Sound Quality Issue in Virtualbox machine

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Ponjar Feb 3-7:38 am.

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  • #18358
    Member

    Ponjar

    Hi, I am new here. I’ve recently installed antiX as a guest in a virtualbox VM. I’m very impressed with how quick it is but have a strange problem with sound quality.

    The sound quality in general seems lower than “normal” but every 30 seconds or so it gets quite distorted for a few seconds. I’ve watched one of the antiX help videos all the way through with this pattern repeating throughout. The same has happened on other sites.

    I have searched for antiX sound issues and have not found much other than a general issue that the sound levels are low “out of the box”. I found how to fix that (adjustment to pre-amp in alsamixer. It helps to go full screen to find it on the far right)

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions

    inxi -zv7
    System:
      Host: antix Kernel: 4.9.146-antix.1-amd64-smp x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 6.3.0 
      Desktop: IceWM 1.4.2 info: icewmtray dm: SLiM 1.3.4 
      Distro: antiX-17.3.1_x64-full Helen Keller 27 December 2018 
      base: Debian GNU/Linux 9 (stretch) 
    Machine:
      Type: Virtualbox System: innotek product: VirtualBox v: 1.2 serial: <filter> 
      Chassis: Oracle Corporation type: 1 serial: <filter> 
      Mobo: Oracle model: VirtualBox v: 1.2 serial: <filter> BIOS: innotek v: VirtualBox 
      date: 12/01/2006 
    Battery:
      ID-1: BAT0 charge: 45.5 Wh condition: 50.0/50.0 Wh (100%) volts: 10.0/10.0 
      model: innotek 1 type: Unknown serial: N/A status: Discharging 
    Memory:
      RAM: total: 3.86 GiB used: 935.9 MiB (23.7%) 
      RAM Report: permissions: Unable to run dmidecode. Are you root? 
    CPU:
      Topology: Dual Core model: Intel Core i5-4200U bits: 64 type: MCP arch: Haswell 
      rev: 1 L2 cache: 3072 KiB bogomips: 9178 
      Speed: 2295 MHz min/max: N/A Core speeds (MHz): 1: 2295 2: 2295 
      Flags: abm aes apic avx avx2 clflush cmov constant_tsc cx16 cx8 de fpu fsgsbase fxsr 
      ht invpcid invpcid_single kaiser lahf_lm lm mca mce mmx movbe msr mtrr nonstop_tsc 
      nopl nx pae pat pcid pclmulqdq pge pni popcnt pse pse36 rdrand rdtscp rep_good sep 
      sse sse2 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 syscall tsc vme xsave xtopology 
    Graphics:
      Device-1: InnoTek Systemberatung VirtualBox Graphics Adapter driver: vboxvideo 
      v: 5.2.22_Debian r126257 bus ID: 00:02.0 chip ID: 80ee:beef 
      Display: server: X.Org 1.19.2 driver: modesetting unloaded: fbdev,vesa 
      alternate: vboxvideo resolution: 1360x768~60Hz 
      OpenGL: renderer: Gallium 0.4 on llvmpipe (LLVM 3.9 256 bits) v: 3.3 Mesa 13.0.6 
      compat-v: 3.0 direct render: Yes 
    Audio:
      Device-1: Intel 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW High Definition Audio vendor: SigmaTel 
      driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus ID: 00:05.0 chip ID: 8086:2668 
      Sound Server: ALSA v: k4.9.146-antix.1-amd64-smp 
    Network:
      Device-1: Intel 82540EM Gigabit Ethernet driver: e1000 v: 7.3.21-k8-NAPI port: d010 
      bus ID: 00:03.0 chip ID: 8086:100e 
      IF: eth0 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter> 
      IP v4: <filter> scope: global broadcast: <filter> 
      IP v6: <filter> scope: link 
      Device-2: Intel 82371AB/EB/MB PIIX4 ACPI type: network bridge driver: piix4_smbus 
      v: N/A port: d020 bus ID: 00:07.0 chip ID: 8086:7113 
      WAN IP: <filter> 
    Drives:
      Local Storage: total: 8.00 GiB used: 226.51 GiB (2831.4%) 
      ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: VirtualBox model: VBOX HARDDISK size: 8.00 GiB 
      speed: 3.0 Gb/s serial: <filter> rev: 1.0 scheme: MBR 
      Optical-1: /dev/sr0 vendor: VBOX model: CD-ROM rev: 1.0  dev-links: cdrom 
      Features: speed: 32 multisession: yes audio: yes dvd: yes rw: none state: running 
    RAID:
      Message: No RAID data was found. 
    Partition:
      ID-1: / size: 6.80 GiB used: 3.08 GiB (45.3%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda1 
      label: rootantiX17.3 uuid: 8dd44596-bfad-4523-817e-d7e49dd42faa 
      ID-2: /media/sf_Shared size: 447.69 GiB used: 223.43 GiB (49.9%) fs: vboxsf 
      source: ERR-102 label: N/A uuid: N/A 
      ID-3: swap-1 size: 1024.0 MiB used: 0 KiB (0.0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda2 
      label: swapantiX uuid: 78ccc9e6-c012-4181-89f1-eeca8669627b 
    Unmounted:
      Message: No unmounted partitions found. 
    USB:
      Hub: 1-0:1 info: Full speed (or root) Hub ports: 12 rev: 1.1 speed: 12 Mb/s 
      chip ID: 1d6b:0001 
      Device-1: 1-1:2 info: VirtualBox USB Tablet type: HID driver: hid-generic,usbhid 
      interfaces: 1 rev: 1.1 speed: 12 Mb/s chip ID: 80ee:0021 
    Sensors:
      Message: No sensors data was found. Is sensors configured? 
    Info:
      Processes: 136 Uptime: 1h 09m Init: SysVinit v: 2.88 runlevel: 5 default: 5 
      Compilers: gcc: 6.3.0 alt: 6 Shell: bash v: 4.4.12 running in: lxterminal 
      inxi: 3.0.29
    • This topic was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by anticapitalista. Reason: corrected format
    • This topic was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by anticapitalista. Reason: corrected format
    #18367
    Member

    skidoo

    I have searched for antiX sound issues and have not found much other than a general issue that the sound levels are low “out of the box”. I found how to fix that (adjustment to pre-amp in alsamixer. It helps to go full screen to find it on the far right)

