(Maybe no so daft) question: set record volume level?

At first sight this seems like a truly basic question - but it’s not so straight forward on my system: Ubuntu 11.10 with M-Audio 2496 Audiophile card (identified as ICE 1712 in Ubuntu).

My difficulty is that I can find no way of setting the record volume level which, in its default state, sits at about -24 to -12 dB on the Audacity Vu meter when recording from black vinyl and results in a very large mismatch between recorded-playback volume and original source material volume.

Outside Audacity I have set record volume anywhere from 0 to 100, on the channels labelled ‘DAC’ and ‘DAC1’ under the Capture Tab (F4) in alsamixer without any detectable difference in the recorded level.

Outside Audacity I have opened Pulse Audio Volume Control; it tells me that no application is recording (fortunately Audacity doesn’t seem to know this, so it continues to record). Thus there is no available control in PA Volume control to alter the recording volume.

Within Audacity, the ‘microphone’ level control is greyed out, showing volume at maximum

The control panel identifies my hardware correctly (I think):
Host: ALSA (no other option)
Recording (and Playback) Device : M Audio Audiophile 2496: ICE1712 multi (hw: 0,0)

This hardware information is confirmed in

So, in summary: no way to control recording level. Huh? That can’t be right, surely/Shirley?

Are they the only capture options?
Could you post a screen shot of that.

Screen shot as requested - I can record with these settings, but the volumes is not optimal.
alsamixer F4.png

At the moment you don’t have any input enabled.
The sliders that have “-------” at the bottom are the inputs. To enable one use the right/left cursor keys to move focus to one of those slider, then press the spacebar and you should see it “light up” (probably the word “capture” in red below the slider.
The level will also need tuning up for that slider.
I don’t know which slider you need, but assuming that you’re using analogue inputs, try the “H/W Multi”.

Many thanks for this guidance - which I find quite startling: I have no input enabled, but recording takes place…Hmm.

On the other hand, I find the Ubuntu support for this piece of hardware utterly and terminally confusing. I see only 1 set of inputs but something like 10 inputs are listed in alsamixer. Ubuntu refers to it as ICE1712, but there is no such identification of the hardware or in any of the Avid (as was) documentation. As to the meaning of the term “hw: 0,0”, I think that tends to fail any reasonable test of usability for an averagely dim-witted user like myself. In fat I understand nothing of how this device works under Linux.

I have now managed to ‘light up’ the H/W Multi devices, using the space bar (which is not documented anywhere that I can find, other then your Forum POST).

However, in this configuration there is still no control over the recording volume level that I can detect.

Yes that is strange, but not having the sound card myself and not running Ubuntu we may need to just accept a few mysteries for now :confused:

ICE1712 is the sound card identifier.
The audio chip is probably VIA Envy24 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VIA_Envy
This chipset was developed by IC Ensemble Inc (hence “I C E”)

The ALSA sound system identifies the sound card by its “identifier string”, which is ICE1712.
So the short answer for why Ubuntu thinks it’s a ICE1712 is because that is what it actually is underneath the packaging.

“hw” (as far as I’m aware) stands for “hardware”, meaning that it is a real physical sound card, not a software device.

The first zero means that it is card number “0”. If you had a second sound card connected then that would (probably) be numbered “1”.
The second zero is the “sub-device” (if applicable).
Both card numbers and sub-device numbers count up from zero (as is common in computer stuff).

Put it all together and you have a ICE1712 sound card (packaged as an M-Audio 2496 Audiophile) and it is a hardware audio device. It is the “first” (number zero) sound card device (and the sub-device number is also zero).

Does that make a bit more sense now?

It’s in the alsamixer manual.

Open a terminal window and maximise it, then type in:

man alsamixer

Scroll down to read.
press “Q” to quit.

OK, thanks for all that; however, I seem to have missed the answer as to how I control the recording volume…

You will need to do some experimenting.
Because M-Audio/Avid don’t supply open source drivers Linux can at best guess the capabilities of the sound card from the capabilities of the chip set and information that the sound card returns when probed. This means that you often don’t get the neat “Mic In 1”, “Aux L/R”,… that you would see in Windows. Instead you often get generic/cryptic names like “H/W Multi”.

If you search on Google you may find other Linux users that have the M-Audio 2496 Audiophile that can tell you what each part is. Alternatively, try turning everything up and see if that makes a difference. If it does, then turn them down one at a time until you find which slider controls the input that you are using.

I’ve just had a quick look on Google and the general recommendation seems to be that for the m-audio 2496, don’t use alsamixer, use envy24control (or Mudita24).

Yes, I agree - that sounds like sensible advice.

Thanks for the guidance.

The first experiment I did turned out to preclude the necessity to do any more experimenting:

I found a marginally intellible FAQ article on the m-audio knowledge base: THERE ARE NO FACILITIES FOR CONTROLLING RECORDING VOLUME ON THE DELTA AP CARD.

Now, how dumb is that? Not only that, but why has it taken me so long to discover this? The primary reason is because I have been utterly confused by the interface that is presented for this card in the Linux world - alsamixer and its progeny. I now understand the reason: all the support for the m-audio 2496 Audiophile card is actually for an altogether different card from m-audio. It is for the Delta 1010 card - which does have 10 inputs and outputs (the 2496 has only 2 - 1 analog, 1 digital, on both input and output). The Delta 1010 also has software control over recording volumes. The only commonality between the two cards, from a driver point of view, is that they both use the ICE1712 chip. So the alsa developers for the driver ship only 1 version - for the Delta 1010 card, without telling you this. There is no unique driver for the Delta AP/2496 card in Linux.

So, now, 3 years of confusion come to an end. Pah!

I hope you’ve written to M-Audio to complain about their lack of drivers for Linux :wink: