pahandle = PsychPortAudio(‘OpenSlave’, pamaster [, mode][, channels][, selectchannels]);
Open a virtual slave audio device and initialize it. Returns a ‘pahandle’ device
handle for the device.
Slave audio devices are almost always attached to a ‘pamaster’ audio device that
you need to open and initialize first via a call to pamaster =
PsychPortAudio(‘Open’, …); The ‘pamaster’ corresponds to a real soundcard
present in your system which has been setup for a certain mode of operation,
timing mode, frequency etc. The exception is if you create an AMModulator slave
(see below). It can be attached to another playback slave device by passing the
handle of that device as ‘pamaster’. To each real pamaster you can attach
multiple slave devices. Each slave represents a subset of the audio channels of
the pamaster device. Each slave can be used as if it is a real independent
soundcard for capture or playback with or without its own set of playback
buffers, its own schedule and mode of operation, its own start and stop times,
status etc. Under the hood, the slave device will use the defined subset of
channels of the master device to achieve this illusion of independent
soundcards. Typical usage scenarios would be:
* Mixing of independent soundtracks: Create multiple slave devices, one for each
soundtrack. Attach all of them to the same set of channels on a common master
device. Now you can feed each slave with its own soundtrack, start, stop and
schedule playback of each slave/soundtrack independently. Sound from all active
channels of all active slaves will be mixed together and output through the
channels of the master device.
* Independent control of channels: Same as above, but the slaves don’t share the
same subset of channels on the master, but each slave chooses a distinctive
subset of channels, therefore no mixing will occur.
‘pamaster’ is the mandatory pahandle of a master audio device. The master must
have been opened via PsychPortAudio(‘Open’, …, mode, …); with the mode flag
value ‘8’ included to define it as a master (see ‘Open’).
‘mode’ Mode of operation. See help of ‘Open’ function for valid settings.
However, a mode flag of ‘8’ for master operation is not allowed for obvious
reasons. Also, the given ‘mode’ flags must be a subset of the ‘mode’ set on the
master device! E.g., you can’t specify a audio capture mode flag if the master
device isn’t enabled for capture as well. As an exception kPortAudioMonitoring
mode is allowed to be present on a slave while missing on the associated master
The slave-only mode flag 32 (kPortAudioIsAMModulator) defines a slave device not
as a source of audio data, but as a source of amplitude modulation (AM) envelope
data. Its samples don’t create sound, but gain-modulate the sound of other
slaves attached to the master to allow precisely timed AM modulation. See the
help for PsychPortAudio(‘Volume’) for more details about AM.
The slave-only mode flag 64 (kPortAudioIsOutputCapture) defines a slave capture
device that captures audio data from the *output channels* of the master device,
i.e., it records the audio stream that is sent to the speakers. This may be
useful for capturing PsychPortAudio’s audio output for documentation or debug
The slave-only mode flag 256 (kPortAudioAMModulatorNeutralIsZero) when combined
with the flag 32, will ask for creation of an AM modulator which outputs a zero
value - and thereby creates silence on the modulated channels - when the
modulator is stopped. Without this flag, a stopped modulator acts as if no
modulator is present, ie. sound is output without AM modulation, instead of
silence. This only works for AM modulators attached to slave output devices, not
for AM modulators attached to a physical master device.
All slave devices share the same settings for latencymode, timing, sampling
frequency and other low-level tunable parameters, because they operate on the
same underlying audio hardware.
‘channels’ Define total number of playback and capture channels to use. See help
for ‘Open?’ for explanation. By default, all channels of the master are used.
‘selectchannels’ optional matrix with mappings of logical slave channels to
logical master channels: selectchannels’ is a one row by ‘channels’ matrix with
mappings for pure playback or pure capture. For full-duplex mode (playback and
capture), ‘selectchannels’ must be a 2 rows by max(channels) column matrix. row
1 will define playback channel mappings, whereas row 2 will then define capture
channel mappings. In any case, the number in the i’th column will define which
master device channel will be used for playback or capture of the i’th
PsychPortAudio channel (the i’th row of your sound matrix). Numbering of master
device channels starts with one! Example: Both, playback and simultaneous
recording are requested from a master device which represents a 16 channel
soundcard with all 16 channels open. If you’d specify ‘selectchannels’ as [1, 6
; 12, 14], then playback would happen to master channels one and six, sound
would be captured from master channels 12 and 14.
###See also: Open Close GetDeviceSettings