There are a number of mixers that can adjust your sound volumes or mute or unmute various inputs or outputs. This wiki concerns only the use of alsamixer.
As alsamixer is run from a terminal with a command such as ….alsamixer …..its actually a 2d application meaning no mouse so its handy to know what keys are used to make changes
(navigation keys) left arrow, right arrow
(mute or unmute output key) m
(activate or de-activate microphone) “the space bar”
(cycle between outputs and inputs) TAB
(Fast volume up versus slow) page up versus up arrow
(Fast volume down versus slow ) page down versus down arrow
(set mic or line or cd ) press up or down arrow a number of times
This set mic (etc) function may not be available for all sound devices.
Its main use for some people is to change the mic in socket or connector to behave as a line in, typically to allow inport of sound coming from the mp3 player headphone jack through a 3.5 mm lead. It does not have to be a mp3 player it could be a portable cd player.
For those with a front mic and a rear mic, the options MAY cycle through - rear mic - front mic - cd - line — in any order the sound manufacturer designed.
Depending on your sound device, not all options may be available
alsamixer (will show mixer for card that has index=0) alsamixer -V all (show all controls for card that has index=0) alsamixer -c 1 (show mixer for card that has index=1)
If you would like to know how to set a different index value or other tweaks
go to Alsa_index
If you have only one sound device….it will have index=0 so nothing to worry about.
See other sections for optical or HDMI
Maybe you are reading this wiki as you have no sound. Maybe you had sound and have lost it.
Lets demonstrate how to use the mixer controls and explain how to regain sound.
Note the mixer image is for my hardware with no fancy tweaks done. You may have more mixer settings than me.
Item 1 is the Master is muted ….Use the left or right arrows to navigate to it and then press M key (M for Mike) which will either mute or unmute that setting.
As MM is showing that means mute so pressing m causes the setting to change to a O
TIP I remember that as M=mute O=on
Item 1 has a number 82 which is a volume number. We will adjust that later when we play something.
Iitem 2 is for the speaker. It is muted as well so unmute it. Item 2 volume number is 100. Leave it for now it may be good.
Item 3 is PCM and roughly means digital audio.
Your sound device may be analog only or have analog and digital settings.
You can see this with the command
aplay -l (my example) **** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices **** card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 0: STAC92xx Analog [STAC92xx Analog] Subdevices: 1/1 Subdevice #0: subdevice #0 card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 1: STAC92xx Digital [STAC92xx Digital] Subdevices: 1/1 Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
Item 3 has no M or 0 so we just page up after navigating to it. Make the number 95 for now.
Item 4 is (currently) front mic and not useful for output of sound so SKIP
Items 5 & 6 is for optical connection to a S/PDIF which I am not using so SKIP
Item 7 is for tweaking my onboard mic to allow it to be a line in OR a mic in and so SKIP
This results in new image
Skip to next section if you have access to songs already
Otherwise small sound files exist at
and you can run a command
speaker-test -c 2
Above command outputs noise to left then right speakers in a cycle.
Press CTRL + c keys to close down.
Now if you have external powered speakers such as for desktop users or USB mixer with their own power you might like to adjust volume numbers to 100 and use your speaker knobs to ajust final output volumes.
But if you have a portable with no external powered speaker then I suggest you still raise to 100 for all settings but use the E17 mixer icon you can install by
Bodhi (start button) → Settings → Modules → (TAB to System) → Mixer → Load → close
For me this gives me the Master volume control and a mouse to mute.
I have a 5.1 sound card but lack the stereo speakers to appreciate this sound.
A simple rule for surround sound is add the 2 numbers so I have a 6 channel capacity.
Setting up 6 ch is discussed in the other wiki.
So if you have your motherboard manual, you may be able to see how to setup the stereo connectors.
Otherwise you are probably going to need the speaker-test
$ speaker-test -c 6 speaker-test 126.96.36.199 Playback device is default Stream parameters are 48000Hz, S16_LE, 6 channels Using 16 octaves of pink noise Rate set to 48000Hz (requested 48000Hz) Buffer size range from 2048 to 16384 Period size range from 1024 to 1024 Using max buffer size 16384 Periods = 4 was set period_size = 1024 was set buffer_size = 16384 0 - Front Left 4 - Center 1 - Front Right 3 - Rear Right 2 - Rear Left 5 - LFE Time per period = 17.598727
Try running this command yourself. There is a delay between moving sound from one output to the next.
By inserting your various connectors and watching your terminal hopefully your ears can tell you if you have it set up right.
Otherwise google your card and surround sound
I believe from google you still need to activate S/PDIF
this needs expanding but I need users to help out here
see the other wiki for what little I know
Part one where you have analog only
I have a microphone input on my desktop at front and at rear.
To use it I need to put the mic cable into the orange connector and tweak the correct setting for the mic in alsamixer.
To get to mic settings either run alsamixer and press TAB key or run command
alsamixer -V capture
Fix the following:
- Navigate to item 1 and press (space bar) to activate the mic.
- Item 3 Is for digital I discuss later.
- Navigate to item 4 (input source) and press the up arrow or the down arrow to select mic at front or rear.
—If you have only one mic input…the term will be mic.
If you have a front and rear…the settings are “paired”. That means that items 1, 4 and 6 are related. So if you enable rear mic…you would change items 2, 5 and 7.
After changes you might have
Notice that the volume is 86 and not 100 as I know how to speak slowly and clearly and so can minimise distortion.
Items 6 and 7 say Mux but they mean…..mic amplifier.
Try to avoid the following setting as its likely to lead to distortion.
Part Two Digital Mic
Looking at 2 images above you can see item 3 is digital.
I need to activate the analog mic but its volume can be zero and digital still works
Part three Checking if you can use digital
Run the command
cat /proc/asound/devices 2: [ 0- 1]: digital audio playback 3: [ 0- 0]: digital audio playback 4: [ 0- 0]: digital audio capture 5: [ 0- 0]: hardware dependent 6: [ 0] : control 33: : timer
If your output shows “digital audio capture” then you should be able to get a slider in alsamixer.
Most likely for portable computers. I don't own one but suspect the configuration is similar to above.
Whether you have digital mic input or analog only, whether it is configured correctly or not and whether you need an .asoundrc file or not…….you need to test your mic recording.
arecord -d 5 -f cd test.wav (and to playback) aplay test.wav (or playback through your media player eg vlc
For those who have a webcam, you may have a mic built into it. I do, buts its an external usb lead webcam.
Configuring the video is not discussed in this wiki. Only the mic.
Run alsamixer and press F6 to select the webcam mic.
Then same rules as above, press space bar to activate or de-activate and adjust volumes controls.
If your webcam is not showing up in alsamixer try running command
and google your usb ids. Its possible that your kernel module has not loaded or with kernel changes your module is no longer available.
If you easily resolve the issue, please google for “solved and your usb ids” and if unsuccessful post a new thread in the forum please.
Part 2 Testing webcam mic recordings
This is best done at the same time as testing webcam video recordings.
There are a number of different software packages available depending on what type of cam you have.
My cam is uvc compliant so I can use guvcview. Some people with gspca cams tend to use Cheese but I am not making recommendations, only observations.
I no longer use after a certain company bought it.
Skype has its own configuration tools and from memory I could choose my mic from either my soundcard or webcam mic.
Skype has its own testing tools for recording and playing back sound.
The video function is not discussed here either.
expand HDMI but the balance is good enough to throw to public to consider?
Original wiki by aus9