[alsa-devel] What does 0dB refer to? (Logitech USB Speakers)

Lennart Poettering mznyfn at 0pointer.de
Mon Apr 14 18:56:32 CEST 2008

On Sat, 12.04.08 22:55, James Courtier-Dutton (James at superbug.co.uk) wrote:

> > That would be reasonable for consumer cards. Pro sound cards should
> > never initialise themselves to anything other than minimum gain.
> >
> > John
> >   
> I think everyone is misunderstanding the issue here.
> All ALSA sound cards, without any intervention from user space, will 
> boot up with ALL SOUND MUTED.
> Most distros then have an /etc/init.d startup script that restores sound 
> card levels to the previous state before the previous power off.
> The problem is, what to do the first time the system is installed. I.e. 
> No "previous state" exists.
> a) General users will normally want some level of sound by default the 
> first time they boot into a newly installed system.
> b) Professional users want everything muted the first time.
> My personal preference is ALL SOUND MUTED in ALL cases.
> I figure that if a user does not have sound, the first thing they will 
> do is go to the volume control and turn it up!

Thing is, that non-technical people usually have a very hard time to
grok a mixer crowded with all kinds of controls where most of them
actually don't have any impact on sound at all.

In PA I try to minimize the number of sliders: just one per output
device. PA is clearly not for pro-audio people, so this is the
absolute right thing to do. But for this I need to be able to
rely on that all the mixer controls of the soundcard are initialized
in a "sane" way, so that the single mixer control I have actually
makes sense.

> Most consumer distos do not agree with me and want the volume turned up 
> already by default.

Yes. in an ideal world people wouldn't have to think about the volume
control in there computers at all, since their speakers either come
with a hw vol control anyway, are a hifi stereo with hw vol controls
or are inside a laptop with hw volume controls.


Lennart Poettering                        Red Hat, Inc.
lennart [at] poettering [dot] net         ICQ# 11060553
http://0pointer.net/lennart/           GnuPG 0x1A015CC4

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