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I've attached a screenshot of pavucontrol. Is there a way to have the system sounds play in stereo and not mono? It seems when it's set to mono, it only plays the sound out of my left speaker. Music apps play just find in stereo, and I'm able to adjust the L/R channels independently. I'm on Ubuntu 12.10, 3.5.0-23-generic. Thanks for any help!

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While I'm not sure of the exact rationale for this decision to play the sounds as mono, the reason why they are mono is because the system is supposed to play the sounds on either side of the system depending on where your mouse is positioned. It doesn't always work perfectly, but that is the intended behaviour.

Unfortunately this seems to be hard-coded, so that you cannot change this behaviour without editing the source code to Gnome itself.

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    Wow thanks for that answer, I hadn't realized it was dependent on the mouse position. I have a dual screen setup so my mouse was always on the left screen when I tried playing the sounds, so I thought it only played through the left speaker and there was a bug with my system. I just tested it by moving my mouse to the other side and I heard the right side, thanks!
    – spmode
    Feb 12, 2013 at 16:48
  • @spmode you're welcome :)! Glad I could help!
    – RolandiXor
    Feb 12, 2013 at 20:15

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