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Ubuntu based sound problem - Cracking/Popping sounds

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Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:02 pm
Posts: 15
Location: Herts

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:03 pm    Post subject: Ubuntu based sound problem - Cracking/Popping sounds Reply with quote

I'm hoping there is someone on these forums that can help with a strange sound problem.

I have tried both the Mint Forums as the problem originated when I tried to install Mint Nadia and the Ubuntu forums, but to date, have had no relevant responses so I apologise for repeating this question here.

I have a working system with Ubuntu 10.04 with no problems.

When trying out an installation with 12.10 derivatives I frequently get an extremely annoying cracking/popping noise from the left speaker (which may actually be the system speaker rather than the onboard sound), which makes the system unusable.

Odd pops start during the boot process and once I login they become regular, perhaps a frequency of two per second. The 'pops' continue even if the sound is muted. Occasionally I can boot without the problem occurring after login, although there will usually be some popping during the boot process, and even more occasionally the popping will cease on it's own.

This problem also occurs with Linux Mint 14 (Nadia) and Xubuntu 12.10 but not with other distros such as Manjaro, so it would appear to be a problem with the base Ubuntu system.

If a media file is played during the popping, then the media sound only appears to be affected by a rapid 'raising and lowering' of the volume. In all other respects the sound seems to be working normally. Whilst the popping is at a fixed (quite loud) volume, the media playback volume can be muted , raised or lowered via the speaker sound controls.

My system is a Sony FS315S, Pentium Mobile, nVidia Graphics and Intel Audio.

I'm guessing that the problem is something to do with Alsa or Pulse and something that has obviously changed since 10.04.

I have seen numerous posts in a number of forums (including Ubuntu and Mint) which suggest various changes, mostly to do with the sound going into power saving mode. I have tried all of these things to no avail.

In case it may help identify a solution, I have three files created by the alsa-info script. alsa-manj.txt ( was when running Manjaro (no problems), alsa-xubu.txt ( running Xubuntu (with the sound problem) and alsa-1004.txt ( running Ubuntu 10.04 (no sound problems).

Can anyone suggest what I can change or do to stop the noise please?

I have now tried a Live CD version of 12.04 without any problems. I have also tried KDE versions of 12.04 and 12.10, 12.04 OK but 12.10 with the cracking/popping issue.

So it would appear that the problem is definitely the result of a change between 12.04 and 12.10.

Does anyone know how the sound operates and is configured within these two underlying Ubuntu versions?
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Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:44 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Argentina

PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a long shot... Try to lower (once a time) using alsamixer the values for each output device/channel... I suffered a problem like this long time ago and this did the trick...

Best regards,

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