I have two sound cards installed: one onboard and another PCI.
The PCI, the one I do no use very much, works fine. The onboard
is the one which does not save the volumes. Every time I call an application
its master and pcm volume go to the maximum (I see the sliders going to the
This has been addressed by the PulseAudio creator. You can read more
about it here, see the "PCM is always 100%":
In my lay explanation, Pulse manages the application volumes behind
the scenes. It still remembers their values, but it doesn't use
Alsamixer to set them. It tries to use the full volume range of the
hardware (for better volume scaling), so it keeps every other software
linux volume control at full volume, and scales itself internally.
Otherwise, ALSA would say "you can only use the lower 50% of the sound
range of this device". (PCM at 50%). Now Pulse decides internally
what volume level is best.