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I'm hoping that someone can help me debug my audio problems. The problem is that audio playback is clipped and has low volume. The details of my setup are as follows:

  • Arch Linux 3.1.3-1

  • An onboard soundcard (ASUS M4A78LT-M-LE motherboard), identified as Intel HDA in dmesg:

     description: Audio device
     product: SBx00 Azalia (Intel HDA)
     vendor: ATI Technologies Inc
     physical id: 14.2
     bus info: pci@0000:00:14.2
     version: 00
     width: 64 bits
     clock: 33MHz
     capabilities: pm bus_master cap_list
     configuration: driver=snd_hda_intel latency=64
     resources: irq:16 memory:f9ff4000-f9ff7fff
    
  • ALSA (snd_hda_intel driver) and Pulseaudio

My ALSA mixer settings (which were used in the recording shown in this post) are at http://pastebin.com/w7Aw1iPr .

The mixer settings were chosen so that all "dB gain" is 0.00 for all columns in alsamixer.

Recording an MP3 (played at full volume) from the Stereo Mixer source in audacity gives output which looks clipped and has low volume:

enter image description here

This occurs with any MP3 and any other sound source.

The problem does not occur when I boot into Windows XP, so it doesn't seem to be a hardware problem.

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1 Answer

I suspect that your sound card settings are too low.

Use alsamixer for it (needs root access). Select the right soundcard by pressing F6 (usually HDA Intel), display all controls with F5 and then crank up the value in speaker, headphone, PCM and master (have an audio file playing in the background helps).

Here are my settings: enter image description here

Esc quits and saves the settings.

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