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I am a new Ubuntu user, having only just installed Ubuntu 12.10 on a few PCs and using it for basic stuff (web/mail, music, video, etc). I love both the idea of open-source and the actual system itself, and despite some onboarding problems, I see myself using it more regularly.

I do have the following problem: Ubuntu is giving me only 2 channels of sound on my 5.1 system. When I try to change the sound settings (eg. click on Sound Settings from either the control center or the sound icon), the window briefly pops up, then disappears. Sometimes this will land me a bug report prompt, sometimes it won't.

I thought about whether or not I should make a post here or just make a bug report; I ran a bunch of searches for similar issues, but they don't really match mine. Specifically, I do have working sound (albeit stereo) and music applications and the like appear to function perfectly. I can also access alsamixer without problems, but changing volume settings there, for instance, does nothing.

Here's my output from aplay -l:

**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 3: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 7: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 8: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 9: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: CA0106 [CA0106], device 0: ca0106 [CA0106]
  Subdevices: 0/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: CA0106 [CA0106], device 1: ca0106 [CA0106]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: CA0106 [CA0106], device 2: ca0106 [CA0106]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: CA0106 [CA0106], device 3: ca0106 [CA0106]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

As you can see, it shows the HDA NVIDIA card as Card 0. I figured that could be part of the crashing problem, but it wouldn't explain why I do have stereo sound.

I hope someone can help me out. If I need to post any more information, please let me know. Thanks in advance!

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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I found a solution!

First, install pavucontrol (PulseAudio Volume Control):

sudo apt-get install pavucontrol

Run it:

pavucontrol &

Then go to the Configuration tab. There you can set the sound cards and their profiles.

I set the HDA controller from NVIDIA (on my graphics card) to Off and my Soundblaster to Analog Surround Output 5.1. Going back to the Output Devices tab, I could then set the balance. What's more, going into the volume controls in the gnome-control-center now worked as well. No more crashes, and all audio is working correctly.

I hope this helps others who've had the same problem.

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