I was suffering from a soundproblem on my fresh Ubuntu Karmic installation. All programs using OpenAL would stop playing sound and start to play scratchy sounds until sound drops completely out. Plus those programs will hang when trying to shut them down. For example OpenArena and Warzone2100 are affected which comes really hard to me
I tried a lot of different things with little success. Most solutions only helped for a moment until the problems came back. I think it's just that it works a little while after a reboot. Basically I don't know what really fixed the problem, but these changes here are in efffect right now and work for me.
Add this PPAs and upgrade ALSA to the newest version in there sudo add-apt-repository ppa:stesind-alsa-21 sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get upgrade
Also install the ALSA driver backports apt-get install linux-backports-modules-alsa-karmic-generic
Now you should have the newest ALSA running and sound should work again. I also applied some tweaks for HDA intel chipsets but I believe these don't do much of a difference. If you ask me to I'll provide these steps, too.
Thanks Jan for this Info in such a short time - now I know what you meant with "HDA Tweaks".
But this is what I tried more than one time yet. So as you mentioned originally this seems not to be the solution - what a pity...