hope this helps because it caused me a lot of headache
As far as I can tell the default settings under ubuntu pretty much mutes microphone.
This is how I fixed it, hope it works for anyone with the same problem too:
- Open up 'Volume Control' (for anyone new to ubuntu, if you click on the volume applet at the top right screen you can access it from there)
- Select|Control 'HDA Intel (ALSA mixer)' | 'HDA NVidia (ALSA mixer)' as the Device (depend on ypour hardware) and click on Preferences at the bottom of the same window
- Check the following tick boxes - 'Front Mic', 'Front Mic Boost', 'Capture', 'Capture 1' and last but not least the two 'Input Source' boxes
- You should then have two new tabs labelled options and recording. Select options where you can change the input source, change it to 'Front Mic'
- Then select the recording tab and raise the two capture slides and toggling record from capture and capture 1 to on
- You can then go back to the first(Playback) tab and play around with 'Front Mic' and 'Front Mic Boost' to change the recording quality. (I find that 'Front Mic Boost' just creates a lot of fuzzy noise and not a lot else so I turned that off completely.)
- Install a program called Audacity or the Sound Recorder
- Go to Applications>Sound & Video> Sound Recorder clik on record button (notice the level is changend continually while you speak). After clik on play button to hear the record. If you still have problems try going into Audacity and going to Edit --> Preferences and changing the recording and playback devices to ALSA: pulse
- Now you must get ready to roll but do one more control: open the Gnome Sound settings: System -> Preferences -> Sound and you should see this: The way to test if your microphone is actually working is by clicking on the “Test” button behind “Sound capture”. Press test and talk in your microphone. If you hear yourself with a slight delay from the speakers you have it working. If not try every option in the list (in the screenshot it’s on “ALSa – Advanced Linux Sound Architecture” between the “Sound capture:” and “test”. one of them should be working. Also note that there seems to be double values with exactly the same name but they do act differently! at least that was the case for me. Once you’ve done that and you found one that seems to be working (the right one for me was: the default “ALSA”) then you can start recording your microphone if you want. Try it out in gnome-sound-recorder(alias Sound Recorder).
That's all folks._