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Thread: OS=Linux Lite-1.0.4 - Surround sound problems.

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    OS=Linux Lite-1.0.4 - Surround sound problems.

    Greetings forum.

    As the title alludes to, I am using Linux Lite 1.0.4 and I am having problems getting the sound to work properly.

    My sound card is a PCI - "Creative Labs, Sound Blaster Live 5.1" surround sound card, and the problem is, I cannot get sound from anything other than the front speakers.

    I have tried adjusting the options in the sound preferences - Menu> Multimedia> Audio Mixer (and) PulseAudio Volume Control and I have also opened the Terminal and, using the alsamixer command, I have confirmed the settings for the sound card.
    Still, no sound in the rear speakers.

    At this point, I am all out of ideas - most likely due to my limited skill set - so if anyone has any suggestions, I am humbly open to suggestions.

    Thank you in advance.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Sydney, Australia

    Re: OS=Linux Lite-1.0.4 - Surround sound problems.

    Moved to "Other OS/Distro Talk".
    “Progress is made by lazy men looking for easier ways to do things”
    — Robert A. Heinlein

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Re: OS=Linux Lite-1.0.4 - Surround sound problems.

    I finally found a solution to this issue.
    It seems that getting full, and true, 5.1 surround sound working on Linux is not as easy as you might imagine. See here.

    In an attempt to help anyone reading this post with the same problem, I am posting the solution that I used.

    It worked well for me and it is my hope that it will help anyone else with the same problem.

    Though the information listed on halfgaar's site (listed above), is articulate and (I can only assume) technically accurate, it does require a certain level of knowledge and/or familiarity with computer sound systems, ie., sound cards, sound applications, etc., that I do not have. Parts of his article did help however, but for the most part, -at least in my case- it created more confusion than anything else.

    I don't know about you, but I don't have much knowledge in the area of the inner-workings of multimedia (I wish I did) so, I had to look for a solution that was easier to understand, (at least for me).

    This is what I came up with:

    • First, open a Terminal and enter the command
    • Press F6 and make sure your soundcard is selected as the default device. Next, open your music player and start a song.
      Across the bottom of the alsamixer display, you should have a lot of channels. While the music is playing, scroll along the bottom (using the right/left arrow keys) and make sure none of the channels show 'MM'. If any of them do, toggle them to '00' using the 'M' key. You may have to scroll across the entire display to the right to ensure you have checked every single channel.

    If you are still not getting full surround sound from your speakers, try this:

    • Open a Terminal, if it is not already open, and enter:
      sudo gedit /etc/pulse/daemon.conf
      obviously, this assumes that you have gedit installed.

    Near the bottom of the file, you should find a line which looks something like this:
    ;default-sample-channels = 2

    The semi-colon is a comment, so this line isn’t actually doing anything unless you remove the proceeding ;. It would be a good idea to leave this line alone and add a new line at the bottom of that section. Like this:
    default-sample-channels = 6

    If you’re using a 5.1 system, the number of channels will be 6. If 7.1 then you will want to change the number to 8.

    • Save and close the file.
    • Reboot so that your changes will take effect. After you return from the reboot, you will need to go into your "Sound Preferences" menu and select the Hardware tab. This can be accomplished in a couple of ways.

    1. Right click on the sound (speaker) icon in your control panel at the bottom of your screen and select preferences or,
    2. Goto, System > Preference > Sounds from the main menu and click on the Up/Down arrows to select your hardware profile.

    You can try several of the options displayed If you aren't sure about your particular configuration.

    Depending on your distribution, there should be a drop down box next to "Profile" which says “Test Speakers”. Because the Linux distribution that I use didn't have these options, I installed GNOME ALSA Mixer, an application that provided similar options. Still, it didn't have the option to "Test Speakers" but I didn't need to test my speakers because after installing GAM and making the appropriate settings, I now had 5.1 surround sound.
    However, if you do not have the option in your profile to Test Speakers you can use this link to conduct a speaker test.

    If these instructions appear to be disjointed, or cause more questions than answers, I apologize.
    This is the first post of this kind for me, and I am still learning myself.

    If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to PM me.

    I wish to give credit where credit is due.
    I have tried to paraphrase these instructions to the best of my ability however, most everything in this post came from one or more of the following sources:

    I sincerely hope that this will prove to be helpful to someone else that might be struggling with this problem.



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