External Microphone Distortion/Static Issues

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IAmDarthMole
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External Microphone Distortion/Static Issues

Post by IAmDarthMole »

Hello. My apologies if i'm missing something really simple or have completely confused myself. I'm still new to Linux.

The sound on my installation works fine, however, external microphones do not. I'm using a custom built gaming PC that was running Windows 7.
  • The microphone/headset combo in question works on the Windows OS, not the Linux Mint.
  • I have tried other microphones and have experienced the same issue.
  • I have tried adjusting the sound input boost and while I can get rid of almost all the static enough still remains to be annoying.
  • My mobo doesn't have any branded Linux drivers.
  • My hardware is older, nothing new or cutting edge except for the GPU which is a GEFORCE GT 1030 (not trying to game on the 1030, it was for non-OS software compatibility - the same mentioned below).
  • While I can get things to work with a USB adapter, unfortunately non-OS software requirements prevent me from using it as a solution.
  • Downloaded PulseAudio following the instructions in another fix.
My questions are:
  • Given my situation, and the above efforts/limits, is there generally anything else to be done except for trying a different motherboard?
  • If trying a different motherboard is my only remaining option, does having branded (aka, Asus, or Gigabyte, etc) Linux drivers matter?
Thank you very much in advance for any help. Please let me know if you need any additional information.

Edited: Added PulseAudio to list of things tried so far.

Code: Select all

System:
  Host: Name Redacted Kernel: 4.15.0-50-generic x86_64 bits: 64 
  compiler: gcc v: 7.3.0 Desktop: Cinnamon 4.0.10 
  Distro: Linux Mint 19.1 Tessa base: Ubuntu 18.04 bionic 
Machine:
  Type: Desktop Mobo: ASUSTeK model: M5A99FX PRO R2.0 v: Rev 1.xx 
  serial: <filter> BIOS: American Megatrends v: 2501 date: 04/07/2014 
CPU:
  Topology: 8-Core model: AMD FX-8350 bits: 64 type: MCP arch: Bulldozer 
  L2 cache: 2048 KiB 
  flags: lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 sse4a ssse3 svm 
  bogomips: 64222 
  Speed: 2056 MHz min/max: 1400/4000 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 1889 2: 2085 
  3: 1532 4: 2789 5: 1441 6: 1489 7: 1456 8: 1652 
Graphics:
  Device-1: NVIDIA GP108 [GeForce GT 1030] vendor: Gigabyte driver: nvidia 
  v: 418.56 bus ID: 01:00.0 
  Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.19.6 driver: nvidia 
  resolution: 1920x1080~60Hz, 1920x1080~60Hz 
  OpenGL: renderer: GeForce GT 1030/PCIe/SSE2 v: 4.6.0 NVIDIA 418.56 
  direct render: Yes 
Audio:
  Device-1: AMD SBx00 Azalia vendor: ASUSTeK driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel 
  bus ID: 00:14.2 
  Device-2: NVIDIA GP108 High Definition Audio vendor: Gigabyte 
  driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus ID: 01:00.1 
  Sound Server: ALSA v: k4.15.0-50-generic 
Network:
  Device-1: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet 
  vendor: ASUSTeK P8 series driver: r8169 v: 2.3LK-NAPI port: c000 
  bus ID: 09:00.0 
  IF: enp9s0 state: up speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter> 
Drives:
  Local Storage: total: 968.80 GiB used: 34.66 GiB (3.6%) 
  ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Kingston model: SV300S37A120G size: 111.79 GiB 
  ID-2: /dev/sdb vendor: Kingston model: SV300S37A120G size: 111.79 GiB 
  ID-3: /dev/sdc vendor: Western Digital model: WD3000HLFS-75G6U1 
  size: 279.46 GiB 
  ID-4: /dev/sdd vendor: Western Digital model: WD5000HHTZ-04N21V0 
  size: 465.76 GiB 
Partition:
  ID-1: / size: 109.53 GiB used: 34.66 GiB (31.6%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sdb1 
Sensors:
  System Temperatures: cpu: 15.9 C mobo: N/A gpu: nvidia temp: 32 C 
  Fan Speeds (RPM): cpu: 0 gpu: nvidia fan: 45% 
Info:
  Processes: 254 Uptime: 10m Memory: 15.57 GiB used: 1.15 GiB (7.4%) 
  Init: systemd runlevel: 5 Compilers: gcc: 7.4.0 Shell: bash v: 4.4.19 
  inxi: 3.0.27 
Last edited by IAmDarthMole on Fri May 24, 2019 11:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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MrEen
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Re: External Microphone Distortion/Static Issues

Post by MrEen »

Hi IAmDarthMole.

