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Nexus 4 mic gain too high / distorted input

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andy o
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(Last edited by andy o; 31st January 2013 at 02:12 AM.)
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Default Nexus 4 mic gain too high / distorted input

Please vote here to bring the issue more attention.

Hey guys, something I noticed. While testing several VoIP options, I found out that my voice with the Speex low bitrate codec was coming out on the other end significantly distorted. I thought at first it was the compression (the codec may apply dynamic compression). But as it turns out, it's the mic gain itself on the phone. The codec simply exacerbates the problem. I don't know if this is a hardware or an OS problem, but it's OS-wide.

If you're holding the phone like a handset on your face, then something a bit louder than a whisper will distort a bit. If you're talking loudly, for sure. This is not as noticeable with regular calls, cause the frequency range is limited, but for higher-quality streams it is a problem. If you don't have another smartphone at hand, you can test how high you can go with e.g. Skype's call testing service, or this number someone in another thread mentioned, where you can hear yourself in real time: (909)390-0003 (I'm in the US with T-mobile).

This is not only a problem with calls, which is my main concern, but also, if you're going for example to a concert, you better get something else to record your clips. There are some of the samples I could find with loud enough audio (which is not very loud) that it distorts.

First the most egregious one: http://www.symbiantweet.com/nokia-lu...ing-comparison

Since that comes from a WP forum, some of you may be rolling your eyes (although, faking that would be pretty childish even for the most staunch fanboy).

Here are a couple other videos I found that show the problem:

http://youtu.be/iF4MBGQUJYY:



http://youtu.be/1UJZYWqGNMQ:



The several VoIP apps that have a "mic gain" control (Groove IP, Talkatone, Sipdroid, CSipSimple) don't actually change the mic gain, but the app's gain which means the already distorted audio will go out with a lower volume, but the damage has already been done.

From searching, it seems that the only way to set actual gain lower in Android is if the kernel permits it, which means a custom kernel. Hopefully the CM guys or someone else can address this. Since the phone is not in the hands of too many people right now and it hasn't been long, the problem is not very widely known, but once people start going to concerts and trying to record clips, there's gonna be some complaints.
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rr5678
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It seems that LG messed up a lot that's microphone related. But this problem actually needs attention paid to it.
 
andy o
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(Last edited by andy o; 22nd December 2012 at 04:10 PM.)
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The Nexus 4 doesn't seem to have auto gain at all (e. g. for videos and audio recording). I'm not sure if this is an Android problem or one particular to this phone.

Also the gain on handset mode is pretty much the same (even seems a bit louder) than in speakerphone mode. I assumed it was a given that it should be significantly lower.
 
frigidazzi
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Are there any kernels or ROMs or anything that fixes this yet that anyone knows of? I am using AOKP with Franco Kernel and it is really bad in the app Voxer that I use several times a day. My recordings sound terrible.
 
rr5678
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Right now all we can do is hope that LG fixes it in an update or a developer fixes the issue with a patch.
 
yahyoh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy o View Post
The Nexus 4 doesn't seem to have auto gain at all (e. g. for videos and audio recording). I'm not sure if this is an Android problem or one particular to this phone.
its android problem ( no auto Gain ) which sucks if u r recording in loud environment u will get **** sound

(but in wolfson audio chips u can control mic gain with voodoo sound like GS1 or Nexus S )
Gnote2 Rom: XXUFNE1 kernel: Stock
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Galaxy S2 ROM: XWMS3 4.1.2 Kernel: Stock
............................
MOTO G ROM : 4.4.4 Kernel :stock

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andy o
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And here I was thinking that latency was the worst problem for recording apps on Android. They even supposedly improved latency on 4.1 and 4.2, but this is way worse. For recording, Android is even farther behind iOS than I thought, and if this has always been a problem and nobody cares, probably everybody will keep not caring for the N4. Ideally the CM guys would take notice, I wonder how difficult it would be to implement it for them.
 
rr5678
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy o View Post
And here I was thinking that latency was the worst problem for recording apps on Android. They even supposedly improved latency on 4.1 and 4.2, but this is way worse. For recording, Android is even farther behind iOS than I thought, and if this has always been a problem and nobody cares, probably everybody will keep not caring for the N4. Ideally the CM guys would take notice, I wonder how difficult it would be to implement it for them.
Remember, this phone hit a little over a month old a few days ago.
 
andy o
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The problem with this phone in particular is that the gain is set too high, but since I first posted the OP I've learned that this was also a problem with the galaxy nexus, at least on a lesser magnitude. And the fact that there is no way for apps to adjust gain is an Android problem in general (and news to me as well).
 
jamez243
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy o View Post
The problem with this phone in particular is that the gain is set too high, but since I first posted the OP I've learned that this was also a problem with the galaxy nexus, at least on a lesser magnitude. And the fact that there is no way for apps to adjust gain is an Android problem in general (and news to me as well).
I am also having this issue most apparent in the voxer app when you play back the message you send ... you can tell it's way too over driven.

My nexus 7 doesn't do this

Tags
clipping, distortion, gain, mic gain, microphone
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