add it for further reference
or clarity.  I also tried blacklisting the unwanted card and that
trick also worked; sure quicker than removing that card's definition
in the kernel compile config.  Now I have access to both cards.  I
might also consider using speech on the onboard card and let the SB
Live card do the rest of the stuff.  Of course this way, I now have
all things go through the Live card and I can use headphones to access
everything at once.  But this way with both cards functioning at the
same time, I have even more flexibility.

It's funny but your example represents the exact same two cards in my
box as well.  The HDA card sounds good for playback but the recording
was extremely weak and there's no base/trevel controls either.  My SB
Live card has all that and the recording levels are much better.

Thanks again for the help and follow-up to what I began to find out
this evening.  Just shows you how powerful and flexibil Linux is once
you figure things out.

On Sat, Dec 29, 2007 at 04:44:16PM -0800, David Csercsics wrote:
> The best way to make alsa rearrange the cards is to edit /etc/modprobe.conf or similar and put lines like this in it.
> options snd cards_limit=2
> options snd-emu10k1 index=0
> options snd-hda-intel index=1
> Note that for Debian and possibly others you want to put those at the
> end of /etc/modprobe.d/alsabase. In case those options aren't clear here
> is what it does. The options snd... line tells the alsa core module that
> you have 2 soundcards. The default is undefined I think since it has to
> autoprobe. The other 2 lines with index= put the emu10k1 chip at 0 which
> is the first soundcard and the hda-intel module gets assigned index 1
> so it's the second card. This way udev can happily load your modules. Note
> that although the first line with the cards_limit parameter is not
> strictly required some distributions (Debian for example) will have a
> line earlier in the modprobe configuration that makes it default to 1
> card which means that you don't get any sound at all when you try to
> have both enabled and it really screws things up. Hopefully this helps.
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