View Full Version : Audio problem with skype has me baffled

06-23-2011, 12:44 PM
I'm really losing my mind. I just posted to the skype help forums but since I don't know their turn-around times on these issues I figure I might as well try here as well. I'll just copy and paste what I wrote over there (http://forum.skype.com/index.php?showtopic=827037):

I'm incredibly frustrated at the moment, as I've spent 2 days trying to figure this out (and I've had important overseas calls to make), but I'm completely baffled, and I'm hoping someone can explain to me what's going on.

Computer: Dell Inspiron

First off, I've been using skype for years on this system. The current problem seems to have just appeared out of nowhere last week. I did install Pamela (so I could record calls) around the same time just to try it out but I had trouble with the sound then and I uninstalled it. I'm honestly not sure if the problem coincided with the installation of Pamela or not. I just can't remember what came first.

So the problem is that the other side of the conversation can't hear me on skype, unless I yell. There is actually sound getting through but it's very, very low.

Mic setup in windows is fine. It works fine in Audacity. It even works in Skype when I click "check settings" from the call screen. I can make a quick recording that sounds fine. In "audio settings" though the problem is apparent. I have to shout to see a single bar of level. "Automatically adjust my settings" is unchecked and the slider is at max. This is consistent with when I make a test call - if I yell I can just barely hear some sound in the playback, but just barely.

(PS - my friend Howie says "hi")

06-23-2011, 01:33 PM
Just wanted to add that I was just able to successfully make a computer-to-computer call with google chat. So the problem seems to only be with skype.

06-23-2011, 04:35 PM
Doesn't look like I'm gettin' much action here, but here's an update and bump.

- audio drivers are up to date
- tried system restore. No go. Problem still there.
- tried upgrading to the current beta version. Problem still there.

C'mon, anyone have any idea at all?

06-23-2011, 04:37 PM
Pamela may have changed your audio drivers. I've been through similar things before. Use the device manager to check the audio devices and see if the drivers have been changed. It may give you an opportunity to rollback any changes. Sometimes you just have to reinstall the proper driver.

06-23-2011, 04:40 PM
I had the same problem, and have no idea what Pamela is. I could call another computer without problems, but calling a land line, the other party could just barely hear me, even when I yelled. I never did figure it out, and canceled the service. If you come up with a solution, I'd love to hear it.

06-23-2011, 04:41 PM
C'mon, anyone have any idea at all?

say it again louder i can barely he you.

what he said.

06-23-2011, 04:51 PM
Pamela may have changed your audio drivers. I've been through similar things before. Use the device manager to check the audio devices and see if the drivers have been changed. It may give you an opportunity to rollback any changes. Sometimes you just have to reinstall the proper driver.

I tried to rollback the driver but it said that no previous versions had been saved, but I don't know if that means there very well could be previous versions that just weren't saved. I didn't see anywhere where I could see a log or something that would show any changes to the driver.

But the mic works in (AFAICT) every other instance. Wouldn't a driver problem be apparent in other applications as well?

06-24-2011, 06:29 AM
OK, headin' home now, and I'll try whatever it is that someone suggests when I get there, so that gives you all about an hour to make a suggestion.

06-24-2011, 10:23 AM
All right, I'm not gonna keep bumping this (maybe one more time) but really? No one has any suggestions, insights, or ideas about what the problem could be? I've gotten no responses on the skype boards either. Am I just being impatient? Because this is incredibly frustrating (been trying to call the folks for a week now) and I can't believe there are no answers out there.

06-24-2011, 11:03 AM
You can try re-installing the audio driver and/or re-installing skype. You can also try restoring your system to a point before the problem occured. It's kind of hard to diagnose this without any real information.

06-24-2011, 11:51 AM
Tried all that already. Is there any particular pieces of "real information" that I can provide you to help?

06-24-2011, 01:44 PM
Not really. On my machine I'd just start examining everything, event logs, services, registry, try every diagnostic available. Did you google this? You asked the Skype forum, do they have actual support? I was hesitant to get into this thread because you don't have enough money to pay me to get involved with this type of problem (nobody has that much money), I just don't like doing this kind of thing. I suspect that's why you're not getting many responses here. It's going to be hit or miss. Backup, then try everything.

06-25-2011, 06:00 PM
Yeah, I googled the hell out of this. And so far my thread on the skype forums hasn't gotten me anywhere.

But ok, fair enough. I understand this is not the juiciest of computer problems for random folks on the internet to want to jump into. It's just frustrating because, I'm relatively savvy for a layperson and I simply have no idea at this point what the problem could possibly be or what direction to even pursue in order to get some useful information. I'm guessing I'll be resorting to re-installing XP as soon as I have the time.

06-25-2011, 07:23 PM
Since you seem desperate I'll give some advice that is probably stupid. :)

Reason it is likely to be stupid is because I run Skype on Linux where stuff looks different than on XP.

That said, I still have a virtual machine that has XP, so I just took a quick look it. How about you try this:

In your systray there's a little speaker icon. Right click, select "adjust audio properties".

In the dialog there's a tab called "Audio". Select it.

In that tab there's a "sound recording" section. I get a little fuzzy here, check if the microphone you use for skype is in the dropdown box? If so, select it and then click on the "volume button". Make sure the volume slider(s) are up.

Also check the "voice" tab and do the same thing.

That's about all I can think of.

06-26-2011, 10:24 AM
not "stupid" at all, but of course something that I've tried already (about 20 times already, kinda in the way that you check the same pocket 20 times when you can't find your keys).

Thanks for trying though.

06-26-2011, 11:33 AM
Well, then install Linux. Skype works fine there. :)

06-26-2011, 03:59 PM
Are you using a headphones/microphone setup? I had real problems with Skype until I took a look at my headphones and discovered bare wires showing where it had gotten tugged at some time. Audio would be real sketchy as the wires shifted around. Replaced the headset and all fine now....

06-26-2011, 07:39 PM
Wish it were that easy kb. I'm using just a microphone but it works fine in other applications, and even in skype's own microphone test. It's only when I make an outgoing call (or receive one) that I have this problem and this includes when I use the skype call test service (echo123).

Since a tiny bit of signal actually does get through, it seems almost as if it switches from a microphone input to a line level input, though I'm not sure if that's really what it would look like.

Another thing that has me wondering is, recently my internet has gotten very, very slow. I'm not sure why (and I hate dealing with German ISPs, and it's not my account anyway which is why I haven't called), but I'm wondering if a lack of bandwidth would cause such a problem. The thing is, I did a test call to a friend using google talk and it was fine.

The final test I guess will be in a few days when I can test my laptop on another network.

06-26-2011, 09:32 PM
A last-gasp solution might be to go to the where it asks for a 'theme' for sound. For a while my mysterious audio problem that couldn't be solved by helpful people was solved by switching to, of all things, sewer mode.

Another last-gasp might be an OS reinstall, if you have the discs. If you don't, XP doesn't cost that much.

This is probably no use; I wish you luck.

06-26-2011, 11:02 PM
I don't see here that you've tried this, so here is my suggestion: un-install Skype, manually rid your machine of all remnant files, directories, and registry entries relating to it, reboot, and install Skype afresh.

Another possibility is to check into your audio codecs, there are lots of free utilities out there to do that: Sherlock is one I've heard of.