Recording sound with snd-hda-intel?

Recording sound with snd-hda-intel?

Post by Kilian A. » Sat, 12 Aug 2006 03:04:05

I have a notebook with an integrated Intel `82801 High Definition Audio
Controller'. SuSE 10.0 uses the snd-hda-intel driver for it, and it plays back
sound alright. but I cannot find any way to record sound, either through the
built-in mic or anything plugged into the jack with the microphone icon.

Alsamixer 1.0.9a shows three Capture sources: Capture, Capture 1 and Capture 2.
But even when I switch all of them to `Capture' I cannot get any sound into the
computer. I always used to use Gerd Knorr's ancient `record' for quick and dirty
sound recording, but it requires a 'line' device, and says there are only 'mic',
'cd', 'pcm2' and 'igain'. No matter which I specify, no sound is recorded.
Then I heard that these days I was supposed to use ALSA's own programs. So I
tried: arecord -d 10 -f cd -t wav foo.wav. Again, that pretends to work but
creates a .wav full of silence.

How is one supposed to record sound from a microphone into that chip? Or is the
hda-intel driver not able to record sound?

No animal was harmed in the making of this post.

Recording sound with snd-hda-intel?

Post by kaphei » Sat, 12 Aug 2006 07:29:39

I stumbled upon your post while looking for a fix for the same problem.
Basically, the snd-hda-intel driver supports quite a lot of different
soundcards all based on the same general chipset. There are maybe a
dozen of variants of this card that have different types of jacks (3
jacks, 5 jacks, surround capabilities, digital out, etc) . If your have
the same problem as I do (Dell inspiron 1300), then your microphone
jack doubles as a line-in jack.

This means that the driver has to tell the card if the internal
amplifier for the mic has to be enabled or not (depending if it's a mic
or not). The alsa drivers don't detect this "feature" so we can't
enable/disable it, because we can't interact with the setting. So the
amplifier is always off.

To know if you have "this" problem, plug in a mic, start recording,
_yell_ like crazy, and listen to the recording. You should hear a faint
noise, as if you were listening to someone at the bottom of a well. :(

Good luck finding the solution and if you do, please let me know ! :)

Etienne Martel


Recording sound with snd-hda-intel?

Post by kaphei » Sat, 12 Aug 2006 10:42:17


Got IT ! :)

My god, I have been looking for this fix for _DAYS_ now !
note.: I have downloaded and compiled the bleeding edge alsa source, I
don't know if this is required in order for the following to work. (at
the time of this writing 1.0.12rc2)

1. backup your existing /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base (or
2. append the following to the end of the file:

options snd-hda-intel model=ref

Now reload your modules or reboot. Go into alsamixer. If everything
went as expected, you should see some new options, eg - 'front mic' as
an input source and IEC958 (S/PDIF) settings. Play with these freely
later - they have nothing to do with the mic problem. Anyway, make sure
the input is set to mic and nothing else. Turn your capture setting all
the way up to 70%, capture playback at maybe 50%; tweak these to your
tastes. Now, record something using your favorite audio recording

You'll notice that you have to put the mic volume down quite a bit if
you want to have a decent sound.

ALSA instruction page for compiling:

Happy recording !
Etienne Martel