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Weak microphone on a new ASUS laptop



 
 
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  #1  
Old November 14th 11, 09:17 PM posted to alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus
W. eWatson[_2_]
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Posts: 21
Default Weak microphone on a new ASUS laptop

Lap top is model n53sv-xv1. The mike seems of questionable quality. Any
fixes to remedy it? It's being used on Linux Fedora 15.
  #2  
Old November 15th 11, 12:16 AM posted to alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus
Paul
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 13,411
Default Weak microphone on a new ASUS laptop

W. eWatson wrote:
Lap top is model n53sv-xv1. The mike seems of questionable quality. Any
fixes to remedy it? It's being used on Linux Fedora 15.


Why wouldn't you boot into the provided Windows, and
establish baseline performance there first. Then, return to
Linux and work on it ?

Try recording sound while in Windows. If it doesn't work well there,
then it'll be no surprise when it works exactly the same in Linux.

The documentation is a bit useless, in that one place says "mono microphone"
and in another mentions "digital array". You're going to need the services
of lspci, lsusb, and perhaps some Windows utilities to make sure you
know what hardware is in there.

Paul
  #3  
Old November 15th 11, 01:59 AM posted to alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus
W. eWatson[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 21
Default Weak microphone on a new ASUS laptop

On 11/14/2011 3:16 PM, Paul wrote:
W. eWatson wrote:
Lap top is model n53sv-xv1. The mike seems of questionable quality.
Any fixes to remedy it? It's being used on Linux Fedora 15.


Why wouldn't you boot into the provided Windows, and
establish baseline performance there first. Then, return to
Linux and work on it ?

Try recording sound while in Windows. If it doesn't work well there,
then it'll be no surprise when it works exactly the same in Linux.

The documentation is a bit useless, in that one place says "mono
microphone"
and in another mentions "digital array". You're going to need the services
of lspci, lsusb, and perhaps some Windows utilities to make sure you
know what hardware is in there.

Paul

Well, when my wife headed for a Linux install, she had no idea there
would be a microphone problem.
  #4  
Old November 15th 11, 02:42 AM posted to alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus
Paul
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 13,411
Default Weak microphone on a new ASUS laptop

W. eWatson wrote:
On 11/14/2011 3:16 PM, Paul wrote:
W. eWatson wrote:
Lap top is model n53sv-xv1. The mike seems of questionable quality.
Any fixes to remedy it? It's being used on Linux Fedora 15.


Why wouldn't you boot into the provided Windows, and
establish baseline performance there first. Then, return to
Linux and work on it ?

Try recording sound while in Windows. If it doesn't work well there,
then it'll be no surprise when it works exactly the same in Linux.

The documentation is a bit useless, in that one place says "mono
microphone"
and in another mentions "digital array". You're going to need the
services
of lspci, lsusb, and perhaps some Windows utilities to make sure you
know what hardware is in there.

Paul


Well, when my wife headed for a Linux install, she had no idea there
would be a microphone problem.


Actually, in a quick check, do you know how much "breakable" hardware
there is in it ? Before starting a Linux install, on some brand
new spiffy hardware, you've gotta check what other people have
already seen. For example, the "Fresco" USB3 chip doesn't appear
to get detected in Linux properly. And the graphics on the machine
involves dual GPU, and there's some trick to selecting which
GPU to use. (In Windows, Asus would make sure that part, works.)

On low end stuff, you might not have any surprises, because the
hardware design is pretty boring. But as the boxes get more expensive,
there are more tricks. The tricks work great in Windows, because
"somebody cares". But in Linux, the Linux crew has to "clean up the
mess" as the mess is discovered. So if you're grabbing recent
vintage hardware, you would not expect the journey to be an easy one.

Therefore, if I was doing this install, it would be dual boot for a while,
with Windows7 offered as an option in the grub menu. Then, you can boot
back and forth, and compare operations and performance, to see how
it is supposed to work.

The vip.asus.com site, seems to have that model number of machine on it,
but there doesn't seem to be a "laptop" subsection in the forum. I don't
know if they removed it, or they have a completely separate forum for
laptops. I was going to suggest looking over there, but I had a hard time
making any progress. So there's nothing of note over there that I could
find. But maybe I'm looking in the wrong place. They're supposed to
treat their laptop/notebook customers a bit better than their
other customers, so it's just possible they have some other forum
for them.

Paul
  #5  
Old November 15th 11, 03:56 AM posted to alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus
W. eWatson[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 21
Default Weak microphone on a new ASUS laptop

On 11/14/2011 5:42 PM, Paul wrote:
W. eWatson wrote:
On 11/14/2011 3:16 PM, Paul wrote:
W. eWatson wrote:
Lap top is model n53sv-xv1. The mike seems of questionable quality.
Any fixes to remedy it? It's being used on Linux Fedora 15.

Why wouldn't you boot into the provided Windows, and
establish baseline performance there first. Then, return to
Linux and work on it ?

Try recording sound while in Windows. If it doesn't work well there,
then it'll be no surprise when it works exactly the same in Linux.

The documentation is a bit useless, in that one place says "mono
microphone"
and in another mentions "digital array". You're going to need the
services
of lspci, lsusb, and perhaps some Windows utilities to make sure you
know what hardware is in there.

Paul


Well, when my wife headed for a Linux install, she had no idea there
would be a microphone problem.


Actually, in a quick check, do you know how much "breakable" hardware
there is in it ? Before starting a Linux install, on some brand
new spiffy hardware, you've gotta check what other people have
already seen. For example, the "Fresco" USB3 chip doesn't appear
to get detected in Linux properly. And the graphics on the machine
involves dual GPU, and there's some trick to selecting which
GPU to use. (In Windows, Asus would make sure that part, works.)

On low end stuff, you might not have any surprises, because the
hardware design is pretty boring. But as the boxes get more expensive,
there are more tricks. The tricks work great in Windows, because
"somebody cares". But in Linux, the Linux crew has to "clean up the
mess" as the mess is discovered. So if you're grabbing recent
vintage hardware, you would not expect the journey to be an easy one.

Therefore, if I was doing this install, it would be dual boot for a while,
with Windows7 offered as an option in the grub menu. Then, you can boot
back and forth, and compare operations and performance, to see how
it is supposed to work.

The vip.asus.com site, seems to have that model number of machine on it,
but there doesn't seem to be a "laptop" subsection in the forum. I don't
know if they removed it, or they have a completely separate forum for
laptops. I was going to suggest looking over there, but I had a hard time
making any progress. So there's nothing of note over there that I could
find. But maybe I'm looking in the wrong place. They're supposed to
treat their laptop/notebook customers a bit better than their
other customers, so it's just possible they have some other forum
for them.

Paul


It didn't seem useful to her. She mentioned there were some questionable
posts out there. Politely, way off topic.
  #6  
Old November 15th 11, 06:44 AM posted to alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus
Paul
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 13,411
Default Weak microphone on a new ASUS laptop

W. eWatson wrote:
On 11/14/2011 5:42 PM, Paul wrote:

The vip.asus.com site, seems to have that model number of machine on it,
but there doesn't seem to be a "laptop" subsection in the forum. I don't
know if they removed it, or they have a completely separate forum for
laptops. I was going to suggest looking over there, but I had a hard time
making any progress. So there's nothing of note over there that I could
find. But maybe I'm looking in the wrong place. They're supposed to
treat their laptop/notebook customers a bit better than their
other customers, so it's just possible they have some other forum
for them.

Paul


It didn't seem useful to her. She mentioned there were some questionable
posts out there. Politely, way off topic.


The problem with this microphone issue, is using the available evidence
to figure out what it is.

