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!
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.
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).This will make a little area appear on the far right side of the window. In 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.