The problems that I have with audio capture on my openSUSE 11.1 system are that it does not work inconsistently.
I can talk using Skype, but when I try arecord, KRecord, gnome-sound-recorder, and Audacity audio recording does not work. I shout in the microphone with those programs but nothing is recorded. After placing everything to do with the correct capture configuration in alsamixer on maximum, I still can not hear my recordings in these programs. According to the output of “cat /dev/dsp” the computer is actually receiving the input from the microphone so this is not a hardware issue.
IMHO the basic program that proves if recording is working properly is arecord, but you need to run it with the correct options. First, can you confirm that it is being run with the optimal options … ie … as noted here Microphone - openSUSE run it with the option: arecord -vv -fdat foo.wav
That gives you visible feedback as to how the recording levels are functioning.
Then run your mixer and while recording with ‘arecord’ check each control in your mixer (paying special attention to boost and capture controls) to understand the effect they have on your mic.
Also take a look at the output of amixer to see what it provides for mixer settings. You can do that by typing amixer > amixer.txt and look at amixer.txt with a text editor. Are there any settings there that you did not notice in alsamixer or in alsamixergui ?
If you wish to share your mixer settings (for others to examine) you can do so by typing (with your PC connected to the internet):
and that will give you a URL. You just then need to post the URL. Note, please only share the mixer settings if you have the mixer specifically setup in the optimal manner possible for your mic to function , for if you do not do that then there is mostly no point to share.
I do NOT use Skype so I can not help with any settings associated with Skype.
If none of the above helps, then there is a lot more detailed information I would need to check your audio hardware/software, … but hopefully it does not come to that.