IBM PowerPC ThinkPad - Audio Device Problems

1998-09-10 It took me forever to figure out how to get the microphone input on the ThinkPad to function properly, so I thought making some tips available would be a good idea.  Note, this info is about the mic input, NOT the line-in input, which appears to function properly.

When I first got my ThinkPad, I couldn't get the mic input to work at all, whether in audio_editor or with the navigation and dictation applications.  I stumbled upon the solution by accident when I went nuts trying every possible combination of settings.  When I say it didn't work, I mean you could record something but it would either create a blank recording or would only record very loud moments as a sort of "buzzing" sound.  Either way, you could tell from the graphical waveform displayed with audio_editor that it wasn't recording properly.

The solution is simple, but very unintuitive and almost definitely a bug (it doesn't show up on the ThinkPad's sister system, the Personal Computer Power Series 850).  You have to go into the audio_mixer application (which you should have installed in your CDE frontpanel if you use UMS with any frequency) and select Audio Mixer OFF.  Then in your recording, navigation and/or dictation application you need to select high-gain mic as your input device.

For reference, my UMS levels are as follows:

  UMS.msg.en_US.objects    C    AIX Ultimedia Services Messages
  UMS.objects          C    AIX Ultimedia Services
  UMS.samples          C    AIX Ultimedia Services Samples
  UMS.video_ext        C    AIX Ultimedia Services Video

If you don't have this problem or if you have a higher level of any of these filesets working on your ThinkPad, please let me know!

Please e-mail if you have any comments! 

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