GAINTOOL(6) Games Manual GAINTOOL(6)
gaintool - audio control panel
This command is only available with the Demos installation option.
Refer to for information on how to install optional software.
gaintool is a SunView demonstration program that controls various char-
acteristics of the SPARCstation 1 audio device, see audio(4S). Opera-
tions performed by gaintool affect all audio programs; for instance,
adjusting the Play Volume instantly changes the output gain, regardless
of which program is playing. gaintool also detects audio state changes
made by other programs, and updates its display accordingly, keeping
gaintool in sync with the current device configuration.
gaintool demonstrates an important principle involved in the integra-
tion of audio in the desktop environment: by enabling global control of
important characteristics, it is not necessary for every application to
provide an interface for these parameters. For instance, since audio
output may be paused from the control panel, it is not strictly neces-
sary that output applications display a Pause button of their own.
However, such applications may detect that audio output has been
paused, and take appropriate action.
This slider adjusts the output volume. Volume levels between 0
and 100 may be selected, where 0 represents infinite attenuation
and 100 is maximum gain.
This slider adjusts the recording gain level in the range 0 to
This slider adjusts the monitor gain level in the range 0 to
100. Monitor gain controls the amount of audio input signal
that is fed through to the output port. For instance, if an
audio source (such as a radio or CD-player) is connected
directly to the input port, the input signal may be monitored
through either the built-in speaker or the headphone jack.
Output This selector switches the audio output port between the built-
in speaker and the external headphone jack.
This button may be used to suspend and resume audio output. If
audio output is in progress when Pause is clicked, it is stopped
immediately and subsequent output data remains queued. The but-
ton then switches to a Resume button that, when clicked, resumes
audio output at the point that it was suspended.
If no process has the device open for output when Pause is
clicked, gaintool holds the device open itself, thereby denying
other processes output access. Audio programs that simply open
and write to the audio device will typically be suspended when
they attempt to open the device. Programs that asynchronously
poll the device will discover that it is "busy" and may take
Audio Device Status Panel
Pressing the PROPS (L3) key brings up a status panel that shows
the current state with the its display accordingly, audio appli-
cations. Selecting "Done" from the panel menu (or pressing the
(L7) key) removes the panel.
Ordinarily, the device status is updated only when a SIGPOLL
signal is delivered to gaintool (see audio(4S)). Because of
this, the Active and Samples indicators are not necessarily kept
up-to-date. However, when the mouse is positioned over the
panel, status is continually updated.
Record Volume should be controlled by a separate panel that also pro-
vides automatic gain level adjustment capabilities.
This program is furnished on an as is basis as a demonstration of audio
15 January 1990 GAINTOOL(6)