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#1 2020-11-18 02:28:28

TheMohawkNinja
Member
Registered: 2017-07-11
Posts: 35

Help setting up preamp for PulseAudio

Hello,

As I am transitioning to Linux from Windows, I have noticed that the sound is not only relatively pretty quiet at 100% compared to Windows, but also immediately starts clipping pretty badly as you get over 100% (and is just in general much lower quality). The Internet seems to suggest configuring a preamp control in either /etc/asound.conf or ~/.asoundrc, however I am unable to get the control to show up despite using what I believe to be the correct card.

I am using the integrated sound card on a desktop motherboard. My selected sound card in alsamixer is "HDA Intel PCH"

/etc/asound.conf

pcm.!default { 
type hw 
card 1
} 
ctl.!default { 
type hw 
card 1 
} 
pcm.!default { 
type plug 
slave.pcm "softvol" 
} 
pcm.softvol { 
type softvol 
slave { 
pcm "dmix" 
} 
control { 
name "Pre-Amp" 
card 1 
} 
min_dB -30.0 
max_dB 30.0 
resolution 6 

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#2 2020-11-18 08:10:15

V1del
Forum Moderator
Registered: 2012-10-16
Posts: 11,260

Re: Help setting up preamp for PulseAudio

If you intend to use pulseaudio, don't do that (... and even if you weren't, that would start clipping just the same as you are doing the same thing the above 100% vol would be doing). Remove that entire file and use something like pulseeffects or pulseaudio-equalizer or so to apply a relevant effect at the beginning of the pipeline. Pulseeffects is probably a bit more intuitive, make sure you install the optional dependencies and maybe read about your available options on the github page (or just dive in, and see what sticks)

Outside from that, maybe you have a hidden control that's set on Windows and not (yet) on linux. What's your

amixer -c1 #Granted the "1" really is the correct card, double check with aplay -l

Last edited by V1del (2020-11-18 08:16:26)

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#3 2020-11-19 02:26:58

TheMohawkNinja
Member
Registered: 2017-07-11
Posts: 35

Re: Help setting up preamp for PulseAudio

V1del wrote:

If you intend to use pulseaudio, don't do that (... and even if you weren't, that would start clipping just the same as you are doing the same thing the above 100% vol would be doing). Remove that entire file and use something like pulseeffects or pulseaudio-equalizer or so to apply a relevant effect at the beginning of the pipeline. Pulseeffects is probably a bit more intuitive, make sure you install the optional dependencies and maybe read about your available options on the github page (or just dive in, and see what sticks)

Outside from that, maybe you have a hidden control that's set on Windows and not (yet) on linux. What's your

amixer -c1 #Granted the "1" really is the correct card, double check with aplay -l

That PulseEffects GUI is really nice. I know very little about audio, so it'll probably be a while until I get this to sound right. You'd think good audio made easy on Linux would have long since been solved...

As for amixer -c1:

