Audio device locking was more and more annoying me, so I decided to buy a sound card with hardware mixing support. First shot was a miss, because I bought SoundBlaster Live 24bit, which is supported pretty poorly: there is no sound capture support. Not mentioning the lack of hardware mixing. Next time I visited the shop I was equipped with a list of all ALSA-supported SoundBlaster cards with hardware mixing. I ended up with Audigy 2 Value, which uses the emu10k1 module and supports hardware mixing and MIDI synthesizing. No more “/dev/dsp busy” messages.