Discussion:
[Bug 275998] Re: audio recording very silent
(too old to reply)
talent03
2008-11-14 21:43:10 UTC
Permalink
** Also affects: linux
Importance: Undecided
Status: New

** Also affects: dell
Importance: Undecided
Status: New

** Also affects: pulseaudio
Importance: Undecided
Status: New
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jixuanliu
2008-11-15 09:31:17 UTC
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Same problem with me. I installed kubuntu 8.10 on my desktop PC but
skype fails to work because no input device is detected. (The error log
says: ALSA lib pcm_bluetooth.c:1619:(bluetooth_init) BT_GETCAPABILITIES
failed : ??/????(5))

Besides skype, all other applications requiring audio input can't work
neither. Recording in Audacity fails, no matter if I choose OSS:/dev/dsp
or other ALSA devices as the recording device.
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hendrikwout
2008-11-15 13:43:48 UTC
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I'm the original poster of the bug.

This bug report is NOT about a sound device that is not detected. It's
about a detected recording device wich has a very low recording level
(no mic boost).

Disabling pulse audio didn't work for me: recording level is still too
low. I have a dell xps m1530.
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Allan
2008-11-18 12:33:58 UTC
Permalink
I can confirm exactly the same problems. I also have a Dell XPS M1530.
In addition my mic is always muted. When I try to unmute it it keeps defaulting back to muted.
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Allan
2008-11-18 12:39:53 UTC
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** Changed in: linux (Ubuntu)
Status: New => Confirmed
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Mikele
2008-11-18 21:11:41 UTC
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I am experiencing the same problem in Intrepid, on a DELL Inspiron 1525.
Basically it seems that all the sound recording settings (both through gnome volume control and alsamixer) don't affect the actual volume at all.

Attaching lspci output

** Attachment added: "lspci -v"
http://launchpadlibrarian.net/19767299/lspci
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Mikele
2008-11-18 21:12:29 UTC
Permalink
amixer -Dhw

** Attachment added: "amixer"
http://launchpadlibrarian.net/19767329/amixer
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jixuanliu
2008-11-19 19:12:52 UTC
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amixer -Dhw on my machine gives:


Simple mixer control 'Master',0
Capabilities: pvolume pvolume-joined pswitch pswitch-joined
Playback channels: Mono
Limits: Playback 0 - 31
Mono: Playback 31 [100%] [0.00dB] [on]
Simple mixer control 'Headphone',0
Capabilities: pswitch
Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
Mono:
Front Left: Playback [on]
Front Right: Playback [on]
Simple mixer control 'PCM',0
Capabilities: pvolume
Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
Limits: Playback 0 - 255
Mono:
Front Left: Playback 255 [100%] [0.00dB]
Front Right: Playback 255 [100%] [0.00dB]
Simple mixer control 'Front',0
Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
Limits: Playback 0 - 31
Mono:
Front Left: Playback 28 [90%] [-4.50dB] [on]
Front Right: Playback 28 [90%] [-4.50dB] [on]
Simple mixer control 'Front Mic',0
Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
Limits: Playback 0 - 31
Mono:
Front Left: Playback 23 [74%] [0.00dB] [on]
Front Right: Playback 23 [74%] [0.00dB] [on]
Simple mixer control 'Front Mic Boost',0
Capabilities: volume
Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
Capture channels: Front Left - Front Right
Limits: 0 - 3
Front Left: 0 [0%]
Front Right: 0 [0%]
Simple mixer control 'Surround',0
Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
Limits: Playback 0 - 31
Mono:
Front Left: Playback 25 [81%] [-9.00dB] [on]
Front Right: Playback 25 [81%] [-9.00dB] [on]
Simple mixer control 'Center',0
Capabilities: pvolume pvolume-joined pswitch pswitch-joined
Playback channels: Mono
Limits: Playback 0 - 31
Mono: Playback 25 [81%] [-9.00dB] [on]
Simple mixer control 'LFE',0
Capabilities: pvolume pvolume-joined pswitch pswitch-joined
Playback channels: Mono
Limits: Playback 0 - 31
Mono: Playback 23 [74%] [-12.00dB] [on]
Simple mixer control 'Side',0
Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
Limits: Playback 0 - 31
Mono:
Front Left: Playback 0 [0%] [-46.50dB] [off]
Front Right: Playback 0 [0%] [-46.50dB] [off]
Simple mixer control 'Line',0
Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
Limits: Playback 0 - 31
Mono:
Front Left: Playback 0 [0%] [-34.50dB] [off]
Front Right: Playback 0 [0%] [-34.50dB] [off]
Simple mixer control 'CD',0
Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
Limits: Playback 0 - 31
Mono:
Front Left: Playback 25 [81%] [3.00dB] [on]
Front Right: Playback 25 [81%] [3.00dB] [on]
Simple mixer control 'Mic',0
Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
Limits: Playback 0 - 31
Mono:
Front Left: Playback 25 [81%] [3.00dB] [on]
Front Right: Playback 25 [81%] [3.00dB] [on]
Simple mixer control 'Mic Boost',0
Capabilities: volume
Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
Capture channels: Front Left - Front Right
Limits: 0 - 3
Front Left: 0 [0%]
Front Right: 0 [0%]
Simple mixer control 'IEC958',0
Capabilities: pswitch pswitch-joined cswitch cswitch-joined
Playback channels: Mono
Capture channels: Mono
Mono: Playback [off] Capture [off]
Simple mixer control 'IEC958 Default PCM',0
Capabilities: pswitch pswitch-joined
Playback channels: Mono
Mono: Playback [on]
Simple mixer control 'PC Speaker',0
Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
Limits: Playback 0 - 31
Mono:
Front Left: Playback 0 [0%] [-34.50dB] [off]
Front Right: Playback 0 [0%] [-34.50dB] [off]
Simple mixer control 'Capture',0
Capabilities: cvolume cswitch
Capture channels: Front Left - Front Right
Limits: Capture 0 - 31
Front Left: Capture 9 [29%] [1.50dB] [off]
Front Right: Capture 9 [29%] [1.50dB] [off]
Simple mixer control 'Capture',1
Capabilities: cvolume cswitch
Capture channels: Front Left - Front Right
Limits: Capture 0 - 31
Front Left: Capture 0 [0%] [-12.00dB] [off]
Front Right: Capture 0 [0%] [-12.00dB] [off]
Simple mixer control 'Channel Mode',0
Capabilities: enum
Items: '6ch' '8ch'
Item0: '6ch'
Simple mixer control 'Digital',0
Capabilities: cvolume
Capture channels: Front Left - Front Right
Limits: Capture 0 - 120
Front Left: Capture 106 [88%] [23.00dB]
Front Right: Capture 106 [88%] [23.00dB]
Simple mixer control 'Input Source',0
Capabilities: cenum
Items: 'Mic' 'Front Mic' 'Line' 'CD'
Item0: 'Mic'
Simple mixer control 'Input Source',1
Capabilities: cenum
Items: 'Mic' 'Front Mic' 'Line' 'CD'
Item0: 'Front Mic'
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botticchio
2008-11-22 15:02:02 UTC
Permalink
Same problem here. In addition, I noticed a very strange thing. I tried
to make a Skype call, and I saw that the Capture mixer level in Volume
Control-->Recording tab doesn't stay fixed to a value but it moves up
and down apparently in a random way.