Simple mixer control 'Master',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pvolume-joined pswitch pswitch-joined
  Playback channels: Mono
  Limits: Playback 0 - 87
  Mono: Playback 87 [100%] [0.00dB] [on]
Simple mixer control 'Headphone',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Playback 0 - 87
  Mono:
  Front Left: Playback 0 [0%] [-65.25dB] [off]
  Front Right: Playback 0 [0%] [-65.25dB] [off]
Simple mixer control 'PCM',0
  Capabilities: pvolume
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Playback 0 - 255
  Mono:
  Front Left: Playback 255 [100%] [0.00dB]
  Front Right: Playback 255 [100%] [0.00dB]
Simple mixer control 'Front',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Playback 0 - 87
  Mono:
  Front Left: Playback 79 [91%] [-6.00dB] [on]
  Front Right: Playback 79 [91%] [-6.00dB] [on]
Simple mixer control 'Front Mic',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Playback 0 - 31
  Mono:
  Front Left: Playback 0 [0%] [-34.50dB] [off]
  Front Right: Playback 0 [0%] [-34.50dB] [off]
Simple mixer control 'Front Mic Boost',0
  Capabilities: volume
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Capture channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: 0 - 3
  Front Left: 0 [0%] [0.00dB]
  Front Right: 0 [0%] [0.00dB]
Simple mixer control 'Surround',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Playback 0 - 87
  Mono:
  Front Left: Playback 79 [91%] [-6.00dB] [on]
  Front Right: Playback 79 [91%] [-6.00dB] [on]
Simple mixer control 'Center',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pvolume-joined pswitch pswitch-joined
  Playback channels: Mono
  Limits: Playback 0 - 87
  Mono: Playback 87 [100%] [0.00dB] [on]
Simple mixer control 'LFE',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pvolume-joined pswitch pswitch-joined
  Playback channels: Mono
  Limits: Playback 0 - 87
  Mono: Playback 87 [100%] [0.00dB] [on]
Simple mixer control 'Line',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Playback 0 - 31
  Mono:
  Front Left: Playback 0 [0%] [-34.50dB] [off]
  Front Right: Playback 0 [0%] [-34.50dB] [off]
Simple mixer control 'Line Boost',0
  Capabilities: volume
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Capture channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: 0 - 3
  Front Left: 0 [0%] [0.00dB]
  Front Right: 0 [0%] [0.00dB]
Simple mixer control 'IEC958',0
  Capabilities: pswitch pswitch-joined
  Playback channels: Mono
  Mono: Playback [off]
Simple mixer control 'IEC958 Default PCM',0
  Capabilities: pswitch pswitch-joined
  Playback channels: Mono
  Mono: Playback [on]
Simple mixer control 'Beep',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Playback 0 - 31
  Mono:
  Front Left: Playback 0 [0%] [-34.50dB] [off]
  Front Right: Playback 0 [0%] [-34.50dB] [off]
Simple mixer control 'Capture',0
  Capabilities: cvolume cswitch
  Capture channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Capture 0 - 63
  Front Left: Capture 57 [90%] [25.50dB] [on]
  Front Right: Capture 57 [90%] [25.50dB] [on]
Simple mixer control 'Capture',1
  Capabilities: cvolume cswitch
  Capture channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Capture 0 - 63
  Front Left: Capture 0 [0%] [-17.25dB] [off]
  Front Right: Capture 0 [0%] [-17.25dB] [off]
Simple mixer control 'Auto-Mute Mode',0
  Capabilities: enum
  Items: 'Disabled' 'Enabled'
  Item0: 'Enabled'
Simple mixer control 'Input Source',0
  Capabilities: cenum
  Items: 'Front Mic' 'Rear Mic' 'Line'
  Item0: 'Rear Mic'
Simple mixer control 'Input Source',1
  Capabilities: cenum
  Items: 'Front Mic' 'Rear Mic' 'Line'
  Item0: 'Front Mic'
Simple mixer control 'Loopback Mixing',0
  Capabilities: enum
  Items: 'Disabled' 'Enabled'
  Item0: 'Disabled'
Simple mixer control 'Rear Mic',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Playback 0 - 31
  Mono:
  Front Left: Playback 0 [0%] [-34.50dB] [off]
  Front Right: Playback 0 [0%] [-34.50dB] [off]
Simple mixer control 'Rear Mic Boost',0
  Capabilities: volume
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Capture channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: 0 - 3
  Front Left: 0 [0%] [0.00dB]
  Front Right: 0 [0%] [0.00dB]

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#4 2020-11-19 08:09:05

V1del
Forum Moderator
Registered: 2012-10-16
Posts: 11,260

Re: Help setting up preamp for PulseAudio

Nothing sticking out, do you use a surround setup in windows? Is pulse configured to use the surround setup if so?  (check the Configuration tab in pavucontrol)

One underlying issue here is that there are often various software enhancers (... similar to what you can set up in pulseeffects) already enabled on a driver level in Windows, so it's quite possible that what you hear in Linux is the actually intended raw output (... potential bugs that might be there notwithstanding)

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#5 2020-11-21 23:35:25

TheMohawkNinja
Member
Registered: 2017-07-11
Posts: 35

Re: Help setting up preamp for PulseAudio

V1del wrote:

Nothing sticking out, do you use a surround setup in windows? Is pulse configured to use the surround setup if so?  (check the Configuration tab in pavucontrol)

One underlying issue here is that there are often various software enhancers (... similar to what you can set up in pulseeffects) already enabled on a driver level in Windows, so it's quite possible that what you hear in Linux is the actually intended raw output (... potential bugs that might be there notwithstanding)

Just to give an answer for future readers:

I decided to pull out an old speaker which has in-line volume adjustment and a 3.5mm input and output, so I plugged the speaker into the PC and my headphones into the speaker and am using the speaker's amp to boost the volume the rest of the way.

Works perfectly fine!

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