[Solved] Dealing with low input volume from a microphone in debian/pulseaudio

verahill Asks: Dealing with low input volume from a microphone in debian/pulseaudio
I’m running Debian (10.5) with the 5.7.0 kernel and Gnome. I’ve previously asked this question here, without luck: [SOLVED] Samson XPD2-insanely low volume/gain/too attenuated – Debian User Forums

Here’s the situation: I have a Samson XDP2 wireless Lavalier microphone (Samson Technologies). It consists of a transmitter pack, to which a lavalier microphone is connected, and a USB receiver, which also has a headset output.

If I listen in on the receiver using the headset port the sound is fine — strong and clear.

However, the sound that I receive in linux is very, very weak.

By default Pulseaudio allows you to boost via GUI to 153% (norm*2). Using pactl set-source-volume in the terminal I can boost the input enough that I get a good signal (ca 270% — no clipping, and the dynamic range sounds fine to me).

I will have to go in and do this manually each time, and if I touch the slider in pavucontrol or gnome-settings then I lose the boost.

My questions are:

Can I set the default boost permanently (to 270%) for this device via a pulseaudio configuration file, so that it applies every time I plug in the device?


Can I change the allowable volume range in the GUI (pavucontrol or gnome-settings) so that I can use the slider up to e.g. 300%?

What I’ve done: I’ve fiddled with the pulseaudio source code — I changed volume.h from PA_VOLUME_UI_MAX (pa_sw_volume_from_dB(+11.0)) to PA_VOLUME_UI_MAX (pa_sw_volume_from_dB(+35.0))

but it changed nothing. I’ve also changed org/gnome/desktop/sound/allow-volume-above-100-percent to true via dconf. The sliders are limited to 153%. I’ve even done the window-y thing and rebooted for the first time in months.

So what can I do to make a solution as hands-off as possible? I use the mic for lectures and there are enough distractions (students asking questions, cleaning up after the previous lecturer, setting up cameras and computer) before a lecture that it’s easy to forget to adjust the input volume.

Cheers in advance.

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