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How do you maximize sound volume in Gnome Shell under Ubuntu 11.10?

I have a Macbook, and my sound and volume keys generally work, but even if I use the volume keys to set volume to 100%, the sound is very low. However, if I open the Sound dialog, the "Output Volume" slider goes up to 150%, which allows me to comfortably hear sound. Unfortunately, if I use the volume keys thereafter, it practically mutes the sound again, and doesn't let me increase the volume to 150% without first opening the Sound Settings dialog. I know how to use System Settings to increase volume beyond 100%. What I want is for 100% to actually be the true 100% so when I use the volume key to increase volume, it doesn't decrease volume. e.g. If I set it to 150%, and then press the "increase volume" key, the volume goes down to 100%.

I've found plenty of solutions for getting sound working in general, but nothing for this specific case where 100% volume does not actually represent full volume. I'm not sure how else to describe this, or what specifically I should be searching for to resolve it on my own.

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2 Answers 2

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I think the problem the OP is having is that even though he sets the audio to max, every time he uses the hardware volume keys it lowers the volume again.

One possible thing to check is whether it's the PCM or Master volume being altered. Install gnome-alsa-mixer to check.

Screenshot: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1140666/screenshots-do-not-remove/Gnome-alsa-mixer-Screenshot%20at%202012-03-12%2004%3A23%3A40.png

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  • Actually, it might be a bug related to your specific sound system. I had a similar issue in 11.10 with sound which was fixed in 12.04. I recommend you to report a bug.
    – Hanynowsky
    Mar 12, 2012 at 8:56
  • Unfortunately, alsa mixer shows everything at 100% regardless of whether or not Sound Settings shows volume at 100% or 150%.
    – Cerin
    Mar 12, 2012 at 15:06
  • My mic volume likes to increase even when I set it lower
    – bkerensa
    Mar 17, 2012 at 0:40
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I believe maximising your volume could be achieved in the following steps:

  1. Go to System Settings through the User Indicator on Top Far Right.

  2. Select Sound in System Settings

  3. At the top of the Sound Diaglog toggle your volume past the 100% mark to a setting that meets your needs.

I have attached the following screenshot to assist you: !System Settings/Soundhttp://i.imgur.com/Yoweg.png

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  • This isn't the issue. I know how to use System Settings to increase volume beyond 100%. What I want is for 100% to actually be the true 100% so when I use the volume key to increase volume, it doesn't decrease volume. e.g. If I set it to 150%, and then press the "increase volume" key, the volume goes down to 100%.
    – Cerin
    Mar 12, 2012 at 7:30

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