Full range of volume from keyboard controls (Mint 14/MATE)

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Full range of volume from keyboard controls (Mint 14/MATE)

Postby hideo on Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:24 pm

When I use the volume controls from my keypad I can go from 0-100%, and this works fine. But the audio at 100% is still quiet and I'd like to use the 'extra' range that I can get from Volume Icon on Panel > Right Click > Sound Preferences > Output volume slider. How can I do this?

See the image in case I'm not being clear. With the volume at max on the small slider, the sound preferences slider is set at 100%, but I can use the mouse to push it up to 150%. I'd like to get that extra range available from the volume keys on my keypad.


Any suggestions appreciated.

FYI: Win 7 on the same laptop is much louder at 100%, so I guess the win 7 driver is pushing the volume up all the way past the 100% mark, so I guess it should be safe to do that on Linux as well.

My system config:
Using the MATE desktop environment

$ cat /etc/lsb-release

$ uname -a
Linux tpe420 3.5.0-17-generic #28-Ubuntu SMP Tue Oct 9 19:31:23 UTC 2012 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

Thinkpad E420
Processor : 4x Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2410M CPU @ 2.30GHz
Audio Adapter : HDA-Intel - HDA Intel PCH
Audio Adapter : ThinkPad EC - ThinkPad Console Audio Control
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Re: Full range of volume from keyboard controls (Mint 14/MAT

Postby Coullion on Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:53 pm

I sure would like a solution to this as well. Thanks
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Re: Full range of volume from keyboard controls (Mint 14/MAT

Postby drewdlekins on Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:40 am

I do not have a solution to the problem, but I can offer an explanation. In Windows, the audio system looks at the full power available from the sound hardware and scales it from full power backwards, assigning a percentage from 0-100% to the output.

PulseAudio works differently. The 0-100% scale used in the Volume panel doesn't refer to maximum power, but instead to what's known in audio parlance as "unity gain". In other words, 100% on the slider in the photograph above represents the pure audio signal, with no additional boost and no scaling back. You can of course increase the output beyond unity gain, as you can on professional audio equipment, however a hotter signal is more susceptible to clipping when routed through another piece of equipment, such as external speakers or recording equipment. I'm not sure how to check in Cinnamon, but in MATE, if you float your cursor over the speaker icon in notifications, you'll see both a percentage and a dB measurement. At 100%, you see 0dB, which is another way of saying unity gain.

From an audio-quality standpoint, this is better than just dumping the full power of the card out at 100%, leaving the user to guess where "unity" is on the percentage scale, especially if you work with audio regularly. The difference between Windows and Linux full audio output isn't always as stark as the audio hardware itself, and it's amplification capabilities, play a part.
~ Drewdlekins ~

Dell Inspiron 1525 - C2D T7300, 3Gb - Mint 16 RC Cinnamon x86
Acer V3 - i5 3210M, 8Gb - Mint 15 XFCE x64
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