See if this helps. In the terminal enter alsamixer and when it opens use the arrow keys to get to the mic. Under the column you'll see two values such as 100<>100. Keep pressing the z key to lower the left side all the way down to zero. Based on my example it would now read 0<>100. Now test the mic. If that doesn't help, use the q key to raise it back up and try the c key to lower the other side down to zero and test.

There's more we can try if the above doesn't help.

Good luck.
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Re: External Microphone Distortion/Static Issues

Post by IAmDarthMole »

MrEen wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 11:30 pm
Hi IAmDarthMole.

See if this helps. In the terminal enter alsamixer and when it opens use the arrow keys to get to the mic. Under the column you'll see two values such as 100<>100. Keep pressing the z key to lower the left side all the way down to zero. Based on my example it would now read 0<>100. Now test the mic. If that doesn't help, use the q key to raise it back up and try the c key to lower the other side down to zero and test.

There's more we can try if the above doesn't help.

Good luck.
Thank you very much! Unfortunately it didn't seem to work, though I saw what I think was strange behavior.....

When I first opened alsamixer Master, Headphone, PCM, and Front were 71, 100<>100, 100<>100, and 100<>100 respectively. However, Front Mic, and Front Mic Boost were both 0<>0, and 0<>0. Following your instructions doesn't seem to make any change during the test.

One thing I did forget to mention (and I'm really sorry what I forgot would have changed your reply) but I did install PulseAudio volume control following other instructions that I found before. I just uninstalled PulseAudio and tried again and still didn't notice a change. I'll update my original post to list PulseAudio as part of my troubleshooting.

Again thank you!
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MrEen
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Re: External Microphone Distortion/Static Issues

Post by MrEen »

Well, use the up arrow on the Front Mic to something around 75<>75 then test again. Also, if you see MM on the bottom of the column, press the m key to unmute.
IAmDarthMole
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Re: External Microphone Distortion/Static Issues

Post by IAmDarthMole »

MrEen wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 11:50 pm
Well, use the up arrow on the Front Mic to something around 75<>75 then test again. Also, if you see MM on the bottom of the column, press the m key to unmute.
Regardless it shows MM or 00 (with a green highlight color), or if I lower the Z or the C, or both, or none, there doesn't seem to be any change in the quality or even sound. Front Mic Boost does, that is set to 0<>0 for the sake of my ears though.

Thanks!
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MrEen
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Re: External Microphone Distortion/Static Issues

Post by MrEen »

IAmDarthMole wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 12:16 am
Regardless it shows MM or 00 (with a green highlight color), or if I lower the Z or the C, or both, or none, there doesn't seem to be any change in the quality or even sound.
It's not even changing the volume? If MM is there some voice/sound that isn't distortion is getting through?

Please paste the output of amixer so I can see all the controls available.

EDIT: Add aplay -l as well. There might be a tweak available that the output will help me find.
IAmDarthMole
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Re: External Microphone Distortion/Static Issues

Post by IAmDarthMole »

MrEen wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 10:36 am
IAmDarthMole wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 12:16 am
Regardless it shows MM or 00 (with a green highlight color), or if I lower the Z or the C, or both, or none, there doesn't seem to be any change in the quality or even sound.
It's not even changing the volume? If MM is there some voice/sound that isn't distortion is getting through?

Please paste the output of amixer so I can see all the controls available.

EDIT: Add aplay -l as well. There might be a tweak available that the output will help me find.
Thank you again for your help and patience!

If I hit M on Master, Headphone or Front it turns them all to MM. I can't hear anything. If I make it so Master and Headphone are 00 and Front is MM then I don't hear myself talking during the test even though the test is showing it is hearing sound. If I turn them all to 00 instead of MM then I can hear the test like normal.

However, if I have Master, Headphone, and Front on 00 I still hear my voice during the test regardless of whether I have Front Mic on 00 or MM. Additionally, changing the left or right (Z or C) bar, or the entire bar itself, doesn't effect the sound level or quality at all.

Please see the requested outputs below. I may have/probably messed something up in these settings from when I was trying to fix it before.... Also I restored a previous version of my installation so PulseAudio is installed again, not sure if that changes anything but even before I did the restore, when PulseAudio was uninstalled, I was experiencing the same behavior as above.

