Linux / Gentoo Linux

Wine sound errors

After a while, the sound errors from Wine started to annoy me as they seem to indicate something is wrong while it is not. At the start of each program I see the following errors:

err:alsa:ALSA_CheckSetVolume Could not find 'PCM Playback Volume' element
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:935:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) The dmix plugin supports 
 only playback stream
err:alsa:ALSA_CheckSetVolume Could not find 'PCM Playback Volume' element
ALSA lib seq_hw.c:457:(snd_seq_hw_open) open /dev/snd/seq failed: No such 
 file or directory

The first errors are related to my Intel HD audio card which has multiple PCM channels. The result is that none of them are called ‘PCM Playback Volume’ and Wine seems to be hard-coded to search for that specific channel to check upon starting.

Harmless but annoying none the less. A bit of searching seems to indicate that this is something I can’t fix.

The second error about dmix seems to mean that the dmix soundcard that Wine is using does not support recording sound. This is correct as it is a softmix device used to let multiple programs ‘claim’ the soundcard without locking each other out. Beats the hell out of the mess called PulseAudio and was a breeze to set up.

The 3rd error is MIDI related: Wine is trying to access the sequencer device. I can’t figure out why Wine has no option to disable midi support altogether but without that device you will keep getting those errors.

To fix this, enable the MIDI drivers in ALSA and load them on boot, the driver will be called ‘snd-seq-device’. In my case this was found in (kernel 2.6.30):

Device Drivers
<*> Sound card support ---->
    <*> Advanced Linux Sound Architecture --->
        <*> Sequencer support