The digital Input Source is set to "Digital Mic 1" and in
Skype-->Options-->Sound Devices I've set all the three combobox to
pulseaudio, because I found that this is the only way to pass the test
sound and test call.

Can anyone confirm this strange behaviour?
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timblack1
2008-11-22 15:30:58 UTC
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The sliders moving is due to a setting in Skype that allows Skype to
automatically adjust the sounds levels in your mixer.
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botticchio
2008-11-22 15:45:13 UTC
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Oops, sorry, I didn't know that.

In my previous message I didn't tell that my system is an XPS 1330.
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mabawsa
2008-11-22 17:14:11 UTC
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This has gotta be marked as confirmed with so many similar symptoms

** Changed in: pulseaudio
Status: New => Confirmed
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mabawsa
2008-11-22 17:25:18 UTC
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Does this bug only effect ICH7/8 sound systems? I have an Dell M1330 and
ABIT IX38 based desktop and the record was faint in both (ICH8 on both)
before i completely removed pulseaudio using synaptic and switched to
ALSA. Now everything is hunky dory; but I would love to see a better
solution.
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Kristian Erik Hermansen
2008-11-22 23:06:43 UTC
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I think I am also experiencing this bug. I cannot get the internal mic
working despite all my efforts. Sound works though...
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bigbrovar
2008-11-23 06:39:00 UTC
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i have the same problem too a dell m1330 . hope its resolved soon so i
can continue talking to my girlfriend as i always do on hardy :)
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tomek.bury
2008-11-24 20:53:02 UTC
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Hi all,

I can confirm the bug on Dell XPS M1330 and 1530.

The workaround that works for me is to remove pulseaudio from the
system.

I've noticed that after removing puldeaudio alsamixer shows additional
track "Digital" with settings ranging from -30dB to +30dB. Perhaps
puldeaudio sets the "Digital" to 0dB, thus removing mic boost and
causing the problem?

Cheers,
Tomek
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Kristian Erik Hermansen
2008-11-24 21:04:50 UTC
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It appears that nearly all affected machines are Dell laptops. Any
non-Dell users experiencing this same issue?
--
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Nikola Borisof
2008-11-24 23:49:44 UTC
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I believe i have the same issue with ASUS s96s and the HDA Intel sound
card. Good sound in 8.04, in 8.10 the internal mic doesn't work (or it's
volume is to low). I had to revert to 8.04.... but I still ahve 8.10 and
I'm willing to provide more info.

Nikola
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botticchio
2008-11-25 17:15:10 UTC
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I think I resolved the low mic volume in Skype by uninstalling
pulseaudio, but first I updated it to the Intrepid-proposed version, to
prevent broken audio after the uninstallation. Before removing it I
tried to disable it, with no luck.

I know it is an extreme decision, but i really need to use Skype.
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chrisp
2008-11-25 18:49:07 UTC
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Hi, I think I have the same issue with an ASUS X51L, Intel 82801H:
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 04)
Sound OK - but no Mic. Ibex on 2.6.27-7-generic. Maybe its less Dell more InDell related? ;-)
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Motin
2008-11-26 15:26:28 UTC
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With so many testers (including myself) only experiencing this when
using PulseAudio (ie without pulse-audio or when pulse-audio is
suspended in favor of jack recording etc), I believe we can conclude
that this is not a kernel-related bug.

** Changed in: linux (Ubuntu)
Status: Confirmed => Invalid

** Changed in: linux
Status: New => Invalid
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Motin
2008-11-26 15:30:11 UTC
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Does all testers that are experiencing this have a ICH7 or ICH8 card?
Can all testers verify that this bug is not evident if suspending/uninstalling pulseaudio?
Is this bug only evident when using Skype?
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Kristian Erik Hermansen
2008-11-26 18:13:03 UTC
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Post by Motin
Does all testers that are experiencing this have a ICH7 or ICH8 card?
Can all testers verify that this bug is not evident if suspending/uninstalling pulseaudio?
Is this bug only evident when using Skype?
I don't use Skype. I can also confirm that the gnome-sound-recorder
also fails to record the audio input. My hardware is an ICH9. Here
is lspci output...

00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio
Controller (rev 03)
--
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Not wounded. Dead."
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Kostas Chatzikokolakis
2008-11-26 15:49:46 UTC
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Clarifications:

- this bug affects me only when recording through pulseaudio. If I kill
pulseaudio and record directly through alsa it works fine (using both
gnome-sound-recorder and skype).

- it is NOT a skype-specific bug. The same problem exists with gnome-
sound-recorder when recording through pulseaudio.

- it is NOT a 8.10-specific bug for me (as other people report). With
8.04 I had the same issue.

- I do have an ICH8 card
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Jesper de Jong
2008-11-26 15:52:23 UTC
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I do not have this issue with 8.04, but I do with 8.10. I have a Dell
XPS M1530.

As Kostas says, this bug is not specific to Skype, it happens also with
for example gnome-sound-recorder.
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RomanI
2008-11-26 15:53:27 UTC
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I have Dell Vostro 1510 - 82801H (ICH8 Family) (rev 03).
I use Xubuntu 8.10, and I presume there is no pulseaudio.
Internal Mic does not work even for "Sound Recorder" and "Audacity". External mic works fine after some magic with sliders in Volume control (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=976877).
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Flavio
2008-11-26 16:40:05 UTC
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I had this bug since i bought my Dell XPS m1330 a year ago. I used
Kubuntu and Ubuntu. Kubuntu has no pulseaudio AFAIK, so I don't think
this relates to Pulseaudio at all.
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Alexander Hunziker
2008-11-27 13:38:38 UTC
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Can somebody who experiences the bug (I don't, only a friend of mine to
whose hardware I have no access) please report that upstream and link it
here? I guess that would increase the chances of getting this
debugged/fixed. PulseAudio has a Trac at
http://www.pulseaudio.org/report
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mabawsa
2008-11-27 14:18:48 UTC
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Done:
http://www.pulseaudio.org/ticket/423

I guess the more confirms on this with the pulse people the better, so
please add to the bug and maybe it will get some attention. I did notice
that pulse audio has been on 09.13 since October. Maybe it should be
backported to Intrepid to see if that fixes the problems.
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Alexander Hunziker
2008-11-27 15:15:32 UTC
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mabawsa: Thank you. As to the update to 0.9.13 -- That's hardly gonna
happen, PulseAudio introduced some major changes in 0.9.12 (some
"glitch-free" architecture), and it's probably too risky to update
Intrepid to 0.9.13. It's already in Jaunty though.

** Changed in: pulseaudio
Importance: Undecided => Unknown
Bugwatch: None => PulseAudio sound server #423
Status: Confirmed => Unknown
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Jesper de Jong
2008-11-27 19:18:22 UTC
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I have a Fedora 10 (x86_64) Live CD here. One of the new features in
Fedora 10 is the glitch-free audio version of PulseAudio. So, I booted
from the Fedora 10 CD and tried if I have the same problem there, and
yes, I can reproduce the problem - the microphone volume is very faint,
even if I set the sliders to max.

