Knowing Knoppix/Sound

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Knoppix has built-in support for many sound cards. Well supported cards include Soundblaster compatibles, Creative Soundblaster Live, C-Media 8738, Intel i810, Ensoniq, Crystal Soundfusion and the Via 82c series of sound cards.

Testing sound in KDE

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  1. Click K Menu.
  2. Point to Settings.
  3. Click Control Center.
  4. Wait for a moment while the “KDE Control Center” starts.
  5. On the left side, click Sound & Multimedia.
  6. Under Sound & Multimedia, click Sound System.
  7. On the right side, click “Start aRTs server on KDE startup”.
  8. Click Apply.
  9. Click Test Sound.
  10. You should hear the KDE startup sound.

Testing sound in XMMS

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To play the built-in demonstration music file:

  1. Click the CD-ROM icon for your Knoppix CD.
  2. Click the “Demos” folder.
  3. Click the “Audio” folder.
  4. Click the “opensource.ogg” file.
  5. Wait while the “X Multimedia System” application starts.
  6. The demonstration song will play.

If the demonstration song does not start automatically, click the “Play” button (bottom row, second from the left, in the XMMS window).

Volume controls

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To adjust the sound volume levels:

  1. Click K Menu -> Multimedia -> Sound -> KMix (Sound Mixer).
  2. The main volume control is on the far left. Move the slider up for louder and down for quieter.

To learn what each slider does, hover the mouse pointer over the icon at the top. A little yellow label will appear, such as “Microphone”.


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The green spots are called the “mute buttons”. The mute button turns on and off output from the corresponding channel. Light green means on, dark means off (muted). All the channels are on by default.

The microphone channel has no output, since it's only used for recording (input).
KMix gives the microphone channel a mute button anyway.
The mute button on the microphone channel has no effect.

Closing KMix

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When you close KMix, it goes into the System Tray which is in the bottom right corner of the screen. To get KMix back again, right-click its icon in the System Tray, then click “Show Mixer Window”.

Quick help

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Question: I can't get KMix to start by clicking in the K menu.
KMix is already started. Right-click its icon in the System Tray (bottom right corner of the screen), then click “Show Mixer Window”.

Sound recording

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This explains how to test sound recording through your sound card. You need a microphone plugged in to the “Mic” socket on your sound card.

  1. Bring up the KMix window. If KMix is already running, right-click its icon in the System Tray, then click “Show Mixer Window”. If KMix is not already running, click K Menu -> Multimedia -> Sound -> KMix (Sound Mixer).
  2. Click the red button at the bottom of the Microphone channel. This sets KMix to record from the Microphone channel. You can only record from one channel at a time.
  3. Click K menu -> Multimedia -> Sound -> Audacity.
  4. Wait for a moment while the “Audacity” application starts up.
  5. To start recording, click the large red circle (record) button.
  6. The waveform of the sound from the microphone will appear while it is recorded.
  7. To stop recording, click the yellow square (stop) button.
  8. To hear the result, click the green triangle (play) button.

Audacity is a multi-track sound recorder. Each new recording that you make is stored in a new track. This lets you overlay sounds on top of each other. To get rid of a recorded track, click the small X on the left side next to the words “Audio Track”.

Web links
X Multimedia System:
Audacity sound recorder: