synchronizing sound cards in a cluster

Jim Lux James.P.Lux at
Thu Mar 13 16:41:09 PST 2003

OK folks, I should clarify my original desire... in keeping with the mass 
market consumer product, I was wondering if it could be done with the 
ubiquitous on-board sound interface on the mobo.

Clearly, one can go out and buy (for fairly reasonable prices) digital 
audio interfaces with as many channels as you might want, and with external 
sync, SMPTE time codes, etc. (thanks to the burgeoning home recording 
market, I think...)

It was the "how to use something you've already got for free" desire that 
prompted the inquiry...

Lots of great suggestions so far.. and some good places to go look for 
timing latency data.

At 05:28 PM 3/13/2003 -0500, Wade Hampton wrote:
>Jim Lux wrote:
>>The real question is whether one can synchronize the sampling of the 
>>sound card.  Synchronizing the processor to better than a microsecond is 
>>fairly straightforward (one could always use some interrupt line, for 
>>instance), but the interaction with a sound card is fairly complex.
>Depends on the sound card.  If you have a card like the M-Audio Delta 1010
>(96K, 24-bit, 8 analog inputs, 8 outputs), it comes with a "world 
>clock".  This
>should be able to be used to sync. the sample clocks on the cards.
>I believe there are some other studio cards with "world clock" inputs.
>You may also be able to use S/PDIF as a sync source.
>I have a couple of 1010's and they are excellent.  I'm using the commerical
>OSS driver, but it does not support the world clock sync (yet).
>You might want to try contacting the opensound folks and
>the alsadriver folks for recommendations.
>For sync'ing your data, could you provide a sync signal on another channel
>as a rough sync (not nearly as good as if all the sample clocks are in sync)?
>Good luck,
>Wade Hampton

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