[pulseaudio-discuss] stream and master volume below 50% mutes audio

Brian J. Murrell brian at interlinx.bc.ca
Wed Feb 11 20:42:53 PST 2009

I posted a bug about this in trac (http://pulseaudio.org/ticket/438) but 
my attempts to try to explain and get confirmation of the un-
intuitiveness (in the least) of this problem seem to have gone 
unanswered.  Perhaps I am not following some proper process to re-open a 
ticket.  I was hoping to get some input from a wider audience.  I will 
copy the bug and highlight the important issues:

If I put the volume for an application stream at "50%" (i.e. -15db) and 
then set the master volume at 50% or lower, the sound actually mutes. If 
I keep the stream at 0db, I'm then able to enjoy the use of the master 
volume through it's entire range.

The inverse is also true. If I have the master volume at 50%, when the 
stream is at -15db or lower, it mutes completely. If I have the master 
volume at 100%, then I can enjoy the full range of volume on the stream.

It seems like the stream volumes and the master volume are being 
"additive" rather than, hrm, what would I call it? Maybe multiplicative 
is the right term. Perhaps. Anyway, I think you get the picture.

This problem only exists on my:

00:10.1 Audio device: nVidia Corporation MCP51 High Definition Audio (rev a2)

and not my:

04:09.0 Multimedia audio controller: Creative Labs SB Live! EMU10k1 (rev 07)

Lennart did provide an explanation, but the explanation seems to not 
match with the "intuitiveness" of the UI.  Maybe his explanation was in
fact confirming a bug and my lack of technical audio education is just
not grokking that.  In any case it seems rather unintuitive that the
volume can be sufficiently loud at any volume >=50% and then all of a
sudden "mute" when the master volume is set to 49% (assuming a 50% 
setting on the "stream" volume) or lower.

Is anyone else seeing this?  I am using pulseaudio 0.9.10 (I have tried 
newer versions, just so that I am more up to date, but they have been 
excursions into regressions from 0.9.10).


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