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I am remotely debugging a sound system. Until they can test with another microphone, I wonder: Apart from the fact that the microphone is broken or muted, is there anything that could explain why pavucontrol indicates activity whenever the microphone is plugged in or out but not when the user is talking?

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I found the "answer" (and solution to the microphone problem) here: http://askubuntu.com/questions/34962/how-do-i-make-the-microphone-work-on-a-toshiba-portege-laptop

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