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Thread: USB Webcam mic recognized but not working

  1. #1
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    USB Webcam mic recognized but not working

    Kubuntu 18.04 running on VMWare Workstation 15.5.2
    USB Webcam with built in mic
    Video works, system audio output works, mic does not work
    Shows up in System Settings and Pulse Audio Volume Control as Camera -> Analog Mono Input
    Using Zoom, in audio settings it recognizes Camera Analog Mono, but the Input Level bar does not move.
    Works in Windows 10 also running on VMWare, so I know the device works and the problem is not VMWare.

  2. #2
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    Re: USB Webcam mic recognized but not working

    Have you "fiddled" with the PulseAudio settings? Use pavucontrol for that. Be certain the mic is seen by Pulse and the levels are moving.

    I'm ignoring the VMware Workstation aspect completely. I'm old and don't really trust USB passthru to VMs when low-latency is needed.

  3. #3
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    Re: USB Webcam mic recognized but not working

    Yeah, I've messed with all the PulseAudio settings I could find. It seems the mic is seen, but it's not getting any input and the levels are not moving.

    I wouldn't worry about the VMware aspect anyway, the video comes through just find and the whole thing works in my Win10 VM, so I don't think it's a VMware issue.


  4. #4
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    Re: USB Webcam mic recognized but not working

    Well, when you do the passthrough, the USB device has to be exclusively shared with only 1 running VM at a time. Pulse can suck, until you get the light-bulb moment and things start to click. Today during a conference call, I decided to swap microphones. The old one is the mic built-into the C920 Pro camera and it "just works". The new one is an analog headset/mic combo that I plugged into the mic jack on the PC, while leaving the speakers connect to the output. In the pavucontrol app, I "fiddled" with the inputs beginning with devices on the far-right tab, working left. Disabled the mic on the C920, enabled the "generic" audio mic input, changed to the "Inputs" tab and started talking ... no levels seen. Moved back and forth between a few of the tabs, got the levels moving, so refreshed the browser, gave permissions to the new Mic that web-app saw and started talking. The web-app shows blue "level" dots when people speak. Mine didn't move. To have any chance of it working, I'd have to restart the browser so chromium could exclusively grab the mic ... and that was more trouble than I was willing to attempt. With other USB mics that I have, swapping sorta just works.
    So I put things back to the C920 webcam+mic and carried on with the conf for another hour. The analog stuff never really works all that well these days, IME. USB tends to just work, at least for respected brand devices. That isn't to say that some $4 USB mic isn't fantastic and will work, but that hasn't been my experience.

  5. #5
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    Re: USB Webcam mic recognized but not working

    I only have the one mic, I don't have another one I can try. And Pulse only shows one mic option, so I can't fiddle with different inputs. The mic is built into the webcam - and again the cam video works so I know the device is good. Maybe has something to do with it thinking it's analog mono? It's a USB device, so I would think it should be digital, yes? And the camera is supposed to have dual mics, so mono doesn't sound right either.

    If I can't figure it out maybe I'll try getting a separate mic and see if that works. Or maybe I'll just stick with the Win10 VM when I need to video conference.

  6. #6
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    Re: USB Webcam mic recognized but not working

    Have you looked through other threads here for answers? Like using the pactl tool to gather information and setup the sources?
    Code:
    $ pacmd list-sources | egrep '\.name|name:|port|state'
    #   Use the "name: xxxxxxx" part
    # Then run a command like this, changing the last, long, part to be from the output above.
    $ pacmd set-default-source alsa_input.usb-046d_HD_Pro_Webcam_C920_76B4D93F-02.analog-stereo
    Is what I've scripted on mine before starting Chromium to ensure the USB mic gets used. Chromium cannot be started before this is setup or it won't be able to grab the mic for exclusive use. That's a chrome limitation too, I understand. The conferencing tool that we use tool a few months before they got firefox working, and I've never switched back, so I don't know whether that "exclusive use" requirement happens with firefox.

  7. #7
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    Re: USB Webcam mic recognized but not working

    I had tried looking here, and scouring google, but nobody seemed to have quite the same issue I'm having, and of the ones that were close I couldn't find anything that solved it. I did search here again and found someone with the same issue, but his was not solved either. I posted there, but I'll also post the results of the pacmd command here. Everything I can see says it SHOULD be working, it just isn't picking up any sound.

    Code:
    $ pacmd list-sources | egrep '\.name|name:|port|state'
            name: <alsa_output.pci-0000_02_02.0.analog-stereo.monitor>
            state: RUNNING
                    device.vendor.name = "Ensoniq"
                    device.product.name = "ES1371/ES1373 / Creative Labs CT2518 (Audio PCI 64V/128/5200 / Creative CT4810/CT5803/CT5806 [Sound Blaster PCI])"
            name: <alsa_input.usb-Ingenic_Semiconductor_CO.__LTD._HD_Web_Camera_Ucamera001-02.analog-mono>
            state: RUNNING
                    alsa.name = "USB Audio"
                    device.vendor.name = "ARC International"
                    device.product.name = "Camera"
                    device.profile.name = "analog-mono"
            ports:
            active port: <analog-input-mic>

  8. #8
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    Re: USB Webcam mic recognized but not working

    $ pacmd set-default-source alsa_input.usb-Ingenic_Semiconductor_CO.__LTD._HD_Web_Camera_Ucam era001-02.analog-mono

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