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New 11.10 x86 desktop installation

My new install is mute, troubleshooting provides no help but several of these messages appear in the syslog:

Nov 21 10:10:33 WRKSTAx86 pulseaudio[1840]: [alsa-sink] alsa-sink.c: ALSA woke us up to write new data to the device, but there was actually nothing to write!
Nov 21 10:10:33 WRKSTAx86 pulseaudio[1840]: [alsa-sink] alsa-sink.c: Most likely this is a bug in the ALSA driver 'snd_emu10k1'. Please report this issue to the ALSA developers.

Audio worked with 10.4, 10.10. and 11.04 on this system

Is this the show stopper? How do you report a bug to the ALSA developers?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

I finally figured out what to do by reading a five year old post on

Apparently there is a problem with system/sound settings which should do this.

I tried to use gnome-alsamixer, it installed but would not launch. So back to the terminal....

  • Update gnome-alsamixer has been fixed and may be an alternative to this approach.

First, open a terminal and type in alsamixer

This screen will open (you may have to install it, the prompt will tell you how)

alsamixer screen 1

Press F6 to select the soundcard...

alsamixer screen 2

And pick the one you use.... &

alsamixer screen 3

This is now the alsa mixer panel for your card

alsamixer screen 3

But what is needed is hidden on the FAR side, tab-over like this

alsamixer screen 3

and again

alsamixer screen 3

and still again

alsamixer screen 3

Then tab until you find the right one (trial & error) for me it was Audigy A

[The Item listed at the upper left is helpful]

alsamixer screen 3

Hitting the M key (M for mute?) toggles on the sound

MM (muted) <-"m"-> 00 (unmuted)

You should hear the changes immediately.

Good luck!

UPDATE: QasMixer is an advanced ALSA mixer, better for this sort of thing.

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The other "sound cards" are for 0 - the HDMI output for the Radeon video card; 2 - the webcam which has a built in microphone; and 3 - a USB microphone – keepitsimpleengineer Mar 19 '12 at 16:34
None of your embedded images are showing due to a 404 error. Would you mind if you could re-upload them to another server so they are visible again? – SimonT Jul 9 '14 at 18:15

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