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Old 08-21-2013, 05:25 PM   #1
Registered: Nov 2011
Posts: 343

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Difficulties getting alsa pre-amp working to raise the volume on my laptop

Even with the volume set at maximum, the speakers on my laptop are not as loud as they should be. I have been trying to get them louder with the alsa pre-amp method Alien Bob suggests in his blog here:

I have tried every variation of the code presented in the blog, including replacing "plug" with "hw" in both versions of code given. The very first time I tried with the first block of code, I found that the "Pre-Amp" setting showed up in alsamixer, but I could not adjust it. I tried as a normal user and then as root, but the setting would not budge.

I then tried all the other variations, but after that first time, the Pre-Amp setting wouldn't even show up in alsamixer. So I went back to the original block of code

(this one)
    pcm.!default {
            type hw
            card 0
    ctl.!default {
            type hw
            card 0
    pcm.!default {
            type plug
            slave.pcm “softvol”
    pcm.softvol {
            type softvol
            slave {
                    pcm “dmix”
            control {
                    name “Pre-Amp”
                    card 0
            min_dB -5.0
            max_dB 20.0
            resolution 6
which is the one that had created the setting the first time (even though I could not change it), and this time, the setting wasn't even there. I tried a whole bunch of different things including removing /etc/asound.state and /var/lib/alsa/asound.state and rebooting 20 different times before I realized that in order for the Pre-Amp setting to show up, I had to be actively playing sound. I started a youtube video and there it was. But still, I am not able to change the setting.

I am looking around for more references to this issue, but unfortunately, the unofficial alsa wiki referenced in Alien's post is not there anymore. If anyone knows what I am doing wrong or can suggest something I haven't tried, I would be grateful.

Old 08-21-2013, 05:39 PM   #2
Registered: Nov 2011
Posts: 343

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Wow. It just started working. I started a media player, then started alsamixer. The Pre-amp setting then showed up, but could not be changed. Then I exited the media player and it worked.

I had thought before that pausing the player would be enough if something was blocking me from accessing this setting, but it turns out I had to exit it completely. I should have thought of that before. Sorry for the false alarm.


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