One doc says "mono microphone". In other words, just the regular
crappy electret microphone. The Asus driver seems to be for
RealTek audio, implying there may be a RealTek HDAudio codec on the
machine. A microphone like that would not have Plug and Play
info. The hardware codec chip may have impedance sensing, so it
can tell "things" are connected, but it can't tell exactly what.
Normally, a wizard would pop up and ask for confirmation that
"a microphone is connected to the microphone port". Which is a
fine concept, if you happen to be holding the microphone in your
hand. If it is pre-wired, then that concept is kinda useless. After
all, they don't give you a circuit schematic for the laptop, to verify
where the thing is wired.

Another doc says "digital array microphone". Does that means USB ?
What other digital bus could they use, if not USB ? Array implies
more than one microphone, and such gadgets are used to make the
microphone directional, and ignore off-axis noise.

An analog version of that in the past, was the Andrea Superbeam, bundled
with some SoundMax codec chip solutions. The idea there, was
software would do "beamforming", and look at the phasing of the
signals, such that sounds off to the side were ignored, while
sound in the center would be passed.

http://www.microphones.com/images/m/...-Series_bp.jpg

If you're not running some beamforming software, then you see
an ordinary stereo microphone, without benefit of directionality.
The appropriate software, causes the microphone to look monophonic
and directional.

To make progress here, you need to use all the available info
you can get your hands on. Mainly, because there is no guarantee
Plug and Play is going to make it obvious what hardware is present.
You may be able to tell from some of the Windows software. But
with Linux and lspci or lsusb, you're quite limited in what you
can learn.

Some of the Plug and Play in Windows now, is done with ACPI objects,
passed in a table by the BIOS. It is up to the computer designer,
to make sure that any hardware to be identified that way, is coded
into the BIOS. In Windows, I might use Lavalys Everest to list
all the various kinds of PNP information. In Linux, I don't know
what the nearest equivalent of that is. I've seen at least one
utility, that attempts to provide about as much info as Device
Manager, but it still didn't look like it did as much as Everest
is capable of doing.

Paul
  #7  
Old November 15th 11, 06:16 PM posted to alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus
W. eWatson[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 21
Default Weak microphone on a new ASUS laptop

On 11/14/2011 9:44 PM, Paul wrote:
W. eWatson wrote:
On 11/14/2011 5:42 PM, Paul wrote:

The vip.asus.com site, seems to have that model number of machine on it,
but there doesn't seem to be a "laptop" subsection in the forum. I don't
know if they removed it, or they have a completely separate forum for
laptops. I was going to suggest looking over there, but I had a hard
time
making any progress. So there's nothing of note over there that I could
find. But maybe I'm looking in the wrong place. They're supposed to
treat their laptop/notebook customers a bit better than their
other customers, so it's just possible they have some other forum
for them.

Paul


It didn't seem useful to her. She mentioned there were some
questionable posts out there. Politely, way off topic.


The problem with this microphone issue, is using the available evidence
to figure out what it is.

One doc says "mono microphone". In other words, just the regular
crappy electret microphone. The Asus driver seems to be for
RealTek audio, implying there may be a RealTek HDAudio codec on the
machine. A microphone like that would not have Plug and Play
info. The hardware codec chip may have impedance sensing, so it
can tell "things" are connected, but it can't tell exactly what.
Normally, a wizard would pop up and ask for confirmation that
"a microphone is connected to the microphone port". Which is a
fine concept, if you happen to be holding the microphone in your
hand. If it is pre-wired, then that concept is kinda useless. After
all, they don't give you a circuit schematic for the laptop, to verify
where the thing is wired.

Another doc says "digital array microphone". Does that means USB ?
What other digital bus could they use, if not USB ? Array implies
more than one microphone, and such gadgets are used to make the
microphone directional, and ignore off-axis noise.

An analog version of that in the past, was the Andrea Superbeam, bundled
with some SoundMax codec chip solutions. The idea there, was
software would do "beamforming", and look at the phasing of the
signals, such that sounds off to the side were ignored, while
sound in the center would be passed.

http://www.microphones.com/images/m/...-Series_bp.jpg

If you're not running some beamforming software, then you see
an ordinary stereo microphone, without benefit of directionality.
The appropriate software, causes the microphone to look monophonic
and directional.

To make progress here, you need to use all the available info
you can get your hands on. Mainly, because there is no guarantee
Plug and Play is going to make it obvious what hardware is present.
You may be able to tell from some of the Windows software. But
with Linux and lspci or lsusb, you're quite limited in what you
can learn.

Some of the Plug and Play in Windows now, is done with ACPI objects,
passed in a table by the BIOS. It is up to the computer designer,
to make sure that any hardware to be identified that way, is coded
into the BIOS. In Windows, I might use Lavalys Everest to list
all the various kinds of PNP information. In Linux, I don't know
what the nearest equivalent of that is. I've seen at least one
utility, that attempts to provide about as much info as Device
Manager, but it still didn't look like it did as much as Everest
is capable of doing.

Paul

ASUS confirmed it's a bad mike. It's going back to Amazon. Sending it to
ASUS requires we pay for the shipment.
  #8  
Old November 22nd 11, 06:29 PM posted to alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus
W. eWatson[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 21
Default Weak microphone on a new ASUS laptop

After many hours on this, she solved it. Here are the basics:

1. yum install alsa-utils gnome-media-apps pavucontrol paman
gnome-sound-recorder and Skype test call are used to test results.
alsa-utils provides gstreamer-properties and alsa-info.
gnome-media-apps provides gnome-sound-recorder.

2. "alsamixer -c0 -Vcapture" to set microphone to maximum value.
If that fails, use pavucontrol to decouple left and right, and set
to 100%, 98%.

3. If you are getting sound but it is low volume, run gstreamer-properties.
Set Input to PulseAudio, and internal mic as the device.

4. If volume is low but present, run paman and set mic volume to 200%.
Adjust up or down as necessary.

For my computer, I went through all four steps. At one point,
gnome-sound-recorder was happy, but Skype still wasn't. Right now my
mic volume is at 150%, which is what I'll use next time we skype, and
adjust again from there.

  #9  
Old November 22nd 11, 07:24 PM posted to alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus
Paul
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 13,411
Default Weak microphone on a new ASUS laptop

W. eWatson wrote:
After many hours on this, she solved it. Here are the basics:

1. yum install alsa-utils gnome-media-apps pavucontrol paman
gnome-sound-recorder and Skype test call are used to test results.
alsa-utils provides gstreamer-properties and alsa-info.
gnome-media-apps provides gnome-sound-recorder.

2. "alsamixer -c0 -Vcapture" to set microphone to maximum value.
If that fails, use pavucontrol to decouple left and right, and set
to 100%, 98%.

3. If you are getting sound but it is low volume, run
gstreamer-properties.
Set Input to PulseAudio, and internal mic as the device.

4. If volume is low but present, run paman and set mic volume to 200%.
Adjust up or down as necessary.

For my computer, I went through all four steps. At one point,
gnome-sound-recorder was happy, but Skype still wasn't. Right now my
mic volume is at 150%, which is what I'll use next time we skype, and
adjust again from there.


The alsamixer -c0 -Vcapture thing, brings up the curses based, color mixer
panel, where you use keyboard input to move the sliders up and down. This
is a basic feature of working with Linux sound. The -c0 will vary,
depending on how many sound devices you have. The Vcapture is an attempt to
reduce the number of sliders appearing in the window. I usually
just run it as "alsamixer" with no parameters.

http://linux.die.net/man/1/alsamixer

So the basic theme of your post, is use the various sound subsystem
flavors and adjust the microphone level. Linux sound is very annoying
to say the least.

The only sane way to deal with Linux sound, is install Gentoo, and
cut out whole subsystems and recompile everything from source. By
doing that, I removed PulseAudio from my Gentoo box.

Paul
 




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