[pulseaudio-discuss] Sink volume linearity

Matthew Patterson matt at v8zman.com
Sun Jun 15 18:15:06 PDT 2008

Thanks for the info Lennart. I assumed it had to be something hardware 
because a software control wouldn't work too well, just end up loosing 

I just got a new sound card, so I will play around and see if things are 


Lennart Poettering wrote:
> On Wed, 04.06.08 21:14, Matthew Patterson (matt at v8zman.com) wrote:
>> Hello everyone,
>> I have been playing around with the volume control on my whole home 
>> audio system trying to make it nonlinear so we are able to fine tune the 
>> volumes we listen at most. Unfortunately it appears that the sink volume 
>> controls do not allow enough range (I think this would be dynamic range 
>> in audio terms). Basically, if I set the system up so 100% volume is as 
>> loud as I want things to go, 1% is not quiet enough. I have tried 
>> setting the sink volumes using pacmd where the range of volumes is 
>> 1-65535. A value of 0 is muted, but 1 is quite loud.
>> Any thoughts/experiences on this?
>> I'm contemplating setting both the stream and sink volumes so I can have 
>> more granularity of control.
> PA tries to use the sound card volume control if possible. However
> most sound cards only a allow a limited range of volume control. With
> many sound cards the lower volume boundary does not result in total
> silence. 
> I will eventually add support to PA that we can extend the volume
> range to the same dB range on all machines, regardless of what the
> hardware provides. We can do this if ALSA exports dB information to us.
> Of course, each sound card as a maximum gain for the output. We cannot
> go higher than this, regardless whatever we try, unless we resort to
> dirty stuff like doing the amplification in software, which is most
> likely not what you want on 16 bit audio.
> May be some of the auxiliary controls of your sound card mixer also
> influence the final volume of your audio? You might want to play
> around with your ALSA mixer with alsamixer -c0.
> Lennart
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