[pulseaudio-discuss] Config option to disable auto microphone boost?

Laszlo KERTESZ laszlo.kertesz at gmail.com
Tue Jul 12 11:56:08 UTC 2016

Oh well. I have pulseaudio 9 installed, but this AGC issue, at least on my
laptop is actually worse on Google Hangouts on Chrome at least (webrtc echo
cancellation with no additional options). I had to set microphone boost to
zero in
the /usr/share/pulseaudio/alsa-mixer/paths/analog-input-dock-mic.conf to
make it work. Skype web seems to be ok (on Chrome).
Other applications seem to work ok, probably they do not try to crank the
boost as hard a Hangout does?
Actually so far only Hangouts created issues with echo-cancel.

On Thu, May 12, 2016 at 6:52 AM, Arun Raghavan <arun at arunraghavan.net>

> On Wed, 11 May 2016, at 06:22 PM, Laszlo KERTESZ wrote:
> > Back with more data.
> > I used this option since then, but it turns out that even if Pulseaudio
> > doesnt do it,some other apps will still abuse the gain adjustments.
> >
> > For example i just finished a Google Hangout session (working from my
> > home
> > desktop) and with "aec_args="analog_gain_control=0\
> > digital_gain_control=0"" - the mic boost (element "Rear Mic Boost") was
> > going back to 53 (mid level) causing loud noise when there was silence on
> > my side (used headphones with microphone).
> > After i set "volume = zero"
> > in /usr/share/pulseaudio/alsa-mixer/paths/analog-input-rear-mic.conf,
> > "[Element Rear Mic Boost]" section and restarted Pulseaudio, AGC
> > adjustments were still made by Chrome, but only within the "Capture"
> > control and nobody complained anymore.
> Indeed, it might be interesting to explore an option to disable using
> boost controls via UI. At least for me, that's not something I see
> myself immediately having the time for.
> > So Hangouts does this, and it seems Chrome has AGC built in for "plain"
> > Webrtc too with no option to disable (i at least couldnt find one). I
> > tested Jitsi Meet (Webrtc MUC server, locally deployed) and Chrome uses
> > AGC
> > boost adjustments with the same Pulseaudio setup.
> FWIW, with the upcoming PA 9.0, things may get better with built-in AGC.
> On Firefox, I see a config option to disable AGC, haven't tested if it
> does.
> > Skype on the other hand always worked just fine with echo-cancel - either
> > doesn't do AGC on its own or does it better (this point isnt that
> > important
> > now since it will likely stop working for audio/video in the immediate
> > future and the browser version will replace it with Webrtc sometimes,
> > hopefully before it, returning us to the previous point). Thinking about
> > it, desktop apps in general are echo-cancel-friendly, even the
> > java-powered
> > Jitsi desktop client.
> >
> > It seems that in cases like this the "aec_args" are insufficient and some
> > option should be provided to disable the gain adjustments server-wide
> > since
> > the editing of the config files are overwritten on Pulseaudio update.
> >
> > Also note the fact that some sound cards (like most? USB headsets) that
> > don't have variable mic boost options are immune to this issue. I have
> > one
> > USB headset wit mic (actually tried multiple models, all with the same
> > results) at work and they work just fine with echo-cancel regardless of
> > Pulseaudio's settings.
> We currently don't have the ability to do that. We might get this at
> some point as part of ongoing efforts to enable sandboxing.
> -- Arun
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