[nmglug] Fixed the mic

Ted Pomeroy ted.pome at gmail.com
Sat Jul 4 12:03:35 PDT 2020

NMGLugers & Akkana, Many thanks, Akkana. My first response is "Yeah, things
got complicated." I will follow up on your webpage and maybe the multiple
Internet references to something like "pulseaudio problems." I am able to
use arecord and aplay to check that the mic is now attached at least that
far. It does also show in the pavucontrol gui, so maybe I found enough of
an answer.
I have also removed chromium-browser and two related programs as no longer
supported: chromium is now installed via a snap, so I will re-install it
later. The command 'ubuntu-security-status' is a good way to check what is
in or not in the supported repositories after an update. I was searching
for update and upgrade reviews and ran across that command.
In sum complexity and conflicts  are a part of the ever-growing world of
software. I am finding a lot to learn about my choices and the
ramifications of each choice. Again, thanks for the information about
pulseaudio. I will be reading up.
Thank you, Ted P

On Sat, Jul 4, 2020 at 9:42 AM Akkana Peck <akkana at shallowsky.com> wrote:

> Ted Pomeroy writes:
> > NMGLugers, I had trouble with my mic in Xubuntu 20.04 during our July 2nd
> > meeting. I have resolved this today, but the route was convoluted so I
> > cannot be sure which step was the most likely single solution. My first
> Audio has gotten insanely complicated lately -- I feel your pain
> and I'm glad you got it working.
> > choice for the solution is the Pulseaudio mixer where I found the "Input
> > Devices" tab and un-checked the "Set as fallback" choice. As this was the
> I found the "Set as fallback" buttons unhelpful in pavucontrol
> (probably the same app you're using as Pulseaudio mixer) because
> it doesn't give you any way of finding out what the current fallback is.
> Did I press the button, or not? Which one did I make the fallback?
> Did it remember it from last time? (Sometimes it does, other times not.)
> I got so frustrated that I ended up writing a web page where I
> collected what I'd learned about pulseaudio, pacmd and pactl:
> https://shallowsky.com/linux/pulseaudio-command-line.html
> and I wrote a script called pulsehelper to list audio source/sink
> status and set fallbacks:
> https://github.com/akkana/scripts/blob/master/pulsehelper.py
> Setting the fallbacks right doesn't always help with Zoom or Jitsi,
> though, because pulse also keeps a memory of which app uses which
> device, so even if I set the default mic to be the GoPro, pulse may
> decide that chromium should be using the built-in mic even though
> it's muted. So I always have to check the audio prefs immediately
> after starting zoom, jitsi or discord to make sure it's using
> "System default" instead of some specific device.
> > install the gui for the Alsamixer and to adjust the "Capture" level. It
> > took a few tries in  the Alsamixergui to get the Alsamixer to respond,
> but
> > this is simpler than manually adjusting the /usr/share/alsa/alsa.conf.d
> Adding to the complication, it varies with every release. Under
> Ubuntu 19.10, I couldn't adjust volume in pavucontrol at all. I used
> use pavucontrol to set which speakers (sinks) and which microphone
> (source) was active, but the volume sliders did nothing, and I had
> to run alsamixer (or amixer from the commandline) to adjust volume.
> I bound my laptop's Vol+ key to "amixer sset PCM 4%+ unmute" and
> similarly for Vol- and mute. Now, in 20.04, alsamixer/amixer don't
> change the volume at all; I still need to find pulse commands that I
> can bind to my laptop's volume buttons.
>         ...Akkana
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