Microphone working in some ways [SOLVED]

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mrodent
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Microphone working in some ways [SOLVED]

Post by mrodent » Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:21 am

Linux Mint Cinnamon 18.1. I'm still a newb but I think this sub-forum is more appropriate than the general "Newbies" one.

I have a USB mike, called a "Buddy 6G". It shows up under Sound --> Input. Under "Device settings". The "Volume" slider spot is always at the far left ("Softer") and can't be moved. The "Input level" bar never shows anything (it contains no slider spot, and I'm not clear whether this is meant to show the volume of sound coming into the mike).

Yesterday, however, I made some brilliant progress with the microphone and with one of my crucial "transition to Linux" goals: in W10 I use DNS (Dragon Naturally Speaking) dictation software all the time. I followed a lot of the configuration advice at this page, and eventually managed to get things so that I could save a bit of microphone input into a .wav file. None of this configuration stuff (alsamixer) changed the appearance of things under Sound --> Input. NB the command which enabled a 10-second .wav file to be created was:

Code: Select all

arecord -f cd -c 1 -D hw:2,0 -d 10 test2.wav
(NB although this is not relevant to this question here I then managed to get a non-Web-based dictation app to correctly interpret my speech in the .wav file! I did this by following the instructions of the genius who put together this page).

Anyway, the thing is that my microphone still does not appear to be getting proper data input to the "normal" apps: for example, I tried the online speech engine offered by Google (installing the "Online speech recognition" extension in Chrome). The microphone icon now appears in the right-hand part of the Chrome search box. When I click it it says "Speak now" ... I speak... it says "Listening..." and then "Please check your volume levels".

Also, at the above dictation link there are meant to be two ways of using the DeepSpeech module: one by analysing a sound file (success, as I said above), the other by using microphone input directly. The latter command, namely:

Code: Select all

gst-launch-1.0 -m pulsesrc ! audioconvert ! audiorate ! audioresample ! deepspeech silence-threshold=0.3 silence-length=20 ! fakesink
..., which should be able to be produce dictated speech output in any suitable Linux app (e.g. xed or LO Writer), does nothing.

Can anyone suggest what's going wrong with my microphone configuration?
Last edited by mrodent on Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

mrodent
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Re: Microphone working in some ways

Post by mrodent » Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:40 am

Cracked it.

I installed pavucontrol... on the dialog there --> tab "Input Devices" I found there were not one, but two (even three), live microphones*, with live level bars which were constantly responding to ambient and microphone sound.

However, Sound --> Input stayed unchanged...

Then I found that there was a funny checkbox next to the Buddy USB mike on the pavucontrol --> Input Devices: tooltip "set as fallback". I toggled this (to on? to off?)... and then this caused Sound --> Input to come alive.

I tried Chrome online dictation... works!

PS In fact the non-Web dictation software at the above page (http://blog.mikeasoft.com/2017/12/30/sp ... -and-ibus/) also works straight from the mike to Terminal! The accuracy is distinctly impressive particularly considering it has had no training for my voice. For once the expression "works straight out of the box" means something very significant. I'd call Michael Sheldon's project a very exciting one.

* One mono microphone is my (very accurate) Buddy USB mike... the other is a stereo mike I didn't know I had (so in fact two mikes, a "front" and a "rear"). This is a desktop so I found that odd... but I'm pretty sure that these dual (stereo) mikes are in fact embedded in my monitor (which also has speakers).

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MrEen
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Re: Microphone working in some ways [SOLVED]

Post by MrEen » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:52 pm

Congrats mrodent! That's 2 for 2 solved yourself in the sound category. Good work!

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