Microphone capture problems 11.4

Hi folks. There seems to be a problem with audio. Kmix will not start. The application “pocketsphinx” voice recognition is receiving interrupted input (confirmed by analyzing raw audio data) . I can record using Audacity. Alsamixer works but input levels are weak, must speak close to mic and hissing in background.

Ran ALSA diagnostics which appears to indicate some problems. The file can be perused here:



OS: openSUSE 11.4 x86_64
Kernel: Linux
Desktop: KDE 4.6.00 rel 6
Machine: HP xw9400 AMD 64 Opteron
Chipset: nVidia nForce Pro 3600 and 3050 (proprietary Tyan Thunder)
Drive: OCZ Vertex 60 GB dedicated system–single boot

Video: nVidia GT200 (GeForce 210) 512 MB
2D Driver: nouveau
3D Driver: swarst (no 3D acceleration) (7.10)

Audio: Onboard “card 0”: nVidia Analog Stereo
Onboard “card 1”: nVidia Digital Stereo
Chip: Realtek ALC262
Alsa Driver: v. 1.0.23

Any help or pointers would be greatly appreciated.

Update: Just ran an arecord test .wav recording. The playback is horrible and could hardly be understood.

I note this code in the dmesg section of the diagnostic script:

[23178.554407] [drm] nouveau 0000:18:00.0: Suspending GPU objects... 
[23178.770042] HDA Intel 0000:18:00.1: PCI INT B disabled [23178.770064] ACPI handle has no context!

So its possible your PC has ACPI problems and needs to boot with a special ACPI boot code. That typically has side effects so lets hope that is not the case.

Instead, rather than following the ‘ACPI’ investigative path, we could make an assumption (speculative) that the alsa sound driver was not able to properly configure your PC’s sound upon booting. To address that it is possible to force the alsa sound driver to a specific configuration when booting by specifying a ‘model option’. I note from the alsa driver documentation file HD-Audio-Models.txt the following for the ALC262 which you noted is on your HP (and also indicated in the diagnostic script file output you provided):

  fujitsu    Fujitsu Laptop
  hp-bpc    HP xw4400/6400/8400/9400 laptops
  hp-bpc-d7000    HP BPC D7000
  hp-tc-t5735    HP Thin Client T5735
  hp-rp5700    HP RP5700
  benq        Benq ED8
  benq-t31    Benq T31
  hippo        Hippo (ATI) with jack detection, Sony UX-90s
  hippo_1    Hippo (Benq) with jack detection
  sony-assamd    Sony ASSAMD
  toshiba-s06    Toshiba S06
  toshiba-rx1    Toshiba RX1
  tyan        Tyan Thunder n6650W (S2915-E)
  ultra        Samsung Q1 Ultra Vista model
  lenovo-3000    Lenovo 3000 y410
  nec        NEC Versa S9100
  basic        fixed pin assignment w/o SPDIF
  auto        auto-config reading BIOS (default)

What I find particularly interesting is I see the entry “hp-bpc” which is for HP xw4400/6400/8400/9400 laptops (or workstations) and I think you may have an HP xw9400 laptop (or workstation) ? …

I would really like to see the contents of the /etc/modprobe.d/50-sound.conf so as to propose an edit to that file so as to insert the ‘hp-bpc’ option.

In the absence of having that file, I suspect all you need to do is add to the **start **of that file the line:

options snd-hda-intel model=hp-bpc

Restart your PC and test the sound.

Contents of /etc/modprobe.d/50-sound.conf

options snd slots=snd-hda-intel,snd-hda-intel
# 9LTX.pTA3G4HuajB:MCP55 High Definition Audio
alias snd-card-0 snd-hda-intel
# rrik.7CRezu9YczD:nVidia Corporation
alias snd-card-1 snd-hda-intel

The parts about it being an nVidia/intel MCP55 and the sound card numbers are correct.

On a side note, I still cannot start kmix. I was able to start it from the CLI with:

eval dbus-launch

But now it will not start at all. Running

/etc/init.d/dbus status

Checking for service D-Bus daemon   unused

Well, that is the result. The only changes I made were the card priority for capture. It had the HDMI card on top and Analog second. I reversed them and then put them back where they were. That is when the D-Bus daemon always failed to start, as well as kmix.

I recall that kmix would not start after Audacity was installed. I needed to make recordings with specific parameters and kmix would not let me do it. I later found I could have done the recordings with arecord, which incidentally produces extremely poor playback quality at this time.

A recent thread on kmix failing to start is here: KMix won’t start up in SUSE 11.4

I will modify the sound.conf as you suggested, and report back.

Thank you very much for your input!

OK, hopefully you are trying this in the /etc/modprobe.d/50-sound.conf

options snd-hda-intel model=hp-bpc 
options snd slots=snd-hda-intel,snd-hda-intel 
# 9LTX.pTA3G4HuajB:MCP55 High Definition Audio 
alias snd-card-0 snd-hda-intel 
# rrik.7CRezu9YczD:nVidia Corporation 
alias snd-card-1 snd-hda-intel

Note it is important you do NOT keep backups in the /etc/modprobe.d/ directory. Keep your backups elsewhere.

There is a


showing the original configuration in the directory now. Is that to be placed elsewhere?

If you did not create that, then don’t touch it.

Note any edits that you do direct to the 50-sound.conf file will be removed each time you run YaST > Hardware > Sound so do NOT run that sequence if you find an edit to the 50-sound.conf file works.

Ok, there are no backups in the directory, the system would not let me do it anyway. System startup sound works. Kaffeine and Amarok now behave as if the codecs were not installed. Songs were playing before the change.

That won’t change the codecs.

You have another (different) issue wrt codecs.

The .conf file was restored to the original configuration and now the players work as before.

The original problem was the application pocketsphinx is using whatever has to do with arecord, which produces extremely poor recordings.

And there is still a problem with kmix not starting and the D-Bus problem. kmix works because I can select my master channel, devices, and levels by clicking or right clicking the icon in the system tray.