Saturday, March 10, 2007

My Subwoofer Is Woofing

I managed to get the subwoofer on my Inspiron 9400 working today. I had read in several places that I just need to add 'model=ref' to the module config file, but I'd tried that without success.

Today I discovered that openSUSE 10.2 uses version 1.0.12 rc2 of the alsa drivers, and they don't support the subwoofer. So I downloaded alsa-driver-1.0.13, configured it with ./configure --with-cards=hda-intel, ran make, and then make install-modules, rebooted my machine, and the sub was working. Oh and that model=ref line was added to /etc/modprobe.d/sound, so now the first line is options snd-hda-intel enable=1 index=0 model=ref.


There's only one slight problem - the master volume control doesn't adjust the subwoofer (shown as LFE in the mixer), and muting the sound also doesn't mute the sub. But other than that it works!

7 comments:

Bernhard said...

does your inspiron have a separate output for the subwoofer? or how do you connect it to the laptop if not?

Dimitri said...

On my 9300, Master is the speaker volume, Master Mono is the subwoofer volume and PCM is the main controller. Right click on the kmix icon in the systray and set PCM as the master channel. The volume buttons should start working then. You can adjust Master/Master Mono to set the relative volumes of each. Generally, ive found that the subwoofer should stay just slightly below the speaker volume.

James Ots said...

dimitri: That almost works, except then mute doesn't work, because PCM doesn't have a mute. And also it doesn't take into account the capture channel. I've temporarily fixed it by having this script running all the time:

#!/bin/sh
while true; do
dcop kmix Mixer0 setVolume 2 `dcop kmix Mixer0 volume 0`
dcop kmix Mixer0 setMute 2 `dcop kmix Mixer0 mute 0`
sleep 1
done

bernhard: The sub is underneath the laptop - it's not a real sub, but it is another speaker which has much better low end response than the main stereo speakers.

Neil said...

hmmm weird. when I change my default to PCM it works like a charm (inspiron 9100).

Bojan said...

Thanks for the script you posted, that works like a charm for me as well--I have an Inspiron E1705 (I think it's also known as a 9400) and with the GNOME mixer I could link Master and LFE together, but KMix doesn't have that capability. I prefer KDE to GNOME, so your script definitely makes my life nicer. Maybe we'll see this in a future version of KMix! Thanks!

Bojan said...
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Bojan said...
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