[pulseaudio-discuss] Questions about setting volume over "base volume"

Colin Guthrie gmane at colin.guthr.ie
Tue Apr 10 12:05:39 PDT 2012

[ Friendly reques: @Roman: Please don't top post! ]

'Twas brillig, and Roman Beslik at 10/04/12 19:36 did gyre and gimble:
> On 10.04.12 13:14, cee1 wrote:
>> Why it needs volume over 100%? (And it is done by alsa, right? )
>> I've read http://www.robotplanet.dk/audio/audio_gui_design/, but still
>> have no idea in what situation we need volume over 100% ?

> If digital sound has low amplitude, I guess.

Yeah pretty much.

Basically, we're kinda stuck between a rock and a hard place. If we made
our 100% == alsa 0dB we'd get users complaining that we're not allowing
them access to the full range alsa does: PA sucks!!!

On the other hand, when we do what we do now, we get some users
complaining that their audio sounds terrible over a certain level (i.e.
> base volume). PA sucks!!!

The base volume is meant to give a nice way to show the 0dB point.
However, as time has gone one, we also suggest that volume control UIs
go up to +11dB (by our mapping) such as to provide a "standard" amount
of digital amplification. When we do this, it can lead to a certain
amount of confusion in the case where alsa 0dB != our 0dB!

So as I've stated in the past, I'd be in favour of introducing a config
option that can turn on/off base volumes (probably separate options for
sinks and sources). Users are then given more power over how things work
on their system. Longer term, we may be able to make this a
per-sink/per-source option rather than a global "all sinks" option.



Colin Guthrie

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