amixer

Code: Select all

Simple mixer control 'Master',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pvolume-joined pswitch pswitch-joined
  Playback channels: Mono
  Limits: Playback 0 - 64
  Mono: Playback 60 [94%] [-4.00dB] [on]
Simple mixer control 'Headphone',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Playback 0 - 64
  Mono:
  Front Left: Playback 60 [94%] [-4.00dB] [on]
  Front Right: Playback 60 [94%] [-4.00dB] [on]
Simple mixer control 'PCM',0
  Capabilities: pvolume
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Playback 0 - 255
  Mono:
  Front Left: Playback 237 [93%] [-3.60dB]
  Front Right: Playback 237 [93%] [-3.60dB]
Simple mixer control 'Front',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Playback 0 - 64
  Mono:
  Front Left: Playback 58 [91%] [-6.00dB] [on]
  Front Right: Playback 58 [91%] [-6.00dB] [on]
Simple mixer control 'Front Mic',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Playback 0 - 31
  Mono:
  Front Left: Playback 31 [100%] [12.00dB] [off]
  Front Right: Playback 31 [100%] [12.00dB] [off]
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%] [0.00dB]
  Front Right: 0 [0%] [0.00dB]
Simple mixer control 'Surround',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Playback 0 - 64
  Mono:
  Front Left: Playback 0 [0%] [-64.00dB] [off]
  Front Right: Playback 0 [0%] [-64.00dB] [off]
Simple mixer control 'Center',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pvolume-joined pswitch pswitch-joined
  Playback channels: Mono
  Limits: Playback 0 - 64
  Mono: Playback 0 [0%] [-64.00dB] [off]
Simple mixer control 'LFE',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pvolume-joined pswitch pswitch-joined
  Playback channels: Mono
  Limits: Playback 0 - 64
  Mono: Playback 0 [0%] [-64.00dB] [off]
Simple mixer control 'Side',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Playback 0 - 64
  Mono:
  Front Left: Playback 0 [0%] [-64.00dB] [off]
  Front Right: Playback 0 [0%] [-64.00dB] [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 'Line Boost',0
  Capabilities: volume
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Capture channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: 0 - 3
  Front Left: 0 [0%] [0.00dB]
  Front Right: 0 [0%] [0.00dB]
Simple mixer control 'IEC958',0
  Capabilities: pswitch pswitch-joined
  Playback channels: Mono
  Mono: Playback [off]
Simple mixer control 'IEC958 Default PCM',0
  Capabilities: pswitch pswitch-joined
  Playback channels: Mono
  Mono: Playback [on]
Simple mixer control 'Capture',0
  Capabilities: cvolume cswitch
  Capture channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Capture 0 - 46
  Front Left: Capture 44 [96%] [28.00dB] [on]
  Front Right: Capture 44 [96%] [28.00dB] [on]
Simple mixer control 'Capture',1
  Capabilities: cvolume cswitch
  Capture channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Capture 0 - 46
  Front Left: Capture 0 [0%] [-16.00dB] [off]
  Front Right: Capture 0 [0%] [-16.00dB] [off]
Simple mixer control 'Auto-Mute Mode',0
  Capabilities: enum
  Items: 'Disabled' 'Enabled'
  Item0: 'Enabled'
Simple mixer control 'Input Source',0
  Capabilities: cenum
  Items: 'Front Mic' 'Rear Mic' 'Line'
  Item0: 'Front Mic'
Simple mixer control 'Input Source',1
  Capabilities: cenum
  Items: 'Front Mic' 'Rear Mic' 'Line'
  Item0: 'Rear Mic'
Simple mixer control 'Loopback Mixing',0
  Capabilities: enum
  Items: 'Disabled' 'Enabled'
  Item0: 'Disabled'
Simple mixer control 'Rear Mic',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 'Rear Mic Boost',0
  Capabilities: volume
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Capture channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: 0 - 3
  Front Left: 0 [0%] [0.00dB]
  Front Right: 0 [0%] [0.00dB]
aplay -l

Code: Select all

**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: SB [HDA ATI SB], device 0: ALC892 Analog [ALC892 Analog]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: SB [HDA ATI SB], device 1: ALC892 Digital [ALC892 Digital]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 3: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 7: HDMI 1 [HDMI 1]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
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MrEen
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Re: External Microphone Distortion/Static Issues

Post by MrEen »

I want make sure I'm clear here. You are testing this with a headset mic correct? And what you hear you are hearing through this headset, correct? Does this headset have a single 3.5mm connector or does the wire split into two connectors?

Let's also see the output of pacmd list-cards please. Especially if the headset has a single connector.
IAmDarthMole
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Re: External Microphone Distortion/Static Issues

Post by IAmDarthMole »

MrEen wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 12:13 pm
I want make sure I'm clear here. You are testing this with a headset mic correct? And what you hear you are hearing through this headset, correct? Does this headset have a single 3.5mm connector or does the wire split into two connectors?

Let's also see the output of pacmd list-cards please. Especially if the headset has a single connector.
Correct, I'm using a https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KK8ZLEC which has a wire split into two connectors, though I get the same distortion and static behavior even if I unplug the mic portion of the two connectors and put in a different microphone into the port.

