[Nottingham] unable to set microphone volume

J J jasonirwin73 at gmail.com
Thu Apr 9 10:41:50 UTC 2020

One option is to bung a standard, mobile phone, hands-free headset into the
audio jack and see if it picks up the mic there. Some mics are just plain
bad and using a different one can solve the problem (this assumes your ASUS
has an all-in-one audio jack). A Bluetooth headset or pair of earbuds can
do the same thing.

Within the applications themselves, check their sound settings. Some can
impose their own values.
Also, with the application running, check the main sound settings. It is
possible to have a master volume at 100% but drop an application all the
way down (although I think this resets when the application closes).

Finally, you can join meetings twice. Once via the laptop (camera on, mic
off) and then via phone (camera off, mic on).
It's not great, but it might be enough to get you through.

I'll confess that it's been ages since I've had any sound issues (Hardy and
Jaunty gave me a spot of bother) so I'm brushing mental cobwebs aside here.

Maybe a screenshot of the sound input settings would help us?
You've tried this, but just in case:
* In the top right, click on the speaker icon, then click on the tool icon
(lower left).
* Select "Sound" from the list (this is kinda just another view the
pavucontrol stuff) in the left and then the "Input" tab on the right.
* You may see multiple mics listed, start with the one that is
auto-selected (probably "Mic 1 Built-in Audio")
  * Make sure the mic is "On".
  * Then move the slider all the way to the right
  * Talk into the mic and observe the meter below that slider, it should
light-up when you talk.
  * If nothing happens (or you can't slide the control), try one of the
other mics.

If that doesn't help, try alsamixer (although we're clutching at straws now)
* sudo apt install alsa-tools
* sudo alsamixer
* Press F6 and see what sound cards are lists. I expect you only have
"default" and on other. Press "Enter".
* Now press F4 and see what value is set for "Capture". If this is really
low, use the arrow keys to move it up (mine is at 53).
* Esc to quit and test.
* No change? sudo alsamixer
* In this initial screen, press F5
* Using the arrow key, move anything that looks to be sound input ("mic",
"micboost", "capture" etc to 100, you can turn them down later).
  * Might be an idea to take a note of what you've changed.
* Esc to quit and test.
* No change? I'm out of ideas, sorry.
* sudo alsamixer
* Reset all the changes you made to avoid future confusion.


On Wed, 8 Apr 2020 at 20:35, godfrey--- via Nottingham <
nottingham at mailman.lug.org.uk> wrote:

> Hi folks,
> In these days of isolation amd remote meetings on the internet, I find
> the mic on my system is very low volume.
> Some may say thanks, but I want to join in zoom and skype sessions.
> Yeah, I know of security worries but those are the access programs being
> used.
> I have been through sound settings, pavucontrol and other configuration
> progs, but mic volume control remains unable to be selected/altered.
> I am using ASUS laptop and Ubuntu 18.04
> Any suggestions as to how I might get it fixed?
> Godfrey
> --
> Nottingham mailing list
> Nottingham at mailman.lug.org.uk
> https://mailman.lug.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/nottingham
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