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I have two sound cards attached to my PC - an internal Soundblaster and an external DAC. Unfortunately, managing what to output where is a real pain. Just to give an example:

When I enter the Phonon interface and set the DAC as the preferred device for ALL categories and then start Dragon Player, a message pops up saying "Reverting to Soundblaster because it has higher priority" (even though it obviously does not).

Also, it's really inflexible. The KDE mixer even has an option to adjust volume for individual programs using sound devices. I'd like to have similar functionality to switch, e.g. Amarok's output to card A and chromium's to card B.

Are there any tools which make this possible in Kubuntu?

If all else fails - is the Gnome way of handling this problem more flexible and configurable?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

You can do this with pavucontrol Install pavucontrol. It is a GTK application, but don't worry, it works just fine in KDE. In combination with paman Install paman, it can be a very versatile controller for Pulseaudio.

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I use it for choosing where to record/play through, etc.

Unfortunately, at this time I only have a single card to test on (and no HDMI devices), so a setup similar to yours, I can't test.

You can also try veromix Install veromix, which can be used to move streams between devices, add effects, and more.

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Technically, veromix looks like it is what I'm looking for, but the package is completely broken in Kubuntu because it doesn't pull in all the required libraries during installation. I'll try hunting around the bug trackers to fix that... – us2012 Sep 2 '13 at 0:53
~@us2012 what version are you on? I'm on 13.10 (not released yet) so I might get a better experience. P.S. don't try to use the plasmoid because it doesn't work. Just run veromix from klauncher. – RolandiXor Sep 2 '13 at 1:56
thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!! – trusktr Sep 13 '14 at 4:12

With Gnome, you can install PulseAudio Manager which allows you to set priorities on sources and sinks.

I am pretty sure that KDE also uses pulse audio so why not give it a try? The interface is in GTK but you should still be able to run it.

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Not sure of your version, but in the current KMix you can right click the Application stream volume, go to move, then assign it to a different card. Just had to do this for my bluetooth headset

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