[ThinkPad W510, Conexant CX20585, Speaker, Internal] volume slider problem

Reported by Elijah Lynn on 2012-04-02
This bug affects 7 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
One Hundred Papercuts
alsa-driver (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Exactly the same as issue as here - http://askubuntu.com/questions/112123/how-do-i-maximize-the-sound-volume-on-a-macbook-pro-in-gnome-shell

If I use the volume keys to set volume to 100%, the sound is very low. However, if I open the Sound dialog, the "Output Volume" slider goes up to 150%, which allows me to comfortably hear sound. Unfortunately, if I use the volume keys thereafter, it practically mutes the sound again, and doesn't let me increase the volume to 150% without first opening the Sound Settings dialog. I know how to use System Settings to increase volume beyond 100%. What I want is for 100% to actually be the true 100% so when I use the volume key to increase volume, it doesn't decrease volume. e.g. If I set it to 150%, and then press the "increase volume" key, the volume goes down to 100%.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 12.04
Package: alsa-base 1.0.25+dfsg-0ubuntu1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.2.0-21.34-generic 3.2.13
Uname: Linux 3.2.0-21-generic x86_64
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia
AlsaVersion: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture Driver Version 1.0.24.
ApportVersion: 2.0-0ubuntu2
Architecture: amd64
Date: Mon Apr 2 16:24:16 2012
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS "Precise Pangolin" - Beta amd64 (20120328)
PackageArchitecture: all
SourcePackage: alsa-driver
Symptom: audio
Symptom_Card: Built-in Audio - HDA Intel
Symptom_Jack: Speaker, Internal
Symptom_Type: Volume slider, or mixer problems
Title: [43192RU, Conexant CX20585, Speaker, Internal] volume slider problem
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)
dmi.bios.date: 10/27/2010
dmi.bios.vendor: LENOVO
dmi.bios.version: 6NET74WW (1.34 )
dmi.board.name: 43192RU
dmi.board.vendor: LENOVO
dmi.board.version: Not Available
dmi.chassis.asset.tag: No Asset Information
dmi.chassis.type: 10
dmi.chassis.vendor: LENOVO
dmi.chassis.version: Not Available
dmi.modalias: dmi:bvnLENOVO:bvr6NET74WW(1.34):bd10/27/2010:svnLENOVO:pn43192RU:pvrThinkPadW510:rvnLENOVO:rn43192RU:rvrNotAvailable:cvnLENOVO:ct10:cvrNotAvailable:
dmi.product.name: 43192RU
dmi.product.version: ThinkPad W510
dmi.sys.vendor: LENOVO

Elijah Lynn (elijah-lynn) wrote :
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in alsa-driver (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
summary: - [43192RU, Conexant CX20585, Speaker, Internal] volume slider problem
+ [ThinkPad W510, Conexant CX20585, Speaker, Internal] volume slider
+ problem
GonzO (gonzo) wrote :

This fake 100% thing is REALLY irritating, and it affects every machine Ubuntu is installed on for me.

Certainly, there's a conf file that can be tweaked...?

Elijah Lynn (elijah-lynn) wrote :

True story Gonzo. I just added it to the papercuts project. I deal with this constantly.

This behavior might acutally be the desired behavior for most people as higher settings than 100% can likely lead to clipping. See for example also this discussion: http://askubuntu.com/questions/25786/deactivate-volume-amplification

Zoubidoo (zoubidoo) wrote :

How about an amplification on/off switch in the sound preferences?

Some people want this changed, others don't. Can we find a compromise?

Here are the two cases:
1) People who can't get enough volume and have to fiddle in settings *every time* they want to move the volume into the amplified zone (more than 100%)

2) People who are frustrated with the volume slider only useful up to 30%.

If the amplification is on by default, it will satisfy those who want the full volume range. Those who are frustrated by the only-30%-useful slider can reach into settings to disable amplification. It'd be a stored setting, so there's no need to fiddle again.

Seems straightforward - am I missing something?

Elijah Lynn (elijah-lynn) wrote :

@Christoph, that is a good point.

@Zoubidoo, I think that would be a good solution, I would even settle with something I could flag on or off via command line. I would suggest it be off by default though as I suspect not many people (majority percentage) have this issue.


Yes, I agree an option to configure this behavior should solve this issue, although I think the default should be for it to be turned off.

So I am slowly making progress. I had a look at the source code of the gnome-settings-dameon and found out that the maximum volume you can set with your media-keys is hardcoded... So much for an easy way to make it configurable.

One can still set it themselves, but I don't think that is a solution for many users. Anyway the setting can be found in
plugins/media-keys/gsd-media-keys-manager.c and then look for MAX_VOLUME.

A note of caution hower; as I haven't tried this myself yet, I have no idea what a sensible idea for a maximum volume is.

Elijah Lynn (elijah-lynn) wrote :

Thanks Christoph,

Where is the plugins file path in regards to the root of the filesystem?




Apparently I haven't been very clear in my description. The plugins folder is within the source package of the gnome-settings-daemon.

A rough schematic what you have to do is:
1) Get the source code with 'apt-get source gnome-settings-daemon'
2) Change the MAX_VOLUME in the source code to a value of your liking. I did use 150% of the original and that works fine for me.
3) Compile the new package
4) And then 'make install'
5) Restart your system

Ad 3) This is a generic instruction of how to compile stuff: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/CompilingEasyHowTo while this are specific instruction on how to compile the gnome-settings-daemon.

But I did put in some extra effort and I basically did do steps 1) to 3) for you and attached the outcome. So all you have to do now is download the attachment, extract it, run 'sudo make install' (you might have to install a lot of development libraries though, for it to be installed successfully. See also the guide to compiling above) and then restart (might be enough to log off and on).

Right now I am looking into how to build a debian package. So if you give it some time, I hopefully can provide a debian package as well. Please bear with me. This is the first time I try to fix stuff.

Under no circumstances can this though be considered a patch. It is more a like a dirty workaround. Furthermore, it consider this to be highly experimental. I tried this and it works on my machine, but this does not mean it might not do wicked stuff on yours.

I forgot to add the link to the specific build instructions of the gnome-settings-daemon:

Another thing that just came to my mind. I am not sure if I can compile stuff on my machine and other people can then simply install it on their machine.

Elijah Lynn (elijah-lynn) wrote :

Thanks very much for going into detail on this. I will give your instructions a go soon. I'll post back when I do.

Thanks again!

Chris Wilson (notgary) on 2012-11-01
Changed in hundredpapercuts:
milestone: none → raring-misc
milestone: raring-misc → none
milestone: none → raring-misc
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