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Linux-Andy
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analog Sound Raspberry PI 4 is mono, not stereo

Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:12 pm

Sound problem at the audio output of the Raspberry PI4 / Mono instead of stereo ...

http://linuxhosting.vastserve.com/dateien/screen1.png
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jamesh
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Re: Sound analog Raspberry PI 4...

Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:24 pm

Is that screenshot of a Pi? If so what OS is it running? Doesn't look like one of ours, but might just be a different desktop.

And what is the particular problem you are seeing?
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Re: Sound analog Raspberry PI 4...

Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:32 pm

Of course, this is the latest variation with pavucontrol.

cat /etc/os-release

pi@raspberrypi-4:~ $ cat /etc/os-release
PRETTY_NAME="Raspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)"
NAME="Raspbian GNU/Linux"
VERSION_ID="10"
VERSION="10 (buster)"
VERSION_CODENAME=buster
ID=raspbian
ID_LIKE=debian
HOME_URL="http://www.raspbian.org/"
SUPPORT_URL="http://www.raspbian.org/RaspbianForums"
BUG_REPORT_URL="http://www.raspbian.org/RaspbianBugs"
pi@raspberrypi-4:~ $
Last edited by Linux-Andy on Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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RossDv8
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Re: Sound analog Raspberry PI 4...

Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:52 pm

In Raspbian Busty my ALSA settings seem to show the output as Mono. I tried a fresh install to SD and it also seems to be Mono, so it doesn;t seem to be a result of installing pulseaudio on my main drive.

pulseaudio and pavucontrol show the output as Analog Mono, and I found a sound test somewhere (forgotten where) that had Test Sound - Left Right buttons. They work on x86 linux, but not on Raspbian.

If I slip a Manjaro SD in and boot, it has pulseaudio as standard and shows the output (in the same place on its GUI) as Analog Stereo.
I'm wondering if, rather than thinking there's a problem with Raspbian playing stereo, perhaps it is just reporting incorrectly.

If I remember I'll try to find the stereo test file that plays sound crossing from one speaker to another, because seeing the output reported as Mono is annoying me also.
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Re: Sound analog Raspberry PI 4...

Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:55 pm

Exactly that is the problem, I solved it with a cheap USB sound card for 4 euros, there is a clean stereo signal output:

Asa I have also completely reinstalled pulse, Raspian Buster is not optimally configured in the delivery state, also pavucontrol is a considerable simplification in the configuration. I have observed that the channels are mixed from the audio jack to a mono signal.

sudo apt-get install pavucontrol

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Re: Sound analog Raspberry PI 4...

Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:41 pm

Linux-Andy wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:32 pm
Is that meant seriously ..? Of course, this is the latest variation with pavucontrol. I see that has no point here, thank you for your efforts ...
Can I suggest you are a little more polite in your posts? People, including me, are trying to help you, but you don't seem to appreciate that. I suggest appreciating it.

As to the problem in hand, pavucontrol is part of pulseaudio. We do not install pulseaudio by default, because, well, it's just a bit rubbish. All our work is done with Alsa. That said, that all indicates its mono as well, so that's a bit odd. Unfortunately the guy who knows about this stuff is off sick, I'll ask him when he gets back in for some advice.
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Re: analog Sound Raspberry PI 4 is mono, not stereo

Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:37 pm

Mister Jamesh, That was just a joke, of course I appreciate your efforts. I like to be polite to you, very interesting this forum. Like it a lot. Can be that the translation sometimes gives a bit of nonsense Sorry for that .
But every tip can contribute to product improvement...

https://developer-blog.net/raspberry-pi-3-bluetooth/

Many thanks... ;)
Yours sincerely Linux-Andy...

renice123
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Re: analog Sound Raspberry PI 4 is mono, not stereo

Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:52 pm

Yes, this is a pulseaudio problem. She is already many years old and has not yet been solved (oh! Do you know who wrote the code for pulseaudio?)
I also encountered this problem on my Raspberry, but “fixed” it in another way.
Did the following. Opened file
/usr/share/pulseaudio/alsa-mixer/profile-sets/default.conf
Commented out mono mode.
This is an old solution, a few years ago it was discussed on the Debian forums
The problem is that pulseaudio overwrites alsa on the fly. Therefore, it seemed to me easier to comment out the mono mode than to do something else =)
(I often use an external DAC)

[General]
auto-profiles = yes

;[Mapping analog-mono]
;device-strings = hw:%f
;channel-map = mono
;paths-output = analog-output analog-output-lineout analog-output-speaker analog-output-headphones analog-output-headphones-2 analog-output-mono
;paths-input = analog-input-front-mic analog-input-rear-mic analog-input-internal-mic analog-input-dock-mic analog-input analog-input-mic analog-input-linein analog-input-aux analog-input-video analog-input-tvtuner analog-input-fm analog-input-mic-line analog-input-headset-mic
;priority = 7

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Re: analog Sound Raspberry PI 4 is mono, not stereo

Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:54 pm

Didin't I read something on here recently about the settings showing up as mono even though the output was stereo because it wasn't possible to set the channel volumes independently?
Unreadable squiggle

RossDv8
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Re: analog Sound Raspberry PI 4 is mono, not stereo

Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:15 pm

Did the following. Opened file
/usr/share/pulseaudio/alsa-mixer/profile-sets/default.conf
Commented out mono mode.
Thank you for that little 'gem'. I commented out the whole mono section (by mistake) and now pavucontrol is showing Analog Stereo output :D

I had better go back and see what I need to uncomment.
But at least I have pulseaudio working again. Now I just need to find a way to install the pulse-equalizer from manjaro into raspbian and I will have the same noises I have on my full size systems. I like a number of things about manjaro, because I used to use XFCE a lot. But there's no getting past the fact that raspbian feels more efficient at the nuts and bolts level.

Now, I wonder if the mono in ALSA thing is as easily fixed?
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Re: analog Sound Raspberry PI 4 is mono, not stereo

Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:46 pm

"Seeing" and "Hearing" are not the same

try playing this to confirm "stereo" output
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTvJoYnpeRQ

best use headphone to confirm sound separation.

Note: I always use this video to position my speakers properly.
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RossDv8
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Re: analog Sound Raspberry PI 4 is mono, not stereo

Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:52 pm

"Seeing" and "Hearing" are not the same
Thank you. That is similar to the clip I was looking for. And altough ALSA still shows Mono, and Pulse now shows Stereo since the config edit. The sound is still only coming from one channel. :)
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RossDv8
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Re: analog Sound Raspberry PI 4 is mono, not stereo

Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:26 am

OK, just an update.
The post title is a little misleading. It should perhaps be 'analog Sound RASPBIAN is mono, not stereo.'

I just slipped the Raspbian boor microSD out of the Pi 4 and plugged in the Manjaro one.
Left the Raspbian SSD connected as always so I could access exactly the same Left channel <> Right channel Test Clip that was posted above.

It opened, and where my Pi 4 on Raspbian was only delivering sound form the Left channel and nothing when the voice said 'right channel', with Manjaro, the Left channel voice came from about a metre left of the pi, and the right channel voice came from about a metre right of the pi. exactly as it should.

I would suspect some sort of setup error on my part if it changed after installation of pulseaudio. But on a fresh install of Raspbian on microSD, it still only provided sound from the left side. Which is why I wrote about better Audio in Manjaro in another post.

I know the RPF team have a lot of work to do, but if Manjaro have this sorted, it can't be too difficult to fix.
BTW, they are using pulseaudio, and they also have an excellent pulseaudio-equalizer.

I wonder if it is some clash with ALSA and the broadcom sound?
I'm back on Raspbian for my real stuff, but at least if I want to play music, I know I can just swap a microSD, boot Manjaro and have a music player with good sound.

