Notifications using multiple ALSA devices

Composed on
January the 25th, 2024

I have a really customized system, with 2 internal audio cards (the built-in HDA based one and an old SB Live! with a Live Drive module) and an external FireWire that I use for audio related work and study using the Jack Audio server.

Most of the *standard* audio is from web browsing (which means not only Youtube and general video, but also Netflix) and uses the default sound card, which I set for the Live! card, and is connected to the main jack system output. This can be annoying and distracting, expecially if you have a high volume set while working on audio stuff.

Then I realized that one of the monitors I use has its own embedded small speakers, which I don't use since they're obviously cheap and creaky. But they would come handy for system notifications, we don't need high-end quality for those, do we? The main "sub-layer" I use for my system is KDE based, even if I use fluxbox, so I dig up and found out I could set type based priorities for that.

So, if you have a KDE based system just run `systemsettings`, go to the multimedia panel, then go to the "Audio and Video settings", select "Notifications" in the "Audio Playback" section, find the preferred audio device and change its priority. As you can see, I've the "HDA Intel PCH [...]" card set with a higher priority than the "SB Live!".

(sorry for the italian localization, I couldn't set the english one, but I think you could figure it out anyway).
Then I just connected the audio input of that monitor to the audio out of the embedded sound card, and that's it! No more annoying notifications from the main sound monitor speakers!