If you have a 2.6-kernel and want to install a newer version of ALSA than the one included, check out Alsa Build2.6.Make sure you have a kernel source tree that you've already compiled from.Any other kernel options regarding sound can be switched OFF.
This should be in /usr/src/linux but the alsa configure scripts will look elsewhere with the "--with-kernel=[dir]" option when running 'configure'.
The kernel must have sound support turned ON in your kernel settings (soundcore module).
I am new to Linux but really love Elementary for its simplicity.
After noticing that my sound was quite poor in Elementary, compared to Windows 8.1, I have tried updating the sound drivers.
Jump to: navigation, search This howto describes a workaround if your master volume doesn't work.
This happens if your sound card can't control the volume on the hardware side or the driver doesn't support this feature of your sound card.
For installing ALSA from binary distro packages see ALSA Setup Guide. You can also choose to install the drivers from source (to make sure they fit your kernel) and install the libs, utilities etc. Debian users choosing to do this should run Kernel 2.6.
You don't have to do this though, there are binary packages available. XXX users: If you have a kernel from the 2.6series, ALSA is already included, so it's not necessary to do all these steps.
Find out on which existing PCM device you can base your setup.
In this device, the audio data will be processed the last on its way to the sound card. For example, if you want your softvol to control the playback volume only, the control name must end with display your new control.
The stable drivers are more thoroughly tested; however the development drivers typically have newer hardware support. You should download the development drivers instead of the stable ones if that is the way you would like to go.