IRC:audio [2020-01-22]

About

Doing a basic audio-setup if you are not able to get sound or to record audio after installation of linux-mint.

Remarks

Before you start searching for audio-drivers you should first check if your basic setup might already work, but just needs some adjustment.

Be sure external speakers are really plugged into the correct socket + power is turned on (check it now - especially if you did recently add/replace hw).

Audio-setup is sort of try&error, ensure that you have some audio-playback running to get some feedback (which will help you).

alsamixer

Open your terminal and run alsamixer (it's preinstalled).

alsamixer 

Press F6 and select your real HW (not the default), and likely press F5 to show both Playback and Capture as needed. After using the real HW you will see available input and output channel similar to this:

┌────────────────────────────────────────────────────── AlsaMixer v1.1.3 ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐
│ Card: HDA Intel PCH                                                                                  F1:  Help               │
│ Chip: Realtek ALC262                                                                                 F2:  System information │
│ View: F3: Playback  F4: Capture  F5:[All]                                                            F6:  Select sound card  │
│ Item: Master [dB gain: -13,50]                                                                       Esc: Exit               │
│                                                                                                                              │
┌──┐     ┌──┐     ┌──┐     ┌──┐     ┌──┐     ┌──┐     ┌──┐     ┌──┐     ┌──┐     ┌──┐     ┌──┐     ┌──┐     ┌──┐
│  │     │  │     │  │     ▒▒     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │
│  │     │  │     │  │     ▒▒     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │
│  │     │  │     │  │     ▒▒     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     ▒▒     │  │     │  │
│  │     │  │     │  │     ▒▒     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     ▒▒     │  │     │  │
│  │     │  │     │  │     ▒▒     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     ▒▒     │  │     │  │
▒▒     │  │     │  │     ▒▒     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     ▒▒     │  │     │  │
▒▒     │  │     │  │     ▒▒     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     ▒▒     │  │     │  │
▒▒     │  │     │  │     ▒▒     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     ▒▒     │  │     │  │
▒▒     │  │     │  │     ▒▒     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     ▒▒     │  │     ▒▒
▒▒     │  │     │  │     ▒▒     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     │  │     ▒▒     │  │     ▒▒
├──┤     ├──┤     ├──┤     └──┘     ├──┤     └──┘     └──┘     ├──┤     └──┘     └──┘     ├──┤     ├──┤     └──┘
OO     MM     MM              MM                       MM                       OO     MM
└──┘     └──┘     └──┘              └──┘                       └──┘                       └──┘     └──┘    L    R 
CAPTURE 
   51      0<>0      0     100<>100   0<>0     0<>0     0<>0     0<>0     0<>0     0<>0    81<>81    0<>0    25<>25 
< Master >Headphon Speaker    PCM    Front Mi Front Mi Front Mi   Line   Line Boo Line Boo Line Out   Beep   Capture 
└──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘

Note: If there are more channels available than actually displayed, there will be arrows at the right frame - you might want to resize the window to get more channels displayed at the same time.

Working through channels

1) Use cursor-keys l&r to select a channel (-> arrows at the frame-border do mean: there are more channels ... keep going to the right/left)

2) Ensure channels are not muted = marked by a 'MM' at the indicator (OO denotes on), press m to toggle mute on/off.

3) Use cursor-keys u&d to increase input/output levels (xx<>xx below the level-indicator);

Raise channel values to get a white (or max green) bar; "red" levels should normally be avoided - giving distortion.

4) Mic only: if you want to use recording - you will probably want to disable the "Auto-Mute" option (if available)

5) When done, press ESC to leave alsamixer

pavucontrol - aka Pulse Audio Control

Open your menu and start typing "pavucontrol" should show the "PulseAudio Volume Control" -tool (install it if missing). Before selecting a different profile or device (just read on) .. you should take notes of the current (original) settings.

Working through profiles and devices

1) Start at the last tab "Configuration" and select a profile - for regular usage you will likely test "Analog Stereo Duplex" first - for external digital equipment accordingly "Digital Duplex" and continue with the following steps..

Remarks: pavucontrol does sometimes denote working profiles as not being available. Thus if none of the "available" profiles wont do the trick, test them anyways...

2) Afterwards go to the first tab "Playback" (or "Recording" ...), select Show "All Streams" at the bottom of the page. Ensure available sliders are raised to "100% (0dB)" and the "Mute" option above the sliders is not active (= the small speaker-icon on the right side).

3) Switch to the "Output Devices" (or "Input Devices) -Tab. Ensure again that you've selected Show: "All Output Devices" at the bottom + that the "Mute" is not active.

Test every available Output (Input) -Device (do not just stop with the first one giving any sound/recording). Be sure the level-slider for the selected device is at "100% (0dB)"

Remarks: Do not skip available devices like "Headsets" or whatever - it might just be labeled wrong.

4) If none of the available devices does give any output (or input) - select the next profile at the "Configuration"-tab and repeat above steps.

Remarks - post testing

If you have not been able to get sound (or recording) this way. You should set the most likely expected profile and output- (or input-) device again, before you start testing any drivers or kernel parameters.


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