Audio "suddenly" too quiet

This is a recurring problem for me, when “something happens” and my audio gets very quiet. In the past, I’ve blamed it on Windows update, but I’m not sure that’s the case, as I’ve barely booted in to Windows at all recently.

Whatever is going on seems to be at a very deep layer, because in the past I’ve needed to do a full Windows re-install with the device removed from the system in order to reset it. A Windows system restore or other similar procedures is not enough. I booted in to Windows to check the volume today, and it is low there too.

However on the Fedora side, I have no idea what to do. I doubt a re-install will fix it, and I don’t want to do that anyway, especially repeatedly. It’d be great if I could actually figure out the problem and find a good resolution.

I don’t see any unusual errors in the logs. Everything “works” in the sense that the system does play audio, it’s just very quiet. Even with all the volume settings maxed out (alsamixer and settings on speaker), the system audio is as quiet as a whisper. Right now I’m playing audio from my phone to the same speaker via Bluetooth, with the volume turned quite low. It is still at a comfortable level, despite being so low.

I’d appreciate any ideas on how to get my volume restored to a comfortable volume. I wanted to look at my software log to see what had been updated recently, but I’m not sure how. I didn’t see anything in journalctl. I looked at the gnome help, and it talks about “Software Log Viewer”, but not only is that not installed, it doesn’t seem to be available in the default packages. I looked in “Logs” but didn’t see it there either.

Thanks in advance!

I’ve been having my own different audio adventures recently. On my travels I seem to remember reading something about dual boot affecting audio for someone, and that person discovered that entering UEFI Setup before booting temporarily “fixed” the issue. Possibly they had to (redundantly) use the boot override settings there to select Linux for the next boot, but I’m not sure and unfortunately I don’t seem to be able to find the page where I read this now. :frowning:

Incidentally, it may be helpful to provide some information on your hardware.

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Hmm, I’m not sure what UEFI set up would have to do with it, but that’s interesting. I’ll try it next time I reboot.

I’ve had the problem on Windows before I had a Linux installation going, so I don’t think it is dual boot related in my case. I’m really unhappy with the sound card. It’s never worked well with the “proper” Windows drivers.

I’m also a bit hesitant to share my hardware (motherboard specifically), because a lot of people have a negative reaction to it. However it’s been very reliable for me, much more than other boards which seem to be considered more favourable. Hopefully people here are more positive than elsewhere. :slight_smile:

Anyway, here’s some info:

Base Board Information
        Manufacturer: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
        Product Name: 990FXA-UD3

Processor Information
        Manufacturer: AMD              
        Version: AMD FX-8320E Eight-Core Processor  

07:00.0 Audio device: Creative Labs Sound Core3D [Sound Blaster Recon3D / Z-Series] (rev 01)

Telling us you had the problem with windows as well as linux and then adding the bit about the sound card would imply to me the issue is a hardware error; sound card related.
Maybe you could install a new sound card and fix the issue. If the sound card is built in to the motherboard it might require new motherboard, but I would try just a sound card first.

You also can, in linux, get more detailed info on the device using “inxi -Axx”

Just an after thought. The issue shows up after some time. If this is an added in sound card then it is possible there is a corroded connection in the slot where it is plugged in. Maybe the fix would be simply removing and reseating the card a couple times so it gets a clean connection.

It is possible, but in my experience it is unlikely that it is a hardware failure when it works perfectly for a few months every time it gets reset.

I think it more likely that something is being triggered which results in a lack of amplification on the output. I don’t know if it is a driver problem or a firmware bug or what. Given the quality of the Windows drivers, I wouldn’t be surprised by either.

I’m disappointed, I expected better from Creative because they’ve been around so long. I guess I know better now. I’m just going to remove the card. It is the easiest thing to do at this point.