Sound on linux (alsa)

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http://askubuntu.com – I cannot find anything helpful in the Internet to configure or at least understand sound on Linux. How I understand the alsa driver is the only sound driver on linux? All my search was around it and I have realized that is a pain to even understand how to use it. To be more concrete, below I provide some information about my audio system: Audio device : VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8237A/VT8251 HDA Controller (rev 10) The most annoying thing is that I cannot use Skype or my microphone. Because the sound is terrible. It is not loud, or quite, it is simply bad. Also I completely don't un (HowTos)