[pulseaudio-discuss] How do I read my microphone's source levels from the cmdline?

Sean Greenslade sean at seangreenslade.com
Tue Sep 20 03:45:20 UTC 2016

On Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 10:24:38AM +0800, Kai Hendry wrote:
> On 11 September 2016 at 17:48, Tanu Kaskinen <tanuk at iki.fi> wrote:
> > I should add: a "get one sample now" feature wouldn't be useful anyway,
> I planned to monitor & plot consecutive readings over a long period of
> time to spot trends in noise picked up from my microphone.
> If I can't do this with pulseaudio, could you recommend some other way
> of sanely monitoring the levels?

It's quite possible with Pulse, however you'll need to write a program
that uses the real Pulse APIs. If you don't need a lot of data, you can
set the sample rate very low and use the peak detect recording mode.
You'll probably also need to read the various volume levels along the
chain if you want to get a semi-reliable real world volume.

I highly recommend looking over the source for pavucontrol for


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