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I just recently installed Debian 7 Wheezy with KDE and once I turn on the computer, the start-up sound is garbled. The closest description I can think of is that the sound coming out is somehow overlapped with a "dial-up modem"-like sound (here's a sample of what a dial-up modem sounds like, in case you don't know or have forgotten).

What's curious is that once I change the volume two to three notches up using the global volume control (or even the VLC volume control), the sound somehow becomes fine. But when I pause a movie and resume play, the sound becomes garbled again and I need to re-adjust the volume just to make the sound fine again. I haven't encountered this issue with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or Linux Mint 13 XFCE (I used these on this same computer before deciding to use Debian 7 Wheezy) as both these OSes handled sound just fine so it's really becoming frustrating.

lspci -k gives the ff. results w.r.t. audio devices:

00:01.1 Audio device: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI Trinity HDMI Audio Controller
    Subsystem: ASUSTeK Computer Inc. Device 8526
00:14.2 Audio device: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] FCH Azalia Controller (rev 01)
    Subsystem: ASUSTeK Computer Inc. Device 841b
    Kernel driver in use: snd_hda_intel

I think I am using the second audio device because I don't have anything connected to the HDMI port. I'm also guessing that system uses pulseaudio server to handle the sound. Could the issue be caused by the kernel driver snd_hda_intel since I am using an AMD chipset?

My computer has an AMD A10-5800K processor on an ASUS F2A85-V PRO motherboard, in case this info is useful in someway.

  • Are you using proprietary or open source drivers for your AMD video? You might try the opposite to see if the issue persists. Debian documentation for AMD proprietary configuration, link to free AMD configuration: wiki.debian.org/ATIProprietary – tamarintech Oct 21 '13 at 15:30
  • @esnyder, I am using radeon driver, which I believe is the open-source driver, and the issue persists. Are you suggesting to try to use the fglrx drivers and see if that solves the issue? – baktin Oct 22 '13 at 3:43
  • I have some what similar issue on linux mint, it happens when multiple apps play sound, eg : an email notification while playing music on amarok. Me too use pulseaudio and AMD chipset. But no extra drivers are installed. – limovala Oct 22 '13 at 8:18
  • @riclags I have a Radeon 6970 and also use HDMI for audio. I experience different issues depending on which driver I'm using - at the moment I'm using proprietary under Fedora 19 and the crackling sound is only experienced in specific applications (Google Chrome but not Firefox, for example) but only when using HDMI. You might also try adjusting some of the asound or pulse source/sinks but I personally think it's just as easy/fast to swap the driver from radeon to fglrx. – tamarintech Oct 22 '13 at 16:32
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I came across this post from Phoronix and in it, it said:

The short story to running AMD A-Series Trinity APUs on Linux is that it works. If you are running Ubuntu 12.10 or distributions of similar state (ideally the Linux 3.4 kernel or later and other recent components), you should be in good shape.

I'm using the A10-5800K processor and Debian Wheezy is below 3.4 kernel so I was thinking this could be causing the issue with sound.

What I did to resolve the issue was to add wheezy-backports to my sources.list and installed the latest linux-image... from backports (which is, as of this posting, 3.11). The bootup warning hda_codec: signal out of range I got when using kernel 3.2 has since disappeared.


I also did some configuration using pavucontrol for PulseAudio and disable the HDMI out (setting it off) and using the Analog Output only. I don't know if this would have worked for kernel 3.2 but so far I am not getting any issues using kernel 3.11 with regard to sound.

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