About audio mixers, was: Re: Brainstrorming for Ubuntu Studio 13.04 (Blueprints)

ttoine ttoine at ttoine.net
Sat Oct 20 22:43:40 UTC 2012

2012/10/20 Kaj Ailomaa <zequence at mousike.me>:
> On Sat, 20 Oct 2012 23:18:48 +0200, Len Ovens <len at ovenwerks.net> wrote:
> ..
>> I think we need a mixer for standard audio cards, the xfce4-mixer we have
>> now is not as nice as alsamixer in a terminal from my POV. pavucontrol is
>> the standard desktop mixer for pulse but it doesn't lend itself to card
>> level control in a recording situation, inputs in particular. It also
>> doesn't touch card levels at all in some cases. This would be a mixer for
>> the mixer menu not for the volume icon. I happen to like qasmixer. It
>> would be nice to start it with a wrapper that points it at whatever the
>> device is jack is using or hm:0 if jackd has yet to be run. (this can be
>> switched from within the app as well) Any other mixer app that is better
>> would be fine too.
> Are you suggesting to replace the pulseaudio mixer with a non pulseaudio
> mixer?
> This might make sense if desktop audio was alsa only. Only the PA mixer can
> control PA. The other mixers can only control the HW.
> I think the PA mixer should be enhanced to also include HW controls, like
> those available to the alsa mixer. That would simplify things.
> Another solution is to have two mixer starters in the volume applet menu.
> One for PA, and one for Alsa.
> We have to consider desktop audio first, and pro audio control second, since
> not everyone will be using jack.

I agree, not every one needs to control something else than PA. And
people using professional sound cards don't need an alsa mixer in a
lot of cases:
 - some PCI pro sound cards like RME or Echo have their own mixer,
alsa mixer is useless
 - firewire sound cards are managed by ffado, even for the mixer
 - for the other cards, most of the time, the default alsa mixer is
enough, and people will use the master volume of the software (Ardour,
LMMS, etc...) or use some hardware (console, monitoring manager,


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