Capture quality problematic on Dell Latitude D630

Bug #153119 reported by Mary Gardiner on 2007-10-16
22
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
linux-backports-modules-2.6.22 (Ubuntu)
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

I have working sound as per the uploaded fix for bug 131133 (that is, version 2.6.22-14.10 of linux-backports-modules-2.6.14-generic). Playback and recording both work, but the recording does not have acceptable quality.

I have a microphone plugged into the socket.

If I set 'Input Sound' to 'Mic' in alsamixer, the recording is so faint that I can barely hear it. If I set it to 'Front Mic' the recording is a decent volume but there is also a whining static sound which is very unpleasant. (Note that the meaning of 'Mic' versus 'Front Mic' is entirely opaque to me: it's easy to find suggestions on which settings to twiddle, difficult to find out what they mean.) There is no 'Mic Boost' option.

Mary Gardiner (puzzlement) wrote :
Download full text (12.1 KiB)

Output of lspci -vvv

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile PM965/GM965/GL960 Memory Controller Hub (rev 0c)
 Subsystem: Dell Unknown device 01f9
 Control: I/O- Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B-
 Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B+ ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort+ >SERR- <PERR-
 Latency: 0
 Capabilities: <access denied>

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile GM965/GL960 Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 0c) (prog-if 00 [VGA])
 Subsystem: Dell Unknown device 01f9
 Control: I/O+ Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B-
 Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B+ ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR-
 Latency: 0
 Interrupt: pin A routed to IRQ 16
 Region 0: Memory at fea00000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1M]
 Region 2: Memory at e0000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M]
 Region 4: I/O ports at efe8 [size=8]
 Capabilities: <access denied>

00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile GM965/GL960 Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 0c)
 Subsystem: Dell Unknown device 01f9
 Control: I/O+ Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B-
 Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B+ ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR-
 Latency: 0
 Region 0: Memory at feb00000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1M]
 Capabilities: <access denied>

00:1a.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Contoller #4 (rev 02) (prog-if 00 [UHCI])
 Subsystem: Dell Unknown device 01f9
 Control: I/O+ Mem- BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B-
 Status: Cap- 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B+ ParErr- DEVSEL=medium >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR-
 Latency: 0
 Interrupt: pin A routed to IRQ 20
 Region 4: I/O ports at 6f20 [size=32]

00:1a.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #5 (rev 02) (prog-if 00 [UHCI])
 Subsystem: Dell Unknown device 01f9
 Control: I/O+ Mem- BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B-
 Status: Cap- 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B+ ParErr- DEVSEL=medium >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR-
 Latency: 0
 Interrupt: pin B routed to IRQ 21
 Region 4: I/O ports at 6f00 [size=32]

00:1a.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #2 (rev 02) (prog-if 20 [EHCI])
 Subsystem: Dell Unknown device 01f9
 Control: I/O- Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR+ FastB2B-
 Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B+ ParErr- DEVSEL=medium >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR-
 Latency: 0
 Interrupt: pin C routed to IRQ 19
 Region 0: Memory at fed1c400 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1K]
 Capabilities: <access denied>

00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 02)
 Subsystem: Dell Unknown device 01f9
 Control: I/O- Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR+ FastB2B-
 Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B- ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR-
 Latency: 0, Cache Line Size: 64 bytes
 Interrupt: pin A routed to IRQ 21
 Region 0: Memory ...

Mary Gardiner (puzzlement) wrote :

Output of tail -2 /proc/asound/oss/sndstat

Mixers:
0: SigmaTel STAC9205

Mary Gardiner (puzzlement) wrote :

Sorry about them being included in the body of the comment, I thought emailling launchpad would cause it to *attach* attachments, not *embed* them. Will reattach as attachments.

Mary Gardiner (puzzlement) wrote :
Mary Gardiner (puzzlement) wrote :
Mary Gardiner (puzzlement) wrote :
Mary Gardiner (puzzlement) wrote :
Mary Gardiner (puzzlement) wrote :
Mary Gardiner (puzzlement) wrote :

Sample recordings produced with 'arecord -d 3'

Mathieu Marquer (slasher-fun) wrote :

I can confirm this "bug", that also appears on Edgy: the sound coming from my microphone is so low that I have to speak very close to it if I want to have something audible. All volumes are at 100% level. I don't have this problem on MS Windows XP, the sound level of the microphone is normal.

Mathieu Marquer (slasher-fun) wrote :

Forgot to tell that I was using a Dell Vostro 1500 (Ubuntu 7.10 RC with linux-backports-modules and last updates installed, i386 version)

alecwh (alecwh) wrote :

bug confirmed on Dell Latitude D630. I installed the linux-backports, following this guide: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Gutsy_Intel_HD_Audio_Controller.

Please post if you have a fix.

classpath (peter-tingstrom) wrote :

I had this problem on my vostro 1500 with fiesty installed but didn't bothered to fix it.
When I installed gusty the sound was gone as well. Fixed the sound with help from this: https://bugs.launchpad.net/dell/+bug/131133. Quite long thread but the solution is more or less install linux-backports-modules-2.6.22-14-generic. Note: it isn't enough with the linux-backports-modules only.

Then to the mic problem that was a easy solution.
Just right cllick on sound icon in to right corner
open edit -> preferences and check everything
playback tab unmute all and raise volume
recording tab unmute all and raise volume
switches tab uncheck everything
options tab choose digital mic 1 as Digital input Source

This works fine for me and as far as I know I don't have a digital mic? I use a koss sb/45 headset.
But still it works for me.

good luck
/Peter

In light of Peter's message, I should clarify that I already have linux-backports-modules-2.6.22-14-generic installed. It's the only reason sound works at all. However, *even if* I have linux-backports-modules-2.6.22-14-generic installed, microphone capture is still very poor quality, hence this bug.

