Skype being a Massive bitch

Hello. So basically my question is skype-related. Skype is being a massive dick right now. It's skype 4.2 and what happens is whenever it tried to make a sound, every other application that's using the sound device stops outputing sound and the device disappears from pulse audio's devce list ( but not alsa's ). This is pure BS. Basically what it amounts to is that i cannot use skype at the same time i want to listen to something else.


The Sound Card i'm using is a USB Dac HA-Info U2 Plus that identifies itself as a Gyrocom C&C something device. (Basically the company name)

I'm running elementary Luna and here's my pulseaudio versions and related components. 

ii pulseaudio 1:1.1-0ubuntu1 PulseAudio sound server
ii pulseaudio-mod 1:1.1-0ubuntu1 Bluetooth module for PulseAudio sound server
ii pulseaudio-mod 1:1.1-0ubuntu1 GConf module for PulseAudio sound server
ii pulseaudio-mod 1:1.1-0ubuntu1 X11 module for PulseAudio sound server
ii pulseaudio-uti 1:1.1-0ubuntu1 Command line tools for the PulseAudio sound

I'm new to linux and this is one of my gripes.

Just disable all Skype sounds.

But then i hear what others are saying.

I don't know whether the pulseaudio issues come from ubuntu or elementary itself, but you can be sure that it has to do with pulseaudio. Uninstall pulseaudio and the PA volume and mixer, and run the whole thing on ALSA or OSS. ALSA usually works great. I've never had Skype issues in linux, even with skype updates that broke pretty much everything in windows, and I try to avoid PulseAudio as a general rule, because I have to use ALSA anyway because I use Jack for guitarix, rackarrack and dedicated DSP chips, so PulseAudio is unnecessary for me. The cool thing about ALSA+Jack is that you can use plugins on your skype audio, like a compressor, a gate, EQ, reverb, etc... to make your voice sound better.

Alright i tried messing with it some more, after removing pulse nothing worked. I dont know how to configure alsa to use my USB soundcard as output. Everything wants to use the onboard sound to which nothing is connected.

yeah you need to install the alsa mixer also, there you can change the settings. The way it goes is that you don't set a fallback like in Pulse Audio mixer, you just disable the internal card, and only enable the card you want with the right configuration you use. Then go to the output and input mixers and just select the channels you want to use. In Skype itself, audio should be set to ALSA, it will probably still be set to PA.

Err, there is a list of devices in skype however it's the same issue - i cant disable it from alsamixer, as i just dont see that option.

add dmix to your .asoundrc, and select dmix from skype afterwards, that should work in ALSA.

or you know what, let's keep it graphical, reinstall pulseaudio and pavucontrol, and don't forget to also install the lib32-libpulse, because Skype is only 32-bit, it's not 64-bit, and can't get to the sound settings if the 32-bit lib is not installed. I think you should be able to access the exact sound devices you want to use if you have the lib32-libpulse installed. If you can access the selection of devices in Skype but it doesn't work, we'll configure pulseaudio via pavucontrol and take it from there.


So after searching the interwebs i saw this forum post and you are basically doing what i want to do. To clarify this i am newb so any information you can provide would be awesome! I want to have compressor and EQ on live conversation like skype but not limited to skype, and it sounds like you have the solution to this. 

While i have pulled up the page for JACK would you care to explain your software / plugins setup to tweak your live convo? Really could use the information especially since i am on Ubuntu and most of the software and forums are all talking about windows based options and are expensive. 


What is your question exactly?

How to install JACK plugins and use them, or are you looking for good compression and EQ plugins?

Well i get the ALSA portion that you mentioned to one poster, but i guess at the moment would be some good plugin  (EQ / Compression) for JACK and was there any special setup to get it working with things like skype. 


Look for pulse-jack and install it (aka pulseaudio-module-jack).

It will load jack together with pulse-audio once pulse-audio is restarted.

After that, you'll be able to use your standard jack patchbay to rout effects, because in Pavucontrol, you won't just see your hardware input and output points, but also the jack routing points.

So when you rout your mic input for instance through jack, you can insert a compressor and EQ and whatever else you want, and it will process the sound between the mic hardware point and pulse-audio. At that point, it's system-wide, so also works with Skype.

You can do the same on the output side, for instance if you want your compressor to affect your mic input, but your EQ to affect your output, you can rout the output through jack to set EQ system-wide.

The plugins to look for (and there are thousands of them), are LADSPA (the old plugins), LV2 (LADSPA version 2, the newer ones), but jack also works with Steinberg's VST plugin system (Windows DAW plugins).

A good place to start looking for plugins is, which is a collection of good quality free and open source plugins. The "SC" compressor plugin series is widely used for this kind of application.