    Ah, that’s a good tip!
    Yes, that tripped me up as a new user. Those rightmost controls were offscreen, and I failed to notice the (significance of) faint cyan arrows displayed at right-hand side. Across sessions, I launched alsamixer several times before realizing those additional controls were available.

    Someone else might recognize the periodic distortion you mentioned; thankfully, I’ve never encountered that.
    Anecdotally, I’ll mention that xmms playback volume seems lower on this system compared to mpv and default volume of audacity editor seems a bit too loud.

    #18369
    Member
    noClue
    noClue

    Virtualization is a pretty complex thing. It comes to the combination of your HW, vBox version (== drivers) and on Linux (drivers) itself.
    In Vbox settings, you’ll find a couple of different (emulated virtual) sound cards and SW. You can choose between Alsa, Pulse, Intel Audio … You should try all of the different settings/options in there — one worked always. Important thing is to shutdown your VM between changes.

    https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch03.html
    https://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=82303
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSaJtmSpApM

    How strange is to be anything at all. (Alice in Wonderland)

    #18396
    Member

    Ponjar

    Thanks for your replies.

    From more research it seems the problem is more to do with VirtualBox which seems to suffer from poor sound quality in versions 5.2.x. I’ve installed 6.0.4 which seems a bit better. It doesn’t seem to have the periodic distortion pattern and is good enough to watch video tutorials (which is probably all I want)

    The odd thing is my main use of sound in VB VM’s has been while playing Battle of Wesnoth on Ubuntu 18.04. That sound is good enough to my ear. However when I play mp3 music in the same VM its not great. Perhaps Wesnoth uses its own software to provide sound with greater success than other applications in a VB VM.

    I believe the original problem is not with AntiX after all since it appears the sound is not great in any of my VB Linux guest VM’s

    Update:

    Just changed VB audio settings from Intel HD to ICH AC97 and got a much improved sound quality. Seems VB 6.0.4 and this setting is a good solution.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by Ponjar.
    #18408
    Member

    skidoo

    changed VB audio settings from Intel HD to ICH AC97 and got a much improved sound quality. Seems VB 6.0.4 and this setting is a good solution.

    Thanks for the tip !

    #18411
    Member
    noClue
    noClue

    … it seems the problem is more to do with VirtualBox which seems to suffer from poor sound quality in versions 5.2.x.

    I’m using version 5.2.x and have definitely no “periodic distortion pattern and is good enough to watch video tutorials” listen the music or what not. HiFi sound is not to be expected though.

    I believe the original problem is not with AntiX after all since it appears the sound is not great in any of my VB Linux guest VM’s

    I’ve already answered you what’s the problem — it’s the combination of your HW, vBox versions/drivers and the virtualized OS.

    Update:

    Just changed VB audio settings from Intel HD to ICH AC97 and got a much improved sound quality. Seems VB 6.0.4 and this setting is a good solution.

    … Which is not exactly a ‘tip’ or a ‘universal solution’ for the problem since it depends on … as I’ve already said.

    Example:

    To ‘fix’ the sound problem in Devuan, I’ve changed VB audio settings from ICH 97 to Intel HD (the oposite of your change). To partialy ‘fix’ the sound problem in eComStation, I’ve changed VB audio settings to Alsa. Most other VM’s are happy with Pulse Audio and ICH 97.

    Edit:

    And by the way — Such kind of sound problem is not exclusive to the VM’s. I’ve got ‘choppy sound’ on some real HW too, because they use some ancient, rare or exotic components. Such kind of problems are also not exclusive to the sound, but they can also affect video (famous ‘screen tearing’), networking …

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by noClue.

    How strange is to be anything at all. (Alice in Wonderland)

    #18413
    Member

    skidoo

    Such kind of sound problem is not exclusive to the VM’s

    Thanks for the tip !

    #18423
    Member

    Ponjar

    Hey noClue. Just to be clear I really appreciate your input and took it on board from the start. I read all the links you provided and did some further research. Thank you!

    Initially I was using VB 5.2.26 and tried all the available combinations of audio settings as per your suggestion. Intel HD gave the best result with VB 5.2.26 on my hardware (Acer E1-572 laptop, Realtek High Definition Audio) . My research suggested that sound quality was a more common issue from VB 5.2.22 and there were reports of improvements with VB 6.0.4. I installed VB 6.0.4 and got some improvement (still using the Intel HD setting). I then remembered your suggestion to try other VB audio settings and found the ICH AC97 settings worked notably better on VB 6.0.4 on my hardware.

    I believe the original problem is not with AntiX after all since it appears the sound is not great in any of my VB Linux guest VM’s

    I made this comment because I wanted to be clear to any other new users that my issue was not with AntiX. I did not want to put anyone off using Antix. I certainly was not ignoring your solution, quite the opposite in fact.

    Thanks again

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