Microphone problem - very puzzling

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Microphone problem - very puzzling

Postposted on Tue May 06, 2014 9:02 pm

So I have a strange microphone problem, which I have been trying to solve for a few days with no luck. I talked to Scott a bit, and we couldn't make heads or tails of it at all. My goal is to get skype working,

Here are the details:

-Desktop system is a intel dz87klt-75k, integrated sound. Uses 4.1 logitech speaker system, but with front two speakers only.
-Microphone works with my notebook fine (e.g., used for Skype)

-BIOS is set to 'auto' for type of front panel audio (other options are HD audio, legacy and disabled)
-Microphone is correctly seated in the front panel jack.
-Realtek audio manager detects the mic.
-Windows sets the mic as the default recording device (2-Realtek High Def Audio), 'levels' is set at 100%, no mic boost
-Skype is set to use (2-Realtek HDA)

The problem is that the PC does not seem to think the mic makes any sound. I've checked using Sound Recorder as well as skype.

Does anyone have suggestions or ideas?

David
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Re: Microphone problem - very puzzling

Postposted on Tue May 06, 2014 9:46 pm

Have you tried with the rear mic jack to see if it makes a difference? Some motherboards treat the front and rear mic jacks as completely separate input sources, maybe it is "listening" to the rear jack instead?
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Re: Microphone problem - very puzzling

Postposted on Tue May 06, 2014 10:13 pm

Excellent question! I did try the read mic jack, and no luck there either.

I should also mention this is the second motherboard I've tried it on. I actually got a replacement, thinking the sound controller was bad...
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Re: Microphone problem - very puzzling

Postposted on Tue May 06, 2014 10:23 pm

Checked for updated drivers for the onboard audio?
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Re: Microphone problem - very puzzling

Postposted on Tue May 06, 2014 11:13 pm

1 - Is the microphone input muted? (Seems obvious, but I've been there.)

2 - Does the RealTek driver have a separate audio source control panel that doesn't correctly tie into the Windows control applet? (Been there, too...quite infuriating.)
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Re: Microphone problem - very puzzling

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2014 1:35 am

Since ya explicitly mentioned mic boost was off, I assume you made sure to max out mic boost? Some boards need it just to pic up anything on some mics.

Does the board allow you to remap audio jacks? You might manually make sure the ports are assigned correctly, and if so plug the mic into a different port and simply map that to the mic input.

dkanter wrote:-BIOS is set to 'auto' for type of front panel audio (other options are HD audio, legacy and disabled)


When you connected the front panel header to the motherboard, did you use a regular front panel audio header or the HD audio header? Some cases will include both types of headers, and I assume this is what the BIOS setting was for. But since ya tried the mic on the back audio cluster that rules it out as the underlying issue. :-?
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Re: Microphone problem - very puzzling

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2014 10:12 am

Kougar: Excellent suggestion RE: mic boost. I turned it on, and now I can very faintly hear myself when I scream into the mic.

So we've established that the connection works fine, except the volume is way too low.

I've now adjusted the mic volume to the maximum everywhere and it's still faint to use. Any further suggestions?
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Re: Microphone problem - very puzzling

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2014 10:23 am

Any luck checking for updated audio drivers?

I suppose you could also try booting a Linux live CD and checking whether the mic works in that, just to narrow things down to hardware or software.
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Re: Microphone problem - very puzzling

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2014 10:30 am

just brew it! wrote:Any luck checking for updated audio drivers?

I suppose you could also try booting a Linux live CD and checking whether the mic works in that, just to narrow things down to hardware or software.


