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Thread: 12.04 - poor sound quality

  1. #1
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    Xubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

    12.04 - poor sound quality

    I have been using Ubuntu for some years now and have had very little trouble. Yesterday I upgraded to 12.04 without any problems.

    Now the sound output is poor - the volume seems to be louder than before but the quality is poor. Music sounds distorted and scratchy. This happens with VLC, Gnome Media Player and with streamed music through Firefox.I get the same problem when using both the speakers and headphone outputs.

    This also happens another computer - also upgraded yesterday. It also happens with both Xubuntu and Ubuntu.

    Before upgrading I was getting very good quality music.

    Any suggestions??

    TIA

    Alan
    HP-200-5220a - Pentium Dual Core - 3GHz
    Xubuntu 13.10, Kubuntu 13.10

    Acer 5750Z - Intel Dual Core - 2.1GHz

    Xubuntu 13.10; Kali Linux; Puppy Linux

  2. #2
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    Re: 12.04 - poor sound quality

    I'm getting crappy quality out of RhythmBox but that's because the Equalizer plugin I had installed in 11.10 no longer works on 12.04 so now I need to find a new player since music ain't worth listening to like this.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    659
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    Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

    Re: 12.04 - poor sound quality

    I would first test audio from a LiveCD/USB of 12.04 if you're able to. (You can also boot directly from the ISO file with grub2. I can post a link if you are comfortable editing config files.) That way we know if it's an issue with 12.04, or maybe something is left over from before the upgrade that isn't normal on a fresh install.

    Past that, or to start if not doing that... **Just typed two paragraphs and remembered this:**

    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/DebuggingSoundProblems

    There was a lot of updates especially in the kernel for 12.04 to enable features on a lot of Intel HDA spec based sound cards (My realtek card in my laptop, now lets me adjust the subwoofer without hacks for example) and it's quite possible some quirks need to be worked out. If you do everything on that page, and wind up having to file a bug report, the sound guys especially Dave Hessington (sp) is really on top of things. Just follow up on the bug in case he asks for more info like an alsainfo report or anything.

  4. #4
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    Xubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

    Re: 12.04 - poor sound quality

    Having another look at the problem. I put pen to paper too quickly!!!

    It seems to be only VLC that is giving trouble. Audacious plays music in good quality. Streaming through Firefox is good too. This would suggest that 12.04 is OK basically.

    I will follow your suggestions. Thanks

    Alan
    HP-200-5220a - Pentium Dual Core - 3GHz
    Xubuntu 13.10, Kubuntu 13.10

    Acer 5750Z - Intel Dual Core - 2.1GHz

    Xubuntu 13.10; Kali Linux; Puppy Linux

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

    Re: 12.04 - poor sound quality

    It is almost guaranteed to be just a VLC probably itself then, especiall since VLC can boost sound to 200-400% normal level which can degrade the quality. Have you checked the setting and any equalizers in VLC itself?

    While it won't tell you the actual problem, if you don't have a lot of custom settings in VLC you could just delete the contents of $HOME/.config/vlc as you did jump to version 2.0 and it could be a simple incompatibility with a 1.x setting. That may very well fix it and get you on your way a save for head scratching for real issues later.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Lubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: 12.04 - poor sound quality

    Moved to the multimedia forum.
    About problems due to upgrading
    Bringing old hardware back to life.
    Please visit Quick Links -> Unanswered Posts

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Re: 12.04 - poor sound quality

    I deleted the files as suggested with no effect.

    I had always run VLC with the audio volume set at 200% and controlled it through the system. I reduced the VLC volume setting to 100% and got a perfect result. As I said the output was much louder than before 12.04 so it must have reached a level where distortion was being produced.

    All is OK now. Thank you for your replies and suggestions.

    Alan
    HP-200-5220a - Pentium Dual Core - 3GHz
    Xubuntu 13.10, Kubuntu 13.10

    Acer 5750Z - Intel Dual Core - 2.1GHz

    Xubuntu 13.10; Kali Linux; Puppy Linux

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Canada
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    Ubuntu Studio 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Re: 12.04 - poor sound quality

    Perhaps the instructions at http://dotcadot.ca/articles/bad-soun...buntu-1204-x64 will help? I don't know if it's related, but if you're using something related to Wine like games or skype, there is a config change that improves it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    New York
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    Kubuntu Development Release

    Re: 12.04 - poor sound quality

    Just in case someone comes across this again, here is the fix that solved the problem in vlc for me. It seemed vlc was the only thing affected in ubuntu, as the flash videos and other audio and video programs were unaffected by the scratchy and just poor sound. The nice thing about this is that once I did the fix I did not even need to reboot, vlc was fixed the next time I opened it.

    1. Open a terminal and copy and paste this:
    Code:
    sudo gedit /etc/pulse/default.pa
    2. You will enter your root password and gedit will open with the pulse audio file. IF you don't have gedit, change the name to another text editor such as mousepad or leafpad.

    3. Look for the following:
    Code:
    load-module module-udev-detect
    add the following to the end:
    Code:
    tsched=0
    The end result should look like so:
    Code:
    load-module module-udev-detect tsched=0
    4, Once done, save the file and start up vlc. The audio should be good.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: 12.04 - poor sound quality

    Thanks billyevil,
    Same problem here with several PCs. VLC sound problem but MoviePlayer was fine.
    Edit to /etc/pulse/default.pa worked for me.
    I'll be glad when pulseaudio gets displaced by something better as the default.
    Gigabyte GA-MA790GPT-UD3H - AMD Phenom II x3 720 - 8 GB RAM - 2009 - My first PC from parts!

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