So this is not an Ubuntu-specific problem, and it is most likely not yet
solved in the new glitch-free version of PulseAudio.
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Nico_argentina
2008-11-27 21:50:37 UTC
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If i boot into windows and make the mic louder then it works fine in
ubuntu 8.10, following
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/pulseaudio/+bug/282931/comments/15

I have a Dell XPS 1530.
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Kristian Erik Hermansen
2008-11-27 22:11:41 UTC
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Post by Nico_argentina
If i boot into windows and make the mic louder then it works fine in
ubuntu 8.10, following
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/pulseaudio/+bug/282931/comments/15
I have a Dell XPS 1530.
Most of us don't have Windows to test that method unfortunately...
--
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Not wounded. Dead."
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Bug Watch Updater
2008-11-28 13:43:53 UTC
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** Changed in: pulseaudio
Status: Unknown => New
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Josh Derr
2008-11-30 15:24:07 UTC
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I do have a dual boot XPS m1330, but booting into Vista and changing the
volume of the mic has had no effect when rebooting back into Ubuntu
8.10. :(
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Motin
2008-12-04 00:43:40 UTC
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Copying the information I posted at http://www.pulseaudio.org/ticket/423

Please do submit your test information to the upstream bugreport as
well.

""
I can confirm this bug. It is extremely annoying, since Skype conversations are practically single-way nowadays. Either the receiver hears no sound, very faint sound and most often with a great lag.

If suspending pulseaudio and recording using jack the levels are ok and
latency back to a few ms, so it is not a hardware bug.

The only way to workaround this (according to various testers at
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/275998) is to
remove pulse audio _completely_. Temporarily suspending or killing
pulse-audio doesn't help.

Running pulseaudio -v displayed a zintillion of these while making a
skype call:

{{{
I: client.c: Created 27416 "Native client (UNIX socket client)"
I: protocol-native.c: Got credentials: uid=1000 gid=1000 success=1
I: protocol-native.c: Enabled SHM for new connection
I: client.c: Client 27416 changed name from "Native client (UNIX socket client)" to "ALSA plug-in [skype.real]"
I: client.c: Freed 27416 "ALSA plug-in [skype.real]"
I: protocol-native.c: connection died.
I: client.c: Created 27417 "Native client (UNIX socket client)"
I: protocol-native.c: Got credentials: uid=1000 gid=1000 success=1
I: protocol-native.c: Enabled SHM for new connection
I: client.c: Client 27417 changed name from "Native client (UNIX socket client)" to "ALSA plug-in [skype.real]"
I: client.c: Freed 27417 "ALSA plug-in [skype.real]"
I: protocol-native.c: connection died.
I: client.c: Created 27418 "Native client (UNIX socket client)"
I: protocol-native.c: Got credentials: uid=1000 gid=1000 success=1
I: protocol-native.c: Enabled SHM for new connection
I: client.c: Client 27418 changed name from "Native client (UNIX socket client)" to "ALSA plug-in [skype.real]"
I: client.c: Freed 27418 "ALSA plug-in [skype.real]"
I: protocol-native.c: connection died.
I: client.c: Created 27419 "Native client (UNIX socket client)"
I: protocol-native.c: Got credentials: uid=1000 gid=1000 success=1
I: protocol-native.c: Enabled SHM for new connection
I: client.c: Client 27419 changed name from "Native client (UNIX socket client)" to "ALSA plug-in [skype.real]"
I: client.c: Freed 27419 "ALSA plug-in [skype.real]"
I: protocol-native.c: connection died.
I: client.c: Created 27420 "Native client (UNIX socket client)"
I: protocol-native.c: Got credentials: uid=1000 gid=1000 success=1
I: protocol-native.c: Enabled SHM for new connection
I: client.c: Client 27420 changed name from "Native client (UNIX socket client)" to "ALSA plug-in [skype.real]"
I: client.c: Freed 27420 "ALSA plug-in [skype.real]"
I: protocol-native.c: connection died.
I: client.c: Created 27421 "Native client (UNIX socket client)"
I: protocol-native.c: Got credentials: uid=1000 gid=1000 success=1
I: protocol-native.c: Enabled SHM for new connection
I: client.c: Client 27421 changed name from "Native client (UNIX socket client)" to "ALSA plug-in [skype.real]"
I: client.c: Freed 27421 "ALSA plug-in [skype.real]"
I: protocol-native.c: connection died.
I: client.c: Created 27422 "Native client (UNIX socket client)"
I: protocol-native.c: Got credentials: uid=1000 gid=1000 success=1
I: protocol-native.c: Enabled SHM for new connection
I: client.c: Client 27422 changed name from "Native client (UNIX socket client)" to "ALSA plug-in [skype.real]"
I: client.c: Freed 27422 "ALSA plug-in [skype.real]"
I: protocol-native.c: connection died.
}}}
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Motin
2008-12-06 09:19:00 UTC
Permalink
It does help a tad bit to remove the Skype option "Sound Devices ->
Allow Skype to automatically adjust my mixer levels".

Skype was otherwise never really allowing the microphone volume to be
maxed.
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Motin
2008-12-06 09:19:35 UTC
Permalink
Here is an interesting thread:
http://forum.skype.com/index.php?showtopic=119961
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Rocko
2008-12-10 01:48:27 UTC
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Isn't this an ALSA bug rather than a PulseAudio bug?

In Hardy, I could change my XPS 1530's built-in microphone recording
volume via the control named 'Digital' in the gnome-volume-control
'Recording tab' (you have to enable it first via the preferences
window). But in Intrepid there is no such control.

In Hardy, I can see this control in the /var/lib/alsa/asound.state file:

control.32 {
comment.access 'read write user'
comment.type INTEGER
comment.count 2
comment.range '0 - 120'
comment.tlv '0000000100000008fffff44800000032'
iface MIXER
name 'Digital Capture Volume'
value.0 120
value.1 120
}

but this control is missing in Intrepid's /etc/asound.state file (which
is created when I run /etc/init.d/alsa-utils start) and
/var/lib/alsa/asound.state file.

This is with alsa 1.0.17. Hardy uses alsa 1.0.16.

I've also tried alsa 1.0.18
(http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=962695) in Intrepid and it
doesn't detect the capture volume either.
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James
2008-12-10 13:52:11 UTC
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I have a Dell XPS 1330 using Kubuntu 8.10 and KDE 4.1.3 -- this system
has (had) extremely low volume input.

When PulseAudio is installed (and actually running - the default /etc/init.d/pulseaudio startup script fails to do anything and just exits) KMix presents two input sources Digital and Analog Mic. When Volume Control (Record) is opened it shows activity when speaking and the Digitial option is enabled, the sound however is extremely low and I have to talk about 3mm from the input point on the top of the laptop screen.
Analog input doesn't record anything usable. I have to shout very loudly to get any type of input.

I'm surprised at something so basic as sound input fails to work properly on a modern laptop. No disrespect to the developers but is there any testing of such basic item before a release ? If not, I'm happy to help out testing audio (maybe even pulseaudio) on this setup with Jaunty -- it's better than spending literally hours & hours googling around and tweaking various audio controls.
My sound worked fine on Hardy, I presume without Pulse installed.

My solution was to *purge* all possible pulse packages and reboot. I have nothing against PulseAudio, just my system works better without it :)
I got rid of all of them apart from libpulse0 which wanted to remove quite a lot of other dependencies as well (like dragonplayer, xine etc). I now have working sound input and output. I don't think the Digital Input works but I don't care as long as I can get some sound into the PC without shouting.
The only other side effect is that alsamixer cannot run as it tries to connect to a non existent pulseaudio process, but that's no big deal for me. I wonder why it is hard wired now to use pulse ?

Finally, I added this to my /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base, although I don't know if it helps:
options snd-hda-intel model=5stack

Thanks and I hope this helps others.
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Shavak Sinanan
2008-12-10 14:06:27 UTC
Permalink
I can confirm this bug. Logging into windows and increasing the mic
volume doesn't help and I don't think that it is a skype issue as the
forum that Motin pointed to might be suggesting, since the mic volume in
gnome sound recorder is extremely low as well. My system is a Dell XPS
1530 running a clean install of Ubuntu 8.10 64 bit.
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hendrikwout
2008-12-10 20:11:02 UTC
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Rocko: you're right. The digital volume control is missing here also in
ibex and not in hardy. So I agree it's an alsa bug.
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Shavak Sinanan
2008-12-10 22:37:05 UTC
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The digital volume control is NOT missing in my Ibex installation. It's
under the recording tab. As far as I can remember all that I had to do
to display it was check it under preferences. From what I've read on
this forum and elsewhere, it seems that most users who have removed some
or all of pulse audio from their system are able to use their internal
mics. This points to it being a pulse audio bug.
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Rocko
2008-12-11 01:35:18 UTC
Permalink
Shavak, is your audio card the same as mine? lspci shows mine as:

00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio
Controller (rev 02)

I installed Intrepid 64bit from scratch, the same as you did, but I
don't have a digital volume control. It simply doesn't appear in the
preferences section. What might be different between our systems? Did
you remove pulseaudio? I did for a while but the Digital control still
didn't appear.
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Shavak Sinanan
2008-12-11 02:08:58 UTC
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Yep It's the same, my 1530 is pretty much stock except for the graphics
card. Here's my /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.

Soon after my install I added the line

options snd-hda-intel model=dell

to the end of the file, following instructions from someone on
ubuntuforums regarding this issue. That is the ONLY change that I made
though, pulse audio is as it was.

** Attachment added: "alsa-base"
http://launchpadlibrarian.net/20355514/alsa-base
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mabawsa
2008-12-11 02:36:49 UTC
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On a fresh install of Intrepid on my desktop (abit IX38 mobo)

00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio
Controller (rev 02)

I have the digital sound control in Alsa. Still the recording doesn't
work for the sound card.

Interestingly I have a webcam with an internal microphone and this works
well so I use this normally.

Only pulse related error in dmesg is:
[243270.014853] canberra-gtk-pl[24910]: segfault at 713ce0 ip 00007f226ac9d9f9 sp 0000000042770c80 error 6 in libpulse.so.0.4.1[7f226ac65000+4e000]

Removing pulse sorts the problem.

On my DELL M1330 I have the digital panel as well with pulse and very
weak. (ICH8 chipset; Intrepid upgrade)

Removing pulse sorts the problem.

Main conclusion. Alsa is fine, pulse breaks Intel recording.

** Attachment added: "Screenshot-Volume Control: HDA Intel (Alsa mixer).png"
Loading Image...
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mabawsa
2008-12-11 09:38:09 UTC
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I don't know if this is relevant but my /var/log/messages file contains
the following references to pulse

Dec 11 13:42:59 glitterbox pulseaudio[7560]: ltdl-bind-now.c: Failed to find original dlopen loader.
Dec 11 13:42:59 glitterbox pulseaudio[7567]: main.c: setrlimit(RLIMIT_NICE, (31, 31)) failed: Operation not permitted
Dec 11 13:42:59 glitterbox pulseaudio[7567]: main.c: setrlimit(RLIMIT_RTPRIO, (9, 9)) failed: Operation not permitted
Dec 11 13:42:59 glitterbox pulseaudio[7567]: alsa-util.c: Device hw:1 doesn't support 2 channels, changed to 1.
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Rocko
2008-12-12 01:35:01 UTC
Permalink
mabawsa, before you removed pulseaudio, did the microphone not record
anything at all, or did it record but at a very low level?

Shavak, which version of BIOS are you running? I'm using A08, and alsa
is supposed to read dell-bios for our chipsets (I don't think that
specifying model=dell in /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base is recognised by the
driver, and so I assume it will default back to dell-bios). The quirk is
defined in alsa-driver-1.0.18a/alsa-kernel/pci/hda#patch_sigmatel.c -
I'm pretty sure it's the same for 1.0.17:

SND_PCI_QUIRK(PCI_VENDOR_ID_DELL, 0x022e, "Dell ",
STAC_DELL_BIOS),

where 0x022e is my card's subsystem ID as shown by lscpi -vv:

00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 02)
Subsystem: Dell Device 022e
Control: I/O- Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR+ FastB2B- DisINTx-
Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B- ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR- INTx-
Latency: 0, Cache Line Size: 64 bytes
Interrupt: pin A routed to IRQ 21
Region 0: Memory at febfc000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: HDA Intel
Kernel modules: snd-hda-intel

I looked at the codec files, with 'cat /proc/asound/card0/codec* | grep
Subsystem', which kind of shows the same subsystem ID - it actually is
given as 0x1028022e. (But it does in Hardy as well, where I do get a
digital capture volume control.)

FWIW, my card is actually listed in bios as a Sigmatel 9205, but alsa
uses the 9228 codec. Again, this is the same as Hardy so it doesn't seem
relevant.

The codec file as reported by Hardy does differ from Intrepid's in a few
places, so this might be relevant.

eg

Node 0x0c [Pin Complex] wcaps 0x400181: Stereo
Pincap 0x081737: IN OUT Detect Trigger ImpSense
Vref caps: HIZ 50 GRD 80
Pin Default 0x90a79130: [Fixed] Mic at Int N/A

Intrepid's equivalent defines Pincap as 0x00001737 instead of 0x081737.
(But the list of values - IN OUT, etc - afterwards is the same in both.)
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mabawsa
2008-12-12 04:28:45 UTC
Permalink
Both my Desktop (non-DELL, where I use my USB camera's microphone
instead of the internal card and pulse audio) and my laptop (M1330,
where I removed pulse audio cause there it works fine in ALSA) had very
low microphone volume even at max digital.
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Rocko
2008-12-12 07:46:06 UTC
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I tried BIOS A12 and it hasn't made any difference - alsa still didn't
detect a digital capture volume control.

I did, however, manage to make alsa-mixer show a digital volume capture
control by copying the definition across from Hardy into the
/etc/asound.state file, doing a sudo alsactl restore, and restarting
alsa-utils.

However, the control thus created has absolutely no effect on recording
level. So it seems it is possible to fool alsa/pulseaudio into thinking
there's a control even though it doesn't write changes correctly back to
the sound card when you adjust the control.
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bro
2008-12-12 15:16:50 UTC
Permalink
I'm using a dell and didn't have this problem with 8.04 32-bit (now using
8.10 64-bit). Isn't pulse-audio in 8.04 to? Then downgrading might work
(either ALSA and/or Pulse) to see which of them causes the problem.
Somewhat strangly, an external mic does work - I cannot alter the input
level correctly though and it is quite loud.
Post by Rocko
I tried BIOS A12 and it hasn't made any difference - alsa still didn't
detect a digital capture volume control.
I did, however, manage to make alsa-mixer show a digital volume capture
control by copying the definition across from Hardy into the
/etc/asound.state file, doing a sudo alsactl restore, and restarting
alsa-utils.
However, the control thus created has absolutely no effect on recording
level. So it seems it is possible to fool alsa/pulseaudio into thinking
there's a control even though it doesn't write changes correctly back to
the sound card when you adjust the control.
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Daniel T Chen
2008-12-13 08:34:53 UTC
Permalink
If you:

1) experience the reported issue on recent Dell hardware running intrepid _or_ jaunty,
2) have libasound2-plugins and pulseaudio installed,

please link to a pastebin url containing:

1) alsamixer -c0 (bypasses pulse),
2) alsamixer (does not bypass pulse),
3) the url from executing the bash script http://www.alsa-project.org/alsa-info.sh.

Please be sure to mark the pastebin entry as "not expiring".

** Changed in: pulseaudio (Ubuntu)
Sourcepackagename: linux => pulseaudio
Status: Invalid => Incomplete

** Summary changed:

- audio recording very silent
+ internal mic capture very low volume when routed through pulseaudio
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Kristian Erik Hermansen
2008-12-15 06:40:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daniel T Chen
3) the url from executing the bash script http://www.alsa-project.org/alsa-info.sh.
http://www.alsa-project.org/db/?f=a40fd1a3c2ca3071ecfc4b0cfb1063be48588519
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Rocko
2008-12-13 11:38:19 UTC
Permalink
Here's a link to an alsa-info.sh using alsa 1.0.18 (which gives the same
results as 1.0.17 for me):

http://www.alsa-
project.org/db/?f=3846ce236ee825f8b4329a19b34e8cb43c88333a

I also reported the inability to adjust the recording level as a bug at
alsa-project, https://bugtrack.alsa-project.org/alsa-
bug/view.php?id=4286.

What's a pastebin url and how do I make one?
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Josh Derr
2008-12-13 16:29:13 UTC
Permalink
Ok, dumped my alsamixer and alsa-info out to pastebin link:
http://pastebin.com/f74ad3e25

@Rocko
Pastebin: http://pastebin.com/
Pretty straightforward, dump in your text, give it your name, and press send.
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Tom Haddon
2008-12-13 19:04:45 UTC
Permalink
Screenshots of "alsamixer -c0" and "alsamixer" to be found here:

http://www.greenleaftech.net/static/alsa/

And output of alsa-info.sh to be found here:

http://www.alsa-
project.org/db/?f=5a626cfa41ccbac9791f446055c4ab41b50772a8
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timblack1
2008-12-13 19:47:12 UTC
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Post by Daniel T Chen
1) alsamixer -c0 (bypasses pulse),
2) alsamixer (does not bypass pulse),
3) the url from executing the bash script http://www.alsa-project.org/alsa-info.sh.
Here is mine:

http://pastebin.com/f7ff729de
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Shavak Sinanan
2008-12-13 20:56:09 UTC
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screenshots of alsamixer -c0 and alsamixer along with output from the alsa-info script are here
http://pastebin.com/f7d87ff62

@Rocko
I'm using BIOS A09.
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Motin
2008-12-13 21:25:35 UTC
Permalink
Here is a proposed workaround from http://naysaying.com/blog/2008/10
/fixing-low-microphone-volume-problem.html : Please report if this works
around the problem for you!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Fixing Low Microphone Volume Problem with PulseAudio/ALSA on Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex running on Dell XPS M1330

1. Open Application -> Sound & Video -> PulseAudio Device Chooser
2. Click on the "PulseAudio Applet" on the system tray and open "Manager".
3. Click on the "Devices" tab, select "alsa_output.pci_8086_284b_sound_card_0_alsa_playback_0.monitor" which is the "Monitor Source of ALSA..."
4. Click properties and set the volume to maximum (480% on my computer)
5. Record a song using the gnome-sound-recorder for testing
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Shavak Sinanan
2008-12-13 22:05:43 UTC
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tried that a while ago. didn't work for me.
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Rocko
2008-12-14 03:46:01 UTC
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That doesn't work for me either. (And nor does adjusting the alsa_input
volume in PulseAudio Manager.)
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hendrikwout
2008-12-14 11:58:48 UTC
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idem
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Johan Brannlund
2008-12-14 16:44:06 UTC
Permalink
i discovered something potentially interesting. With Pulseaudio running,
I get the "low mic volume" problem described in this bug. If I kill
pulse, and set the "Sound capture" setting in gnome-sound-properties to
"HDA Intel STAC92xx Analog (ALSA)" I still have the low volume problem.

However, if I (with Pulseaudio not running) change the "Sound capture"
setting to "ALSA - Advanced Linux Sound Architecture" I *can* record at
a reasonable volume using gnome-sound-recorder.

Maybe the problem is that Pulseaudio latches on to the wrong device for
recording?
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Motin
2008-12-14 22:39:14 UTC
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That workaround makes it possible to get some kind of highly distorted
sound captured... The issue with the original low capture volume is the
same.

@Johan: That doesn't help me record in gnome-sound-recorder at a good
level at all.
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mabawsa
2008-12-15 05:47:52 UTC
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** Bug watch added: Red Hat Bugzilla #474477
https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=474477

** Also affects: alsa-lib (Fedora) via
https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=474477
Importance: Unknown
Status: Unknown
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mabawsa
2008-12-15 06:03:47 UTC
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** Also affects: pulseaudio (openSUSE)
Importance: Undecided
Status: New
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Bug Watch Updater
2008-12-15 05:52:34 UTC
Permalink
** Changed in: alsa-lib (Fedora)
Status: Unknown => Confirmed
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mabawsa
2008-12-15 06:12:21 UTC
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I guess we are not alone. Fedora also seems to have issues as well as
Open Suse.

http://forums.opensuse.org/hardware/393830-dell-inspiron-1720
-microphone-very-quiet.html

The forum describes how Hardy fixed his issue but I dunno if they upgraded to Intrepid.
I would guess that the bug comes from Pulse not regognising Alsa very well maybe in the libsdl1.2debian library.
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Bug Watch Updater
2008-12-17 02:13:43 UTC
Permalink
** Changed in: pulseaudio
Status: New => Invalid
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mabawsa
2008-12-17 02:47:13 UTC
Permalink
Here is lenhart's answer from the pulseaudio development team and my
response. This is my take on it all.
PA doesn't apply its own volume adjustment except for the one exported in pavucontrol. Hence: this is either a misconfiguration of the alsa mixer (which can be fixed by playing around with alsamixer -c0) or a a misconfiguration of the PA mixer (which can be fixed by playing around with pavucontrol).
I understand this but this isn't about adjusting alsamixer -c0 or
pavucontrol. These are maxed out and the recording is very soft (indeed
it doesn't matter what setting one uses for a digital microphone it has
no effect). Rather there seems to be something wrong with the
communication between alsa-lib and pulseaudio.
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Josh Derr
2008-12-17 03:03:05 UTC
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Ok, so since upgrading to 8.10 I have no sound from the built-in mic on
my XPS m1330. Skype, gnome-sound-recorder et al would just record dead
air. This even I was able to get it working. I went to Volume Control ->
preferences and enabled Digital Input Source (towards the end, for the
Options section). Back in Volume Control -> Options, Digital Input
Source was set to Analog inputs. Changing it to Digital Mic 1 has gotten
my recording working again. Setting Skype to use Pulse for sound input
and output works as well. Sound from the built-in microphone is still
somewhat low, but not unusable. In fact, I think it was about the same
level as 8.04

After reading through some of the other comments, this makes me think
either a) Intrepid defaults to the wrong mic inputs or b) my no audio is
a different issue from the extremely low audio reported by other users.
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Kristian Erik Hermansen
2008-12-17 03:20:31 UTC
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Post by Josh Derr
Ok, so since upgrading to 8.10 I have no sound from the built-in mic on
my XPS m1330. Skype, gnome-sound-recorder et al would just record dead
air. This even I was able to get it working. I went to Volume Control ->
preferences and enabled Digital Input Source (towards the end, for the
Options section). Back in Volume Control -> Options, Digital Input
Source was set to Analog inputs. Changing it to Digital Mic 1 has gotten
my recording working again. Setting Skype to use Pulse for sound input
and output works as well. Sound from the built-in microphone is still
somewhat low, but not unusable. In fact, I think it was about the same
level as 8.04
After reading through some of the other comments, this makes me think
either a) Intrepid defaults to the wrong mic inputs or b) my no audio is
a different issue from the extremely low audio reported by other users.
I was able to get recording working now with your comments, but I
needed one more additional step. I had to set the Volume Control
dropdown to "Capture: ALSA PCM on front:0 (STAC92xx Analog) via DMA
(Pulseaudio Mixer)", untick the red 'X' to unmute, and raise the
volume control level to about 75% from 0%. But now my onboard input
mic is working, yay!!! Thanks Josh :-D
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Shavak Sinanan
2008-12-17 04:49:16 UTC
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that doesn't work for me
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jdeslip
2008-12-17 05:55:26 UTC
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There are a large number of users reporting the same problem. It is not
fake - yet you change the status to "invalid"?? Bah.
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Jesper de Jong
2008-12-17 08:37:37 UTC
Permalink
jdeslip, this bug is attached to a number of packages, as you can see in
the top right of this bug report. It has been marked invalid for only
two of the packages. Not the whole bug report has been marked as
invalid.
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internal mic capture very low volume when routed through pulseaudio
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Rocko
2008-12-17 22:49:17 UTC
Permalink
Jaunty has the same problem (kernel 2.6.28, alsa 1.0.18 and whichever
flavour of pulseaudio is the current one).
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Rocko
2008-12-18 00:37:29 UTC
Permalink
I tried using arecord -vv as per the instructions on http://www.alsa-
project.org/main/index.php/SoundcardTesting, and my faked "Digital
Capture Volume" DOES affect the volume recording level for this
application.

But it has no effect on gnome-sound-recorder (or Skype) irrespective of
which device I chose.

So it seems I have two issues on my PC:

a) ALSA doesn't detect/display the digital capture volume control by
default. I had to add it to /etc/asound.state manually (copying it from
Hardy) and do a sudo alsactl restore. I think this is an ALSA issue. I
have no idea why the control appears for some people and not others.

b) The digital capture volume has no effect on gnome apps. This is
presumably a pulseaudio issue since digital capture volume works in
arecord.

Btw, I'm now using alsa 1.0.18 from the jaunty repositories, but I don't
think it's all that different from 1.0.17.
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Bug Watch Updater
2008-12-18 02:01:15 UTC
Permalink
** Changed in: pulseaudio
Status: Invalid => New
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mabawsa
2008-12-20 06:27:22 UTC
Permalink
I wonder if this is related?
https://bugs.launchpad.net/dell/+bug/309508

Its in the new kernel 2.6.27-11.22 but I haven't got pulse installed.

Anybody tried?
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Rocko
2008-12-20 07:53:03 UTC
Permalink
The notes from https://bugs.launchpad.net/dell/+bug/309508 say it's for
a different subsystem id from the XPS M1530 (which is 022e instead of
0271) so I wouldn't have thought it would help.

However, haven't said that, I did briefly manage to get working with
this combination:

* kernel 2.6.27-11
* alsa-base 1.0.18.dfsg-1ubuntu2
* alsa-utils 1.0.18-1ubuntu3
* linux-sound-base 1.0.17.dfsg-2ubuntu1
* pulseaudio 0.9.13-2ubuntu3 [although pulseaudio fromis not currently running - it segment faults if I try to run it]
* Audio conferencing sound capture set to ALSA (not the HDA intel card)

With this setup, the digital capture control changed the volume
recording level in gnome-sound-recorder as I adjusted it. I then
(foolishly) tried to run pulseaudio (which segment faulted) and
subsequently the ALSA capture device stopped working - only the HDA
Intel source works now, and the digital capture volume control doesn't
adjust the level for this capture source. (The digital capture volume
control doesn't even always appear when I restart alsa.)

The alsa 1.0.18 packages are from the jaunty repository. I tried
removing everything to do with sound to revert to alsa 1.0.17 but
couldn't because when I tried to revert libasound2, synaptic wanted to
remove just about every other package including unrelated ones like
compiz, and I ran into a problem installing libasound2-plugins (to get
pulseaudio back) without uninstalling libasound2 first.
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Shavak Sinanan
2008-12-20 15:52:51 UTC
Permalink
Ok so I did a fresh install about 3 days ago (not because of this bug,
just because i wanted to add a FAT32 partition for both windows and
linux to read/write) and I have all the repositories enabled - intrepid
backports, intrepid proposed etc and about 5 minutes ago, after being
prompted by the update manager, I did a partial upgrade and skype audio
capture seems to be working now. among other things, the upgrade removed
a bunch of packages related to pulseaudio. i'm guessing that it sort of
did automatically something along the lines of what was described above.
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Chris Ian Fiel
2008-12-23 22:33:39 UTC
Permalink
This are the things I did and so far I still have the problem. Very low
volume mic.

1. Shavak Sinanan does not work
2. Motin solution does not work
3. Josh Derr works but very low volumn (still unusable)

My system is xps m1330
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Marcus Granado
2008-12-28 17:03:46 UTC
Permalink
I've just moved to Intrepid (alsa 1.0.17) on a Dell Inspiron 1720 with
Intel audio (00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8
Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 02)), and I was having exactly this
same problem: my internal digital microphone on the top of the screen
would only capture my voice if I shouted.

I was able to quickly fix it by modifying my /etc/asound.conf. The idea
was to use ALSA's softvol dB-gain plugin to do a software mic boost and
pipe that to a new pulseaudio device "pulseboost" that can be used by
Skype etc.

