Alsa works fine for audio but mixer elements are gone (lost)

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Alsa works fine for audio but mixer elements are gone (lost)

Postby Muffinman » 2017-11-27 20:28

Hello All,

I'm running Debian Jessie with kernel 4.1.6 and a while back all was fine. However, something has changed and the Alsa mixer elements are gone (sortof). Alsamixer won't open and Aplay returns an error. However, I can play music properly (MPD, Squeezelite, Shairport). I don't use Pulse. I always directly access the audio/mixer device (hw:0, hw:1), so the setup should not be very complicated).

Below I have the output of some commands and an observation.

Has anyone got an idea on how to fix it without reinstalling my setup?

Thanks in advance, Maarten

When I create a ~/.asoundrc file with the contents below, alsamixer works again. So the mixer elements are still somewhere available.
Code: Select all
pcm.!default {
        type hw
        card 0
}

ctl.!default {
        type hw           
        card 0
}


/var/lib/alsa/asound.state
- Does not exist and should not be necessary. Regardless, I can't create it since 'alsactl store' returns an error:
Code: Select all
root@soekris:/var/lib/alsa# alsactl store
alsactl: get_controls:567: snd_ctl_open error: Invalid argument


/etc/asound.conf
- Don't have this file, never needed to have it.

Code: Select all
root@soekris:~# alsamixer
cannot open mixer: Invalid argument


Code: Select all
root@soekris:~# aplay -l
**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
aplay: device_list:277: control open (0): Invalid argument
aplay: device_list:277: control open (1): Invalid argument


Code: Select all
root@soekris:~#     cat /proc/asound/cards
 0 [AS             ]: USB-Audio - Lyngdorf Audio A/S
                      Lyngdorf Audio A/S Lyngdorf Audio A/S at usb-0000:02:02.3-1, high speed
 1 [Dummy          ]: Dummy - Dummy
                      Dummy 1
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Re: Alsa works fine for audio but mixer elements are gone (l

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2017-11-27 20:30

Muffinman wrote:I'm running Debian Jessie with kernel 4.1.6

Why are you not using the stock jessie kernel?

Can you reproduce this problem with the default kernel version?

Can we please see the full output of:
Code: Select all
apt-cache policy
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Re: Alsa works fine for audio but mixer elements are gone (l

Postby Muffinman » 2017-11-28 17:35

Why are you not using the stock jessie kernel?


Because I run a slimmed down version of Debian version which is smaller and focused on what I need and do not.

Since it ran fine a while back and I haven't changed the kernel I doubt moving to stock kernel would solve anything... but well tried it anyway. Running 3.16.0-4-amd64 makes no difference.


Code: Select all
root@soekris:~#     apt-cache policy
Package files:
 100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
     release a=now
 500 http://de.voyage.hk/dists/0.11/ ./ Packages
     release c=
     origin de.voyage.hk
 500 http://security.debian.org/ jessie/updates/non-free Translation-en
 500 http://security.debian.org/ jessie/updates/main Translation-en
 500 http://security.debian.org/ jessie/updates/contrib Translation-en
 500 http://security.debian.org/ jessie/updates/non-free i386 Packages
     release v=8,o=Debian,a=oldstable,n=jessie,l=Debian-Security,c=non-free
     origin security.debian.org
 500 http://security.debian.org/ jessie/updates/contrib i386 Packages
     release v=8,o=Debian,a=oldstable,n=jessie,l=Debian-Security,c=contrib
     origin security.debian.org
 500 http://security.debian.org/ jessie/updates/main i386 Packages
     release v=8,o=Debian,a=oldstable,n=jessie,l=Debian-Security,c=main
     origin security.debian.org
 500 http://http.debian.net/debian/ jessie/non-free Translation-en
 500 http://http.debian.net/debian/ jessie/main Translation-en
 500 http://http.debian.net/debian/ jessie/contrib Translation-en
 500 http://http.debian.net/debian/ jessie/non-free i386 Packages
     release v=8.9,o=Debian,a=oldstable,n=jessie,l=Debian,c=non-free
     origin http.debian.net
 500 http://http.debian.net/debian/ jessie/contrib i386 Packages
     release v=8.9,o=Debian,a=oldstable,n=jessie,l=Debian,c=contrib
     origin http.debian.net
 500 http://http.debian.net/debian/ jessie/main i386 Packages
     release v=8.9,o=Debian,a=oldstable,n=jessie,l=Debian,c=main
     origin http.debian.net
Pinned packages:
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Re: Alsa works fine for audio but mixer elements are gone (l

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2017-11-28 17:56

Muffinman wrote:
Code: Select all
 500 http://de.voyage.hk/dists/0.11/ ./ Packages
     release c=
     origin de.voyage.hk

^ What's this for and are you completely sure that the packages from that repository are 100% compatible with a Debian jessie system?
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Re: Alsa works fine for audio but mixer elements are gone (l

Postby Muffinman » 2017-11-28 18:04

^ What's this for and are you completely sure that the packages from that repository are 100% compatible with a Debian jessie system?


