Configuration:

Default installation of Crunchbang 11 Waldorf.

Problem:

The shortcut for controlling volume is recognized by X properly, which is confirmed by the visual feedback. However, the actual sound is not affected.

Explanation and Solution

xfce4-volumed is not controlling correct sound card in fact.

lspci | grep -i audio will list all the audio devices on the box. Apparently, there are two audio devices on my box; one of them is for HDMI.

Then, we need to tell xfce4-volumed explicitly which one to use. There’s no GUI for this, and we could achieve this using the following command:

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xfconf-query -v -c xfce4-mixer -l
killall xfce4-volumed
xfconf-query -v -c xfce4-mixer -p /active-card -s PlaybackBuiltinAudioAnalogStereoPulseAudioMixer

Reference

Bug report