Why can't i access /dev/dsp or /dev/snd on my XO

Albert Cahalan acahalan at gmail.com
Mon Jan 21 23:11:58 EST 2008

On Jan 21, 2008 10:43 PM, M. Edward (Ed) Borasky <znmeb at cesmail.net> wrote:

> 1. MIDI is limited but more or less universally spoken. Serious
> algocompsynth *must* involve support of MIDI. CSound recognized this
> years ago.

I think that means file storage, input, output, etc.
The keyboard produces MIDI, which is fed into a
MIDI rendering engine (possibly csound) or saved
to a file.

> 3. There are a number of specialized Linux distros for audio. The three
> that I know the most about are Studio64, Jack Audio Distribution (JAD)
> and dyne:bolic. Almost all of them have a patched low-latency kernel,
> and all of them use something called the Jack Audio Connection Kit. They
> may still have to support both OSS and ALSA, but as I noted in another
> post, ALSA had support years ago for sound cards that weren't supported
> by free-as-in-freedom OSS drivers. So, serious algocompsynth on Linux
> *must* have a low-latency patched kernel, ALSA, and the Jack Audio
> Connection Kit.

This is for live performance computer-in-the-middle effects
processing and similar, particularly when multiple audio programs
are in simultaneous use. It's not required for the production
or playback of anything.

> So the question in my mind is, "Should the XO be a platform for serious
> algocompsynth, or should it be what the project says it is -- an
> educational project for children to explore and discover?" Do children
> need MIDI, CSound, low-latency kernels, Jack, Lisp and Java? I don't
> really think so.

Good point. It's easy to forget that.

> By the way -- as far as microtonal and xentonal and "world music scales"
> are concerned, MIDI's pitch bends are an awkward hack. Serious
> *microtonal* algocompsynth practitioners either have to spend time
> working around MIDI or use something else.

You don't need to abuse pitch bends. MIDI lets you
redefine the pitches of the notes. You can redefine
middle C to be 1234 Hz if you like.

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