Re: Sound recording in Debian Lenny
* Lisi <email@example.com> [110105 21:42]:
> I am after something from never-never land, but I live in hopes.
> I need a sound recorder, and would prefer that it be in Debian Lenny, but a
> dual-boot would be possible. It must fulfil the following criteria:
> 1) Be managed by someone who knows a little bit about Linux, less about Debian
> and absolutely zilch about sound recording and balancing etc.
> 2) Ideally, usable by someone who knows even less about computers and sound
> recording, but can use this package without too active a helping hand.
> Last time my husband needed to record a book, I Installed Jaunty on a computer
> that I had to dedicate to it, used gnome-sound-recorder and held his hand
Do it the right way (which also is the easy way):
=> Mail-order a Lexicon (brand) Alpha (model) USB interface (about
$75); this is a stereo interface, but it handles only one
microphone-level input, and it does not provide phantom power
(which is needed for condenser microphones).
=> Plug the USB cord into the computer.
=> Plug a microphone (balanced cable with 3-pin XLR plug; this is
the standard for entertainment, broadcast, and recording industry)
into the Alpha.
=> Adjust the microphone level with the "MIC" knob on the front
panel of the Alpha. Simply adjust the level until the PEAK LEDs
flash only occasionally.
=> Use "arecord".
=> After recording, use "aplay", which sends the sound out the
headphone jack and the LINE OUT jacks of the Alpha. (In addition,
the Alpha also has RCA jacks for computer speakers.)
If you do not have a microphone with a 3-pin XLR connector, a decent
dynamic microphone can be had for as little as $20 from the supplier
from which you order the Alpha. Consider something such as the Shure
PG48XLR microphone, which comes with a XLR cable for about $40, or a
more expensive condenser lavalier microphone which clips onto your
lapel, tie, or shirt. Check with a broadcast supplier such as
www.bswusa.com or www.fullcompass.com, and tell the salesman what you
are trying to do.
This approach gives you uncompromised audio quality -- clean,
full-fidelity, hum-free, and is better than using a PCI sound card or
a sound card integrated into the motherboard.
And the balanced microphone cable (which is the type of cable used
with 3-pin XLR plugs) can be hundreds of feet long without fear of
noise or hum, so you can change the recording location without having
to move the computer.
If you need phantom power (for a condenser microphone) or two
microphone inputs, you need the larger Lexicon Omega (about $175).
The Lexicon Alpha and Omega use USB 1.0 and thus work with Linux Etch,
Lenny, and Squeeze; a two- or three-line configuration file may be
needed to make the Lexicon the default sound device. With Ubuntu
10.10, both are fully plug-and-play.