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problem recording sound from mic on I8K

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  • mike_grafton@yahoo.com
    Hi All, First time posting, plus I m a linux *and* laptop newbie, so cut me some slack :) Anyway, I have Mandrake 8.0 set up on my I8K. Here s the specs that
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 25, 2001
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      Hi All,

      First time posting, plus I'm a linux *and* laptop newbie, so cut me
      some slack :)

      Anyway, I have Mandrake 8.0 set up on my I8K. Here's the specs that I
      know off the top of my head:

      -- 256 MB ram
      -- GeForce 2 Go
      -- built-in Modem/Ethernet combo
      -- DVD-Rom in one bay, other bay empty
      -- nothing plugged into PCMCIA
      -- ESS "Maestro 3" soundcard (which I guess is the only option)

      Things are mostly pretty great -- it feels so good to be free of MS
      software...but I digress.

      I'm having a problem recording from the built-in microphone. In
      WinME, when I use the little SoundRecorder app, I can record *OK*; I
      hear my voice clearly when I play it back, although there is some
      annoying buzzing and crackling. But on Linux, it's even worse. When
      I use the sox utility "rec" ('rec foo.wav') and then play it back with
      'play', I can *barely* hear the sound coming from the speakers. If I
      jack up the volume when recording and/or playing, I can get a louder
      sound, but it is hopelessly muffled-sounding and distorted.

      Has anyone else experienced this problem? Will ALSA drivers help?
      I'd love to try them, but I'm confused by some aspects of them. For
      instance, on the Alsa web page there appears to be three packages, the
      "driver", the "library" and the "utilities". Searching for Mandrake
      RPMs, I can find 0.5.10 versions for alsa-lib and alsa-utils, but not
      alsa-drivers...I suppose I could always compile and install them
      directly from the tarballs, but I'd like to do everything by RPM if
      possible.

      Ok, that's probably enough questions for one post!

      Thanks,
      Mike
    • Brad Langhorst
      no slack needed you ve got it together i can t really speak for redhat (I find debian much easier to maintain...) But i believe that you can get the drivers by
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 25, 2001
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        no slack needed
        you've got it together

        i can't really speak for redhat (I find debian much
        easier to maintain...)
        But i believe that you can get the drivers by looking
        for a something that mentions source. The drivers are
        actually kernel modules so at worst you could keep the
        utils and libs under rpm control and build the drivers
        from source. As far as I know redhat does not provide
        an easy way to build custom kernels under rpm's
        control so this would not be all that bad. I think
        you are correct in thinking that you want to keep
        everything under the package manager's control. That
        should help you maintain the system down the line.

        I also think it is wise for you to use the 0.5.10
        version of alsa the 0.9 stuff is quite different and
        older tools don't work with them very well.

        Sounds like you are off to a good start - if you
        switch to debian I can be of more help

        best wishes

        brad

        --- mike_grafton@... wrote:
        > Hi All,
        >
        > First time posting, plus I'm a linux *and* laptop
        > newbie, so cut me
        > some slack :)
        >
        > Anyway, I have Mandrake 8.0 set up on my I8K.
        > Here's the specs that I
        > know off the top of my head:
        >
        > -- 256 MB ram
        > -- GeForce 2 Go
        > -- built-in Modem/Ethernet combo
        > -- DVD-Rom in one bay, other bay empty
        > -- nothing plugged into PCMCIA
        > -- ESS "Maestro 3" soundcard (which I guess is the
        > only option)
        >
        > Things are mostly pretty great -- it feels so good
        > to be free of MS
        > software...but I digress.
        >
        > I'm having a problem recording from the built-in
        > microphone. In
        > WinME, when I use the little SoundRecorder app, I
        > can record *OK*; I
        > hear my voice clearly when I play it back, although
        > there is some
        > annoying buzzing and crackling. But on Linux, it's
        > even worse. When
        > I use the sox utility "rec" ('rec foo.wav') and then
        > play it back with
        > 'play', I can *barely* hear the sound coming from
        > the speakers. If I
        > jack up the volume when recording and/or playing, I
        > can get a louder
        > sound, but it is hopelessly muffled-sounding and
        > distorted.
        >
        > Has anyone else experienced this problem? Will ALSA
        > drivers help?
        > I'd love to try them, but I'm confused by some
        > aspects of them. For
        > instance, on the Alsa web page there appears to be
        > three packages, the
        > "driver", the "library" and the "utilities".
        > Searching for Mandrake
        > RPMs, I can find 0.5.10 versions for alsa-lib and
        > alsa-utils, but not
        > alsa-drivers...I suppose I could always compile and
        > install them
        > directly from the tarballs, but I'd like to do
        > everything by RPM if
        > possible.
        >
        > Ok, that's probably enough questions for one post!
        >
        > Thanks,
        > Mike
        >
        >

