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Ideal playback software discovered?

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I have the USB Monica DAC and when it's connected to my Linux system, the sound volume can not be controlled through normal system audio controls. The slider moves and "mute" can be selected, but none of it affects the volume of the sound whatsoever. I thought this must be a good thing. The sound isn't being touched by the Linux audio controls (ALSA) and is being passed more directly to the USB DAC.


I've been using Rhythmbox for playback and it's volume control does work. The volume goes up and down with the Rhythmbox controls just like it would with iTunes. Then I tried mpd and it sounds much better!




I found that mpd's volume slider does not affect the sound's volume, just like the system's sound controls. It turns out there is a configuration option for mpd whereby the user can specify whether a hardware mixer should be used or a software mixer. In my mpd configuration, the hardware mixer is selected so it's just passing the sound through to the hardware device and its associated system sound controls (which do not control the sound). Rhythmbox must use a software mixer (just like iTunes does) and thereby introduce coloration to the sound.


Has anyone tried Linux? If so, have you tried mpd with the mixer set to a "pass-through" audio device?


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