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05 Sep 13

Audio Problems With Skype For Ubuntu

How Skype Audio Can Be Tamed Using Pavucontrol

Today Iian asks:

My friend bought a Logitech 720 which includes camera and microphone, mainly for Skype. In short, it doesn’t do the job in Ubuntu, but works fine under Windows 7.

I checked it on this computer and it acts exactly the same way (except that I have no Windows here). The first problem is that the microphone doesn’t work under Ubuntu. I checked the Sound Settings on the Input tab and the microphone is recognized, but it fails to respond (i.e. the Input level never gets off zero).

Likewise in Cheese the image has lines through it and you can see signs of another “red” image. Do you have any suggestions? If not I will definitely NOT buy the camera until it has a better driver.

Audio Problems In Skype For UbuntuWell Iian, I have good news for you. The webcam you listed in the subject (Logitech c310) actually works just great with Ubuntu 11.04 as you can see in this video. As a matter of fact, I stand by my recommendation of using Logitech webcams on Ubuntu. The issue you’re experiencing, is actually due to the fact that Ubuntu’s default sound controls leaves a lot to be desired. In short, they stink. Luckily, you can use an alternative option that does work for piping your mic input into Skype and I have a video below that is going to show you exactly how it’s done.

(HD available, just click on the area that says 360p)

Important things to remember:

1) From a terminal, install pavucontrol with this code.

sudo apt-get install pavucontrol

2) Once pavucontrol is installed, activate by holding the Alt and F2 keys, then typing this into the box – pavucontrol.

3) You MUST call into Skype call testing service to setup the pulse audio recording setting for Skype. Then follow the instructions given in the video.

4) This isn’t a webcam driver issue — the webcam has been confirmed working by countless people. The hangup is a bad volume control that doesn’t work well for Skype.

5) Realize that other applications such as this photobooth application, will have to be setup under pavucontrol, recording tab if you plan on recording any video with audio. Cheese isn’t ready for prime time in my opinion.

Bonus tip! If you’re finding that there is still no sound being recorded, then go back to pavucontrol’s input tab and locate the entry for the device that will be doing the recording. Tap up the input slider 3/4 to the right from where it was. The same can be done if you are too loud and distorted. Just move the same slider back to the left.

Another bonus tip!

(Thanks to reader Ilan Tal for this tip)

Because some webcam mics can create a problem with making you sound like a cartoon character, like with the logitech-c310, try this solution if your webcam mic makes you sound like Mickey Mouse.

For just one user.

1) In a terminal window, type this exactly:

gedit $HOME/.pulse/daemon.conf

2) Paste this into the file:

default-sample-rate = 16000

3) Save the file, then reboot.

Or set this up for all users.

1) In a terminal window, type this exactly:

sudo gedit /etc/pulse/daemon.conf

2) Do a Ctrl-F and paste in default-sample-rate and hit enter.
Change the setting to:

default-sample-rate = 16000

3) Save the file, then reboot.

Do you have questions about PC repair, Linux on the desktop, software or other tech related subjects? Don’t get frustrated, Just Ask Matt! Email me directly for help and perhaps I will be able to answer your questions right here at Matt Hartley Dot Com!

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