I have used Discord's mic test and also the test at this link https://webcammictest.com/check-microphone.html and hear the static during the play back which is coming in through my headset speakers.

Thank you again!

pacmd list-cards

Code: Select all

2 card(s) available.
    index: 0
	name: <alsa_card.pci-0000_01_00.1>
	driver: <module-alsa-card.c>
	owner module: 7
	properties:
		alsa.card = "1"
		alsa.card_name = "HDA NVidia"
		alsa.long_card_name = "HDA NVidia at 0xfe080000 irq 44"
		alsa.driver_name = "snd_hda_intel"
		device.bus_path = "pci-0000:01:00.1"
		sysfs.path = "/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:02.0/0000:01:00.1/sound/card1"
		device.bus = "pci"
		device.vendor.id = "10de"
		device.vendor.name = "NVIDIA Corporation"
		device.product.id = "0fb8"
		device.product.name = "GP108 High Definition Audio Controller"
		device.string = "1"
		device.description = "GP108 High Definition Audio Controller"
		module-udev-detect.discovered = "1"
		device.icon_name = "audio-card-pci"
	profiles:
		output:hdmi-stereo: Digital Stereo (HDMI) Output (priority 5400, available: no)
		output:hdmi-surround: Digital Surround 5.1 (HDMI) Output (priority 300, available: no)
		output:hdmi-surround71: Digital Surround 7.1 (HDMI) Output (priority 300, available: no)
		output:hdmi-stereo-extra1: Digital Stereo (HDMI 2) Output (priority 5200, available: no)
		output:hdmi-surround-extra1: Digital Surround 5.1 (HDMI 2) Output (priority 100, available: no)
		output:hdmi-surround71-extra1: Digital Surround 7.1 (HDMI 2) Output (priority 100, available: no)
		off: Off (priority 0, available: unknown)
	active profile: <off>
	ports:
		hdmi-output-0: HDMI / DisplayPort (priority 5900, latency offset 0 usec, available: no)
			properties:
				device.icon_name = "video-display"
		hdmi-output-1: HDMI / DisplayPort 2 (priority 5800, latency offset 0 usec, available: no)
			properties:
				device.icon_name = "video-display"
    index: 1
	name: <alsa_card.pci-0000_00_14.2>
	driver: <module-alsa-card.c>
	owner module: 8
	properties:
		alsa.card = "0"
		alsa.card_name = "HDA ATI SB"
		alsa.long_card_name = "HDA ATI SB at 0xfe400000 irq 16"
		alsa.driver_name = "snd_hda_intel"
		device.bus_path = "pci-0000:00:14.2"
		sysfs.path = "/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.2/sound/card0"
		device.bus = "pci"
		device.vendor.id = "1002"
		device.vendor.name = "Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI]"
		device.product.id = "4383"
		device.product.name = "SBx00 Azalia (Intel HDA)"
		device.form_factor = "internal"
		device.string = "0"
		device.description = "Built-in Audio"
		module-udev-detect.discovered = "1"
		device.icon_name = "audio-card-pci"
	profiles:
		input:analog-stereo: Analog Stereo Input (priority 60, available: unknown)
		output:analog-stereo: Analog Stereo Output (priority 6000, available: unknown)
		output:analog-stereo+input:analog-stereo: Analog Stereo Duplex (priority 6060, available: unknown)
		output:analog-surround-21: Analog Surround 2.1 Output (priority 800, available: no)
		output:analog-surround-21+input:analog-stereo: Analog Surround 2.1 Output + Analog Stereo Input (priority 860, available: unknown)
		output:analog-surround-40: Analog Surround 4.0 Output (priority 700, available: no)
		output:analog-surround-40+input:analog-stereo: Analog Surround 4.0 Output + Analog Stereo Input (priority 760, available: unknown)
		output:analog-surround-41: Analog Surround 4.1 Output (priority 800, available: no)
		output:analog-surround-41+input:analog-stereo: Analog Surround 4.1 Output + Analog Stereo Input (priority 860, available: unknown)
		output:analog-surround-50: Analog Surround 5.0 Output (priority 700, available: no)
		output:analog-surround-50+input:analog-stereo: Analog Surround 5.0 Output + Analog Stereo Input (priority 760, available: unknown)
		output:analog-surround-51: Analog Surround 5.1 Output (priority 800, available: no)
		output:analog-surround-51+input:analog-stereo: Analog Surround 5.1 Output + Analog Stereo Input (priority 860, available: unknown)
		output:analog-surround-71: Analog Surround 7.1 Output (priority 700, available: no)
		output:analog-surround-71+input:analog-stereo: Analog Surround 7.1 Output + Analog Stereo Input (priority 760, available: unknown)
		output:iec958-stereo: Digital Stereo (IEC958) Output (priority 5500, available: unknown)
		output:iec958-stereo+input:analog-stereo: Digital Stereo (IEC958) Output + Analog Stereo Input (priority 5560, available: unknown)
		off: Off (priority 0, available: unknown)
	active profile: <output:analog-stereo+input:analog-stereo>
	sinks:
		alsa_output.pci-0000_00_14.2.analog-stereo/#0: Built-in Audio Analog Stereo
	sources:
		alsa_output.pci-0000_00_14.2.analog-stereo.monitor/#0: Monitor of Built-in Audio Analog Stereo
		alsa_input.pci-0000_00_14.2.analog-stereo/#1: Built-in Audio Analog Stereo
	ports:
		analog-input-front-mic: Front Microphone (priority 8500, latency offset 0 usec, available: yes)
			properties:
				device.icon_name = "audio-input-microphone"
		analog-input-rear-mic: Rear Microphone (priority 8200, latency offset 0 usec, available: no)
			properties:
				device.icon_name = "audio-input-microphone"
		analog-input-linein: Line In (priority 8100, latency offset 0 usec, available: no)
			properties:
				