I did check for updated drivers, and I have the most recent version from Intel. Great suggestion though :)
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Re: Microphone problem - very puzzling

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2014 10:34 am

You said the mic works with your laptop so I would suspect drivers. Try uninstalling and re-installing the audio drivers. That has been the fix for just about every problem I have ever had. Although in the case of an old Cannon camera the firewire only would work with older hardware.
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Re: Microphone problem - very puzzling

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2014 11:14 am

what is the exact model of your logitech speakers? you mentioned that only 2 of the 4.1 system are hooked up. do all of the speakers attach to the sub? how are they suppose to be set up? i suspect the issue has to do with the fact that 2 of your speakers aren't in connected. plus you said that the mic works fine on you laptop and on 2 different motherboards, so the only thing that seems constant are your speakers.
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Re: Microphone problem - very puzzling

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2014 11:43 am

Waht type of microphone is it? Different types give different voltages and some require a bit of phantom power. It could be that the laptop can cope with it (either lower voltage input or provides phantom power) whilst the motherboard cannot.
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Re: Microphone problem - very puzzling

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2014 1:10 pm

Impedence matching issue or yes might need a bit of voltage on the line (probably 1/2 a volt)

You can set use a large adjustable resistor in the 1000ohm to 50,000 range.

solder the ground to the center leg and the signal to either side play a tone into the mic and then run the resistor from one end to the other and see if the sound suddenly gets better.

You can also include a second resistor to a small voltage source to energize the source wire up to one volt one or the other should suddenly give you good signal.

Finally one thing that I've seen is the plug shorting the signal and ground contacts or making a poor connection inside the plug.
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Re: Microphone problem - very puzzling

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2014 3:26 pm

This is a bog-standard Intel motherboard. You shouldn't need to jerry-rig DIY phantom power circuits just to get the mic to work, unless there's something seriously weird about the mic.

That said... have you tried a different mic? Kind of a long shot since this mic works with the laptop, but it would yield another data point.
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Re: Microphone problem - very puzzling

Postposted on Thu May 08, 2014 1:20 am

OK - I reinstalled drivers for Realtek HDA and the problem is still there, nothing has changed. Good thought though.

The microphone is from a Plantronics MX500i. It's a 2.5mm mic that plugs into a USB adapter normally. In this case, I'm using it with a 2.5mm-->3.5mm adapter (which plugs into my laptop, cell phone, or PC - but the PC has issues).

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Re: Microphone problem - very puzzling

Postposted on Thu May 08, 2014 7:04 am

Have you tried flipping the mic volume switch on the headset, per page 4 of this manual?
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Re: Microphone problem - very puzzling

Postposted on Thu May 08, 2014 1:29 pm

dkanter wrote:The microphone is from a Plantronics MX500i. It's a 2.5mm mic that plugs into a USB adapter normally. In this case, I'm using it with a 2.5mm-->3.5mm adapter (which plugs into my laptop, cell phone, or PC - but the PC has issues).


Another longshot, but have you tried a different 2.5-3.5 adapter? It could be that the adapter is molded in such a way that it doesn't quite correctly insert into your PC's jacks even though it works fine with the phone or laptop. The result would be a ground short in the jack, and your PC would only pick up a faint residual signal.

This happens with headphones all the time, except that headphones are stereo, so usually an incorrect insertion results in a partial signal on one channel, encouraging the user to fiddle with the jack.
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Re: Microphone problem - very puzzling

Postposted on Mon May 12, 2014 9:16 am

This is a very subtle problem form the sound of it. I suspect that the headset has four poles on the 2.5 mm end? I suspect that the 3.5" adapter has either two (mono) or three (stereo). The fourth pole is the one for the microphone. An adapter like this should work.

Edit: My Google-fu is strong.
Last edited by the on Mon May 12, 2014 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Microphone problem - very puzzling

Postposted on Mon May 12, 2014 9:21 am

If the adapter is the problem why does it work on the laptop?
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Re: Microphone problem - very puzzling

Postposted on Mon May 12, 2014 9:57 am

just brew it! wrote:If the adapter is the problem why does it work on the laptop?


More modern laptops have been adding a combo speaker/microphone jack to reduce the area covered by ports where as motherboards use stereo. Motherboard jacks don't connect to the extra pole on the cable.

To highlight the cable differences on 3.5 mm cables:

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