Linutop2: Alsaequal 0.4 for Ubuntu 9.10 (.deb package)

Posted by – 2010/01/05

Ever wanted a snazzy equaliser for your linutop2/(or any AMD geode-based nettop) but were afraid to ask?

Built today under the influence of cli-guru kmandla and following some simple build instructions at Based on alsaequal 0.4 If you’re running a headless, X-less linutop2 as your boombox like I do, a good cli equaliser is pretty damn valuable.
A couple of prerequisites for this guide: a working alsa-based sound setup, mpg123 and/or vorbis-tools (ogg321) for playback.

grab it here or open your favourite xterminal and start pasting :)
sudo apt-get install caps
This will install the CAPS Audio Plugin Suite, the main dependency (if you find others please let me know).
Then you sudo dpkg -i alsaequal_20100105-1_i386.deb
to install the equaliser itself.

Halfway done here, we need to save the following to ~/.asoundrc

#not really necessary
#I just aliased the default csaudio geode companion to pcm.csaudio
pcm.csaudio {
type hw
card 0
device 0

ctl.equal {
type equal;

pcm.plugequal {
type equal;
slave.pcm "plug:csaudio";

pcm.equal {
type plug;
slave.pcm plugequal;

Force-reload all your alsa modules with sudo alsa force-reload
and start EQing with alsamixer -D equal
To verify that your setup is configured correctly, try to play back an mp3 with mpg321 -a hw:equal, forcing mpg321 to use the recently created ‘device’.
Now for the actual EQ’d playback. I have not managed to make cmus work with the equaliser (shame cause it is my audio player of choice) but it will work without a hitch in mpg123 , ogg123 and by extension, the now obsolete cplay. To make cplay use the correct parameters for mpg321/ogg123 open your favourite
editor and save the following lines to ~/.cplayrc

    FrameOffsetPlayer("ogg123 -a hw:equal -q -v -k %d %s", "\.ogg$"),
    FrameOffsetPlayer("mpg321 -a hw:equal -q -v -k %d %s", "(^http://|\.mp[123]$)", 38.28)

The only drawback to this form of EQing is a rather increased CPU usage during playback. It jumped from an average 10-15% to 30-35% (the LX800 is not exactly a performance CPU anyway).
EQing is done in real-time so to speak (there is some inherent latency that cannot be avoided) so I suggest you run your equaliser in a separate gnu screen window for fine-tuning as you listen to your reference audio.

THERE IS NO WARRANTY FOR THIS GUIDE, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW. i.e. if you botch up by trying to adopt this guide for a different setup, just erase ~/.asoundrc , force-reload alsa and you’re back where you started :)

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