levelcrow
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Sound issues with firmware update

Sun Jul 17, 2016 5:40 pm

Hey,

I've noticed that my sound broke after the firmware commit on July 12, 2016. My sound is output through the 3.5mm audio jack; I am using the experimental sigma-delta modulation audio driver.

Just wanted to give a heads up, as I noticed the more recent commit on July 15, 2016 did not rectify this.

EDIT: Raspberry Pi 1B

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DougieLawson
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Re: Sound issues with firmware update

Sun Jul 17, 2016 9:12 pm

Simple rule: stop using sudo rpi-update. Stick with the kernel supplied by apt-get as that's been better tested.

Most users never need to run rpi-update unless they're looking at a kernel/firmware bug with the folks from the RPF. Don't ever run it unless an expert tells you to run it. Don't ever run it unless you have a good backup and know how to recover your system when it won't boot. rpi-update gets the very latest (and that could be experimental) leading edge kernel and firmware.
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levelcrow
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Re: Sound issues with firmware update

Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:26 am

I disagree, Dougie. I know you are strongly of that opinion that no one should use rpi-update, but I think otherwise.

The community of Raspberry Pi is one of its greatest strengths over other SBCs. I believe that a good proportion of the community is pretty tech savvy, at least - I don't think that the community is full of consumers that can't do basic troubleshooting.

Things sometimes break with new firmware releases, but I don't think that's ever intentional. Improvements are committed under the assumption that nothing breaks. And so, when something does break it most likely means something has been overlooked. The commit log of the Raspberry Pi firmware makes it clear that bugs and regressions are often brought to the attention of the Raspbian developers through the forum. Having lots of people try out the latest firmware or kernel is a good thing, it's essentially crowdsourcing QA. The alternative you are suggesting is that this free testing be removed and the full burden be placed on the Raspbian developers, which really doesn't make any sense. There is no good reason people shouldn't try out the latest developments so long as they keep a backup of their files.

When something minor breaks, the solution is simple: revert to a previous commit. I've already done that; I'm not posting this thread to ask for a personal solution. I've posted this thread for one reason, to provide a heads up just in case this loss of function is an oversight.

You don't need to be an expert to know something has broken, and just knowing something is broken and when it broke is useful information when trying to build a robust system.

dom
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Re: Sound issues with firmware update

Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:37 am

Agreed. If no one uses rpi-update, then the apt-get updates will be less stable.
We need a reasonable number of users to run rpi-update to catch any regressions.

Obviously the rpi-update users should understand that occasional regressions are expected,
and they should be familiar enough with the command line to submit useful debug reports and revert back to a stable release.

@levelcrow I've just tried 12th July firmware on a Pi1 with analogue audio and "audio_pwm_mode=2" and
aplay with a wav file is working as usual.

Can you confirm if the preceding (July 8th) firmware works correctly?
Can you post your config.txt and output of:

Code: Select all

vcgencmd version
uname -a
aplay -l

levelcrow
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Re: Sound issues with firmware update

Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:45 am

Resolution! The problem was very simple, I was missing "dtparam=audio=on" from /boot/config.txt. With that placed in config.txt, it appears that there is no problem with sound, everything is working great.

I forgot to qualify my use case in the opening post - I almost never use aplay but use omxplayer very often. It appears that commits up to July 8th, 2016 could have working sound with omxplayer without dtparam=audio=on.

Thank you very much, Dom. :)

dom
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Re: Sound issues with firmware update

Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:21 am

levelcrow wrote:Resolution! The problem was very simple, I was missing "dtparam=audio=on" from /boot/config.txt. With that placed in config.txt, it appears that there is no problem with sound, everything is working great.
Thanks for this report. The use of omxplayer without the alsa driver loaded was overlooked in that update.
We've decided we'll revert that change in the next firmware update, so dtparam=audio=on won't be required for openmax audio in the future.
But for now, dtparam=audio=on should be fine.

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DougieLawson
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Re: Sound issues with firmware update

Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:41 pm

dom wrote:Agreed. If no one uses rpi-update, then the apt-get updates will be less stable.
We need a reasonable number of users to run rpi-update to catch any regressions.

Obviously the rpi-update users should understand that occasional regressions are expected,
and they should be familiar enough with the command line to submit useful debug reports and revert back to a stable release.
And there you've hit the nail square on the head. When the general population get the idea that rpi-update is 100% essential then your firmware/kernel regressions will cause a cascade of failures, a bunch of dissatisfied users and a bucket load of noise on the forum.

Too many folks don't understand what rpi-update does, how much risk there is in running it and how much they need to have a tried and tested process for backup up their SDcard and restoring things when it's trashed.

I usually download the new firmware on 12 out of my 14 raspberries whenever rpi-update has a new update and do a round of reboots. The two raspberries that remain on old code are always available to rescue the damage if things go badly wrong.
Note: Having anything humorous in your signature is completely banned on this forum. Wear a tin-foil hat and you'll get a ban.

Any DMs sent on Twitter will be answered next month.

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levelcrow
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Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:04 pm

Re: Sound issues with firmware update

Sat Jul 23, 2016 4:09 am

Follow-up:
It looks like things have returned to back before the July 8th 2016 commit with the most recent update. Omxplayer works fine without dtparam=audio=on.

Very cool to see the changes in the device tree blob.

cjan
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Re: Sound issues with firmware update

Sat Jul 23, 2016 11:48 am

#897 firmware: arm_dt: allow audio output without dtparam=audio=on
P2, got no audio devices found if #dtparam=audio=on .

PhilE
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Re: Sound issues with firmware update

Sat Jul 23, 2016 2:24 pm

That is expected. The patch was to allow audio from OpenMax (where the VPU/GPU generates the sound) to work without the bcm2835 ALSA sound driver.

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