Can't record sound (USB webcam)

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Can't record sound (USB webcam)

Postby thuytien » 2019-01-16 07:12

I'm trying to use a Philips USB webcam to record sound, but I get nothing. The video works fine using cheese, and I know I've successfully used this exact webcam with this exact PC before, so I'm sure it's just software audio settings somewhere.
I'm using Debian Stable with Mate, I can play sounds fine with VLC, I'm using alsa and I haven't got pulseaudio installed.
I've tried recording videos with cheese and playing back with VLC, I get stills and video no problem, but no audio. I've tried recording sound with audacity, no audio. I've tried gnome-sound-recorder, but it says my "audio capture settings are invalid".

In the volume control I've got two devices: Alsa and "Philips webcam (Alsa mixer)". The Alsa one has Linein muted and "Microphone" and "Mic Boost" active. On the Recording tab the capture levels are active but there's a red icon by "Toggle audio recording from capture". If I click this, the red icon goes away but won't stay away - if I close and reopen the volume control, the red icon is back again. I assume this is (part of) the problem.
The webcam device has just one control for "Microphone", and the red icon there behaves exactly the same, it won't stay away. Even just swapping devices and swapping back again brings the red icon back.

I thought I must need to run "alsaconf" but can't find this anywhere, and can't find any package which contains it. Has it been renamed maybe?
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Re: Can't record sound (USB webcam)

Postby bw123 » 2019-01-16 12:29

I don't think alsaconf exists anymore. Try using alsamixer, select capture, then check the input source. If that's not it you probably have a gstreamer mess. Maybe a missing -plugins or -backend pkg.

https://duckduckgo.com/html/?q=alsa+test+capture
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Re: Can't record sound (USB webcam)

Postby FreewheelinFrank » 2019-01-16 17:33

Is this command any good?

Code: Select all
arecord -l


It should tell you the name of the microphone, and you can enter that into whatever it is you are using to record sound.

I used mhWaveEdit.

This is from five years ago, so it might not be relevant.
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Re: Can't record sound (USB webcam)

Postby Segfault » 2019-01-16 17:33

Is snd_usb_audio loaded?
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Re: Can't record sound (USB webcam)

Postby llivv » 2019-01-16 17:52

check you have pwc module and depmods loaded
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$ lsmod | egrep 'pwc|videodev|media'

the replacement for alsaconf is
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# alsactl
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# alsactl_init

more info found in /proc/asound
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$ cat /proc/asound/modules

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$ cat /proc/asound/cards

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$ cat /proc/asound/devices

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$ cat /proc/asound/pcm

more info
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$ ls -la /proc/asound/card0

looking for the phillips mic
see if you can find (if) the intel and phillips mics using conflicting settings.

both mics using the same resources was my first thought. Although that is just a wild guess.
Segfault wrote:snd_usb_audio
didn't load with pwc so check that is loaded as well
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Re: Can't record sound (USB webcam)

Postby stevepusser » 2019-01-16 19:28

How about with guvcview or opening the webcam in VLC and recording there? (Media: Capture Device)
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Re: Can't record sound (USB webcam)

Postby kevinthefixer » 2019-01-20 19:54

or quit postponing the inevitable and just install PulseAudio and pavucontrol. If PA doesn't sort it for you it's pretty easy to do with the pavucontrol GUI.
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Re: Can't record sound (USB webcam)

Postby Segfault » 2019-01-21 03:14

May I point out for you PA cannot use any hardware without ALSA? In other words, if there is no ALSA driver loaded then PulseAudio won't see it. How comes this RH bullshit is getting into peoples heads so bad?
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Re: Can't record sound (USB webcam)

Postby llivv » 2019-01-21 03:41

if inevitable and resistence is futile
- than
https://youtu.be/WZEJ4OJTgg8 < We are The Borg sound test
fi
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