#StackBounty: #audio Cannot set system volume

Bounty: 50

I installed my Pi 3B into a Pimoroni Picade a few months ago, and installed RetroPie from source (as a fresh install). After running the Pimoroni-supplied setup script, RetroPie, EmulationStation etc were all working fine. Many happy hours of nostalgia followed!

The Picade has its own HAT and physical speaker, and I could set the system volume from within EmulationStation, and also within each of the emulators. I had the volume set at 49%.

Fast forward a few months, and I decided to try playing around with a USB headset connected to the Pi, and using the “Desktop” environment included with RetroPie. I plugged in the headset – a fairly cheap-and-cheerful Creation gaming heading – configured the Desktop to use the USB headset, tested it all worked (which it did) and thought no more of it.

However, since disconnecting the headset and returning to using the Picade speakers, I’m unable to change the system volume. It sounds like it’s set to 100% volume – i.e. too loud – despite me changing the setting in the ES settings, alsamixer, RetroPie config, and even in the Desktop environment itself. Regardless of whether I set the volume to 1% or 100%, nothing actually changes the speaker volume. I can adjust the volume within RetroArch via hotkeys, but this isn’t ideal (especially for games that start noisy).

alsamixer and amixer output look OK, at least to my untrained eye:

enter image description here

pi@retropie:~ $ amixer
Simple mixer control 'PCM',0
  Capabilities: volume
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Capture channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: 0 - 255
  Front Left: 124 [49%]
  Front Right: 124 [49%]

However, this output:

pi@retropie:~ $ amixer controls
numid=1,iface=MIXER,name='PCM'

compared to some others I’ve seen seems to be missing any mention of volume controls – is that perhaps the issue, and how can I restore the ability to set the volume?


Get this bounty!!!

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