Thursday, December 21, 2006

Recording from mic for use with Skype in Linux

After many months of full conversion to linux. I was disappointed yet again with a terrible bug in alsa mixer.

Firstly, I noticed that Skype cannot capture any sound from my mic, despite I can hear my own voice from the mic very clearly.

The first & most down to earth solution was run the followings at command promt:

1. alsamixer
(select capture by pressing 'tab')
(move to mic and press 'space bar' to select capture from mic)
2. for Sound blaster live users, you need to make sure 'AC97' tab volume is not zero.
(move to AC97 & push up-arrove to raise volume close to 90%)
2. /usr/sbin/alsactl store

Now, the method above surely works but it posted another problem. The setting of alsamixer is always reset upon every reboot & it just never remember to 'record from mic'.

Found the methods from the sites below but they just don't work somehow.

After all attempts to set alsamixer settings permanently failed, my friend suggested to create a simple script to set the mixer settings to capture from the mic.

Finally it's done as follow :

1. Create a script file like 'Record_From_Mic' with the content below

amixer sset Mic,0 80%,80% unmute cap

2. At command prompt, do

chmod +x Record_From_Mic

3. From Gnome's menu, goto 'System.Preference.MorePreference.Sessions'
At 'Startup Program tab', add Record_From_Mic as startup script.

Finally, the settings is overriden at every reboot with the little script above. Thanks to Thomas.