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Re: next amd64 stretch problem

Hi Gene,

Quoting Gene Heskett (2019-05-06 08:44:18)
> On Monday 06 May 2019 12:49:03 am David Wright wrote:
> > On Sun 05 May 2019 at 21:04:18 (-0400), Gene Heskett wrote:
> > > I have only one, very weak sound, from kmails new mail beep.  Down 
> > > about 20 db from what I'm used to hearing.
> > >
> > > Everything else is muted.  And I can't find the speaker-test 
> > > utility in the repo's to even begin to troubleshoot, so whats the 
> > > next step?
> >
> > $ apt-file find speaker-test
> > alsa-utils: /usr/bin/speaker-test
> > alsa-utils: /usr/share/alsa/speaker-test/sample_map.csv
> > alsa-utils: /usr/share/man/man1/speaker-test.1.gz
> > $
> >
> > Cheers,
> > David.
> Humm, strange.  It is installed, its in my $path and once found, 
> works, without the path in front of the invocation, albeit quietly 
> despite all the "knobs" being turned wide open. Ditto for FF, news 
> stories now have audio.  Not loud enough for old ears, but there.  

Maybe you are turning the knobs of only ALSA, but the audio has been 
turned down _before_ it reaches ALSA - most likely in Pulseaudio but 
maybe even before that...

KDE applications (you mention using kmail) uses the multimedia pipeline 
Phonon.  I am not familiar with using Phonon myself, but I notice that 
it is flexible in how it plugs into the system at the end¹ - linking via 
either VLC or GStreamer (or a dummy going nowhere - but since you 
mention that you do hear _something_ from kmail I guess that one isn't 
in use).

GNOME applications, some simpler GTK applications, and KDE applications 
depending on backend in use (see above) uses the multimedia pipeline 
GStreamer, which is also flexible in how it plugs into the system at the 
end - most commonly either using ALSA directly or going via Pulseaudio.

In recent times, Pulseaudio "hijacks" direct ALSA access by registering 
with ALSA as a virtual audio card, which reroutes through its pipeline 
and then sending out audio through the real audio card.

You can force avoid Pulseaudio by starting an application like this from 
a terminal:

  pasuspender -- speaker-test

If that makes audio louder, then you have identified that you generally 
use Pulseaudio and it is dampening: Look for Pulseaudio tools and turn 
the (many many many!) knobs in there...

Here are some of the Pulseaudio tools you could try:

  pulsemixer (text-based)
  pamix (text-based)
  pavucontrol (graphical)
  paman (graphical - not volume control but other settings)
  pasystray (puts pavucontrol and paman into system tray)

If messing with Pulseaudio doesn't work for kmail then try look into KDE 
settings or try locate other ways to configure Phonon - or perhaps try 
remove the phonon backend packages you don't want: Modern KDE 
applications (those linked with Qt5) can use either of the packages 
phonon4qt5-backend-vlc phonon4qt5-backend-gstreamer 
phonon4qt5-backend-null, and older KDE applications (those linked with 
Qt4) can use either of the packages phonon-backend-vlc 
phonon-backend-gstreamer phonon-backend-null.

Good luck :-)

 - Jonas

 * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
 * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

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