Microphone quiet in Skype; Alsa mixer hisses all the time
Since I re-installed Lubuntu (up to date version) on my Samsung N220 netbook recently, the microphone volume on Skye is very, very low. In a test call I can hardly hear my own voice. This is true whether or not I set Skype to "let Skype control mixer." The speaker volume is OK, I can hear the other person fine, but they can't hear me at all.
All sound devices inside Skype are set to "default". The Skype drop-down offers 10 or 12 microphone options, all different names for the one and only onboard mic, far too many to test them all.
So, I tried to install a mixer. I tried pavucontrol and xfce4-mixer. These do not run at all, they fail on startup.
Alsamixer appears to install OK. Two of the mic settings were set to zero and I corrected this, but still no sound in Skype, if anything it is worse. And, there is now a constant hiss from the speaker, apparently due to the mic having a constant "presence". So, several questions:
(1) How do I get control of the microphone volume in Skype?
(2) What is the best mixer to use?
(3) If alsamixer is the best mixer, how do I stop the background hiss?
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