Let there be music

Woohoo, finally got sound :D As usual it took a lot of reading up and fiddling around, while in the end it all seems so simple. In short I did the following things; first make sure the Xonar DX card is the first device instead of HDMI audio, then figure out the needed device configuration and unmute channels.

Switching device order was trial and error, but eventually it worked. In the end all that was needed was append the following line to /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf

options snd-hda-intel index=1

This moves HDMI audio output from 1st to 2nd place enabling the Xonar card to take the first place. Initially I also added ┬áline for the Xonar (snd-virtuoso), but this resulted in an error message during boot (cannot find the slot for index 0 (range 0-0, failed with error -16). No idea why, but it’s not mandatory, so remove and problem solved.

Next was figuring out the exact configuration that produced sound. I’ll spare you the details, but what eventually worked was this:

  • hw:0,0
  • default mixer (not driver default, this produces invalid CTL errors)
  • line or master channel

By now I had the side and back channels working. Front channel was silent. Double checked if all channels had enough volume and were unmuted with alsamixer. All set but no sound. Running out of ideas I just muted and unmuted the card (you could see the ascii-art switch colour) and voila, sound on all channels. Must have been a glitch that the front channel wasn’t working in the beginning. Haven’t had a silent channel ever since, even after reboots (and switching on/off side and back channels work fine). Haven’t tried S/PDIF yet, but for the moment I’m assuming it will work now that analog output is working.

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