Audio output too low for Line Input signals

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by Rebel1, May 15, 2011.

  1. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Guest

    I'm using the internal audio controller on the Asus M3A76-CM mobo, not a
    separate sound card. For many months it worked okay; now the sound
    levels from the speakers are far too low (maybe by 10 dB) for external
    signals (like from my FM receiver) applied to Line Input port on the mobo.

    On the mixer, Line In is selected and its gain and the master volume are
    both at max. I've tried reinstalling the VIAHDaudio driver. No luck.

    Sound levels from internal programs like Winamp and Windows Media
    Player, Real player, etc. and from my DVD/CDRW recorder are all okay.

    In the BIOS, there are Onboard Devices Configuration settings. HDAudio
    controller is Enabled. For the Front Panel Select option, it doesn't
    matter if I choose HDAudio or AC97.

    Driver details:
    Package Version:
    Driver Version:
    Codec Type: 1708
    Driver Provider: VIA Technologies
    OS Version: Windows XP Home Edition

    XP, Home Edition, v5.1, SP3 and dozens of hot fixes.

    Any suggestions? Are there settings in the registry that might affect
    just the Line In? I've searched for VIA and HD, but couldn't find
    anything relevant.

    Many thanks.

    Rebel1, May 15, 2011
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  2. Rebel1

    John Doe Guest

    I need a translation. You are using the onboard sound. It is
    connected to your speakers... for external signals like from your
    FM receiver? That is where you lost me. A receiver plugged into
    the line input has nothing to do with, it is not directly
    connected to, the power of your onboard sound output. I would
    avoid complicating the matter with unnecessary details.
    John Doe, May 15, 2011
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  3. Rebel1

    Paul Guest

    Have you tried switching to the Microphone port, as a test ?

    Maybe the output of the FM receiver is low.

    If there was a resistive load across the FM receiver signal,
    that could reduce its amplitude. (Like the receiver signal
    is running to two places, and is being overloaded.)

    I would try connecting another line level signal, and see if
    you get good output from your M3A76-CM. Like if an old Walkman
    is connected to Line In, do you get full level ? Or is
    every line level source you connect being attenuated ?

    You can actually use one computer, to deliver a line level signal
    to another computer. Using Audacity (sound editor), I can
    create a reference 440Hz tone and set the amplitude to 100%
    in the waveform editor. With all sliders maxed in the source
    computer, I get around a 1.1V RMS signal (as measured on a multimeter)
    on Line Out. I can then run that into Line In on a second
    computer and verify the amplitude received there. So if you
    don't own any other audio source devices to test with, you
    can also use a second computer as a "tone generator".

    And if this annoys you enough, you can get a $10 sound card
    for the PCI bus, and install that. Check to make sure you
    have a spare slot, with room to install it. This example
    is likely a CMI8738 based card (CMedia). Some cheap
    VIA based cards are also shipping.

    (Always check the Feedback section, to see if the drivers work...)

    Paul, May 16, 2011
  4. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Guest

    The FM receiver's output goes to the mobo Line In. The mobo Line Out
    goes to the powered speakers. The key point is that it is just the
    volume from the FM receiver that is too soft, despite the Line In gain
    being at max.

    Although irrelevant to my problem, the mixer is configured for desktop
    stereo speakers.
    Rebel1, May 16, 2011
  5. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Guest

    Instead of using the latest VIA audio driver, I went back one earlier
    revision. Still low volume for Line In signals. So I will get a separate
    audio card.
    Rebel1, May 16, 2011
  6. Rebel1

    John Doe Guest

    If it worked okay for many months and now it fails, either you
    have misconfigured something or your hardware broke. As stated in
    your next reply, installing/using an audio card can prove that
    it's a hardware failure. If the onboard sound line input broke,
    you might want to avoid using any functions of your onboard sound
    in the future.

    By the way... I misspoke, providing details is encouraged.

    Good luck and have fun.
    John Doe, May 16, 2011
  7. Rebel1

    John Doe Guest

    Not unless something happened to make it that way.
    But of course your suggestion to try an add-in card is correct.
    John Doe, May 16, 2011
  8. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Guest

    I replaced the onboard audio with a Diamond Xtreme 5.1, from Staples
    (about $22). Line Input is much louder. However, there are balance
    issues that I'll describe in a new thread.

    Thanks to all for your suggestions.

    Rebel1, May 17, 2011
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