Resolve Mic sound problem in Linux Mint 12

MicrophoneAfter starting the year with a new fresh installation of Linux Mint 12, almost all the things worked out of the box except one thing. The microphone (mic) was not capturing the sound (absolutely no sound) so that meant that I had to keep my old installation of Mint 10 intact so that when required I could switch over to it and use Skype.

After just over a month I finally got into my debugging shoes today to figure out what the problem was.

My first thought was PulseAudio, I remember having removed it from Linux Mint 10 as well and using Alsa. So based on my gut feeling I went ahead and uninstalled PulseAudio using the command:
sudo apt-get autoremove pulseaudio

The next step was to install a mixer to configure Alsa, for which I installed ‘Gnome-ALSA-Mixer’ which provides a front end:
sudo apt-get install gnome-alsamixer

I then restarted my machine and ran gnome-alsamixer using the run option to check all the mixer setting and correct things where required. Then I started Skype and did a test call, Surprise…Surprise… I was able to hear my voice.

Removing PulseAudio helped me use Skype again without having to revert to Mint 10, but there was an added bonus which I had not expected in the form of sound control in ‘TVtime’. For more than a year now I had lost the ability to control the sound levels via TVtime I had to use the volume controls in my speaker to change the volume level which was quite frustrating, but I am really happy now.

Sometimes you get more that you asked for and this was what I experienced when I remove PulseAudio, this also reminded me of the old saying ‘Hitting two birds with a single bullet’.

You may ask why not use Windows, my simplest answer would be doing such things makes you think out of the box for solutions :-)

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  1. Although this didnt work for me, I finally gave up pulseaudio :D hope people will give up skype as its the most lame sh*tty telephony program ever…. As for your last comment (think out of the box) i have 2 remarks… 1st 99.999 of windows users will never see this tutor, 2nd the 0.001% that might see it, will probably think “out of the box” means “plug and pray” :D Thank you for your time may the force be with you ;)

  2. Also, there is no need to install the gnome-alsamixer
    run in a treminal ‘alsamixer’ and change settings by pressing F5 ;)

  3. deinstalled pulse, skype still not working and the gnome sound reference menu cant be started anymore.
    So…I wouldnt recommend doing this.

    • @Jonny: I am sorry this did not help out for you. This has worked for me and lots of other people. So it might be that your configuration a bit different hence it is not working for you.

  4. Have never been able to listen to a DAB radio through linux as I could before I changed over to Linux Mint 12. Pulse audio has always been a bit of a pain, but thanks to
    sudo apt-get autoremove pulseaudio
    it was removed properly. After reboot later KDE asked me if I wanted to forget about audio, one reconfiguration of Kmix later, beautiful sound from external device can be heard over my speakers. Will wait and see if all is well after second reboot/switch off. But thanks Nithin.

  5. Thank you. This fixed the issue I was having with the sound being “staticy” in certain programs like skype and google talk.

  6. If I uninstall pulseaudio, the computer wants to uninstall my cairo-dock and all the plugins. There has to be a better way to get the mic working…

    • @Alan: I am not sure of the dependencies between cairo-dock and pulseaudio since my old machine does not support it. Sorry I cannot help you much on this.

  7. Many thanks. This got Skype to recognise my laptop (basic Dell Inspiron) internal mic. Note: I just had to change the Alsa Mixer default from ‘Mic’ to ‘Mic 1’.

  8. Thank you Thank you Thank you for this. I can use my microphone, and Skype, and record audio, again… Why Linux Mint has such *(#$# implementations is beyond me. Why I still run it on my machine… well, that’s pretty much as per your answer, I guess. Or maybe another answer: Linux is bad, but Windows is worse… THANKS AGAIN

  9. I had a familiar problem. Messing around in the alsamixer didn’t work for me. But what worked for me was this: I unchecked “Allow skype to automatically adjust my mixer levels”, you can find it “Options” then “Sound Devices”.
    Hope it helps anybody.

  10. When I try to run

    sudo apt-get autoremove pulseaudiosudo

    it wants to remove the whole cinnamon environment and even gnome environment

    cinnamon cinnamon-bluetooth cinnamon-control-center cinnamon-screensaver
    libcanberra-pulse nemo nemo-fileroller nemo-share pulseaudio
    pulseaudio-module-bluetooth pulseaudio-module-x11 ubuntu-gnome-desktop

    The weird thing is that under gnome (so not linux MINT’s cinnamon desktop), the mic is working fine, so I can skype or google talk.