Originally Posted by Mark Pettit
Perhaps try using audacity. The GUI might make things simpler. Then, if after that your microphone is not detected properly, or not supported, try to borrow a USB microphone. I've recently bought a tape-cassette->USB device. It appeared in the audacity device drop down list and just-plain-worked-first-time !
OK, I've fiddled around quite a bit with alsamixer, followed your advice and tried Audacity. First results are very encouraging. I can record my voice OK, and even with my crappy headset, the sound is actually quite good. I experimented a lot with the various settings and managed to reduce distortion to a minimum.
Now I wonder how I can get recordmydesktop to record sound. According to Audacity, I'm using the "Rear Mic". The manpage 'man recordmydesktop' specifies a --device SOUND_DEVICE switch (default hw:0,0). Hmmmm. Now what?
Edit: I finally managed to have sound with recordmydesktop, but it's very low, almost inaudible, compared to what I got with Audacity.
Edit2: after quite some more fiddling with alsamixer, everything works perfectly now.
I can now record screencasts complete with audio using recordmydesktop.
Thanks very much! I'll mark this thread as SOLVED.