Posts Tagged ‘sound’

Audio device: low volume output

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

When listening to music or watching videos it appeared to me that the sound was very low although I checked all volume settings in Gnome and via alsamixer at the command line interpreter (CLI):


Searching the net I found an article on how to install HDA Intel sound devices that are build into a lot of notebooks.

If an HDA Intel sound device is installed in your notebook can be found out via the following command:

lspci -vv | grep Audio

This will display something like “Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 03)” when HDA Intel is applicable to you.

Further more you need to find out what codec is used:

cat /proc/asound/card0/codec#* | grep Codec

It will return model of your sound card, e.g. “Codec: Realtek ALC663″, so your sound card is ALC663. Browse through the ALSA documentation and searching for your sound card:

zless /usr/share/doc/alsa-base/driver/ALSA-Configuration.txt.gz

The applicable section for ALC 663 looks like this:

 3stack-dig     3-stack (2-channel) with SPDIF
 3stack-6ch     3-stack (6-channel)
 3stack-6ch-dig 3-stack (6-channel) with SPDIF
 6stack-dig     6-stack with SPDIF
 lenovo-101e    Lenovo laptop
 eeepc-p701     ASUS Eeepc P701
 eeepc-ep20     ASUS Eeepc EP20
 ecs            ECS/Foxconn mobo
 m51va          ASUS M51VA
 g71v           ASUS G71V
 h13            ASUS H13
 g50v           ASUS G50V
 asus-mode1     ASUS
 asus-mode2     ASUS
 asus-mode3     ASUS
 asus-mode4     ASUS
 asus-mode5     ASUS
 asus-mode6     ASUS
 auto           auto-config reading BIOS (default)

Identify your model and add the following line at the end of the ALSA config file where MODEL needs to be replaced by e.g. 3stack-dig from the list above:

options snd-hda-intel model=MODEL

The ALSA config file can be accessed via (Ubunty Jaunty and more recent):

sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf

In older version of Ubuntu the ALSA config file can be accessed via:

sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base

A restart is required in order to apply the changes made to the ALSA configuration file.

Although I tried a lot of different MODELs for my Medion notebook (Akoya P6620 / MD 97760), none of these increased the maximum volume. Nevertheless, it should be the first approach to go through the steps.

Eventually, I found another way to increase the systems volume level. First, you need to store you current ALSA control setting to a file:

sudo alsactl store

You can now value.0 und value.1 in the “Front Playback Volume” section to a higher value by editing the ALSA control file:

sudo gedit /var/lib/alsa/asound.state

Following that you need to write you changes to the ALSA control setting via:

sudo alsactl -F -f /var/lib/alsa/asound.state restore

Seemingly this just changes the resolution of the volume control rather than the maximum volume level. I will further try to find a solution and will post is here.