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Old 10-18-2007, 02:36 PM   #1
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Leeds, UK
Distribution: FC1, FC2, Debian
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Distorted sound as though its too loud, even at low volume.

I'm having a nightmare with playing mp3s at the moment.

As default in gnome on my machine if I set my media player's (gxine in this instance) volume to full regardless of what I set my main volume to sound is distorted as though its too loud - even at very low volume.

However, switch this around and have the main volume on full and use the media player's volume to control and everythings fine as long as I don't go too loud. However, even before my laptop speakers reach half of their threshold there's distortion.

I think this is because the media players are manipulating the PCM volume, which I can see if I open alsamixer. As soon as PCM in aslamixer hits the red the sound distorts.

Is there any way I can get things set up so that I can set the media player's volume to full and use the main volume control to manage levels without the distortion? Its more intuitive than having to use the media player.

FYI: I'm using ubuntu feisty.
Old 10-18-2007, 03:23 PM   #2
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Glasgow
Distribution: Fedora / Solaris
Posts: 3,109

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Hey man.

Check the Line Out volume in alsamixer. I've found on various sound cards that you need to have this set to ~75%, otherwise you get clipping when running PCM at 100%. Depends on how the sound card routes sound, though. I'd recommend turning everything all the way up in alsamixer, and then go round each slider and see which one you need to drop to stop the distortion.

Old 10-18-2007, 03:24 PM   #3
Registered: Mar 2007
Location: Plymouth, UK
Distribution: Fedora Core, RHEL, Arch
Posts: 342

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Most programs allow you to choose if you want 'hardware' volume control, or 'software', which means you can adjust the volume of the output of the program, rather then adjusting the volume of the stream sent to your soundcard.


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