		analog-output-lineout: Line Out (priority 9900, latency offset 0 usec, available: no)
			properties:
				
		analog-output-headphones: Headphones (priority 9000, latency offset 0 usec, available: yes)
			properties:
				device.icon_name = "audio-headphones"
		iec958-stereo-output: Digital Output (S/PDIF) (priority 0, latency offset 0 usec, available: unknown)
			properties:
				
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Re: External Microphone Distortion/Static Issues

Post by MrEen »

By following the Amazon link, the mic is hardware muted at the headset by simply raising the arm. That makes me wonder if it's not lowered all the way could it still be muted there (think some kind of switch inside the area where it pivots.)

Also, your last output of amixer showed the mic was software muted again. That's what the [off] means on these last two lines:

Code: Select all

Simple mixer control 'Front Mic',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Playback 0 - 31
  Mono:
  Front Left: Playback 31 [100%] [12.00dB] [off]
  Front Right: Playback 31 [100%] [12.00dB] [off]
As you can see, the levels are set volume-wise to 100%, but are not on.

Also from the link, the manual states there are exchangeable cables. We won't go there yet, but this might be something we need to try after exhausting other avenues. This will involve finding a tweak that will add a "Headset" option to your sound devices, then you'd just plug into the headphone port with the single connector, assuming you still have, or ever had, the other cable.

Here's what I'd like you try first. Unmute the Front Mic in alsamixer, then in the terminal enter the following: arecord -d 10 test-mic.wav

Speak into the mic for 10 seconds. It will stop recording automatically, then run aplay test-mic.wav to listen to the recording. Was that any better than anything you've heard up to this point?
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Re: External Microphone Distortion/Static Issues

Post by IAmDarthMole »

Ok, confirmed that the Front Mic Front Left and Front Right were set to [On] in alsamixer. I then lowered the left to 0% and the right to 90%. I then raised the left back up to 90% and lowered the right to 0%. I then set both the left and the right to 65%. After each change to the channels I ran amixer to confirm the output matched the changes I made in alsamixer. I also did a test recording and tried to maintain the volume of my voice at the same level. The static and volume sound remained constant in every recording test that I did regardless of the channel settings.

Not sure if this matters but I unplugged the mic cable and reran amixer and it still showed as both channels being on.

I also ran all the tests I did above a second time, but with the headset mic cable unplugged and instead having this plugged in: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MQV73VN

Same results, no changes in volume via the alsamixer settings and had to turn up the hardware volume dial to almost 100%.

I also unplugged the speakers/ear pieces plug of the headset and tried recording with just the condenser, only plugging the speakers/ear pieces back in once the recording was done and still had the same result.

Turning on and then adjusting the

Code: Select all

  Front Left: Playback 31 [100%] [12.00dB] [off]
  Front Right: Playback 31 [100%] [12.00dB] [off]
of

Code: Select all

Simple mixer control 'Front Mic',0
didn't effect the recording quality or volume at all.

I do have a two to one adapter for my headset to use with a single 3.5 jack on phones.

