Sound Confusion, pulse, kmix, alsa, photon?

Can someone please help me understand the sound system in openSUSE 12.2 KDE?

Main questions are this,

  1. which one of these darn mixers is the default is it alsa, pulse, kmix, photon or what?
  2. why is the sound output volume so low on all my Gigabyte motherboard intel soundcard chip?
  3. Really, number 2 is annoying and may drive me insane and to another OS, maybe.
  4. why is it so darn hard to get the sound volume higher on usb speakers like palto alto cubik?
  5. Really, Windows 7 rocks these speakers (see #4) out to at least four times, yes 4x the volume as linux?

Can some please help me get more listening pleasure out of openSUSU 12.2 KDE 4.9.5.

Well I can try to get you started. :slight_smile:

  1. which one of these darn mixers is the default is it alsa, pulse, kmix, photon or what?

Alsa is the low level sound framework for Linux. Pulseaudio is an abstraction on top of alsa that allows features such as software mixing and network audio. Kmix is just a front end for alsa or pulseaudio mixers.

Phonon is what allows KDE/Qt applications to use multiple backends. Such as gstreamer/vlc. This is useful for other platforms such as Windows/OSX which have different multimedia engines than Linux. KDE can use them all.

  1. why is the sound output volume so low on all my Gigabyte motherboard intel soundcard chip?

I can think of plenty of reasons but that is all academic without more specific information. Open a terminal such as console and try running this command to play with the mixers:

alsamixer -c0
  1. Really, number 2 is annoying and may drive me insane and to another OS, maybe.

I don’t see how this is relevant.

ahh, thank you. You have clarified things greatly. :slight_smile: So I checked out this alsamixer -c0 thing and found it very good and helpful. It was nice to discover F6 and pick the usb speakers and crank them up some more. The usb speakers are still not near the volume as they get under windows but anyway no big deal.

Question,

What do the sound leavers in Yast2 controll? I am guessing alsa maybe?

I am quite happy to help.

What do the sound leavers in Yast2 controll? I am guessing alsa maybe?

Exactly. They should correspond to the mixers in alsamixer if I am not mistaken.

find your kmixrc file

find / -name kmixrc

for me it is in /home/myname/.kde4/share/config/kmixrc

don’t forget the dot “.” before .kde4 or .kde because it is a hidden file

to edit file: sudo vi /home/myname/.kde4/share/config/kmixrc

press “i” to insert and add this line at the top under [Global]

VolumeOverdrive=true

now restart kmix or just restart your computer

while the onscreen volume still shows 100%, it is actually going to 153%, you should be able to notice that it’s louder

if you need proof you can install pavucontrol with sudo apt-get install pavucontrol (or zypper install for you suse people :slight_smile: and that volume slider will show the 153%, but this step isn’t needed. Kmix is going to 153% also. I promise ;p

to edit file: sudo vi /home/myname/.kde4/share/config/kmixrc

I seriously doubt you should edit the kmixrc file as root.

Here are the permissions

~/.kde4/share/config> ls -l kmixrc
-rw------- 1 *user *users 2048 Apr 28  2013 kmixrc

Note that the file is rw to the owner ONLY, and that will be root after sudo vi…

You should be able to make the desired modification as you, the user(and owner).

This might not be a good time to learn vi/vim, unless you are already proficient.
It is a simple text file - kwrite or other editors would work for you as well.

You may also find this Wiki Item helpful, although it is somewhat dated.

Moderator/formum member oldcpu has authored several how-to’s on audio setup and debugging over the past few releases.

If you remain stuck, try an advanced search with topic: Audio and member: oldcpu

For PulseAudio setup, the default, please look here: PulseAudio and Selecting the Proper Sound Card Configuration - Blogs - openSUSE Forums

Thank You,

Hey guys, thanks for all the replies. The thread is almost a year old now though and funnily enough I had completely forgotten about the issue. I guess I got used to the new sound volumes since I do not boot windows anymore.

Anyway, chuckiv’s solution worked fine and now the sound is louder. Of course I did not use root permissions since it was in my home and I did break out vi for old time kicks and giggles.