Aria Sound Card Device Driver for NetBSD


Just a quick note, since I have received much email from users of Microsoft products about the Aria 16. This driver is for NetBSD -- a Unix-like OS that has nothing whatsoever to do with MS. I do not know how to use this soundcard under MS. I do not have the driver disk that came with the card.


When I discovered that my Aria 16 would only emulate an original sound blaster, I was so horrified that I started writing the code to run it in 'native' mode. Not emulation. In native mode it is capable of 16 bit stereo sound, and, of course, it isn't in emulation mode. That I think is justification enough.

But there is more justification. On the Prometheus Aria 16, I found it necessary to configure the sound card via MSDOS on each cold boot. (Yes, the soft jumper settings are forgotten each time.) This was, of course, horrendously annoying.


So far I have been able to play and record on the sound card in all those modes that I wanted. There is a decent beginning of a mixer interface, although I am not sure that it will behave properly in the absence of the SC18075 mixer chip. (And even if it does it is lacking features that the mixerless cards have, anyway.)

It is in NetBSD-current, and will be a part of NetBSD 1.4, when that is released. I have tested the driver on an i386 and an alpha. My card is currently in an AlphaStation 200, and is performing according to my expectations, there.


Future Issues (that is, things that may require the hacking of other parts of the system):

The Code

If you wish to have a look at the code, it is in NetBSD-current, in /sys/dev/isa/, the files are:

The configuration options are:

aria0 at isa? port 0x280 irq 12 flags 0x1

The allowable ports are:

The allowable irqs are:

The flags should be 0x1, if you have a Prometheus Aria 16/Aria 16se. Otherwise I think it should be 0, or just left off. (The flag controls whether the driver tries to initialise the Prometheus Card.)


The only bug that I am aware of is that when one changes the mixer settings, the sound card clicks. This is because I am overzealous about restarting the sound card, and do it a bit too often.


If you wish to send me feedback about the success or the failure of this driver, my email address is elric at imrryr dot org . In fact, if you run this driver, I would appreciate any information that you can give me. Improving the driver is easier with as much information as possible.

Other Information about the Chipset

The Aria Home Page