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Microphone Recording Levels are Unusably Low. Why?

Community Beginner ,
Feb 25, 2018 Feb 25, 2018

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I just installed Rosetta Stone, and they have chosen to use Flash Player for their online portion. This means the microphone and audio are processed through Flash. Unfortunately Flash has decided that my microphone should transmit at a whisper even if I yell into it. On the computer itself, on Discrod, on Skype, etc the volume is perfect and everyone can hear me fine. It records and plays the same volume and fidelity as it would if it were a good analog tape recorder sitting on my deck. And yet no matter what I try, Flash makes it barely pick up what I say - if at all. I've tried right clicking, going to settings, and raising Record Volume to max - it doesn't help. Reduce Echo is also toggled off. It has permission to use my microphone. Despite all this, if I scream into it at the top of my lungs it transmits as though I were gently whispering into it. And before anyone asks, yes it is a high quality analog mic, and no there is no built in mic it might be picking up by accident - I only have one option for input.

I'm super frustrated and need this fix. Does anyone have any advice or trouble shooting aid that can fix this without messing up literally everything else on my computer that uses my mic and picks things up fine?

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Adobe Employee , Mar 02, 2018 Mar 02, 2018
Okay, so this is the crux of the problem:
It worked.. so long as the flash settings window was open and only if I clicked the volume slider even if it just stayed in place.
Those settings are supposed to stick.  They're stored in a file called settings.sol, which usally lives in \Users\<you>\Roaming\Macromedia\Flash Player\macromedia.com\support\flashplayer\sys\settings.sol.If you're unable to read or write to that file, that would explain why the settings aren't sticking.  You might just delete ...

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Adobe Employee ,
Feb 26, 2018 Feb 26, 2018

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To give you any useful advice, I'm going to need to know more about your computer and browser:

https://forums.adobe.com/thread/1195540

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 26, 2018 Feb 26, 2018

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Sorry.

I'm Windows 10 Pro, on Firefox's latest, on a flash player I just installed yesterday and so is also the latest.

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Adobe Employee ,
Feb 26, 2018 Feb 26, 2018

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I'm guessing that this is Firefox specific, and that the plug-in sandbox isn't letting us read the registry keys that hold the details about your volume selections at the operating system (although that used to manifest as Flash Player always playing at 100% volume, which was pretty terrible if you had your computer hooked up to a big stereo or something).

Do you know if you're using 32 or 64-bit Firefox?

In the meantime, you can probably use any other browser.  At the very least, it would be really useful to know if it's Firefox specific.  I'm ~95% sure that this is going to be a browser bug, but I'd like to confirm.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 02, 2018 Mar 02, 2018

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It is 64 bit Firefox. I tried telling Microsoft to stop giving exclusive sound control to applications, turned off hardware acceleration, and then adjusted the vol to max in Firefox. It worked.. so long as the flash settings window was open and only if I clicked the volume slider even if it just stayed in place. Tried on Microsoft Edge and the results were fairly similar, only the change lasted so long as I didn't close the browser, not just the settings screen. So it is not that Firefox specific I don't think. It is something with the way flash is storing or saving info or something. I'd really like a fix, even if I have to edit the registry or something. Thanks.

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 02, 2018 Mar 02, 2018

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Okay, so this is the crux of the problem:

It worked.. so long as the flash settings window was open and only if I clicked the volume slider even if it just stayed in place.

Those settings are supposed to stick.  They're stored in a file called settings.sol, which usally lives in \Users\<you>\Roaming\Macromedia\Flash Player\macromedia.com\support\flashplayer\sys\settings.sol.

If you're unable to read or write to that file, that would explain why the settings aren't sticking.  You might just delete it and see what happens.  Flash Player should recreate it at next launch, but all your settings would revert to default.  At that point, hopefully your settings start to stick.

You might also want to run chkdsk to ensure that the disk isn't corrupted.  It seems weird that this would happen unless there's some underlying thing going on with the filesystem.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 04, 2018 Mar 04, 2018

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I looked at that file and it wasn't protected from me writing to it, but I deleted it anyways. Problem now solved. Works better than it did even with me messing with settings. Not sure why it wasn't working before (maybe the file was corrupted or something?) but it is now.

Thanks for all your help and sticking with me.

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 05, 2018 Mar 05, 2018

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Yep.  Definitely sounds like the config file was corrupted.  One of the early signs of impending disk failure is that you start seeing random corruption.  If you have any critical data that you haven't been backing up, you might want to take some time and get that sorted out.  There are plenty of free cloud storage services and inexpensive backup solutions these days.  Portable SSD drives are tiny, cheap, reliable and really fast.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 05, 2018 Mar 05, 2018

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This is a brand new SSD and nothing else is amiss, so I doubt that this has anything to do with a drive failure.

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 05, 2018 Mar 05, 2018

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Cool!  Probably just a glitch in the matrix then. 

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