[pulseaudio-discuss] Hpw to start the pa server

Gene Heskett gene.heskett at verizon.net
Thu Apr 15 19:49:07 PDT 2010

On Thursday 15 April 2010, Colin Guthrie wrote:
>'Twas brillig, and Gene Heskett at 15/04/10 14:44 did gyre and gimble:
>> Aha!  I found it!  I configured kmix to show me every channel, which
>> makes it about 2x my 1680 screen width, and pulled its window to about
>> 1/2 screen height so I could read all the labels, and found the last
>> control on the right was muted.  It is called "Audigy Analog/Digital
>> Output Jack" I knew that turning on the IEC-958 muted it, and that is
>> muted as it should be.
>> Frankly, I am inclined to say its a bug, when selecting the analog stereo
>> output in pavucontrol, that it should be automatically un-muted.
>Yup a bug indeed. It seems like a case of another bizarrely named
>driver-specific control that generally mucks things up for us!
>In order to test the fix, can you try adding the following lines to then
>end of
>[Element Audigy Analog/Digital Output Jack]
>switch = off
Done, but haven't restarted PA yet.  But a "pulseaudio -k" as gene, followed 
by a "pulseaudio &", then a pacmd ls, which got me the whole maryann again.

However, when I checked with kmix, it was muted again, so that isn't exactly 
the magic twanger we were looking for.  So I'm going to try switch = on for 

Yup, on was what we wanted, it works again now. ;-)

>Then restart PA. That should tell it to turn that switch off and thus
>prevent the problem.
>> And it doesn't have near the gain it did have.  Listening to cnn, I have
>> everything wide open and its just a comfortable level. (to these 75 year
>> old ears that is)
>> It certainly would not wake anybody outside this room.  There
>> is also a background hum that comes and goes, somewhat like the 59.94hz
>> vs 60 hz beat from the old NTSC broadcast facility, like something is
>> wide open.
>PA will open the sound device when something wants to play and then it
>will shut it down again after about 2s of inactivity. This background
>hum is likely a product of having the device open.

No, it was a product of having the mic gain near full up, with the cable from 
the audio output of my idling pcHDTV-3000 digital tv card.  PEBKAC. ;-)

>> That was the microphone circuit, which has nothing plugged in but a cable
>> about 6" long that jumps the pcHDTV-3000 tv cards output back into the
>> Audigy2.  And I just got the pling from kmail's new mail pinger.
>> It also sounds as if there is a lot of bass boost that wasn't there
>> before, and despite its running at what pavucontrol says is just an
>> average level, I am hearing some digital flat topping.  I'll probably be
>> able to find that eventually.

As an elderly broadcast engineer whose ears, beat up as they are, are far 
more sensitive to distortions of this nature than any Joe or Jane 
Lunchbucket.  Hearing test wise at the audiologists, they suck, but flat 
topping, or zero-crossing sorts of distortions are yet a very unpleasant, 
lifts me right out of my chair experience.  I don't care if its tv or radio, 
the overblown (the program director thinks he knows how to make it "louder") 
sounds will have a commission truck sitting in the transmitter driveway 
sooner rather than later.  Smooth, low distortion audio that doesn't wear out 
the listeners ears, leading to his twisting the dial cuz his ears are 'worn 
out', is the on air sound I've always sought, and usually got.  Lord help the 
engineer who is stuck with an Orban Optimod where the program director or 
even a DJ can get to it, it has all those pretty knobs to turn.  Hide it, 
lock it up and plaster over the door, whatever.

>There are probably various things that ultimately need to be exposed via
>PA's mixer systems to get this fully supported. This is likely something
>for another day/thread tho' :)

One of the sites I visited last night had its own vu meter bar of sorts.  And 
the level bar stayed in the 95-100% range, and of course it sounded like pure 
excrement.  About 200 pounds of it, freeze dried, and put into a running 
cement mixer.  Hardly understandable.

>> So, we have a case closed I believe, and a bug that ought to be fixed.
>Indeed. If you could let me know if the above mixer-path fix solves the
>problem fully for you, that would be great

See above, switch = on works.

>(ideally, you'd stop PA, run:
> amixer -c0 set "Audigy Analog/Digital Output Jack" on

I didn't do this.

>then start PA and run:
> amixer -c0 get "Audigy Analog/Digital Output Jack"
Now this is 'interesting':
[gene at coyote cur]$ amixer -c0 get "Audigy Analog/Digital Output Jack"
Simple mixer control 'Audigy Analog/Digital Output Jack',0
  Capabilities: pswitch pswitch-joined
  Playback channels: Mono
  Mono: Playback [on]

But what I'm hearing is definitely stereo when I
paplay /usr/share/sounds/ia_ora-startup.wav

And that plays with much higher fidelity than anything I've listened to on 
the net.

>No worries :) Glad you can now enjoy the sound on Mandriva :D

And I repeat myself, thanks Colin.

Cheers, Gene
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
"The greatest warriors are the ones who fight for peace."
-- Holly Near

More information about the pulseaudio-discuss mailing list