I also know this will be fixed once the team have the time.
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renice123
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Re: analog Sound Raspberry PI 4 is mono, not stereo

Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:54 am

Raspberry is a great microcomputer for experimenting with sounds. But pulseaudio is not the best solution for sound, although this is just my opinion and that of some of my friends.
The Pulseaudio program, unfortunately, is written with many software errors, and the “mono” error is only one of the known ones. However, there is no alternative - the program is actively used by other "sound" programs.
Another “sound” problem is the Buster raw operating system and its sound subsystem does not work well at the level of kernel drivers with some sound cards (I checked this and alas, for now this is so, I hope the Debian developers will fix it over time)
Today I prefer to use the following installation: Raspberry 3 works as a sound server through jackd, and Raspberry 4 works as a client. The rest of the Raspberries are caught =) This allowed me to throw out pulseaudio on the computer with jackd and unload the badly working sound on Raspberry 4. And yes, I use Volumio on Raspberry (actually this is a special kind of Debian Jessie, it has much less problems than with raw Buster), which is also convenient.
Jackd https://github.com/jackaudio/jackaudio.github.com/wiki is an order of magnitude better than pulseaudio, it is a less professional sound server, and not a poorly written “sound” pulseaudio
However, I am afraid to go into the field of "high philosophy", which is not good.
This forum has a thread dedicated to the “hallucinations” of alsa and pulseaudio, so there are many solutions. Other forums (Debian & Ubuntu) also discuss other sound issues in Linux. Raspbian is just another kind of Debian, so Deas is also inherited by Raspbian. Therefore, it is sometimes faster and easier to find a solution to problems on the Debian forums.

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Re: analog Sound Raspberry PI 4 is mono, not stereo

Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:28 am

I just tried what I proposed.... just to check again myself....

using headphones (not earphones or buds) those big chunky ones with headbands! Its a Sony MDR-V6, kinda "old" for some.... but it still works!)
connected directly and exclusively to RPi's TRRS jack (that's the analog audio jack)

tested on RPi3B Raspbian Stretch with Desktop

left channel is left channel
right channel is right channel
there is separation,
so it means I got stereo sound here

now lets go over to the RPi4B-4G Raspbian Buster with Desktop....

left channel is left channel
right channel is wrong channel (ooops... that's right channel) :mrgreen:
there is separation,
so it means I also got stereo sound here.

if I got stereo sound here and others claim they don't/can't.... I must be doing (or have done) something wrong here.... am I?

but am happy with the results...... thus.... I rest my case.... :D

if you still want to test more..... "try this for size.".. ;)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUZv4B9cvaM
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renice123
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Re: analog Sound Raspberry PI 4 is mono, not stereo

Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:26 am

There is no hardware problem with Raspberry sound. Sound output (DAC, amplifier) ​​is working properly. There is a stereo signal. But as soon as you do sudo apt-get install pulseaudio, problems with stereo sound will begin, as well as possibly with an external sound card.
This is a problem with a poorly written "sound server", which is installed by default on all Linux distributions; it is a problem of the Linux community. As you know, a certain person wrote a not very high-quality program and "sold" it for the entire Linux community.
The problem with pulseaudio, unfortunately, is deeper than just the monaural sound in Buster.
This is also a “freeze” when trying to play sound on some models of an external DAC.
As I understand it, precisely because of the problematic pulseaudio RPI does not put this sound server in Raspbian by default

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Re: analog Sound Raspberry PI 4 is mono, not stereo

Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:17 pm

I don't recall ever having used pulseaudio on the RPi.....as I use only what is included in the raspbian dirstribution (started from Jessie...)
if the engineers at RPF deemed pulseaudio is a "pain in the butt" and "flushed it out" of raspbian distribution.....
....... my kudos to them! Thanks guys!!! :D

my other SBC's (PineA64-2G) Buster Desktop distribution forces the use of pulseaudio though
and I just tried it a while ago on that unit
this time analog fed to PAM8403 outputting to speakers.

left channel is left channel
right channel is right channel
there is separation,
so it means I got stereo sound here as well....

