||FreeBSD General Commands Manual
alsamixer - soundcard mixer for ALSA soundcard driver, with ncurses interface
alsamixer is an ncurses mixer program for use with the ALSA soundcard
drivers. It supports multiple soundcards with multiple devices.
The top-left corner of alsamixer is the are to show some basic
information: the card name, the mixer chip name, the current view mode and the
currently selected mixer item. When the mixer item is switched off,
[Off] is displayed in its name.
- -h, --help
- Help: show available flags.
- -c, --card <card number or identification>
- Select the soundcard to use, if you have more than one. Cards are numbered
from 0 (the default).
- -D, --device <device identification>
- Select the mixer device to control.
- -V, --view <mode>
- Select the starting view mode, either playback, capture or
- -g, --no-color
- Toggle the using of colors.
Volume bars are located below the basic information area. You can
scroll left/right when all controls can't be put in a single screen. The
name of each control is shown in the bottom below the volume bars. The
currently selected item is drawn in red and/of emphasized.
Each mixer control with volume capability shows a box and the
current volume filled in that box. The volume percentages are displayed
below the volume bar for left and right channels. For a mono control, only
one value is shown there.
When a mixer control is turned off, M (mute) appears below
the volume bar. When it's turned on, O in green appears instead. You
can toggle the switch via m key.
When a mixer control has capture capability, the capture flag
appears below the volume bar, too. When the capture is turned off, -------
is shown. CAPTURE in red appears when the capture switch is turned
on. In addition, L and R letters appear in left and right side
to indicate that left and the right channels are turned on.
Some controls have the enumeration list, and don't show boxes but
only texts which indicate the currently active item. You can change the item
via up/down keys.
alsamixer has three view modes: playback, capture and all. In the
playback view, only the controls related with playback are shown. Similarly,
only the controls for capture (recording) are shown in the capture view. The
all view mode shows all controls. The current view mode is displayed in the
top-left position together with the mixer name, etc.
The default view mode is the playback view. You can change it via
Each view mode can be switched via keyboard commands, too. See the
alsamixer recognizes the following keyboard commands to control the
soundcard. Commands shown here in upper case can also be given in lower case.
To be reminded of these keystrokes, hit the h key.
The Left and right arrow keys are used to select the channel (or
device, depending on your preferred terminology). You can also use n
("next") and p ("previous").
The Up and Down Arrows control the volume for the
currently selected device. You can also use + or - for the
same purpose. Both the left and right signals are affected. For independent
left and right control, see below.
The B or = key adjusts the balance of volumes on
left and right channels.
M toggles muting for the current channel (both left and
right). If the hardware supports it, you can mute left and right
independently by using , (or <) and . (or
SPACE enables recording for the current channel. If any
other channels have recording enabled, they will have their recording
function disabled first. This only works for valid input channels, of
L re-draws the screen.
Function keys are used to change view modes. You can switch to the help mode and
the proc info mode via F1 and F2 keys, respectively. On
terminals that can't use function keys like gnome-terminal, ? and
/ keys can be used alternatively for help and proc modes.
F3, F4 and F5 keys are used to switch to
playback, capture and all view mode, respectively. TAB key toggles
the current view mode circularly.
PageUp increases volume by 5.
PageDown decreases volume by 5.
End sets volume to 0.
You can also control left & right levels for the current
channel independently, as follows:
[Q | W | E ] -- turn UP [ left | both | right
[Z | X | C ] -- turn DOWN [ left | both |
If the currently selected mixer channel is not a stereo channel,
then all UP keys will work like W, and all DOWN keys will work like
The number keys from 0 to 9 are to change the
absolute volume quickly. They correspond to 0 to 90% volume.
You can select another sound card by pressing the F6 or S keys.
This will show a list of available sound cards to choose from, and an entry to
enter the mixer device name by hand.
Quit the program with ALT Q, or by hitting ESC. Please note that
you might need to hit ESC twice on some terminals since it's regarded
as a prefix key.
In alsamixer, the volume is mapped to a value that is more natural for a
human ear. The mapping is designed so that the position in the interval is
proportional to the volume as a human ear would perceive it, i.e. the position
is the cubic root of the linear sample multiplication factor. For controls
with a small range (24 dB or less), the mapping is linear in the dB values so
that each step has the same size visually.
Only for controls without dB information, a linear mapping of the
hardware volume register values is used (this is the same algorithm as used
in the old alsamixer).
amixer(1), aplay(1), arecord(1)
Some terminal emulators (e.g. nxterm) may not work quite right with
ncurses, but that's their own damn fault. Plain old xterm seems to be
alsamixer has been written by Tim Janik and been further improved by
Jaroslav Kysela <firstname.lastname@example.org> and Clemens Ladisch
This manual page was provided by Paul Winkler
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