Ubuntu 12.04: Sound

Sound has been a problem for me in the past.  I found that the sound seems to work slightly better on Fedora than on Ubuntu.  Ubuntu 12.04 has worked better for me, but I think things are still a little more flakey than I would like.  Some of my problems might come from a USB docking station that has a sound plugin and some of the problems definitely come from Skype.

Anyhow, these are the tools that I am currently using:

  • Audacity
  • Sound Settings — switching between devices
  • MuseScore

Installing Audacity

Audacity is the Gimp of the sound work, at least in my mind.  This is a great place to test sound record and playback.  It can change the pitch of music or clean up static out of the file.  You install it from the Software Center.

I tested recording a couple of tracks, and everything seemed to work pretty well.

Adjusting the Volume

At first, my recording was a little weak.  I can easily adjust the output volume from the notification area.  To adjust the microphone volume, you need to open the Sound Settings.  You can do that from the notification area:

The microphone settings are on the Input tab.

On the output tab, I have had a few issues where my sound doesn’t work.  I found that the wrong output device was selected.  So, periodically, I need to adjust the output device.


I am not a composer, but I have made a few changes to some songs for choir and hand-bells.  I found this MuseScore program very helpful.  You can  install it from the Software Center:

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