Yes, since it's slimmed down Debian Jessie. I have several computers running it for years and never had issues.

My guess is some Alsa misconfiguration crept in or apt removed something it shouldn't have.

I have already reinstalled libasound and alsa-utils without any effect.
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Re: Alsa works fine for audio but mixer elements are gone (l

Postby GarryRicketson » 2017-11-28 18:08

Code: Select all
 http://de.voyage.hk/dists/0.11/ ./ Packages
     release c=
     origin de.voyage.hk


But, what is it for ?
Are you actually using Debian or this ? :
http://linux.voyage.hk/content/voyage-linux-065-released
Voyage Linux 0.6.5 released

By punkytse - Posted on 22 February 2010

Voyage 0.6.5, which includes 2.6.30 kernel, is released. Version number jumps from 0.6.2 to 0.6.5 to emphasize the kernel version update. Still, Voyage Linux 0.6.5 is based on Debian Lenny (r5.0)

My thoughts are it would be better to ask the "Voyage Linux" forum, it might be based on Debian, but it is not Debian,
Last edited by GarryRicketson on 2017-11-28 18:15, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Alsa works fine for audio but mixer elements are gone (l

Postby Muffinman » 2017-11-28 18:13

But, what is it for ?


To install a modified MPD with better support for DoP.
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Re: Alsa works fine for audio but mixer elements are gone (l

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2017-11-28 18:19

Muffinman wrote: better support for DoP.

Nice :cool: But I still think PCM is the better paradigm, the quantisation noise at higher frequencies can be punitive with DSD.

Are you sure the mpd package didn't pull in some non-compatible dependencies?

Can we see
Code: Select all
apt-cache policy aplay alsamixer
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Re: Alsa works fine for audio but mixer elements are gone (l

Postby Muffinman » 2017-11-28 18:29

Nice :cool: But I still think PCM is the better paradigm, the quantisation noise at higher frequencies can be punitive with DSD.


Well, lot's of factors influence the sound quality and sometimes the SACD just gotten the best effort. Then I take out my PS4 and rip that thing.

Are you sure the mpd package didn't pull in some non-compatible dependencies?


Well, you can check the source, there is not much there.

Can we see


I assume you mean alsa-utils, see output below.

Code: Select all
root@soekris:~#     apt-cache policy alsa-utils     
alsa-utils:
  Installed: 1.0.28-1
  Candidate: 1.0.28-1
  Version table:
 *** 1.0.28-1 0
        500 http://http.debian.net/debian/ jessie/main i386 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
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Re: Alsa works fine for audio but mixer elements are gone (l

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2017-11-28 18:34

Muffinman wrote:
Are you sure the mpd package didn't pull in some non-compatible dependencies?


Well, you can check the source, there is not much there.

On the contrary — the Debian package page gives an extensive list of dependencies:

https://packages.debian.org/stretch/mpd

Not sure why you think the source code will tell me anything about the specific Debian dependencies, but anyway...

I assume you mean alsa-utils

No.

Your sound works so I am thinking that perhaps it's just `aplay` & `alsamixer` that are broken, but I am stabbing around in the dark somewhat :mrgreen:
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Re: Alsa works fine for audio but mixer elements are gone (l

Postby Muffinman » 2017-11-28 18:42

No.

Your sound works so I am thinking that perhaps it's just `aplay` & `alsamixer` that are broken, but I am stabbing around in the dark somewhat :mrgreen:


Well, since aplay and alsamixer are part of alsa-utils....

Not sure why you think the source code will tell me anything about the specific Debian dependencies, but anyway...


I'm not talking about the source code but about the apt source. There is not much there to install and therefore not much to mess up. If there are any dependencies listed in there, it must get it from Debian source since... well there is not much there

As for where the problem lies, it's not just aplay or alsamixer. Nothing can access the mixer elements unless I specify a default device. But I need to access the mixer via hw:0 etc...
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