Mic volume slider not working

Audacity 2.0.9 Linux Mint 17.2 64bit

I have a problem in that the mic volume control makes not difference. The only way I can adjust mic gain is through the “Sounds” panel in Admin. I can’t find any others with this problem.

Is the mic slider greyed out? That is not unusual on Linux - The mic slider in Audacity will only work if the sound system makes the control available, which usually it doesn’t.
The usual way to control the recording input on Linux systems that use PulseAudio, is to use “PulseAudio Volume Control” (“pavucontrol”). PulseAudio volume control allows you to specify which device to use, which inputs on that device, the input device level (the input level at the sound card hardware) and the recording level of the application (Audacity). Unfortunately few distributions install pavucontrol by default, but it is easily installed with Synaptic and is highly recommended for people wanting to work with audio.

Thanks for the reply, the mic slider is not greyed out it just does not do anything. I will look at installing the pulse audio control. Do you know which distros may let Audacity work normally?

It depends what you mean by “normally” :stuck_out_tongue:
Audacity will work on nearly all Linux distributions, but the issue of selecting and controlling the recording level is complex.

For Linux there are basically 3 different sound systems available that provide the low level drivers (to communicate with the sound card hardware): ALSA (most distros use this by default), OSS (very old/obsolete), OSS4 (newer version of OSS but not entirely open source).
On top of that there are a number of “sound servers”, including PulseAudio (most widely used) and Jack Audio System (high performance system for music and media production, but can be tricky to set up).

Also, there are widely varying differences between sound cards, not only in terms of supported sample rates and sample formats, but other hardware capabilities such as hardware mixing and hardware resampling. One of the primary purposes of PulseAudio is that it provides in software, functionality that is missing in the hardware.

It is the combination of hardware, drivers and sound server that determine what functionality is available to a software application. For general use, the combination of ALSA and PulseAudio provides excellent support for a vast range of audio devices (which is why it is the default for most distributions). It is definitely worth becoming familiar with PulseAudio Volume Control as it allows great flexibility even with very basic hardware. For example, it allows recording sounds that are playing on your computer (even if that is not supported by the hardware, which these days it rarely is).

Thanks very much for the information and that ex-plains quite a lot. As I use Audacity for mainly basic editing I will just stay with things as they are. Certainly I am a bit wiser now.


Presumably the “9” in 2.0.9 was a typo. We have never made a 2.0.9 version.


Yes my typo 2.0.5 .