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Re: sound problem with g4 pb and selfmade 2.6.12

>  hy there,
>  i'm having a 12" g4 1ghz powerbook here with debian 3.1 installed
>  (selfmade 2.6.12 kernel). unfortunately there seems to be a problem with
>  the sound. no matter if i am in gnome or on the console (system)sounds
>  are first at normal volume and then very quite. it is a bit difficult to
>  explain - especially because i am not a native english speaker - so i
>  make an example:
>  - on gnome i have activated the sound-server and all sound events
>  - of course also the volume is set to 100% at the gnome volume applet
>  - when i now open a terminal and press p.ex. 5 times the backspace
>  button the first sound issued by the speakers is at the volume level i
>  expect and the latter 4 are so quiet that i nearly cannot hear them
>  - if i now wait p.ex. 5 seconds and repeat this, again the first sound
>  is loud and the others are quiet again
>  - the same problem occurs also with other sounds (like when playing dvds
>  etc)
>  - in the kernel config i have activated CONFIG_SOUND=m,
>  has anybody a hint on how to track this problem down and what might be
>  the reason of it?
>  thanks and greetings
>  michael

Beeing a Powerbook user myself too I recognized the problem very well.
Actually, the topic was beeing discussed in Februar starting with


but the information is a little scattered there, so here it is once again
in a slightly differend form.

amixer is a programme which belongs to the alsa-utils package.  Executing
the command `amixer contents | grep -A 2 DRC' gave by me the following

  numid=8,iface=MIXER,name='DRC Range'
    ; type=INTEGER,access=rw---,values=1,min=0,max=239,step=0
    : values=0
  numid=12,iface=MIXER,name='DRC Switch'
    ; type=BOOLEAN,access=rw---,values=1
    : values=on

That means the dynamic volume range control is switched on and it tries
to keep the volume down. Simply switching off the silly thing solves the
problem. If the `numid' value is like above

  $ amixer cset numid=12 off
is everything that is needed. If the settings are gone next time you boot,
make the settings you prefer permanent by giving the command

  # alsactl store

which writes the current settings in the file /var/lib/alsa/asound.state.
Running dpkg-reconfigure and choosing `autosave' is an alternative which
should behave a bit differently, as the word suggests.
I suppose not very many people are happy with these defaults. I wonder
where they might come from?

Best regards

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