Once again thank you for your help and my apologies if I'm adding to any of this nonsense.

amixer

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Simple mixer control 'Master',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pvolume-joined pswitch pswitch-joined
  Playback channels: Mono
  Limits: Playback 0 - 64
  Mono: Playback 52 [81%] [-12.00dB] [on]
Simple mixer control 'Headphone',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Playback 0 - 64
  Mono:
  Front Left: Playback 64 [100%] [0.00dB] [on]
  Front Right: Playback 64 [100%] [0.00dB] [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 - 64
  Mono:
  Front Left: Playback 64 [100%] [0.00dB] [on]
  Front Right: Playback 64 [100%] [0.00dB] [on]
Simple mixer control 'Front Mic',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Playback 0 - 31
  Mono:
  Front Left: Playback 20 [65%] [-4.50dB] [on]
  Front Right: Playback 20 [65%] [-4.50dB] [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%] [0.00dB]
  Front Right: 0 [0%] [0.00dB]
Simple mixer control 'Surround',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Playback 0 - 64
  Mono:
  Front Left: Playback 0 [0%] [-64.00dB] [off]
  Front Right: Playback 0 [0%] [-64.00dB] [off]
Simple mixer control 'Center',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pvolume-joined pswitch pswitch-joined
  Playback channels: Mono
  Limits: Playback 0 - 64
  Mono: Playback 0 [0%] [-64.00dB] [off]
Simple mixer control 'LFE',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pvolume-joined pswitch pswitch-joined
  Playback channels: Mono
  Limits: Playback 0 - 64
  Mono: Playback 0 [0%] [-64.00dB] [off]
Simple mixer control 'Side',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pswitch
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Playback 0 - 64
  Mono:
  Front Left: Playback 0 [0%] [-64.00dB] [off]
  Front Right: Playback 0 [0%] [-64.00dB] [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 'Line Boost',0
  Capabilities: volume
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Capture channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: 0 - 3
  Front Left: 0 [0%] [0.00dB]
  Front Right: 0 [0%] [0.00dB]
Simple mixer control 'IEC958',0
  Capabilities: pswitch pswitch-joined
  Playback channels: Mono
  Mono: Playback [off]
Simple mixer control 'IEC958 Default PCM',0
  Capabilities: pswitch pswitch-joined
  Playback channels: Mono
  Mono: Playback [on]
Simple mixer control 'Capture',0
  Capabilities: cvolume cswitch
  Capture channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Capture 0 - 46
  Front Left: Capture 44 [96%] [28.00dB] [on]
  Front Right: Capture 44 [96%] [28.00dB] [on]
Simple mixer control 'Capture',1
  Capabilities: cvolume cswitch
  Capture channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Capture 0 - 46
  Front Left: Capture 0 [0%] [-16.00dB] [off]
  Front Right: Capture 0 [0%] [-16.00dB] [off]
Simple mixer control 'Auto-Mute Mode',0
  Capabilities: enum
  Items: 'Disabled' 'Enabled'
  Item0: 'Enabled'
Simple mixer control 'Input Source',0
  Capabilities: cenum
  Items: 'Front Mic' 'Rear Mic' 'Line'
  Item0: 'Front Mic'
Simple mixer control 'Input Source',1
  Capabilities: cenum
  Items: 'Front Mic' 'Rear Mic' 'Line'
  Item0: 'Rear Mic'
Simple mixer control 'Loopback Mixing',0
  Capabilities: enum
  Items: 'Disabled' 'Enabled'
  Item0: 'Disabled'
Simple mixer control 'Rear Mic',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 'Rear Mic Boost',0
  Capabilities: volume
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Capture channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: 0 - 3
  Front Left: 0 [0%] [0.00dB]
  Front Right: 0 [0%] [0.00dB]
User avatar
MrEen
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Re: External Microphone Distortion/Static Issues

Post by MrEen »

Okay. Nice work with all that testing. One potentially silly question now. Have you ever tried the Rear Mic port on the computer? As a quick test, plug in the condenser mic there and do another arecord/aplay test. You'll probably have to unmute that one in alsamixer as well. This may narrow down where the issue lies.

Another thing we should maybe look at is PulseAudio Volume Control. Does the Input Devices tab show the correct item for the Port? This may be necessary to look at before doing the above test (to make sure Rear Mic is set as the Port on the Input Devices tab instead of Front Mic.)

Also, we may have a messed up config file causing all of this hassle. Delete the files in /home/YourUserName/.config/pulse then run pulseaudio -k in the terminal. Wait just a few seconds for a fresh set of config files to generate, then test the mic.

If still no luck, let's see if the sampling rate is the issue. Get the output of cat /etc/pulse/daemon.conf | grep "default-sample-rate" and paste it here so I can see if it needs changing.

I ain't out of ideas yet. I'm quite hopeful this can be solved.
IAmDarthMole
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Posts: 33
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Re: External Microphone Distortion/Static Issues

Post by IAmDarthMole »

MrEen wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 10:53 pm
Okay. Nice work with all that testing. One potentially silly question now. Have you ever tried the Rear Mic port on the computer? As a quick test, plug in the condenser mic there and do another arecord/aplay test. You'll probably have to unmute that one in alsamixer as well. This may narrow down where the issue lies.

