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Alsa Audio exit selection [Solved, sort of]
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mv
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 7:09 am    Post subject: Alsa Audio exit selection [Solved, sort of] Reply with quote

I have a new machine and do not get any audio signal on the main speakers.
However, the sound is output on the headspeaker.
(To my surprise it is only important what is connected, not where it is
connected, i.e. I have the same phenomenon if I switch the connections of
the speaker and headspeaker.)

On Ubuntu, I can switch the both channels separately, and both work as expected,
Actually, I can even control the volume on both exits independently on Ubuntu.
However, AFAIK Ubuntu uses pulseaudio.

With alsamixer, there are Master, Headphone, Speaker, and many more,
but the "speaker" seems to have no effect (no matter whether I attempt to
mute/unmute it or change the volume).

How do I make the "normal" exit switch non-silent with alsa?

Some data: I use alsa-{lib,utils}-1.1.8 with the default /etc/modprobe.d/alsa.conf
The output of lspvi -v for the Audio device is:

00:1f.3 Audio device: Intel Corporation Device a348 (rev 10)
Subsystem: ASUSTeK Computer Inc. Device 86ca
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 32, IRQ 124
Memory at a1130000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
Memory at a1000000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1M]
Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 3
Capabilities: [80] Vendor Specific Information: Len=14 <?>
Capabilities: [60] MSI: Enable+ Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit+
Kernel driver in use: snd_hda_intel
Kernel modules: snd_hda_intel

Except for the IRQ number, the output on Ubuntu is the same.

A remarkable difference in the lspci output is that Ubuntu has loaded some kenel module
for the "Communication Controler". device. I have no idea whether this device might be
related to the problem.


Last edited by mv on Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:03 am; edited 2 times in total
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bunder
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The communication controller is probably for Intel ME / AMT / whatever they want to call it...

That said, master and PCM should be all you need to make the rear audio work... if you have an auto-mute toggle in alsamixer, try turning it off.

If that doesn't work, maybe some module settings need tweaking, but I haven't seen "pin" problems in a long while.

From what I can tell on the internet, 8086:a348 is a Cannon Lake PCH cAVS device.
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mv
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply.

I just edited the text when you were posting:
The switches shown by alsamixer are Master, Headphone, Speaker, PCM, and others.

PCM is fixed at 100% and cannot be moved.
Master and Headphone work as expected.
Speaker has no effect. It can be muted and unmuted and volume changed, but nothing gives any sound.

A disappointing thing I observed is that exchanging the exi ("speaker cable in the headphone exit")
did not help, either. Also under Ubuntu, it still is recognized as a speaker (and not headphone).

The kernel is configured now such that it contains only the Realtek HD-audio codec (SND_HDA_CODEC_REALTEK).
(But I had also tried with all codecs enabled, and it made no difference.)
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bunder
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strange that PCM is stuck... Which kernel version are you running? You might want to try 4.20.x if you're using something like 4.14 at the moment. Sadly I'm out of ideas, unless you wanted to look through ubuntu's kernel source and see if they apply any patches that aren't in mainline.
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mv
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe the following kernel messages are a problem:
dmesg wrote:
snd_hda_codec_realtek hdaudioC0D0: autoconfig for ALC887-VD: line_outs=1 (0x14/0x0/0x0/0x0/0x0) type:line
snd_hda_codec_realtek hdaudioC0D0: speaker_outs=1 (0x1a/0x0/0x0/0x0/0x0)
snd_hda_codec_realtek hdaudioC0D0: hp_outs=1 (0x1b/0x0/0x0/0x0/0x0)
snd_hda_codec_realtek hdaudioC0D0: mono: mono_out=0x0
snd_hda_codec_realtek hdaudioC0D0: inputs:
snd_hda_codec_realtek hdaudioC0D0: Rear Mic=0x18
snd_hda_codec_realtek hdaudioC0D0: Front Mic=0x19
snd_hda_codec_realtek hdaudioC0D0: Line=0x15
snd_hda_codec_generic hdaudioC0D2: autoconfig for Generic: line_outs=0 (0x0/0x0/0x0/0x0/0x0) type:line
snd_hda_codec_generic hdaudioC0D2: speaker_outs=0 (0x0/0x0/0x0/0x0/0x0)
snd_hda_codec_generic hdaudioC0D2: hp_outs=0 (0x0/0x0/0x0/0x0/0x0)
snd_hda_codec_generic hdaudioC0D2: mono: mono_out=0x0
snd_hda_codec_generic hdaudioC0D2: dig-out=0x3/0x0
snd_hda_codec_generic hdaudioC0D2: inputs:

speaker_outs=0 does not sound right in the generic codec...
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually amixer output tells more than alsamixer. Run amixer -h to see what it can do for you.
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mv
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bunder wrote:
Strange that PCM is stuck...

With amixer I see:
Code:
$ amixer set PCM,0 0
amixer: Invalid command!
$ amixer set PCM,0 255
Simple mixer control 'PCM',0
  Capabilities: pvolume
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Playback 0 - 255
  Mono:
  Front Left: Playback 255 [100%]
  Front Right: Playback 255 [100%]

So 255 seems to be the only valid value.

(Using amixer set Spekaer,0 mute/unmute/0/64 had the same effect as in alsamixer: The value changes, but no sound)
Quote:
Which kernel version are you running?

4.20.7

I will now try to examine the Ubuntu output more closely.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Ubuntu, there do not appear any messages for the "generic" codec, but just the same messages for the realtek codec.
This is actually a bit strange, since it is not possible during kernel configuration to deselect the generic code when the realtek codec is selected.

The other remarkable thing is that under ubuntu the "default" value shown by alsamixer for "Speaker" is 0 and muted.
(While on gentoo it claims to be unmuted and 100% [I am not loading the previous settings on system start]).

I also tried the /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf file from ubuntu (which has many options set which I did not understand), but it did not help under gentoo eiher.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe "speaker" is the beeper.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is not kernel-related:

I booted the gentoo system with the ubuntu kernel (and ubuntu initrd and ubuntu modules) and obtained the same (broken) result.

Two other observations:
1. Under Ubuntu (the full system) I could modify PCM.
2. Under Ubuntu the "Speaker" in alsamixer keeps showing 0 and muted, although I can (successfully) play a test sound through the speakers (using pulseaudio, of course).
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bunder wrote:
I believe "speaker" is the beeper.

My (gentoo) kernel has only a pcsp module which shows up as a separate sound card.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mv wrote:
bunder wrote:
I believe "speaker" is the beeper.

My (gentoo) kernel has only a pcsp module which shows up as a separate sound card.

There are also "Front", "Line", "Surround", "Center", "Line" switches which behave like "Speaker": They can be moved and muted/unmuted without any effect.

alsamixer also shows an "Auto-Mute M" with values "disabled" "Speaker only" and "Line out + Speaker," and I can switch between 2/4/6 channels, but no combination changes anything.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Installing pulseaudio alone didn't help; and calling pavuctrl-qt randomly crashes system when it tries to connect pulseaudio.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It turned out to be a different sort of problem than I expected:

What I didn't tell is that with the change of the machine I also had to change the monitor cable to HDMI.

I didn't tell this because I had no idea that HDMI is able to transfer sound as it seems now:
The speakers of my monitor by default switch to that sound when using HDMI.

So I could solve the problem by just changing the default settings of my monitor:
Then the sound cable works.

The more elegant solution would of course be to send the sound over HDMI
which is apparently what Ubuntu does (using pulseaudio) (which is what was causing my confusion).

I have no idea how Ubuntu achieves that.
At least alsamixer doesn't appear to have any switch for HDMI.

Maybe HDMI sound output is not possible without pulseaudio?
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mv,

PulseAudio cannot do anything without using ALSA (or OSS4), I use HDMI output occasionally to send sound to my TV set. No PulseAudio here.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply. Looking at the kernel, it seems that I will need
Code:
CONFIG_SND_HDA_CODEC_HDMI
I have to stop experimenting with this machine, because the harddisk got broken, and it will take some weeks until I can return it to the shop.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:01 am    Post subject: How to use HDMI sound w/ alsa and alsamixer? Reply with quote

I have split the next posting to a separate thread.
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