In the spirit of contributing to this awesome project, I thought that I would share a recent achievement. I searched through the wiki and the forums and could not find the answer for my issue so I hope this information is not redundant.
So far every system that I have built involves me using the analog port on my sound card which I think might be a contributing factor here, but nonetheless when I try to change the volume level, nothing happens. If I run alsamixer I can see that the master channel is getting changed properly, however it is the headphone channel that is controlling my actual speakers.
So I searched and searched and finally found a way to change them around.
edit the alsa-base config file in the /etc/modprobe.d directory
dcerouter_1:~# vi /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base
Add the following code to the bottom of the file.
options snd-intel8x0 ac97_quirk=hp_only
Reboot (or possibly do a telinit1 and then telinit2 to re-initialize everything)
This makes the Headphone channel become the master channel.
Now everything works perfectly on all my cores and media directors. Hope this helps