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Old 04-02-2007, 11:15 AM   #1
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VIA Audio in RH9 - Works but Volume Too Low

Hey guys... I work for a company who builds panel computers, and we've got a customer who has been buying the same computer with a custom RH9 OS build that has been working (incl Audio) for several years. We are trying to put together a new shipment, nothing has changed on the hardware side, and all of a sudden audio isn't working properly.

The system is a VIA processor, VT82C686 southbridge with AC'97 audio, run through an ALC202 audio controller and amplifier to internal speakers. When I boot the system, I can't hear any audio.

Doing a 'cat /proc/modules' returns nothing related to the audio immediately following boot. If I go into "Soundcard Detection", it plays a sound at VERY low volume (to the point that I have to put my ear directly next to the system to hear it. I then get the below in my 'cat /proc/modules' output:

via82cxxx_audio     22104   0  (unused)
uart401             8036    0  [via82cxxx_audio]
ac97_codec          12392   0  [via82cxxx_audio]
sound               70132   0  [via82cxxx_audio uart401]
soundcore           6116    0  [via82cxxx_audio sound]
At this point I do get audio, but it's still EXTREMELY low volume. Running /usr/bin/gnome-volume-control, I can put all the volumes to max, and it's slightly better but still very quiet. The only time I get normal volume is if I then go into the CD player, and manually put the volume on a CD to maximum, it will play the CD at the proper 100% volume.

If I load Windows, everything works normally.

So I've got two questions:

1. What do I need to put into '/etc/modules.conf' (file currently empty) so that this will automatically come up at boot?

2. Any thoughts on the volume issue?

Thanks all!
Old 04-02-2007, 12:57 PM   #2
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Registered: Aug 2003
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In the module configuration file I think all you need to do is write the module names (one per line, lines starting with # are usually ignored) you want to load at boot; for example
To make it 100% sure, read
man modules.conf
On my system that page was man modules, but it probably depends on the distribution used.

The volume issue sounds odd, but I would still start off by trying a different mixer to check the volume levels. A good one I've used before is called aumix which is a command-line program (has an "interface" of one kind, or you can use command-line options for the command so you can run it manually or call from a script) and has proven to be the best this far. Nowadays I don't have volume problems anymore, but on older Linux distributions I used to (were they RedHats back then? Can't remember..), and some of the cases were solved by using aumix -- sometimes I had to add a line to an rc script to call aumix during the boot process to set the sound levels correctly, but anyway you should try it (it won't harm you anyway).
Old 04-02-2007, 01:56 PM   #3
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Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Marietta, GA
Distribution: debian
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Alright... First problem solved.

Added '/sbin/modprobe via82cxxx_audio' to my '/etc/rc.local' file, and now I do have audio modules loaded properly at boot.

Still have some problems with volume. Unfortunately I can't find aumix loaded onto this system anywhere. I've got the gnome-volume-control but I'm not sure if I can throw some command-line stuff into there to pull this all to max volume at startup. My version of gnome-volume-control doesn't allow me to save the values I set manually at for future boots though...

Are there other mixer programs that would be installed by default in RH9? I'm trying to make this as simple as I can for our production folks, and thus installing new modules will mean I need to create a whole new Ghost image of the HDD, and that's going to be no fun.


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