How To Disable Skype’s Auto Gain and Echo Cancellation Controls

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Your version of Skype might be doing a couple things with your audio that you don’t want it to. Here’s how to fix it.

To disable Skype’s auto gain control (AGC) for both Mac (5.6.0.143 and later) and PC versions, simply go into your Preferrences > Audio/Video and deselect the Automatic Microphone Control checkbox.

Mac Skype Settings to disable AGC

 

Disabling Skype’s echo cancellation mode is not as simple but also not that hard. You’ll need to find Skype’s system file on your computer and insert a simple piece of HTML code.

On a Mac browse to ~/Library/Application Support/Skype/shared.xml.

You’ll need to open this file in an HTML editor that can read the xml format, I recommend Komodo Edit (for Windows, Mac, Linux) as a free, open source solution.

Once you’ve opened the file in your HTML editor, scroll towards the bottom and simply insert the following code

<EC>0</EC>

This will disable Skype’s Echo Cancellation controls.

If you are running a version of Skype that doesn’t have the checkbox to disable the AGC you can also insert the following code to disable that:

<AGC>0</AGC>

Here’s what the code should look like if you have both of these lines inserted

HTML code to disable AGC and EC in Skype

Listen to Jason’s (the Creepercast podcast) feedback about how disabling these controls helped his podcast.

Play
About Ray Ortega

Full-time podcast producer and host of The Podcasters' Studio and Podcasters' Roundtable, I enjoy sharing my ten years of experience making podcasts to help others improve or start their own show.

Comments

  1. Hey Ray,

    I just listened to your PQT about skype's AGC, and thought it'd be good to know that using the AGC hack will also help if your skype co-host or interview has his or her words cut off from lack of bandwidth. Especially when it comes to music. I was having a really hard time doing a live/recorded show with my co-host whenever we got to the news section, and I tried putting in the music bed under him. The AGC would kick in and try to bring up the music, which would then chop his words. So I resorted to starting the music, then when i faded it down, I also had to cut the mix-minus to him for the music so it wouldn't interfere. This was corrected when I hacked the AGC. Now I can have the music under him, and he can hear it, without chopping his words.

    This also fixed us talking at the same time, and me cutting him off. I just make sure my mix-minus going to him is lower than his sound coming to me.

    Love the podcast. Keep up the great work.
    Jason

  2. I ‘m running the latest version of Skype on Windows XP.

    Do you know how to disable the noise cancelling feature?

    Thanks

    – Paul

  3. I found the XML file to edit in a slightly different location: ~/Library/Application Support/Skype/shared.xml

    That little ~ at the beginning makes all the difference. You can get to that folder in the Finder by typing Command-Shift-G and typing in ~/Library/Application Support/Skype

  4. For Windows 7 (May help the XP user), the file is located at C:/Users/Username/AppData/Roaming/Skype/shared.xml

  5. Hi, I just found you while searching for podcast help, and I was wondering where to find the file in Windows 7….?

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