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#1 2013-02-26 18:34:53

Registered: 2013-02-09
Posts: 500

Alsa is so messed up.

I'm running kernel 3.7.9-2ARCH and my window manager is XFCE4

I have a laptop that has an external card that supports

4.0 + mic
2.0/1 speakers
Built In sound.

speakers basically 3 plugs

You can skip reading the quote here and go straight down to where i said "Mute Master", but it might tell you something more about the issue.

So alsa mixer gives me these settings

Master, PCM, Front, Surround, Mic Jack Mode, Beep, Mute-LED mode.
Mic jack mode sets the microphone plug's settings to be line-in for center/subwoofer or to be a mic-in.
Don't know what beep is supposed to do, haven't seen it before

I have a laptop like this
It's supposed to have an intergrated subwoofer (so it should be 2.1)
But i see no option for configuring said subwoofer. then again i'm not so sure if i had that in windows either i'll have to re-check that.

Most important options shown are
Master, Front, Surround

I am using my intergrated 2.1 speaker system.

If i mute front:

Front mutes
Master mutes

Unmute master = No sound
Unmute front = No sound
Mute and unmute surround (With the other 2 unmuted) = Sound back on.

If i mute surround:

Surround mutes
Master Mutes

Unmute Master = no sound
Mute and unmute front = no sound
Unmute surround = Sound back on.

So to figure out what was going on, i reduced the volume of Front and Surround and figured out

Surround = Speakers
Front = Intergrated Subwoofer.

That's pretty twisted. So basically this means my setup is according to alsa


With my subwoofer as the Front 2.0 speakers and my intergrated speakers as the rear 2.0 speakers

Or thats my guess, but it actually plays as if both speakers were the front speakers. (it only uses 2 channels)''

My subwoofer is really just a mono speaker you could say.

The most annoying part in all of this is:

Mute Master

Master mutes

Unmute master = no sound
mute and unmute front = no sound
mute and unmute surround = sound back on.

And of course same deal if i mute and unmute surround first, doesnt matter in which order i do it.
This means i can not use a mute/unmute media button since the command for it just mutes the alsa master sound.

I actually had a similar problem on another laptop with my mute button, it worked fine but if i plugged headphones in i'd get this same weird issue

Is it xfce4 or is it alsa thats causing the issue with all the mutes being tied together in some weird way?

what can i do to fix this?


#2 2013-03-07 23:52:16

Registered: 2013-02-27
Posts: 3

Re: Alsa is so messed up.

I didnt say hi to the forrum. this will be my first post. I'm a long time linux user and injoy it. I've used it since red hat 5.2

the days of downloading red hat for free. then jumped to mandrake, mandriva, ubuntu and then archlinux.

archlinux has the best pac manager I used so fair. Now on to alsa I'm also  having this problem. I've done a little

searching linux 3.8 claims to fix a lot of alsa issues. it might be a driver conflict problem.


#3 2013-03-08 01:04:55

Inspector Parrot
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 20,445

Re: Alsa is so messed up.

I'm not really sure I am understanding the underlying problem, but you know you can remap the media key to mute whichever chanel you want it to, right?

"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman


#4 2013-03-30 15:08:48

From: Moscow
Registered: 2010-11-24
Posts: 45

Re: Alsa is so messed up.

Bump. Toshiba A660 mute master mutes headphone and speaksa also. Unmute master does not unmute headphone and speaker, so no sound until unmute them manually


#5 2013-03-30 23:45:21

Registered: 2007-04-03
Posts: 3,742

Re: Alsa is so messed up.

rabcor wrote:

Is it xfce4 or is it alsa thats causing the issue with all the mutes being tied together in some weird way?

It looks like a problem for the ALSA devs to ponder - I would say to use their bugzilla, but it's down sad

no sound until unmute them manually

As a workaround, amixer can be used to do that in a script - just so it doesn't have to be done manually.


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