Linux hints and tips
Mint/Ubuntu: Adjust the volume
If you want to adjust the speaker volume you should click the speaker icon in the Panel (taskbar) and then drag the slider left or right as required. To turn off the sound completely you can either click the speaker icon in the Panel and tick the Mute box or right click the speaker and tick Mute.
What you are doing when you drag the volume slider is adjusting the master volume setting and there are individual volume settings for all the various devices in the computer. Display the Volume Control by left clicking the speaker icon in the Panel and then clicking Volume Control button next to the slider, or right click the speaker icon and select Open Volume Control on the menu.
You will see several pairs of sliders, one for each channel, for the master volume, line-in, CD, microphone and so on. So if you turned up the volume to the maximum, but still can't hear anything when you play a CD, you'll probably find that that CD sliders are at the bottom. It can catch you out if you're not aware of it.
Even this expanded volume control dialog doesn't show everything and there are even more sound sliders and switches to play around with. Click the Preferences button in the Volume Control window and a long list of items is displayed, such as Master, Master Mono, PCM, CD, Video, Phone, Aux and many more. Take a look at the list and tick the ones you need. You won't need all of them because it depends on the hardware in your PC. Notice that some items are switches. Tick one, such as Mic Boost (+20dB) and a new tab is added to the Volume Control window. Selecting the tab shows the switches you have enabled. These can be on (ticked) or off (clear). It's up to you which ones you need and it depends on your hardware.
If you find that something is not working in the sound department, at least you know know where to look first. Check the volumes and switches!
Mint/Ubuntu: Set the volume control preferences
The speaker icon in the Panel is used to control the master volume - click it and drag the slider. If you want to modify the level of something else, such as the line-in, microphone, CD player and so on, you have to open the full Volume Control panel. Or do you?
You can, in fact, use the volume control to adjust any setting. Right click the speaker icon in the panel and select Preferences in the menu that is displayed. A small dialog is opened that enables you to select the device and the track to control.
For example, you could select the microphone, CD, line-in, aux or other volume. You can then make quick and easy volume adjustments by clicking the speaker icon in the Panel.