Saturday, August 23, 2014

Csound and x86_64 machines

I could not understand why Sugar TamTam activities wouldn't play any sound on x86_64 even though the problem seemed resolved! It took a while to realize that the problem was with x86_64 architecture. I could get the sound to play on an i686 virtual machine.

Thanks to realtime Csound programming using Python, I could trace the fault. The issue is illustrated by the following code in

        if csnd.csoundGetSizeOfMYFLT() == 8:
            pfields = csnd.doubleArray(n)
            pfields = csnd.floatArray(n)
The csound client code in Python and C used by tamtam activities assumes a float array.

The following line in csound.spec from rpm source makes the issue pretty clear:

# Csound is really dumb about 64-bit
Rebuilding csound on x86_64 with "%define useDouble 0" even for x86_64 resolved the problem with TamTam activities.

However, it is entirely possible that this workaround may cause some other applications which use csound to fail on x86_64.

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