Have you tried raising the volume on your Capture devices? Run alsamixer, type F5, and look for the "Capture' slots.

Mary Gardiner (puzzlement) wrote :

> Have you tried raising the volume on your Capture devices? Run
> alsamixer, type F5, and look for the "Capture' slots.

Yes. It does of course increase the volume of the captured sound, but it
also increased the volume of the extra noise. The levels output was
attached to the bug report at the time of filing.

Try this:

https://bugs.launchpad.net/dell/+bug/147682/comments/19

The fact that you can at least capture sound makes me think you just have to adjust the alsa settings. If you couldn't record at all, then that would be a different issue.

Changed in dell:
status: New → Invalid
Mathieu Marquer (slasher-fun) wrote :

It was already as described in your link Jose. We can record sound coming from the integrated microphone of the computer, but the sound is at a very low volume, even with all parameters set to the highest level in the gnome volume center, meaning that we have to be very very close to the microphone if we wan't to be heared during an audio conversation. On the same computer using Windows XP, the volume of the microphone is definitely higher.

Omegamormegil (omegamormegil) wrote :

Mary, this might be overly simplistic, but I had what sounds like a similar problem after upping the capture levels in alsamixer. It sounded like I was making my test voice recordings while standing outside in a high wind.

The resolution was simply moving the mic half an arm's length away from my mouth. With Feisty, I had to press my microphone into my mouth in order to get people to hear me at all on Skype, and I was still doing this. Holding the mic 8 inches from my mouth results in exceptional recording quality. Hope this helps.

Omegamormegil (omegamormegil) wrote :

Also, has anyone tried this in the development version of Hardy, to see if it's fixed there?

Mary Gardiner (puzzlement) wrote :

This seems improved, if not perfect, in Hardy. Good enough for a Skype conversation, I suspect, which was not true of Gutsy.

$ uname -a
Linux gertrude 2.6.24-11-generic #1 SMP Fri Feb 29 22:08:31 UTC 2008 i686 GNU/Linux

Mary Gardiner (puzzlement) wrote :

In fact really, it's sufficiently improved that I'd be willing to say it's fixed in Hardy. So good news for people anticipating an upgrade.

Omegamormegil (omegamormegil) wrote :

As Mary is reporting this bug resolved, I'm going to go ahead and mark it invalid. Thanks for testing this in Hardy!

All of my personal sound issues have been resolved since upgrading to the Hardy beta.

Changed in linux-backports-modules-2.6.22:
status: New → Invalid
alan ezust (alan-ezust) wrote :

First, this problem is similar to mine. Plugging an external microphone seems to have no effect at all,
adn it is using the condenser microphone which sounds like crap. D630.
Linux 2.6.23-11

Since i am using Debian lenny and not Ubuntu, it would help if someone would explain exactly what needs to be ugraded (alsa or the kernel?) to get the external microphone to work on a D630.

Mary Gardiner (puzzlement) wrote :

Unfortunately this is an Ubuntu bug report forum (as in, a place to provide information useful to Ubuntu developers in fixing bugs in Ubuntu). It's not a general support forum for Ubuntu, and also isn't either a bug report forum or support forum for Debian.

You should search for your problem at http://www.debian.org/Bugs/ and if you do not find it, report it there.

For what it's worth, the external microphone seems to work fine with standard Ubuntu 8.04 builds of software:

linux-image-2.6.24-16-generic (Ubuntu build 2.6.24-16.30)
alsa-base (Ubuntu build 1.0.16-0ubuntu4)
alsa-utils (Ubuntu build 1.0.15-3ubuntu2)

Frank Siegert (fsiegert) wrote :

Hi Mandy,

I would be really interested to find out how you got to the point of having the mic working at all.
I seem to have exactly the same hardware as you in my Latitude D630:

00:1b.0 Audio device [0403]: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller [8086:284b] (rev 02)
        Subsystem: Dell Dell Latitude D630 [1028:01f9]
        Control: I/O- Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR+ FastB2B-
        Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B- ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR-
        Latency: 0, Cache Line Size: 64 bytes
        Interrupt: pin A routed to IRQ 21
        Region 0: Memory at fe9fc000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
        Capabilities: <access denied>

But with Gutsy (+ backported modules) as well as with Hardy I don't get the microphone working at all. I noticed one small difference between your and my amixer output, namely that I don't have this switch:

Simple mixer control 'Digital',0
  Capabilities: cvolume
  Capture channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Capture 0 - 120
  Front Left: Capture 58 [48%] [-1.00dB]
  Front Right: Capture 58 [48%] [-1.00dB]

I think this is the crucial part of getting the microphone to work, so I was wondering whether you did anything to make this appear?

Thanks,
Frank

Frank Siegert (fsiegert) wrote :

Sorry, Mary, I got your name wrong.

I can't get the internal mic working at all, but I can get the external mic working - it took a while and even longer to fix the horrific distortion. However it now works fine so hopefully this will help other people:

    * set Digital Input Source (on playback screen!) to Analog Inputs (not Digital Input 1 as most people do)
    * capture the "Capture" device (not "Capture 1" device)
    * set "Digital" device sound to about two-thirds - any higher and it distorts badly
    * set "Capture" device to zero (if you set it higher you also get distortion)

I should state that is on hardy, 2.6.24-16 kernel (x86_64)

Changed in somerville:
status: New → Invalid
no longer affects: dell
Timothy R. Chavez (timrchavez) wrote :

The bug task for the somerville project has been removed by an automated script. This bug has been cloned on that project and is available here: https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/1306001

no longer affects: somerville
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