Hmm. That’s pretty interesting. I don’t think I have mentioned this anywhere above, but the default value for sound_latency was something like 0.2, which is really strange and noticeably long. I don’t think you can set it to zero, but .05 is fine, and you can definitely hear the difference. I don’t understand how a 5th of a second audio lag could be acceptable as a default. It won’t fix the 5-second problem, but don’t ignore it.
I wish I knew exactly what steps I took while troubleshooting my USB audio besides landing on the settings linked above. It’s possible that I have some residual ALSA file somewhere after trying so many different things. I am really disappointed in the way my USB card is supported. Commands to the channel name PCM don’t work at all.
I had hoped to find a way to use an ALSA “clone” plugin so that I could leave the PCM channel (built-in Broadcom) enabled and setup my config to mimic everything to the USB hardware. I had a few aspects of this working at one point, but not every had sound. Perhaps some of them bypassed ALSA settings. In any case, I switched to the built-in jack for now. I may come back to USB, but it’s so frustrating.