I have a old HP Pavilion dv6645eo with the HP Quicklaunch buttons. When I use the volume buttons, the only sound in the upper echelons of the 'sound bar'.

I've been looking long after why it happens. But by opening alsamixer in the terminal, I found out why.

The volume scale covers BOTH headphones and master on the same scale! When headphones are at max, then it adjust volume on the master - that's why there is only sound on the top steps.

How do I get the voice buttons to ONLY adjust the master?

enter image description here


Ok, now things changed and ALSA uses pulseaudio as both backend/frontend with a pulseaudio-alsa plugin. This is why when you change the volume in PulseAudio it also changes ALSA. To modify this behavior you need to edit the default.pa configuration and re-add the alsa hooks... is not so nasty but is hacky:

Edit the /usr/share/alsa/alsa.conf.d/pulse.conf file and comment out all lines, so it looks like this:

# PulseAudio alsa plugin configuration file to set the pulseaudio plugin as
# default output for applications using alsa when pulseaudio is running.
#hook_func.pulse_load_if_running {
#       lib "libasound_module_conf_pulse.so"
#       func "conf_pulse_hook_load_if_running"
#@hooks [
#       {
#               func pulse_load_if_running
#               files [
#                       "/usr/share/alsa/pulse-alsa.conf"
#               ]
#               errors false
#       }

Restart alsa:

sudo /etc/init.d/alsa-utils restart

Now when you open the alsamixer it should be like this:

enter image description here

I got some ideas from the ArchWiki.

  • Problem is, I want to only adjust the volume with the Notebooks Quick Launch buttons. The Alsamixer and Pulseaudio follow the same audio volume level. If I turn the volume down via the Quick Launch buttons (as adjusting with pulse), the volume also go down in the Alsamixer. – user50519 Jan 17 '14 at 10:48
  • @user50519 weird, up until now ALSA and pulse volumes were separated, I just tested in Debian and indeed it happens like that. – Braiam Jan 17 '14 at 15:11

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