Headphone output ear-bleedingly loud on Karmic

Bug #488513 reported by Rockwalrus on 2009-11-26
16
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
gnome-media (Ubuntu)
Low
Unassigned
linux (Ubuntu)
Low
Ubuntu Audio Development Team

Bug Description

Binary package hint: gnome-media

I have a Dell Latitude D830 with a SigmaTel STAC9205 codec. One of the quirks of this laptop is that the speakers are much quieter than the headphones. Fortunately, there are three mixer controls: master, speaker, and headphones. I usually have speaker set all the way up, headphones set about 40% up, and use master to fine-tune the volume I want. Unfortunately, the new Karmic version of gnome-media sets both speaker and headphones to 100%, meaning that switching from speakers to headphones by putting the headphones in the jack results in much, much louder sound. The usable range of the volume control's slider range becomes tiny, especially since the master slider has different strange behavior in each release, but never is more than about 2/3rds of the slider useful. It's really not possible with this laptop to not have a separate volume control for headphones. While the ideal functionality would be to keep master at 100% and have the speakers or headphones mixer control be adjusted based on the jack state, I'd settle for the pre-Karmic ability to control the headphones mixer control directly.

affects: gnome-media (Ubuntu) → alsa-lib (Ubuntu)
affects: alsa-lib (Ubuntu) → gnome-media (Ubuntu)
affects: gnome-media (Ubuntu) → alsa-lib (Ubuntu)
Rockwalrus (rockwalrus) on 2009-11-26
affects: alsa-lib (Ubuntu) → gnome-media (Ubuntu)
bwallum (rbw2) wrote :

You can control headphones. Plug in your head phones and start an application that uses them, say Rhythmbox with some music. When the music is playing look for the speaker icon in the top(default) panel of the Desktop, right click and choose Sound Preferences. When the Sound Preferences window opens choose Applications. You should see a volume control and be able to adjust the volume. You can also select a 'Connector' which can be amplified (or not for earphones).

pulse-audio had a 'tricky' birth but can allow full control over any input/output device. It does have more than one volume control however, in the above case it has 'Output volume' in Sound preferences and also control through 'Applications' tab (which only becomes visible when an application is actually running). A shortcut to the 'Output volume' is utilised by left clicking the speaker icon. Taking the two controls together you can set various 'default' settings for different applications.

David Henningsson (diwic) wrote :

Hi Rockwalrus. It seems to me like you need to fine-tune what volume control PulseAudio controls using the approach mentioned here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/DebuggingSoundProblems/KarmicCaveats#Volume%20range%20anomalies
Try the 2nd solution with load-module module-alsa-sink control=Master. That way I hope PulseAudio will leave the rest of the volume controls untouched.

Daniel T Chen (crimsun) wrote :

Please use apport-collect -p alsa-base 488513

affects: pulseaudio (Ubuntu) → linux (Ubuntu)
Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Ubuntu Audio Development Team (ubuntu-audio-dev)
status: New → Incomplete
Adam Kondracki (polbanda) wrote :

Dear David Henningsson. Tip from link that you've pasted works only to first reboot of system. After that sound is dead. In alsamixer everything is set to 100 and still nothing happens.

David Henningsson (diwic) wrote :

@Adam: Please run this terminal command to provide us with more information: "apport-collect -p alsa-base 488513"

Architecture: i386
AudioDevicesInUse:
 USER PID ACCESS COMMAND
 /dev/snd/controlC0: polbanda 5296 F.... pulseaudio
Card0.Amixer.info:
 Card hw:0 'I82801DBICH4'/'Intel 82801DB-ICH4 with STAC9750,51 at irq 5'
   Mixer name : 'SigmaTel STAC9750,51'
   Components : 'AC97a:83847650'
   Controls : 38
   Simple ctrls : 24
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 9.10
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 9.10 "Karmic Koala" - Release i386 (20091028.5)
Package: alsa-base 1.0.20+dfsg-1ubuntu5
PackageArchitecture: all
ProcEnviron:
 SHELL=/bin/bash
 LANG=pl_PL.UTF-8
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.31-20.57-generic
Uname: Linux 2.6.31-20-generic i686
UserGroups: adm admin cdrom dialout lp lpadmin plugdev sambashare

Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → New
tags: added: apport-collected

Architecture: amd64
ArecordDevices:
 **** List of CAPTURE Hardware Devices ****
 card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 0: STAC92xx Analog [STAC92xx Analog]
   Subdevices: 2/2
   Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
   Subdevice #1: subdevice #1
AudioDevicesInUse:
 USER PID ACCESS COMMAND
 /dev/snd/controlC0: nsummers 8374 F.... pulseaudio
Card0.Amixer.info:
 Card hw:0 'Intel'/'HDA Intel at 0xf6ffc000 irq 21'
   Mixer name : 'SigmaTel STAC9205'
   Components : 'HDA:838476a0,102801fe,00100204 HDA:14f12c06,14f1000f,00100000'
   Controls : 25
   Simple ctrls : 16
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 9.10
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia
Package: alsa-base 1.0.20+dfsg-1ubuntu5
PackageArchitecture: all
ProcEnviron:
 SHELL=/bin/bash
 LANG=en_US.UTF-8
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.31-20.57-generic
Uname: Linux 2.6.31-20-generic x86_64
UserAsoundrc:
 # ALSA library configuration file

 # Include settings that are under the control of asoundconf(1).
 # (To disable these settings, comment out this line.)
 </home/nsummers/.asoundrc.asoundconf>
UserGroups: adm admin audio cdrom dialout dip floppy fuse lpadmin mythtv plugdev sambashare video

Jeremy Foshee (jeremyfoshee) wrote :

Hi Rockwalrus,

This bug was reported a while ago and there hasn't been any activity in it recently. We were wondering if this is still an issue? Can you try with the latest development release of Ubuntu? ISO CD images are available from http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/releases/ .

If it remains an issue, could you run the following command from a Terminal (Applications->Accessories->Terminal). It will automatically gather and attach updated debug information to this report.

apport-collect -p linux 488513

Also, if you could test the latest upstream kernel available that would be great. It will allow additional upstream developers to examine the issue. Refer to https://wiki.ubuntu.com/KernelMainlineBuilds . Once you've tested the upstream kernel, please remove the 'needs-upstream-testing' tag. This can be done by clicking on the yellow pencil icon next to the tag located at the bottom of the bug description and deleting the 'needs-upstream-testing' text. Please let us know your results.

Thanks in advance.

    [This is an automated message. Apologies if it has reached you inappropriately; please just reply to this message indicating so.]

tags: added: kernel-sound
tags: added: needs-kernel-logs
tags: added: needs-upstream-testing
tags: added: kj-triage
Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
Pedro Villavicencio (pedro) wrote :

Thanks for the report, it has been some time without any response or feedback in this bug report and we are wondering if this is still an issue for you with the latest release of Ubuntu the Natty Narwhal, May you please test with that version and comment back if you're still having or not the issue? Please have a look at http://www.ubuntu.com/download to know how to install that version. Thanks in advance and sorry for the late response.

Changed in gnome-media (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
status: New → Incomplete
Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
Rockwalrus (rockwalrus) wrote :

Things are better, but not all fixed in Natty. The problem with only part of the volume slider being usable is fixed. Pulseaudio also doesn't touch the headphones audio level anymore when the connector is set to "Analog Speakers" in the Sound Preferences, so that irritation is gone as well.

However, I still have to set the headphone mixer control in xfce4-mixer, since Sound Preferences does not allow me to change that slider, and it defaults to ear-bleedingly loud. If I set the connector to either of the other settings (which doesn't appear to do anything useful), Pulseaudio sees the need to set the headphones back up to maximum volume.

This bug was filed against a series that is no longer supported and so is being marked as Won't Fix. If this issue still exists in a supported series, please file a new bug.

This change has been made by an automated script, maintained by the Ubuntu Kernel Team.

Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Won't Fix
Rockwalrus (rockwalrus) on 2011-07-15
Changed in gnome-media (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → New
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

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

Changed in gnome-media (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
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