Another thing we should maybe look at is PulseAudio Volume Control. Does the Input Devices tab show the correct item for the Port? This may be necessary to look at before doing the above test (to make sure Rear Mic is set as the Port on the Input Devices tab instead of Front Mic.)

Also, we may have a messed up config file causing all of this hassle. Delete the files in /home/YourUserName/.config/pulse then run pulseaudio -k in the terminal. Wait just a few seconds for a fresh set of config files to generate, then test the mic.

If still no luck, let's see if the sampling rate is the issue. Get the output of cat /etc/pulse/daemon.conf | grep "default-sample-rate" and paste it here so I can see if it needs changing.

I ain't out of ideas yet. I'm quite hopeful this can be solved.
Yes I had but I just did the same tests as my previous post and got the same results.

It looks like PulseAudio was seeing the correct ports as when I was doing the testing I was able to confirm it was recording with the right hardware. I also unplugged and restarted and also covered or turned off different mics to confirm.

I did the pulseaudio -k after sending the files to trash, same behavior and results.

The sampling rate results came back as...

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; default-sample-rate = 44100
I'm still new to the terminal so I wasn't sure if you wanted everything from the daemon.conf, but here it is (sorry if it wasn't needed!)

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# This file is part of PulseAudio.
#
# PulseAudio is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
# it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by
# the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
# (at your option) any later version.
#
# PulseAudio is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but
# WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
# MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU
# General Public License for more details.
#
# You should have received a copy of the GNU Lesser General Public License
# along with PulseAudio; if not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.

## Configuration file for the PulseAudio daemon. See pulse-daemon.conf(5) for
## more information. Default values are commented out.  Use either ; or # for
## commenting.

; daemonize = no
; fail = yes
; allow-module-loading = yes
; allow-exit = yes
; use-pid-file = yes
; system-instance = no
; local-server-type = user
; enable-shm = yes
; enable-memfd = yes
; shm-size-bytes = 0 # setting this 0 will use the system-default, usually 64 MiB
; lock-memory = no
; cpu-limit = no

; high-priority = yes
; nice-level = -11

; realtime-scheduling = yes
; realtime-priority = 5

; exit-idle-time = 20
; scache-idle-time = 20

; dl-search-path = (depends on architecture)

; load-default-script-file = yes
; default-script-file = /etc/pulse/default.pa

; log-target = auto
; log-level = notice
; log-meta = no
; log-time = no
; log-backtrace = 0

; resample-method = speex-float-1
; avoid-resampling = false
; enable-remixing = yes
; remixing-use-all-sink-channels = yes
; enable-lfe-remixing = no
; lfe-crossover-freq = 0

flat-volumes = no

; rlimit-fsize = -1
; rlimit-data = -1
; rlimit-stack = -1
; rlimit-core = -1
; rlimit-as = -1
; rlimit-rss = -1
; rlimit-nproc = -1
; rlimit-nofile = 256
; rlimit-memlock = -1
; rlimit-locks = -1
; rlimit-sigpending = -1
; rlimit-msgqueue = -1
; rlimit-nice = 31
; rlimit-rtprio = 9
; rlimit-rttime = 200000

; default-sample-format = s16le
; default-sample-rate = 44100
; alternate-sample-rate = 48000
; default-sample-channels = 2
; default-channel-map = front-left,front-right

; default-fragments = 4
; default-fragment-size-msec = 25

; enable-deferred-volume = yes
deferred-volume-safety-margin-usec = 1
; deferred-volume-extra-delay-usec = 0
The only other thing I noticed/thought about is perhaps the PulseAudio configuration settings being wrong?

GP108 High Definition Audio Controller is set to Off in the profile list. All options seem to be related to HDMI and are listed as unplugged next to the names.

Built-in Audiot is set to Profile Analog Stereo Duplex but has other options though if selected none of them seem to produce a recording.

Thanks again for your amazing help and patience. I really would love for this to work out, I really don't want to sell my soul back to hellsoft.
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MrEen
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Re: External Microphone Distortion/Static Issues

Post by MrEen »

All right.

The sample rate is good I believe.

The GP108 is your nvidia card in case you attach the computer to an external monitor/tv with speakers, so it has no effect here.

Analog Stereo Duplex is the correct setting on pavucontrols Configuration tab.

Let's see if this makes a difference. In the terminal enter this:

Code: Select all

pactl load-module module-echo-cancel
Follow up with pulseaudio -k to restart the daemon then open pavucontrol again and you should have a new device you can select on the Input Devices tab that will probably be the original name with "(echo cancelled with..)" appended to the end. Select this new option then test the mic, and look to see that it's not muted just in front of the Lock icon next to it.

