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Thread: 13.1 audio playback missing center channel

  1. #1
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    Default 13.1 audio playback missing center channel

    I've got two systems that are doing this, and I wonder if anyone else is
    seeing it.

    Sometime in the past week or two (no longer than that), any mp4 video I
    play on either of my two 13.1 systems loses what seems to be the "center
    channel" (ie, if it's a video recorded on a PVR/DVR, I'll have music and
    the laugh track, but the characters' speech doesn't come through at all -
    or very faintly and heavily "pixelated" - just like on a 5.1 or 7.1
    surround system what you get if you disconnect the front center speaker).

    I use the PS3 media server, which uses mencoder, and it also loses that
    channel if I stream to my tablet.

    I see this issue using mplayer and xine, or if I use an embedded player
    in Chrome (for example, if I put a clip on Dropbox and play it through
    the browser, the audio has cut out). So the video player doesn't seem to
    matter.

    If I play the file through my surround sound system on my Raspberry Pi
    (running OpenELEC), the audio's fine.

    I've reinstalled pulse (and verified the configuration is at default),
    and have wiped out my user's pulseaudio configuration on my desktop (the
    first system I noticed the problem on - and that hosts the media server).

    This was working fine as of about a week ago, and I don't see any updates
    in my update history that should have affected it. I hadn't tried it on
    my laptop until just today, so it's possible it has been broken longer
    than that.

    It's almost like pulse isn't remixing to two channels, even though it's
    enabled in /etc/pulse/daemon.conf

    Jim
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: 13.1 audio playback missing center channel

    On Tue, 04 Feb 2014 20:59:57 +0000, Jim Henderson wrote:

    > I've got two systems that are doing this, and I wonder if anyone else is
    > seeing it.


    The command:

    speaker-test -c 6 -t wav

    definitely shows that the center channel is missing. alsamixer says the
    volume is turned up, though.

    Jim

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: 13.1 audio playback missing center channel

    On Tue, 04 Feb 2014 21:16:55 +0000, Jim Henderson wrote:

    > On Tue, 04 Feb 2014 20:59:57 +0000, Jim Henderson wrote:
    >
    >> I've got two systems that are doing this, and I wonder if anyone else
    >> is seeing it.

    >
    > The command:
    >
    > speaker-test -c 6 -t wav
    >
    > definitely shows that the center channel is missing. alsamixer says the
    > volume is turned up, though.


    Seems to just be the headphones, BTW. Just tried my laptop without the
    headphones, and the sound was fine.

    Jim
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: 13.1 audio playback missing center channel

    Are you saying you haven't applied any gstreamer or ffmpeg package updates from packman in the last few weeks on 13.1? IIRC some of those are needed for mp4 support.

    PS. Cancel that - just seen your last post.
    Leap 42.3 (ext4, KDE Plasma 5.8.7) ~ stable
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: 13.1 audio playback missing center channel

    On Tue, 04 Feb 2014 21:33:24 +0000, Jim Henderson wrote:

    > On Tue, 04 Feb 2014 21:16:55 +0000, Jim Henderson wrote:
    >
    >> On Tue, 04 Feb 2014 20:59:57 +0000, Jim Henderson wrote:
    >>
    >>> I've got two systems that are doing this, and I wonder if anyone else
    >>> is seeing it.

    >>
    >> The command:
    >>
    >> speaker-test -c 6 -t wav
    >>
    >> definitely shows that the center channel is missing. alsamixer says
    >> the volume is turned up, though.

    >
    > Seems to just be the headphones, BTW. Just tried my laptop without the
    > headphones, and the sound was fine.


    OK, solved it - and for anyone else using Bose QC2 headphones, if you run
    into this, make sure the plug on the headphone end of the connection is
    plugged in all the way. If it's not, you'll lose the center channel.

    Jim
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: 13.1 audio playback missing center channel

    On Tue, 04 Feb 2014 21:46:02 +0000, consused wrote:

    > Are you saying you haven't applied any gstreamer or ffmpeg package
    > updates from packman in the last few weeks on 13.1? IIRC some of those
    > are needed for mp4 support.
    >
    > PS. Cancel that - just seen your last post.


    I've actually been doing MP4s on 13.1 since I installed it with no
    problems.

    Jim



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  7. #7
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    Default Re: 13.1 audio playback missing center channel

    Quote Originally Posted by hendersj View Post
    On Tue, 04 Feb 2014 21:46:02 +0000, consused wrote:

    > Are you saying you haven't applied any gstreamer or ffmpeg package
    > updates from packman in the last few weeks on 13.1? IIRC some of those
    > are needed for mp4 support.
    >
    > PS. Cancel that - just seen your last post.


    I've actually been doing MP4s on 13.1 since I installed it with no
    problems.
    No doubt you had (as originally posted), but looking for a problem common to two systems suggested software. You had searched for recent updates that might have caused it, finding nothing relevant. So I mentioned two that get updated fairly often (even more here on Tumbleweed), that might be relevant if updated. Although hardware related was my first thought, headphones as the common factor didn't trigger from anything - well it was late at night here.

    Glad you found it.
    Leap 42.3 (ext4, KDE Plasma 5.8.7) ~ stable
    Manjaro (ext4, Xfce) ~ rolling updates
    Tumbleweed (ext4, KDE Plasma5) ~ managed updates via "Tumbleweed Snapshots" service.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 13.1 audio playback missing center channel

    On Wed, 05 Feb 2014 17:16:01 +0000, consused wrote:

    > hendersj;2622155 Wrote:
    >> On Tue, 04 Feb 2014 21:46:02 +0000, consused wrote:
    >>
    >> > Are you saying you haven't applied any gstreamer or ffmpeg package
    >> > updates from packman in the last few weeks on 13.1? IIRC some of
    >> > those are needed for mp4 support.
    >> >
    >> > PS. Cancel that - just seen your last post.

    >>
    >> I've actually been doing MP4s on 13.1 since I installed it with no
    >> problems.
    >>

    > No doubt you had (as originally posted), but looking for a problem
    > common to two systems suggested software. You had searched for *recent
    > updates* that might have caused it, finding nothing relevant. So I
    > mentioned two that get updated fairly often (even more here on
    > Tumbleweed), that might be relevant if updated. Although hardware
    > related was my first thought, headphones as the common factor didn't
    > trigger from anything - well it was late at night here.


    Indeed it did - I had started by looking for recent updates, and the only
    common one was libmpg123 (that fell in the timeframe from when it had
    worked), but xine doesn't use it.

    I had gone as far as using "rpm -qa --last" on the two machines (because
    I hadn't changed anything on the laptop regarding sound, but I had been
    messing around with monitor sinks on the desktop) and comparing the
    lists, and using rpm -V to verify the installed RPMs that provide
    configuration files.

    > Glad you found it.


    Me too, though there's nothing like pulling your hair out for two days
    trying to track down a software problem that ended up being hardware. I
    even streamed stuff to my tablet and plugged my headphones in there and
    it still didn't register that the headphones were a common part I hadn't
    eliminated from the picture.

    m-/

    Jim

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