...and am happy with it!

is there something wrong with this result as well?
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RossDv8
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Re: analog Sound Raspberry PI 4 is mono, not stereo

Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:23 am

I think the problem I am having, and some others, is that we installed pulseaudio to try to fix the sound problems we had in the Pi4 Analog output.

Specifically,in my case, at 100% volume, through a Logitech speaker system with the volume wound up, there was not enough volume to hear 'voices' in movies (when characters are having ordinary discussions around a table for example).

There were no ALSA settings I could find that worked to fix that.
The only familiar solution was to install pulseaudio (which works perfectly on all my other Linux distros and Manjaro for Raspbian).
Because it works flawlessly on Manjaro on 'My Pi 4' I thought it would work on Raspbian on a Pi 4.
It seems though, that it knocks out the right channel for some reason.

But it does solve the volume problem. I'm NOT advocating Manjaro, just pointing out that it works with pulseaudio to give decent audio output, while Raspbian doesn't.
And while I like the idea of jack, and I know it is in the buster repo. I could not make head nor tail if the stuff in there, or what/how to install/use it.

And as good as ALSA is, it doesn't give me useable audio out.
And pulseaudio in the Buster repo is incomplete and obviously not working with Raspbian.

So I can watch video on Buster with the Pi 4 as long as I don't want sound, and I can do everything else on Buster normally.

I can swap to Manjaro and have nice audio, but miss some of the stuff I really like about Raspbian.

Or the thing that seems to make the most sense at the moment, because I don't want a dedicated multimedia Pi, when I want multimedia, just swap cards and run Manjaro / Kodi for multimedia, with the ability to drop out of Kodi to check the web or whatever.

In the mean time, it looks like I might have to write a fresh Buster image to the SSD :(
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renice123
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Re: analog Sound Raspberry PI 4 is mono, not stereo

Fri Nov 29, 2019 7:38 am

Unfortunately, the pulseaudio problem is not only a Raspbian problem.
Pulseaudio also works poorly on x86 computers on other distributions.
And you can easily find a description of the numerous "bugs" on request in Google
As an example https://wiki.parabola.nu/PulseAudio/Troubleshooting
I first read about the problem with mono sound four years ago at the Intel architecture computer forum and it has not yet been resolved.
Conclusions can be made sad.
Buster also has many other badly running programs; it's a crude operating system.
But Buster is installed by default on Raspberries of the fourth version and there is no alternative yet.

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Re: analog Sound Raspberry PI 4 is mono, not stereo

Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:13 am

renice123 wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 7:38 am
Unfortunately, the pulseaudio problem is not only a Raspbian problem.
Pulseaudio also works poorly on x86 computers on other distributions.
And you can easily find a description of the numerous "bugs" on request in Google
As an example https://wiki.parabola.nu/PulseAudio/Troubleshooting
I first read about the problem with mono sound four years ago at the Intel architecture computer forum and it has not yet been resolved.
Conclusions can be made sad.
Buster also has many other badly running programs; it's a crude operating system.
But Buster is installed by default on Raspberries of the fourth version and there is no alternative yet.
I'd disagree that Buster OS is crude. It's a very recent version of the kernel and the distro and you are conflating the OS with the DISTRIBUTION, they are not the same thing. The fact that SOME things in the repo don't work very well, doesn't mean the entire distro is flakey. Pulseaudio is deliberately left out of the Raspbian, for exactly the reason that it is just too buggy, but because we cannot check everything, sometimes apps are in there that simply don't work very well.
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Re: analog Sound Raspberry PI 4 is mono, not stereo

Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:02 am

renice123 wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 7:38 am

But Buster is installed by default on Raspberries of the fourth version and there is no alternative yet.

That statement is demonstrably untrue in at least two respects.

No model of Raspberry Pi board has any provision for persistent, non-volatile, storage that survives a power cycle. It follows that no Operating System can be 'installed by default' on an RPi 4 or any other model.