        __________________________________________________
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      • mike_grafton@yahoo.com
        Thanks Brad. The one thing I don t understand is why I would need to build a custom kernel; if the drivers are modules, can t they be loaded dynamically,
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 26, 2001
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          Thanks Brad. The one thing I don't understand is why I would need to
          build a custom kernel; if the drivers are modules, can't they be
          loaded dynamically, rather than statically build them into the kernel?

          Mike.

          --- In linux-dell-laptops@y..., Brad Langhorst <bwlang@y...> wrote:
          > no slack needed
          > you've got it together
          >
          > i can't really speak for redhat (I find debian much
          > easier to maintain...)
          > But i believe that you can get the drivers by looking
          > for a something that mentions source. The drivers are
          > actually kernel modules so at worst you could keep the
          > utils and libs under rpm control and build the drivers
          > from source. As far as I know redhat does not provide
          > an easy way to build custom kernels under rpm's
          > control so this would not be all that bad. I think
          > you are correct in thinking that you want to keep
          > everything under the package manager's control. That
          > should help you maintain the system down the line.
          >
          > I also think it is wise for you to use the 0.5.10
          > version of alsa the 0.9 stuff is quite different and
          > older tools don't work with them very well.
          >
          > Sounds like you are off to a good start - if you
          > switch to debian I can be of more help
          >
          > best wishes
          >
          > brad
          >
          > --- mike_grafton@y... wrote:
          > > Hi All,
          > >
          > > First time posting, plus I'm a linux *and* laptop
          > > newbie, so cut me
          > > some slack :)
          > >
          > > Anyway, I have Mandrake 8.0 set up on my I8K.
          > > Here's the specs that I
          > > know off the top of my head:
          > >
          > > -- 256 MB ram
          > > -- GeForce 2 Go
          > > -- built-in Modem/Ethernet combo
          > > -- DVD-Rom in one bay, other bay empty
          > > -- nothing plugged into PCMCIA
          > > -- ESS "Maestro 3" soundcard (which I guess is the
          > > only option)
          > >
          > > Things are mostly pretty great -- it feels so good
          > > to be free of MS
          > > software...but I digress.
          > >
          > > I'm having a problem recording from the built-in
          > > microphone. In
          > > WinME, when I use the little SoundRecorder app, I
          > > can record *OK*; I
          > > hear my voice clearly when I play it back, although
          > > there is some
          > > annoying buzzing and crackling. But on Linux, it's
          > > even worse. When
          > > I use the sox utility "rec" ('rec foo.wav') and then
          > > play it back with
          > > 'play', I can *barely* hear the sound coming from
          > > the speakers. If I
          > > jack up the volume when recording and/or playing, I
          > > can get a louder
          > > sound, but it is hopelessly muffled-sounding and
          > > distorted.
          > >
          > > Has anyone else experienced this problem? Will ALSA
          > > drivers help?
          > > I'd love to try them, but I'm confused by some
          > > aspects of them. For
          > > instance, on the Alsa web page there appears to be
          > > three packages, the
          > > "driver", the "library" and the "utilities".
          > > Searching for Mandrake
          > > RPMs, I can find 0.5.10 versions for alsa-lib and
          > > alsa-utils, but not
          > > alsa-drivers...I suppose I could always compile and
          > > install them
          > > directly from the tarballs, but I'd like to do
          > > everything by RPM if
          > > possible.
          > >
          > > Ok, that's probably enough questions for one post!
          > >
          > > Thanks,
          > > Mike
          > >
          > >
          >
          > __________________________________________________
          > Do You Yahoo!?
          > Make international calls for as low as $.04/minute with Yahoo! Messenger
          > http://phonecard.yahoo.com/
        • hadig@slac.stanford.edu
          Hi Mike, I just tried with my I8k, SuSE 7.1, sox and alsa installed. I get the same as you describe, very bad recording quality, when using rec as well as with
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 26, 2001
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            Hi Mike,

            I just tried with my I8k, SuSE 7.1, sox and alsa installed. I get the
            same as you describe, very bad recording quality, when using rec as well
            as with arecord ... however, that will not really help you.

