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Behringer C-1U microphone under Linux – recording level too low

If you wanted to find a good way to record good quality audio and decided to buy a Behringer C-1U (U meaning USB connector), then connected it on your Ubuntu (or other Linux distribution) only to find that the sound recording level was so low you could barely hear it, then you’re almost like me. I mean, unless you have found a way to fix it, in which case you’re exactly like me!


C-1U Microphone

The microphone itself is good, don’t hit your head on the wall about having spent too many buck on it just to throw it away because you hate Windows. The problem is that you need some ALSA help. And when I say ALSA, I really mean alsamixer, or something of the likes. In my case, I checked a list of alsa-related names in my software repository and found qasmixer, which allowed me to solve the problem, so here’s how you do it.

Install QASMixer

That one’s very easy, either through Synaptic or on the command line: sudo apt-get install qasmixer

Start qasmixer, that should just be a matter of typing the program name either in unity, gnome3 or in a terminal. The program opens.

Select the microphone

Go to the View menu, then select “Show device selection” (or just press F6, anyway).QASMixer - DevicesThis will make a little area appear on the far right side of the window. QASMixer - Boost micIn that area, you should see a little “hw” option appear (for “hardware”, I guess). Click it. You can see the C-1U in a second area opening below, right?

Click the C-1U option. A new level indicator appears on the left side, that says “Mic” and is at the bottom (or in the middle). Just put that one up to the maximum level. You can now safely close qasmixer.

Now use whatever technique you used to use to record your voice. You should *finally* be able to get some decent voice recording from your Linux box!

I hope it helps, really.

2014-04-06 Update: The microphone seems to have stopped working at some point. I have to confirm that with other computers still, but so far the led inside lights up then fades very quickly (after 1 second or so) and the computer doesn’t detect it. dmesg was claiming the device could not be identified. I tested again a few days later and it was working again. No idea of what might have caused this.

  1. November 14, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    This doesn’t work on Arch, i had to install PulseAudio with Pavucontrol and then switch mic from stereo analog to mono analog. Then it worked like a charm.
    Hope this helps

    • Yannick Warnier
      November 14, 2015 at 7:46 pm

      Great, thanks for your help!

  2. December 14, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Hello. Changing the Pavucontrol settings doesn’t help in my case. What works is doing as described in this blog, i.e. install qasmixer, select the C-1U mic and crank up the gain all the way. I then go back to Pavucontrol, leave the stereo setting alone and turn up the volume to 100%. That gives me a perfect gain with negligible noise. Thanks for the tip. It’s unfortunate that this is not plug-and-play and one even needs to install additional software. There has to be a way to access the gain setting changed in qasmixer directly from the OS, but anyway… thank you so much for the tip. You saved my life.

    • Yannick Warnier
      December 22, 2015 at 6:15 pm

      Happy to help! I was surprised too by the non-plug&play issue for the volume, but there are many references on the web on how to proceed with this type of problem. Just not something specific. The C-1U is GREAT value (cost vs quality) to record professional-level audio for tutorials. I love it!

  1. October 16, 2014 at 10:56 pm
  2. January 26, 2015 at 5:45 pm

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