There are now implementations of alternative Operating Systems that will run on an RPi 4 board.

RossDv8
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Re: analog Sound Raspberry PI 4 is mono, not stereo

Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:28 pm

Pulseaudio is deliberately left out of the Raspbian, for exactly the reason that it is just too buggy, but because we cannot check everything, sometimes apps are in there that simply don't work very well.
The problem is not entirely pulseaudio. I use it in a lot of Linux distributions on many different types of computers, including, as I have mentioned frequently, on Manjaro for Raspberry Pi 4.
The main reason for using pulseaudio on Linux is that ALSA is unable to be 'easily configured' to provide decent volume and frequncies of sound, and jack is damned near impossible for an average user to even work out what might be useful.

On the Pi 4, for example, the audio volume is not sufficient at 100%, to listen to a movie even using an external amplifier and with full gain - once you can work out how to get that 4db gain.

With pulse, you just make sure you have the pulseaudio volume control installed, and immediately you can nudge up to 150% or sometimes higher depending where your speakers hit distortion.

For pulseaudio, for most people, all that is needed is 3 main packages (including a reasonable equalizer) and maybe LADSPA to run one of the equalizers.

In Manjaro for the Pi, I think from memory pulseaudio was installed by default and working and 'maybe' I added the equalizer and LADSPA, but I can't remember doing that. At any rate, it has the Pi playing with full volume available, and a decent (about 15 band) equalizer with presets. And in STEREO !

ALSA plays in stereo on the Pi 4 with Raspbian Buster 'unless you add pulseaudio'

The problem is not that Raspbian is primitive. The problem is that the RPF team responsible for packages has not got pulseausio set up to work, as the Manjaro team, and most other distro's have done.
And 'In My Opinion' I'd guess the reason is most likely a matter of funding, and priorities. Because the Pi 4 is a new product. Because the RPF is trying to keep the price of the Pi as low as possible whilst trying to give us the best product for price/performance that they can. And because the amount of funding at the price point/profit ratio of the product is probably sufficient to hire more people to work out the bugs in someone else's software.

It would be nice if someone from the team that built pulseaudio managed to sort the problem with the Pi 4 / Buster, but I don;t see that happening soon either.

For now, with pulseaudio, I have full rich audio, and only realise it is Mono if I walk up to the right side if the TV. I would hate it if I was using headphones. But if I was using headphones, ALSA would probably have been plenty loud enough.

But I would still like to see the problem with the pulseaudio install killing stereo fixed. However I think we need to be patient.
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jamesh
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Re: analog Sound Raspberry PI 4 is mono, not stereo

Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:58 pm

RossDv8 wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:28 pm
Pulseaudio is deliberately left out of the Raspbian, for exactly the reason that it is just too buggy, but because we cannot check everything, sometimes apps are in there that simply don't work very well.
The problem is not entirely pulseaudio. I use it in a lot of Linux distributions on many different types of computers, including, as I have mentioned frequently, on Manjaro for Raspberry Pi 4.
The main reason for using pulseaudio on Linux is that ALSA is unable to be 'easily configured' to provide decent volume and frequncies of sound, and jack is damned near impossible for an average user to even work out what might be useful.

On the Pi 4, for example, the audio volume is not sufficient at 100%, to listen to a movie even using an external amplifier and with full gain - once you can work out how to get that 4db gain.

With pulse, you just make sure you have the pulseaudio volume control installed, and immediately you can nudge up to 150% or sometimes higher depending where your speakers hit distortion.

For pulseaudio, for most people, all that is needed is 3 main packages (including a reasonable equalizer) and maybe LADSPA to run one of the equalizers.

In Manjaro for the Pi, I think from memory pulseaudio was installed by default and working and 'maybe' I added the equalizer and LADSPA, but I can't remember doing that. At any rate, it has the Pi playing with full volume available, and a decent (about 15 band) equalizer with presets. And in STEREO !

