So i installed debian 6 and i have an external soundblaster usb device as my soundcard.
Now Debian picks it up fine using the alsamixer software yet this device does not get set as the default device automatically. meaning firefox and other sound programs where i cant change the mixer to use have problems playing audio.
Using this page: http://www.seehuhn.de/pages/alsa and my brain, I was able to create a /etc/asound.conf file and put the lines in it that this guide specified:
I did this of course after checking the /proc/asound/devices file for which number my device was (it was the only one there numbered 1!) and knowing that indeed my card was being recognized.
After restarting my browsers and media programs, I could hear my audio just fine.
Thanks internet (google primarily)