Posts Tagged ‘pavucontrol’

Record audio in good quality

April 13, 2017 Leave a comment

I wanted to create some simple tutorial videos using a screen recording software (with gtk-recordMyDesktop to be precise), but the audio quality was terrible. There was a constant white noise in the background. I could reduce the noise with Audacity but 1) I couldn’t eliminate the noise, 2) it distorted my voice, and 3) the audio became weaker.

I had a cheap headphone / microphone that was connected with a jack plug. I think there was also some inference that caused the noise. So I bought a USB headset (Logitech H390) and the damn noise is gone! It works very well for me.

I tried it under Manjaro and here is how to make it work. Plug it and start Audacity. Next to the microphone icon there is a dropdown list. Select your headset and try to record some audio.

Try “pavucontrol” too. Under the Recording tab I had to select “Headset H390 Analog Mono”. Talk in the microphone and the sound feedback line should be moving.

How to record audio with gtk-recordMyDesktop? Start “pavucontrol” and “gtk-recordMyDesktop” too. In gtk-recordMyDesktop, go to Advanced -> Sound tab. Next to the device name I had “DEFAULT”. Change it to “pulse” (without quotes). Start recording with gtk-recordMyDesktop. Now switch to pavucontrol and go the Recording tab. At the bottom select “Show: Applications”. Now recordmydesktop should appear. Next to it there is a dropdown menu where select “Headset H390 Analog Mono”. It should do the trick.

setting the volume from the command line

I have a laptop where the default volume is weak. On the system tray the volume is on 100% but it’s still weak. So far I started the program “pavucontrol”, which is a GUI application, and there I set the volume to 150% (that’s the maximum). However, if I watch a youtube video and pause it, in pavucontrol the volume falls back to 100%, so I need to adjust it after each pause.

I found a command line program that allows one to set the volume. It’s independent of pavucontrol. So I made a script that runs automatically when the graphical interface comes up:

#!/usr/bin/env bash

# from
# listing current volume:
#     pacmd list-sinks | grep volume

cmd="pacmd set-sink-volume 0 100000"
echo "#" $cmd

First list your sinks with “pacmd list-sinks”. I only had one, hence the id 0. The value 100000 is the volume (on my system it’s equivalent to 153%). Value 65535 is volume 100%.

Tip from here.

Update (20160604)
I made a wrapper script around pacmd; you can find it here on GitHub. Its usage is very simple. Do you want to increase the volume? Just call “ 140%” and you are done.