ALSA plays in stereo on the Pi 4 with Raspbian Buster 'unless you add pulseaudio'

The problem is not that Raspbian is primitive. The problem is that the RPF team responsible for packages has not got pulseausio set up to work, as the Manjaro team, and most other distro's have done.
And 'In My Opinion' I'd guess the reason is most likely a matter of funding, and priorities. Because the Pi 4 is a new product. Because the RPF is trying to keep the price of the Pi as low as possible whilst trying to give us the best product for price/performance that they can. And because the amount of funding at the price point/profit ratio of the product is probably sufficient to hire more people to work out the bugs in someone else's software.

It would be nice if someone from the team that built pulseaudio managed to sort the problem with the Pi 4 / Buster, but I don;t see that happening soon either.

For now, with pulseaudio, I have full rich audio, and only realise it is Mono if I walk up to the right side if the TV. I would hate it if I was using headphones. But if I was using headphones, ALSA would probably have been plenty loud enough.

But I would still like to see the problem with the pulseaudio install killing stereo fixed. However I think we need to be patient.
Pulseaudio is buggy on lots of platforms, but there are specific issues with it on Pi as the underlying firmware was based around ALSA, and moving to Pulseaudio gives some unwanted delays in the audio pipeline (important when combined with video). The pulseaudio team really need to work on their bug fixing.

As for the volume thing, we are not sure what is going on there. ALSA should give decent sound volume. Note though that on the Pi although the ALSA system says mono- its actually stereo.

Note that we are not currently spending any development time on Pulseaudio.
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renice123
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Re: analog Sound Raspberry PI 4 is mono, not stereo

Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:29 pm

I still think the problem with pulseaudio in Rasbian seems far-fetched
I do not like pulseaudio and scold the program because this program does not suit me, but I use pulseaudio always on Raspberry. Apart from fixing one configuration file, I did nothing. Often, pulseaudio works for me with the JACK Audio Connection Kit sound server
Sometimes I turn off pulseaudio. All this works without hallucinations after I tuned the sound.
Since I have a jack, I can use LADSPA filters, I also have a small delay in sound, but pulseaudio allows you to quickly and online configure the outputs of Kodi, VLC in order to transfer sound over the network (I use the Volumio sound server on a separate computer)
Setting up jack was harder than commenting out mono in pulseaudio =)
I can "transfer" sound streams over pulseaudio, I can include some exotic solutions and all this does not cause me any difficulties.
Yes, I’m an old Linux user (from the same year that Linux appeared on CD - it seems that this is the beginning of the nineties), I worked for Unix in the 80s, I found times when ALSA worked somehow, so I don’t I see such a problem in spending 10 minutes setting up the sound =)

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Re: analog Sound Raspberry PI 4 is mono, not stereo

Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:41 pm

renice123 wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:29 pm
I still think the problem with pulseaudio in Rasbian seems far-fetched
I do not like pulseaudio and scold the program because this program does not suit me, but I use pulseaudio always on Raspberry. Apart from fixing one configuration file, I did nothing. Often, pulseaudio works for me with the JACK Audio Connection Kit sound server
Sometimes I turn off pulseaudio. All this works without hallucinations after I tuned the sound.
Since I have a jack, I can use LADSPA filters, I also have a small delay in sound, but pulseaudio allows you to quickly and online configure the outputs of Kodi, VLC in order to transfer sound over the network (I use the Volumio sound server on a separate computer)
Setting up jack was harder than commenting out mono in pulseaudio =)
I can "transfer" sound streams over pulseaudio, I can include some exotic solutions and all this does not cause me any difficulties.
Yes, I’m an old Linux user (from the same year that Linux appeared on CD - it seems that this is the beginning of the nineties), I worked for Unix in the 80s, I found times when ALSA worked somehow, so I don’t I see such a problem in spending 10 minutes setting up the sound =)
I believe there are problems when using it with BlueTooth, there may be other issues.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Contrary to popular belief, humorous signatures are allowed.
I've been saying "Mucho" to my Spanish friend a lot more lately. It means a lot to him.

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