            > Hi All,
            >
            > First time posting, plus I'm a linux *and* laptop newbie, so cut me
            > some slack :)
            >
            > Anyway, I have Mandrake 8.0 set up on my I8K. Here's the specs that I
            > know off the top of my head:
            >
            > -- 256 MB ram
            > -- GeForce 2 Go
            > -- built-in Modem/Ethernet combo
            > -- DVD-Rom in one bay, other bay empty
            > -- nothing plugged into PCMCIA
            > -- ESS "Maestro 3" soundcard (which I guess is the only option)
            >
            > Things are mostly pretty great -- it feels so good to be free of MS
            > software...but I digress.
            >
            > I'm having a problem recording from the built-in microphone. In
            > WinME, when I use the little SoundRecorder app, I can record *OK*; I
            > hear my voice clearly when I play it back, although there is some
            > annoying buzzing and crackling. But on Linux, it's even worse. When
            > I use the sox utility "rec" ('rec foo.wav') and then play it back with
            > 'play', I can *barely* hear the sound coming from the speakers. If I
            > jack up the volume when recording and/or playing, I can get a louder
            > sound, but it is hopelessly muffled-sounding and distorted.
            >
            > Has anyone else experienced this problem? Will ALSA drivers help?
            > I'd love to try them, but I'm confused by some aspects of them. For
            > instance, on the Alsa web page there appears to be three packages, the
            > "driver", the "library" and the "utilities". Searching for Mandrake
            > RPMs, I can find 0.5.10 versions for alsa-lib and alsa-utils, but not
            > alsa-drivers...I suppose I could always compile and install them
            > directly from the tarballs, but I'd like to do everything by RPM if
            > possible.
            >
            > Ok, that's probably enough questions for one post!
            >
            > Thanks,
            > Mike
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > --------------------------------------------------------------
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            >
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            >
            >


            Ciao
            Thomas

            ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Thomas Hadig MS 62, 2575 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park CA 94025, USA
            hadig@... Tel.: +1 650 926 2810
            http://www.slac.stanford.edu/~hadig/
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          • mike_grafton@yahoo.com
            Not true, it is very good to know that someone out there is having the same problem, especially on another distribution! Regardless, I think I have the problem
            Message 5 of 5 , Aug 27, 2001
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              Not true, it is very good to know that someone out there is having the
              same problem, especially on another distribution!

              Regardless, I think I have the problem whipped. I downloaded a number
              of recording utilities listed at www.linuxsound.at (look under
              "players & recorders"). The one that worked for me was called
              "rawrec", which I eventually found has a homepage:
              rawrec.sourceforge.net.

              The results are way better than the sox "rec" utility; in fact, the
              only problem now is that nasty buzzing in the recording, which I also
              got under Windows and which therefore leads me to believe is a
              hardware problem. I wonder if this is a known defect and if Dell
              could fix it. I'd be disappointed if not. OTOH, maybe I can find or
              write a utility that will clean up the data...whee!

              One other thing: the "aumix" program, which was pre-installed with
              mandrake, was also useful to me. If you run it without any options it
              comes up in a GUI with sliders and all. I found that the three
              relevant knobs to twiddle were volume, the "pcm" knob, and the input
              gain (IGain). Everything else is superflous the the task of recording
              and playing back raw audio.

              Thanks for the help!

              Mike.


              --- In linux-dell-laptops@y..., hadig@s... wrote:
              > Hi Mike,
              >
              > I just tried with my I8k, SuSE 7.1, sox and alsa installed. I get
              the
              > same as you describe, very bad recording quality, when using rec as
              well
              > as with arecord ... however, that will not really help you.
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