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How To Disable Microphone Auto Adjusting Input Volume in Ubuntu

Ubuntu 2

Ubuntu is a powerful and versatile operating system, but sometimes its default settings can cause frustration. One such issue is the automatic adjustment of the microphone input volume. This feature can be problematic during video calls, online gaming, or while recording audio. This article will guide you through the process of disabling this feature in Ubuntu.

Quick Answer

To disable microphone auto-adjusting input volume in Ubuntu, you can use a browser extension for WebRTC protocols like "Disable Automatic Gain Control" or disable the feature within Skype’s settings. For PulseAudio users, editing configuration files can help, while PipeWire with WirePlumber users can create a configuration file.

Solution 1: Using a Browser Extension for WebRTC Protocol

For users who primarily face this issue while using web conference or video chat services like Google Hangouts that use the WebRTC protocol, a simple solution is to use a browser extension. The “Disable Automatic Gain Control” extension can be added to your browser to resolve this issue.

You can find this extension on the Chrome Web Store. The source code for this extension is also available on GitHub for those interested in how it works.

Solution 2: Disabling Auto-Adjustment in Skype

If you are using Skype and face this issue, you can disable the auto-adjustment feature within the application itself.

Navigate to “Skype > Options > Sound devices” and uncheck the option “Allow Skype to automatically adjust my mixer level”. This should prevent the microphone volume from auto-adjusting.

Solution 3: Editing Configuration Files for PulseAudio Users

For PulseAudio users, you can disable the auto-adjustment of gain on the microphone by editing the configuration files.

Firstly, open the following files as root using a text editor:

  • /usr/share/pulseaudio/alsa-mixer/paths/analog-input-internal-mic.conf
  • /usr/share/pulseaudio/alsa-mixer/paths/analog-input-mic.conf

In these files, you will find sections named [Element Internal Mic Boost], [Element Int Mic Boost], and [Element Mic Boost]. In these sections, you need to set the volume value to zero.

The volume parameter controls the level of the microphone input. By setting it to zero, you effectively disable the auto-adjustment feature.

After making these changes, save the files and restart your system.

Solution 4: Creating a Configuration File for PipeWire with WirePlumber

If you are using PipeWire with WirePlumber, you can create a configuration file to stop applications from adjusting the microphone.

First, create the folder $HOME/.config/wireplumber/main.lua.d and then create a file named 99-stop-microphone-auto-adjust.lua inside it.

Add the following content to the file:

table.insert(default_access.rules, {
 matches = {
 {
 { "application.process.binary", "=", "ferdium" }
 }
 },
 default_permissions = "rx",
})

In this script, application.process.binary is a match rule that targets the application named ‘ferdium’. The default_permissions parameter is set to ‘rx’, which means that the application can read and execute, but not write, effectively preventing it from adjusting the microphone volume.

After creating this file, restart PipeWire and WirePlumber by running the command systemctl --user restart wireplumber pipewire pipewire-pulse.

Conclusion

With these solutions, you should be able to disable the auto-adjustment of your microphone input volume in Ubuntu, regardless of the application or service you are using. Always remember to make a backup of any configuration files before editing them, to prevent any potential issues. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments section below.

Can I disable microphone auto-adjustment in Ubuntu without using any external tools or extensions?

Yes, you can disable microphone auto-adjustment in Ubuntu by editing the configuration files for PulseAudio users, as mentioned in Solution 3.

Will disabling microphone auto-adjustment affect the overall audio quality?

Disabling microphone auto-adjustment will not directly affect the overall audio quality. However, it may result in inconsistent audio levels, so you may need to manually adjust the microphone volume to ensure optimal audio quality.

Can I re-enable microphone auto-adjustment after disabling it?

Yes, you can re-enable microphone auto-adjustment by undoing the changes made in the configuration files or by enabling the respective options in the applications or services you are using.

Do these solutions work for all versions of Ubuntu?

These solutions should work for most versions of Ubuntu. However, slight variations in file paths or configuration options may exist in different versions. It’s always recommended to double-check the documentation or support resources specific to your Ubuntu version if you encounter any issues.

Are there any risks involved in editing configuration files?

Editing configuration files carries some risk, as incorrect modifications can potentially cause system instability or other issues. It’s advisable to create backups of any files you plan to edit and proceed with caution. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to seek guidance from experienced users or consult official documentation.

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