Packard Sonic’s Blog
From the mind of Packard Sonic. Buckle up for this ride!

Packard’s Tips! Stop the Skype-o-Matic!

Here is a tip I had to do some digging to find the right one on and after doing some trial and error of getting it to work, I thought I would pass it along.  As a lot of us on the Mac OS X have been apparently left out on turning off the feature in Skype to stop this auto adjustment of Skype on the microphone. This is a fairly easy hack to do, and only requites a good text editor. For this I would suggest the program called TextWrangler. It’s free and you can find it at

If you have a better or preferred application that can handle .xml files then feel free to use that instead.  I should note that this hack is for the Mac OS X version of Skype only. I’m not sure of the way to do it for windows or if it is even necessary.

The reason I like this particular text editor, as it leaves the file type in tact. Which for this “hack” you don’t want to mess up the file type.

The steps for this are pretty simple.

1. Be sure Skype is shut down for this; otherwise the hack may not work. Rule of thumb, never hack or edit an open program.  In this instance will be hacking a supporting file, so if you make a mistake, you won’t have to reinstall Skype.

2. In Mac HD/ <you>/Library/Application Support/Skype

Look for the file called “shared.xml”

3. When you open this file up with the text editor, you’re going to see a lot of things that may or may not make sense to you. That’s  ok in this instance as we will not be messing with most of it anyway.

4. Look for the line that reads <VoiceEng>. It should be near the bottom of the text file.

5. Once you have located it, right after <VoiceEng> Hit a return or enter and on the very next line type in the following: <AGC>0</AGC>

When you are done, it should look something like this.

6. When you’re done, be sure to save the file and shut the editor window before starting Skype back up.

To test to see if the hack too effect, open your System Preferences and go to your sound settings. Click on your input tab at the top, and set your Microphone all the way up to the top.

Start a Skype call with a friend or call the Skype audio setup test and watch your microphone settings slider. If It doesn’t move, Congratulations! You have taken back control over your microphone from Skype!  If not, try again, sometimes it’s easy to miss a step or another error may have happened during the set up.  If for some reason Skype refuses to start up, you can simply trash the “shared.xml” file and be sure to empty your trash, before reopening Skype up again. Skype will simply make a new file and you can make another attempt.

If you want to disable the echo cancellation, just add in <EC>0</EC> right below the <AGC>0</AGC>

Good luck and Happy Hacking!


One Response to “Packard’s Tips! Stop the Skype-o-Matic!”

  1. gotta tell you, Packard, l am loving this place.
    Despite believe my Mac is my religion, and considering l can swim around on my nerdiness, l am loving all these tips and trics here.
    You are my new Mac guru 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: