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The rear and center channels on my 5.1 speakers don't work.

I've checked the connections a few time, and turned up volume sliders in alsamixer

“System information” in alsamixer correctly identifies the card as

X-Fi Extreme Audio [SB0790] at 0xdc00 irq 21

When I try

sudo alsactl init

I receive error:

alsactl: parse:1655: Unable to open file '/usr/share/alsa/init/ca0106': No such file or directory

What is this file, could this be the problem, how do i fix it?

I'm running Debian squeeze amd64.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Most likely it's pulse that's not set-up correctly. speaker-test is a handy utility here. If pulse is your default audio device then all audio programs including speaker-test will go through it for audio. Try adding default-sample-channels = 6 to /etc/pulse/daemon.conf to tell pulse to use 5.1 audio. speaker-test -c6 will test all 6 channels individually. If you want to test your sound card directly instead of going through pulse you may need to call speaker-test -D hw:0,0.

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thanks for reply. speaker-test -D hw:0,0 gives 'device or resource busy' /etc/pulse/daemon.conf doesnt exist, but /etc/pulse/client.conf exists, should i create daemon.conf? putting default-sample-channels = 6 in client.conf doesnt solve the problem though. – justin cress Apr 1 '11 at 4:15
Yes, that's common to see since most sound cards only allow one program to access it. Pulse probably has control of your sound card. You can try creating a new daemon.conf. I have both files on my system, but most of daemon.conf are just comments. Try adding that to daemon.conf and rebooting. If you want to test your sound card directly without pulse, you can just try killing pulseaudio and then run the test. You may have to log out or reboot to get pulse back when done testing. – penguin359 Apr 1 '11 at 5:47

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