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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Macbook - Problems with my internal microphone


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StevenH

 
Member Since: Jan 05, 2007
Location: Norfolk, England
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Mac Specs: White Macbook (refurb), 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo, 2 GB Memory, 60GB HDD

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When chatting on iChat, my friend (who's also on a macbook) has complained that my microphone is very quiet. I checked in the Sound preferences, and ambient noise reduction is on and input volume is on max. Yet I can only achieve 1/3 of the input level bar in my normal voice; 1/2 to 2/3rds when I'm speaking loudly; and not even full when I'm shouting! I'm sitting at arms length from the laptop.

I thought it might be iChat so I tried skype. But when using skype, the person on the other end of the line said that although the sound was much better, they heard a constant, rising, 'pinging/bell' sound that was unbearable to take.

Is there something wrong with my microphone? Or is this a general problem?
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narf1899

 
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Member Since: Feb 05, 2007
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hmm...launch garageband and see if u can record into it

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StevenH

 
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Hi narf1899. I just launched GarageBand - had a little play and quality seemed fine - had to speak in a loudish and clear voice to be clearly heard but that's expected I guess.

I tried iChat again just now and its the same - very quiet but this time for both chatters in the convo. I tried Skype and that sound is still there - my friend describes it as 'bells clanging' together.

Do you think its just Skype? Is there any other ways to enhance the microphone volume besides buying an external microphone?
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MWolverine

 
Member Since: Feb 09, 2007
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I used a video chat in iChat for the first time the other day, and I had the same problem. I had video, but there was no audio. I checked and the mic was on, and the chat wasn't on mute. I would appreciate if anybody could give me tips or suggestions on how to fix this. Thanks.
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narf1899

 
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try going to the speech preferences, check the "enable voice commands" box, and calibrate ur mic, and see if it works for that....(im trying to figure out if its a mic or an ichat problem)

iMac Aluminum 20" 2.4 ghz 2gb RAM 300gb HD
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Macbook White Core2duo 2gb 80gb
Powermac G4 dual 450
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StevenH

 
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I've calibrated the mic but what do you mean 'see if it works'? If you mean does the bar generally go into the middle green bit then yes it did that after I did the calibration.

Although as soon as I quit the system preferences, it said that the 'system preferences' application crashed! This is exactly what I mean when I'm talkin about this

I've attached the system error log. I wasn't doing anything unusual when this happened - I only had safari, mail, itunes and word open.
Attached Files
File Type: txt system preference crash log.txt (19.1 KB, 4 views)
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StevenH

 
Member Since: Jan 05, 2007
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I've determined that with Skype, the sound quality is considerably better thatn with iChat. Although with Skype, I'm experiencing some wierd 'pinging' sounds but hopefully Skype will sort that out.

I've also determined that on iChat, the sound is generally very quiet unless I speak very close to the microphone. I've tried calibrating the mic, and I've definitely made sure (about 5 times) that the microphone volume settings have been set to the max.

Have you guys got any tips for boosting the volume of my mic? Or are all macbooks generally that quiet?
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walkerj

 
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I think there's something wrong with it and you should endeavor to get to a genius bar. I've been doing a lot of video iChat with my wife and her brother on their Macbooks and it's as if we are physically present. In fact, we have to keep it to normal levels most of the time.

I have a very good external mic that I never need to use since the internal mic is perfect (for chatting, probably not for real quality uber-stereo use.)

Though one thing I did find out regarding iChat that is sound related: Several times now iChat has stopped making sounds, while the rest of the system sounds continue to work (volume blip, moving files around, new mail chime, etc.) I don't know if video chatting is affected because I haven't been in the midst of a vid-chat when it happens of yet. A quick search of the web showed that this does happen, and a work-around is to quit application coreaudiod in Activity Monitor (Mac OS will restart that daemon for you, probably when iChat is started again), then restart iChat. This does indeed work (though annoying) to fix the sound, so maybe try that and see if it improves things.

Otherwise, I'd say something is broke.
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Collapshi

 
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in my case what is happening, is that the ichat sends and receive only crushed sound, the video is fine though
in skype, it works both video and audio perfect,
any suggestions?
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StevenH

 
Member Since: Jan 05, 2007
Location: Norfolk, England
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Well in the end, I just switched to Skype. The program is REALLY buggy on macs - it crashes at least once every time I use it, but the video quality is a lot clearer and more importantly the audio is much more audible.

Good luck.
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