[pulseaudio-discuss] Static when stream volume is at 100%

Lennart Poettering lennart at poettering.net
Wed Dec 19 02:41:21 PST 2007

On Mon, 17.12.07 15:04, Alex Malinovich (demonbane at the-love-shack.net) wrote:

> I've just started noticing this recently, and I don't believe it was an
> issue with 0.9.7 so I'm wondering if it was due to something introduced
> in 0.9.8.
> When playing streams at/close to 100% volume, I get some pretty nasty
> static. Looking at pavumeter, it seems that anytime a channel goes over
> ~80% is when I hear the static. Setting a stream to a volume between 75
> - 95% (depending on the source) makes the problem go away.
> Just to make sure it wasn't the sound card doing it, I tried playing the
> same song through mplayer, once using the pulse output, and once using
> direct ALSA output along with pasuspender.

The volume controls of many sound cards do not range from "0%" (as in
"silence") to "100%" (as in "loudest playback without any artifacts
due to over-amplification"). Instead some start somehwere in between
and stop way beyond the level where you get over amplification noise.

PA doesn't really care right now what the volume levels actually
mean. Thus, some people complain that they still can hear audio when
they set the level to "0%" or get awful artifacts when they set it to

I am not sure what I should be doing about this. I'd love to hide
these hardware limitations. But I don't really know how.

I guess for now this means you have to set the sink volume slider to
something like 70% or so (depending on your hw) to get playback
without awful noise.


Lennart Poettering                        Red Hat, Inc.
lennart [at] poettering [dot] net         ICQ# 11060553
http://0pointer.net/lennart/           GnuPG 0x1A015CC4

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