Some of the new Dell Inspiron laptops (the 1420n, 1520, and 1525 are the ones I know of) come with a digital microphone array above the screen, but a fresh install of Ubuntu 8.04 will not have the array enabled by default.
Fortunately, it wasn’t too difficult to enable, and now I can use Audacity, Skype, etc., without any peripherals.
- Right-click the volume applet in the top-right of your screen and click Open Volume Control.
- Click File > Change Device and change the device to the alsa device.
- Now click Edit > Preferences and select both Digital and Digital Input Source.
- In the Recording tab, make sure the digital device’s volume is all the way up and that the device is not muted.
- In the Options tab, change Digital Input Source: to Digital Mic 1.