Mystery microphone

There seems to be a mystery microphone on my computer. It’s not mentioned in the BIOS, and inxi yields no information about it.

  Device-1: AMD Trinity HDMI Audio driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel
    bus-ID: 00:01.1 chip-ID: 1002:9902 class-ID: 0403
  Device-2: AMD FCH Azalia vendor: Toshiba driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel
    bus-ID: 00:14.2 chip-ID: 1022:780d class-ID: 0403
  API: ALSA v: k6.6.30-2-MANJARO status: kernel-api with: aoss
    type: oss-emulator tools: alsactl,alsamixer,amixer
  Server-1: JACK v: 1.9.22 status: off tools: N/A
  Server-2: PipeWire v: 1.0.5 status: off tools: pw-cli
  Server-3: PulseAudio v: 17.0 status: active with: pulseaudio-alsa
    type: plugin tools: pacat,pactl,pavucontrol

Yet pavucontrol seems to not only recognize it, but is showing that it’s functioning.

But when I try to use something like gnome recorder, nothing it picked up. So, is it actually there, or is this some kind of bug? It’s not important at all, just strange.

Actually it is functioning. Look at the level swing :wink: But the thing about cheap mics is that they are practically unusable without noise reduction. See Noise Torch for example.

Yeah, that’s the weird thing. pavucontrol indicates that it’s actually working, but the recordings from the recording application don’t pick any noise up whatsoever, so matter how loud I get. Is there a way for me to find more information on the hardware aspect of this?

Check audio capture devices in ALSA

aplay -l

and audio capture controls for built-in audio device

alsamixer --card=1 --view=capture

To see audio devices detected in PulseAudio

pactl list cards

If you do not want to use the internal microphone, go to pavucontrol Configuration tab and change the Profile of Built-in Audio device from Analog Stereo Duplex to Analog Stereo Output

Interesting commands, but I wasn’t able to really glean much more information than I already know. But yes, pactl clearly states that there is indeed an internal microphone, something that I was not aware existed. Now the questions remains as to why it doesn’t seem to actually work, despite pavucontrol showing that it does actually pick up sound.

If you do not want to use the internal microphone, go to pavucontrol Configuration tab and change the Profile of Built-in Audio device from Analog Stereo Duplex to Analog Stereo Output

Thank you for this, I may indeed do that. Or maybe I’ll leave it alone, I’m really not concerned with it, it was just something I noticed and was curious about. So again, thank you :slightly_smiling_face:

Just a notice: gnome-sound-recorder just pick the default input device, which is usually the first one. In that case it records sound of my internal audio (when playing music for example). You have to set the default device in pavucontrol for example grafik .

Wow, it works. Interesting. Is there a way for me to block it at the software level? Perhaps something I could blacklist. If not, that’s perfectly fine.

User should be able to change recording source in pavucontrol Recording tab using drop-down menu. If that is not possible with gnome-recorder use another sound recorder

For PulseAudio, user could also just use module-loopback to route audio from a source directly back to a sink, so the microphone can be heard in headphones (do not use speakers for this test)

pactl load-module module-loopback

module-loopback is not very good for most use-cases because audio is delayed (similar to a VOIP call where someone has speakers turned up causing an echo for everyone else on the call trying to talk) but it does allow user to hear if microphone is working

To unload the module:

pactl unload-module module-loopback

All laptops are fitted with the same type of cheap, tiny microphones. The only change for modern laptops is that they have 2 (or sometimes 4) microphones (so Cortana can hear everyone in the room talking) but they are still basically the same sub-miniature microphone element stuck behind a tiny pin-hole. Slightly better audio quality than a cheap Bluetooth headset

What would unloading the module do?

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