After adding those lines below and rebooting, you should see a new
slider called "+50dB Mic Capture Volume" in gnome-volume-control's
Recording tab (if you don't see it, go to Preferences and check it).
Raise it to maximum (+50dB), or a bit below that in case the maximum
value clips your voice or captures too much noise in the environment.

In my case, Skype was able to list a new device named "pulseboost" in
its Options configuration dialog's SoundDevices tab. If you choose this
device for SoundIn, Skype can benefit from the +50dB softvol mic boost
in gnome-volume-control. I also chose it for my Skype's
soundout/ringing, but I think that's not required.

Is there a side-effect to this? Well, I guess that with this setup you
can only use the mic at one application at any time, because it directly
accesses the mic's hw:0,0, but at least you have a huge mic boost in
that application.

### my /etc/asound.conf:
pcm.pulseboost {
type asym
playback.pcm {
type pulse
}
#software gain upto 50dB for digital microphone
capture.pcm {
type softvol
slave.pcm "hw:0,0"
#slave.pcm "pulse0"
control {
name "+50dB Mic Capture Volume"
card 0
}
max_dB 50.0
}
}
ctl.pulseboost {
type pulse
}

I also added the line 'load-module module-alsa-source device=pulseboost'
to my /etc/pulse/default.pa, and renamed my ~/.asoundrc to avoid any
conflicts with my previous alsa configuration, but I think that's
unnecessary.

That would probably work with Hardy, Gutsy, Jaunty etc as well. Please
let me know if that works for anyone here.
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Bengt Olsson
2008-12-28 18:07:59 UTC
Permalink
Marcus,

Sounds like a good work-around, however I have no /etc/asound.conf
file... :( Is that something special for the Intel sound device? Have

sudo lspci | grep audio
02:0a.0 Multimedia audio controller: Creative Labs SB Audigy (rev 03)

Same problem with very low recording volume (and no "Digital" control
options in the alsamixer)
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Marcus Granado
2008-12-28 20:06:56 UTC
Permalink
Hi, Bengt,
I didn't have the file /etc/asound.conf as well, I just created a new one with the contents above. (If you had this file with something in it, you should just append the contents above to the bottom of it.) This file is not specific to the Intel sound device, it is generic for ALSA, so this workaround should work with any card supported in ALSA. Try the solution above, I guess it is quite likely it works for your SB Audigy. Let us know if that's the case...
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Marcus Granado
2008-12-28 20:20:17 UTC
Permalink
@Bengt: BTW, you should verify if your SB Audigy mic device is located
at "hw:0,0". This is in the format "hw:<card>,<device>". If not, you
should modify the corresponding line in the /etc/asound.conf file above.
In order to find this out, I think you can use the output of "arecord
-l" or "aplay -l". Other possible values are "hw:0,1", "hw:0,2", ...
"hw:1,0" etc.
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vinlos
2008-12-28 20:34:36 UTC
Permalink
Wonderful Marcus,

it works, but now I hope Pulse audio team could find an own solution to
make it work just out-of-the-box
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vinlos
2008-12-28 20:35:57 UTC
Permalink
I have a dell xps m1330 with HDA Intel sound card
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tomek.bury
2008-12-28 21:01:03 UTC
Permalink
Hello,

It doesn't work for me I'm affraid. I've got Dell XPS M1330.

lspci reports:

00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 02)
Subsystem: Dell Device 0209
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 21
Memory at febfc000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
Capabilities: <access denied>
Kernel driver in use: HDA Intel
Kernel modules: snd-hda-intel

$ arecord -l
**** List of CAPTURE Hardware Devices ****
card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 0: STAC92xx Analog [STAC92xx Analog]
Subdevices: 3/3
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
Subdevice #1: subdevice #1
Subdevice #2: subdevice #2

The /etc/asound.conf didn't work at all. I had to rename it to
~/.asoundrc to make the new control to appear. But it has no influence
on mic sensitivity at all. I've tried hw:0,0 0,1 0,2 and 1,0 (restaring
alsa after each change) - none of them worked. In fact none of the
recording sliders have any influence on the recording volume.

I'll try to get rid of all audio packages but the standard ones and I'll
try again.

Cheers,
Tomek
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timblack1
2008-12-28 21:07:32 UTC
Permalink
@Marcus:

Thank you for your help!! I created an /etc/asound.conf file following
your directions and changed the appropriate line to read:

slave.pcm "hw:Intel,0"

I did that because Skype lists "hw:Intel,0" as one of its available
sound devices. In other words, the changed line now references the
device name (Intel) rather than the device ID (0).

The result is that Skype works.
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timblack1
2008-12-28 21:09:17 UTC
Permalink
@tomek:

I should mention that the new slider now DOES affect the recording
volume on my machine.
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Chris Ian Fiel
2008-12-29 00:28:23 UTC
Permalink
tomek.bury thanks a lot! it works in my xps m1330. It works in skype. but not in sound recorder.
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Marcus Granado
2008-12-29 11:53:00 UTC
Permalink
I had an interesting chat with pulseaudio's Lennart some time ago, it
might interest some of you here. IMHO that Lennart seems to acknowledge
this problem in pulseaudio, but also says that this could be fixed by a
modification in the alsa modules (by removing all hardware volume
control in alsa so that pulseaudio would take over the channel and
automatically expose software amplification by scaling), and he also
seems to be trying to find people asking for a fix so as to justify the
work into adding softvol dB-gain to pulseaudio on top of the already
existing hardware-vol dB-gain that alsa usually provides.

I guess that people here and from other distros could show him that
there's demand for such a fix, by commenting as much as possible on
pulseaudio's corresponding bug at http://pulseaudio.org/ticket/423 and
letting him know of how many people are being affected, and maybe asking
pulseaudio to expose the already existing software amplification scaling
to the UI, together with some dynamic range compression to avoid signal
clipping.