If this works, we'll need to add a line to /etc/pulse/default.pa to make this permanent.
IAmDarthMole
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Re: External Microphone Distortion/Static Issues

Post by IAmDarthMole »

Hello!

When I ran the

Code: Select all

pactl load-module module-echo-cancel
it returned

Code: Select all

24
.

After I did pulseaudio -k I opened PulseAudio but didn't see any additional options (other than the original three) under the list of Ports. I did pulseaudio -k again with PulseAudio open, it refreshed and then I closed PulseAudio and reopened it but still don't see anything but the original three.

Thank you!
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MrEen
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Re: External Microphone Distortion/Static Issues

Post by MrEen »

Hrmm. I adapted from the accepted answer here: https://askubuntu.com/questions/18958/r ... pulseaudio

Maybe try following the way they did it. The Mint way would be run xed admin:///etc/pulse/default.pa in the terminal. Enter your password and ignore the errors. Scroll to the bottom and add this new line:

Code: Select all

load-module module-echo-cancel
Save the file then reboot. If still not seeing anything new, try deleting the files in ~/.config/pulse again followed by running pulseaudio -k once more.
IAmDarthMole
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Re: External Microphone Distortion/Static Issues

Post by IAmDarthMole »

MrEen wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 7:31 pm
Hrmm. I adapted from the accepted answer here: https://askubuntu.com/questions/18958/r ... pulseaudio

Maybe try following the way they did it. The Mint way would be run xed admin:///etc/pulse/default.pa in the terminal. Enter your password and ignore the errors. Scroll to the bottom and add this new line:

Code: Select all

load-module module-echo-cancel
Save the file then reboot. If still not seeing anything new, try deleting the files in ~/.config/pulse again followed by running pulseaudio -k once more.
Ok... that worked. Kind of. It may have worked before and I just missed it. Instead of adding a fourth option to the Port list a new "option" appeared below the Port settings with its own volume bar but no advanced options.

If I set the volume bar down enough so the smaller bar below that reacts to sound isn't visible when I'm not talking, as I record the main volume bar raises on its own as if adjusting itself.

Unfortunately, either way though, the static is still present. Sorry....
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MrEen
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Re: External Microphone Distortion/Static Issues

Post by MrEen »

IAmDarthMole wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 12:14 am
Unfortunately, either way though, the static is still present. Sorry....
Damn. I'm not having a lot of success helping this weekend! :evil:

Let's try this instead. Do these one line at a time:

Code: Select all

apt remove --purge alsa-base
apt install alsa-base
sudo alsa force-reload
Then test. That might undo the last thing we did, so just test with whatever is present.

Also, has this system ever been fully shut down for a few minutes since this all started? If not or unsure, please try it.
IAmDarthMole
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Re: External Microphone Distortion/Static Issues

Post by IAmDarthMole »

MrEen wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 12:35 am
IAmDarthMole wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 12:14 am
Unfortunately, either way though, the static is still present. Sorry....
Damn. I'm not having a lot of success helping this weekend! :evil:

Let's try this instead. Do these one line at a time:

Code: Select all

apt remove --purge alsa-base
apt install alsa-base
sudo alsa force-reload
Then test. That might undo the last thing we did, so just test with whatever is present.

Also, has this system ever been fully shut down for a few minutes since this all started? If not or unsure, please try it.
You're efforts are more then enough honestly. This situation has existed since I installed Linux Mint a few months ago. The machine has been turned off dozens of times since I did the install and the problem has existed since the beginning.

I followed the steps you listed and retested, unfortunately the problem continues.

Edit: I've also turned the machine off between testing sessions and regular use since we started troubleshooting as well.
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MrEen
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Re: External Microphone Distortion/Static Issues

Post by MrEen »

Okay. Totally new direction time. Let's try an experiment that might get your system to offer a Headset option. You have ALC892, and listed under the options for that here, there a fix-up listed thusly:

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alc891-headset
    Headset mode support on ALC891
That section doesn't mention ALC891 in its header, so we're going to give it a try.

In the terminal enter xed admin:///etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf and when the file opens scroll to the bottom and add this new line:

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options snd-hda-intel model=alc891-headset
Save the file, reboot and check pavucontrols Output Devices tab to see if Headset has become an option for the Port. If so, select it and use that 2 to 1 jack thingie and just plug into the headphone port and test the headset mic.

If that didn't present a Headset option, try changing the line to:

Code: Select all

options snd-hda-intel model=alc892-headset
Then repeat the above. With any luck, 891 was a typo and 892 will work.

Good luck!
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