Linux Guide: Fixing the Sound due to incorrect mixer settings

So, if you are new to Linux, like I am, it may just be that you are experiencing the same problem as I have with my sound card. The problem here, since installing Ubuntu 11.04 on a Compaq based system, was that my Microphone Input was not working, and could not be adjusted from the traditional sound set up dialogue box. This was particularly irritating when it came to making Skype Calls.

So, how was it repaired? The answer is, as following:

As with many programs, Linux uses a command line based system for managing the mixer board, and I don’t know yet how to work that. In this case, the Software Centre (sometimes known as the Software Repository) contains a Graphical Interface for the mixer board. It is called “YASA Mixer”. Download it, install it, and then load it up, in Ubuntu 11.04 it should appear the installed app’s.

Alsa Mixer

The ALSA Mixer

Above, you see what the Mixer, when maximised, looks like. Experiment with the board, I found that my problem lay in the “Input Source” drop down menu. Changing it from Line, to Front Mic, instantly enabled my Front Mic, and allowed me to configure it from Ubuntu’s traditional sound options.

Currently, the settings are not held after shut down, but for me it works to just reconfigure the settings each time I make a Skype call, which isnt often. I recommend this as a potential fix to your sound problems you may be experiencing.

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One thought on “Linux Guide: Fixing the Sound due to incorrect mixer settings

  1. If you go to system > preferences > sessions > startup
    you should be able to load alsa mixer into the start up list. Alsa is the best sound mixer to use anyway so you should have it running all the time. You can always just type alsa into a terminal each time which is pretty easy if you dont want it running all the time

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