Cheers,
Marcus

-----
Dear Lennart,
I've been looking at the source code of module-alsa-source (at
http://www.pulseaudio.org/browser/branches/glitch-free/src/modules/module-alsa-source.c?rev=2308 )
trying to understand how I could produce a +20dB software gain or so to my alsa microphone.
Looking around lines 649 (source_get_volume_cb) and 686 (source_set_volume_cb,
http://www.pulseaudio.org/browser/branches/glitch-free/src/modules/module-alsa-source.c?rev=2308#L686 ),
it seems that there is some kind of volume normalization being produced via PA_VOLUME_NORM. Do
you think if I modified PA_VOLUME_NORM, changing it to a larger value, then source_set_volume_cb
would accept larger volumes for the alsa microphone? Or is this a global parameter that would
produce out of range samples all around?
Or is there something simpler to do (like using some volume amplifier plugin between the alsa mic
source and pulse mixer), or some pulse configuration that I could use instead (maybe something
related to ladspa, but I cannot find a pulseaudio ladspa source plugin, only a module-ladspa-sink).
Thanks in advance,
M.
-----
Dear Lennart,
I don*t think that simply scaling all PCM data with 20dB is such a
good idea, due to clipping and stuff. If you want this, then we should
add some dynamic range compression code first.
I've been looking at the source code of module-alsa-source (at
http://www.pulseaudio.org/browser/branches/glitch-free/src/modules/module-alsa-source.c?rev=2308 )
trying to understand how I could produce a +20dB software gain or so to my
alsa microphone.
Looking around lines 649 (*source_get_volume_cb*) and 686 (*
source_set_volume_cb*,
http://www.pulseaudio.org/browser/branches/glitch-free/src/modules/module-alsa-source.c?rev=2308#L686 ),
it seems that there is some kind of volume normalization being produced via
PA_VOLUME_NORM. Do you think if I modified PA_VOLUME_NORM, changing it to a
larger value, then source_set_volume_cb would accept larger volumes for the
alsa microphone? Or is this a global parameter that would produce out of
range samples all around?
For ALSA we limit ourselves to what the hardware provides. We don't do
software volume adjustments if the hardware provides us with a certain
minimal set of featzres.
If software volume control is done, PA will alow you to do
amplification by scaling. However, this is not exposed in the UI due
to the reasons mentioned above. If you really want this, then the
easiest way to make use of this is probably to hack the ALSA modules
to never make use of hw volume control and always do it in
software. Of course, that would be a hack, but should be OK.
Eventually I hope to "extend" the hw provided volume scale in
software. We need this because for some hw the lowest volume setting
is not silence -- however users expect it to be. If we add this we
will also be able to provide software amplification on all devices
easily while still relying on the basic hw volume control stuff.
Lennart
--
Lennart Poettering Red Hat, Inc.
lennart [at] poettering [dot] net ICQ# 11060553
http://0pointer.net/lennart/ GnuPG 0x1A015CC4
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timblack1
2008-12-29 14:52:39 UTC
Permalink
Marcus wrote,
IMHO that Lennart seems to acknowledge this problem in pulseaudio, but
also says that this could be fixed by a modification in the alsa modules
(by removing all hardware volume control in alsa so that pulseaudio
would take over the channel and automatically expose software
amplification by scaling)

It seems to me then that an appropriate way for Alsa to allow Ubuntu to
continue migrating to Pulseaudio would be to add a checkbox to Alsa's
settings which says "Allow Pulseaudio to manage all volume control," and
make the effect of that checkbox be that it disables Alsa's hardware
volume control code.
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mabawsa
2008-12-29 19:01:21 UTC
Permalink
Or have a switch that disables pulse all together in ubuntu rather than
having to remove the ubuntu-desktop. I haven't had any issues with only
running Alsa it just works. What is the purpose of pulse audio, I was
never too sure?
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skull77
2008-12-29 19:16:12 UTC
Permalink
@ Marcus:

thank you very much!

It works for me (xps m1530). I tested it in skype.
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timblack1
2008-12-29 22:35:28 UTC
Permalink
@mabawsa
From what I can see from the diagram below and its related explanations,
one reason is that not every application (Skype may be a good example)
uses Alsa. Instead, applications use a variety of sound systems.
PulseAudio integrates all those systems into one.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/14/Pulseaudio-
diagram.png
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mabawsa
2008-12-30 00:41:26 UTC
Permalink
@timblack1


Thanks for the info, explains things a bit better. Maybe it will become
better in Jaunty. For me removing pulse audio then switching everything
to default totally solves this issue (even in Skype). So if
gnome-sound-properties could actually do this without having to totally
remove pulse using synaptic then this would be a step ahead until
pulseaudio and ALSA start speaking to each other again (or Alsa to pulse
at least ;-) )

Just an idea
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Rocko
2008-12-30 00:03:57 UTC
Permalink
I think software volume boost (both capture and playback) is a fantastic
idea - wouldn't it be great if alsa incorporated it into the hardware
controls as standard once you adjust past 100%? (On my XPS M1530 the
playback volume is very low - I need to have everything set to near 100%
to make it audible.)

Having it in pulseaudio is a great idea as well (if only pulseaudio
worked consistently).

@mabawsa - thanks for the tip. It works for me in skype, although not in
sound-recorder (presumably because the new control doesn't appear in
gnome-sound-properties, so you can't assign it as the default gnome
sound capture device).
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Marcus Granado
2008-12-30 04:23:58 UTC
Permalink
@Chris,Rocko,mabawsa:

In order to make the micboost available to all pulseaudio clients in
Ubuntu, like gnome soundrecorder, you can also use the alsa softvol
trick that I suggested above in reverse, creating a new alsaboost device
on top of which you will run pulseaudio, by modifying the following
files (1) and (2) below (make a backup of those files first, just in
case something breaks in your Ubuntu).

After restarting alsa/pulseaudio (or rebooting), you should verify that
the program "paman" shows alsaboost_sink and alsaboost_source as the
default pulseaudio sink and source. From now on, all ubuntu programs
that understand pulseaudio should be able to automatically benefit from
the micboost when recording. You can test this by changing the new +50dB
Mic slider in gnome volumecontrol while recording in gnome
soundrecorder. Let us know if other recording programs work fine as
well.

caveat 1: skype doesn't like to use pulseaudio, so you should still
choose the "alsaboost" device for its SoundIn configuration, but you can
use "pulse" for its SoundOut and Ringing. This seems to be a deficiency
in skype, and the side-effect is that while skype is in a call, you
won't be able to use the mic in a different application like gnome's
soundrecorder. Also, if another program is using the mic, skype won't be
able to use it.

caveat 2: under this configuration, skype also likes to mess with the
value of the +50dB Mic slider if the option "Allow skype to
automatically ajudst my mixer levels" is checked in. I would recommend
disabling this option, or at least keeping in mind that if the mic stops
recording, it's very likely that skype messed with the micboost slider.

This hack worked for me, let me know if that works for you (and anyone else).
Cheers,
Marcus


----
1) create/update your /etc/asound.conf:

# creates a new alsaboost device that takes over sound card
pcm.alsaboost {
type asym
playback.pcm {
type hw
card 0
}
#software gain upto 50dB for digital microphone
capture.pcm {
type softvol
slave.pcm "hw:0,0"
control {
name "+50dB Mic Capture Volume"
card 0
}
max_dB 50.0
}
}
ctl.alsaboost {
type hw
card 0
}

----
2) modify your /etc/pulse/default.pa, in order to add the two uncommented lines below at a
similar place in your default.pa (around line 35 in my case), and keeping all the
remaining lines in your default.pa (this location is important, do not put them at the bottom
of default.pa or otherwise alsaboost will not load properly in pulseaudio because it
will prefer to load, instead, the original sound device via module-hal-detect a few lines down):

### Load audio drivers statically (it's probably better to not load
### these drivers manually, but instead use module-hal-detect --
### see below -- for doing this automatically)
#load-module module-alsa-sink
#load-module module-alsa-source device=hw:1,0

load-module module-alsa-source device=alsaboost source_name=alsaboost_source
load-module module-alsa-sink device=alsaboost sink_name=alsaboost_sink

#load-module module-oss device="/dev/dsp" sink_name=output source_name=input
#load-module module-oss-mmap device="/dev/dsp" sink_name=output source_name=inp$
#load-module module-null-sink
#load-module module-pipe-sink


2b) in case you have several devices, or for some other reason alsaboost doesn't become the default source/sink in pulseaudio, you can force that by adding the following two lines at the bottom of default.pa:

set-default-sink alsaboost_sink
set-default-source alsaboost_source
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