Hi bo_akins, You need to add your user to the audio, plugdev, and cdrom groups. I'd also recommend doing that sooner rather than later for a number of reasons. The first being system security and safety, the second to facilitate things working. If you have something working as root then switch to user and it doesn't, you're back at square one. Better to get things working once IMHO. If you're having sound problems running as root it's not likely a permissions problem. You may want to ask a few more questions or give some specifics. That said, hope this clears up your initial question.
Good luck. ;-)