SOLVED How to pass sound input channel directly to speakers?

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SOLVED How to pass sound input channel directly to speakers?

Postby gurfle » 2019-08-03 20:57

This seems embarrassingly basic, but searching this exact question online for some time now only gives the non-ideal solution of using audacity to pass input through to speakers while recording. And yes this works for me too, but seems complete overkill.

It doesn't matter whether I use built in sound card as input (to which the speakers are connected) or a USB audio input device. In both cases the input signal is detected by pulseaudio and recording software like audacity, but why can't I just skip audacity and send the input signal directly to the sound card output channel.

I am using stretch with mate variant of gnome desktop.

It doesn't seem to be a hardware issue, since:

1) The same basic debian install on two separate machines (one a new amd64 laptop and the other an ancient i386 desktop) exhibits identical trouble for me.

2) All the connections work "independently" in the sense that recording from input line and speaker playback work separately - I just can't get the input to go directly to the speakers without having audacity record with the "playthrough" option checked, which is actually not recommended by audacity, and certainly way too complicated a software solution for such a basic function.

I hope this is just something simple I am overlooking. Seems like it must be, given how basic what I am trying to do is.

I don't use sound enough be completely sure of the details, but I recall a few debian releases ago, when pulseaudio was not as integrated into the basic debian default setup (i.e. by default everything sound-related worked off of alsa only), this was not an issue: All that was needed was to go into some thing like an alsamixer control panel and mute/unmute the appropriate channels. Now this functionality has been taken over by pulseaudio's pavucontrol, which is a bit more awkward, and for me just not doing the desired mixing/switching of the various audio channels it recognizes.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks
Last edited by gurfle on 2019-08-04 17:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How do I pass sound input channel directly to speakers?

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2019-08-03 21:40

Why not just remove pulseaudio then?

I don't use it at all in my Debian buster system:
Code: Select all
E485:~$ pgrep -a pulseaudio
E485:~1$ apt policy pulseaudio
pulseaudio:
  Installed: (none)
  Candidate: 12.2-4
  Version table:
     12.2-4 500
        500 https://cdn-aws.deb.debian.org/debian buster/main amd64 Packages
E485:~$

Bliss :)
Don't break DebianHow to report bugs

SharpBang GNU/Linux® — a pre-configured Openbox/Tint2 desktop running on Debian stable
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Re: How do I pass sound input channel directly to speakers?

Postby CwF » 2019-08-03 21:52

Code: Select all
pactl load-module module-loopback

Code: Select all
pactl unload-module module-loopback
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Re: How do I pass sound input channel directly to speakers?

Postby gurfle » 2019-08-04 17:09

@CwF: Perfect, just the solution I needed especially with everything else continuing to work as before :)

Wondering why I could not find this posted anywhere in my earlier searches, but now at least one simple solution under the (seems to me) most obvious keywords I had been using and that are contained in this thread's title is out there for everyone else.

@Head_on_a_Stick: I would indeed prefer the simplicity of an alsa-only setup like debian installs used to default to. It's just that I haven't had the inclination and expertises to fiddle around with undoing what currently comes in the default debian mate desktop install. It seems there is a reason that default is this complex mix of pulseaudio and alsa, and for now, if I were to just get rid of pulseaudio, I do not know what to do to get alsa to work with the same functionality that I now have. So until then, I will stick with the extremely simple pusleaudio solution provided by CwF.

In any case, I am glad to be able to so quickly tag this question as SOLVED!
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