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Old 08-04-2010, 02:16 PM   #1
astrogeek
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Systematic method for troubleshooting low sound


First - I admit this post is mostly for purposes of making an entry in the LQ drawing this week... not a pressing problem... but one that I still need to address at some point.

I have a system Intel sound chips running Slackware 13.1, full install. The sound is very low, whether through speakers or headphones.

I have tried many things from searches online and especially here at LQ, including kernel module params, /etc/asound.{conf|rc|xxx} configuration, reading everything under /usr/doc/alsa..., etc... no joy.

But at the end of the day I still remain unclear on any systematic method of troubleshooting alsa/chipset problems.

So I am asking here for a systematic guide to troubleshooting and configuring alsa problems, including low sound in particular, but alsa setup and configuration generally.

Links, comments, experience all appreciated.
 
Old 08-04-2010, 04:51 PM   #2
never say never
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Well I can't provide you with a systematic guide, but I have a laptop with an Intel Sound Chipset and after many hours of searching on more than one occasion for a solution after swithcing from M$ to Open Suse I was still at a total loss as to the cause of the problem. I finally stumbled into the BIOS (for another issue) and came across a setting for "System Volume" or something like that with values from 1 - 8. It was set to 4, set it to 8 and viola normal sound levels.

Certainly worth looking for.

Good Luck!
 
Old 08-04-2010, 07:10 PM   #3
T3slider
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This thread might help you with a workaround (but certainly not a true solution).

What is the output of `lspci -vv` as root? `aplay -l` (as your regular user)? `lsmod`? When you run `alsamixer`, I'm assuming everything is up to full volume and unmuted? You ran `alsaconf` as root when setting up your sound card, I assume?
 
Old 08-04-2010, 10:40 PM   #4
zrdc28
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T3slider gave you the link above that will make it louder than you want or need it to be. Be sure to go to the second page of that link.

Link to article by Eric, Alien

http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/addi...-sound-levels/

Last edited by zrdc28; 08-05-2010 at 02:27 PM. Reason: add on
 
Old 08-04-2010, 11:05 PM   #5
Bruce Hill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zrdc28 View Post
T3slider gave you the link above that will make it louder than you want or need it to be. Be sure to go to the second page of that link.
Welcome to LQ!

Just for your information, "second page" here is an ambiguous term.
In the User Control Panel you can set posts per page to LQ default,
5, 10, 20, 30, 40 or 50. Mine is set to 30, so there is no second
page atm.

Just another reason that it's best to at least give the post number,
and even better to include a link.
 
Old 08-05-2010, 01:40 AM   #6
astrogeek
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@never_say_never:

Thanks - no dice here. This is a Dell desktop, dual processor about 3 yrs old... to say the CMOS settings are limited, useless and pointless would be kind. There are almost no hardware options at all - even for the drives. I have looked it over many times, thinking that I must be missing something, but there simply are not any useful options...

Thanks for the response though!

@T3slider:

Thanks for the link - I have that thread memorized... to no avail.

Yes, the controls are all 100% and unmuted, and I have run alsaconf, alsactl, alsa-you-name-it in many scenarios... like gravity, nothing seems to affect it.

That machine is off at the moment and it is too late for me to start it again, but I'll try to post those outputs tomorrow.

Thanks for the response.

@zrdc28:

Yep - see my response to T3slider... but thanks for the response.

I became so frustrated with it a couple of months ago that I simply put a small stereo amp between it and the speakers and have been living with that "solution" since. It my wife's "new" machine and we are otherwise happy with it - but every time I try to troubleshoot it again, she rolls her eyes back in her head and says, "How long will I be without my system?". So I backed off it as she is happy with the amp for now... but it is burning a hole in the back of my head - I can't stand not having a handle on it!

But I also am frustrated that my knowledge of alsa is limited and I also seem not to have improved it much despite some dedicated effort. It can't be that difficult!

I'll try these suggestions - again - in the next few days.

Thanks to all.
 
  


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