[nmglug] Fixed the mic

Ted Pomeroy ted.pome at gmail.com
Mon Jul 6 08:38:52 PDT 2020

NMGLuggers and Satsangat, thanks for following this thread. I'm afraid
thoroughness is required if one is using the six month release cycle. The
Release Notes and news on releases will help one listen to the ideas being
considered by the developers, but sometimes they miss an item of importance
for some users. In my rather simple case it is the Pulseaudio, Alsamixer,
hardware connection for the built-in mic. One small detail. I decided not
to resort to a rewrite of files or a script, but exploration of the
supplied settings and a little more knowledge of how pulse and alsa work
together. It also reminded me to add sox and lame, just because I like them
and occasionally use them.
On top of this there is systemd which I am still at the beginner's stage of
absorbing and understanding. You may have seen the notice about "start and
stop" commands not being used now, etc. I got a hint by running 'mount' and
seeing all the changes: cgroups and snap are both revealed as mounted
items, but really are control mechanisms. This takes advantage of the Linux
ability to mount a directory or system almost anywhere. Very interesting.
Thank  you, Ted P

On Sat, Jul 4, 2020 at 3:17 PM Satsangat Khalsa <satsangat at khalsa.com>

> NMGLUGERS (in particular, Ted and Akkana}
> OMG, you guys are so thorough.  I'm impressed and have always loaded my
> laptops with dual-booting (LINUX / WIN) which I understand as to be
> cheating somewhat.
> But, if I don't do it that way, my wife has, consistently, chortled about
> how "I'm not having that problem on my laptop".   It does start to depress
> your forward thinking after a while.
> Best,
> Satsangat (dual-booter by necessity)
> 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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