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

Postby nhusby » Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:15 am

I like to occasionally adjust my volume while in a full-screen application without exiting the application, opening settings, and dragging the sound slider up to 125%. Until there is a solution, Mint is unusable for any multimedia on a laptop. Forget Netflix if you care what the characters are talking about. Heaven forbid I am able to hear speech in a movie but some loud noise that happens for 1/10th of a second gets clipped.

So, if anyone has a solution to this, PLEASE POST IT!

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

Postby Flemur » Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:30 pm

Just a wild idea:
1 - Run "alsamixer" in a terminal (or better yet, install and run "qasmixer")
2 - Watch the sliders in alsamixer/qasmixer while you adjust the "output volume" using the GUI ssshown in the pic.
This will tell you the alsa name of the control (on mine "PCM" goes to > 100% ... +7.5db, but I leave it at 0db).
If nothing changes in alsa and it's changing pulseaudio volume, I'm not sure what to do...perhaps replace the "amixer" stuff below with some pulseaudio function.

3 - Hook these volume down/up functions to a key (I don't have Mate, so dunno how to do that w/mate; with fluxbox it's trivially easy):

Code: Select all

amixer sset PCM 1-  # volume down
amixer sset PCM 1+ # volume up.

Change "PCM" to whatever was shown being changed in #2, above.

Heaven forbid I am able to hear speech in a movie but some loud noise that happens for 1/10th of a second gets clipped.

I agree that lots of new movies have terrible soundtracks, but I think that's a different issue (compressor).
Mint 18.2 Xfce/fluxbox/pulse-less - Xubuntu 16.10/fluxbox/pulse-less
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?

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