Re: [linux-audio-user] where to begin or where's the beginning begin?

From: Mike Jewell <mj405@email-addr-hidden>
Date: Tue Jul 19 2005 - 17:11:42 EEST

On Tue, 2005-07-19 at 04:52 +0000, Richard Hubbell wrote:
> Very new to sound input and linux. I've listened to music on linux
> but recording and manipulating sound is all new to me. I'm just
> going to put into words what I'd like to do and take it from there. I
> have an electric guitar and I'd like to record riffs and then apply
> software filters (right word? maybe software effects?) to the riffs
> to give them a different sound. I'd like to be able to edit them,
> save them and record them to disc (cd/dvd). I'd also like to be able
> to record singing and sound effects. I have read the archives a bit
> and I saw a July thread about hardware but the original poster had his
> thread hijacked and it went a little astray.

You sound a lot like me a year and a half ago.
I built a Pentium 4 PC for the experience and so I'd know it inside and
out but most would just buy one. Someone had given me a Fedora Core 1
distro on CDs which I struggled with, having had little Linux
experience. Then I did some web searches and discovered Planet CCRMA
and my life changed. They hold your hand and walk you through setting
up a first class Linux audio workstation. I know there's pros and cons
to all distros but for a beginning Linux audio user, it's hard to
imagine a better start.

I first was using the sound "card" built into my motherboard. It is, of
course, just two channel (stereo) in/out using the AC97 (codec?) but I
got pretty darn good results. My setup was pretty simple and included a
V-Tech VTND3 condenser mic which can run with a battery OR phantom
power, sounds great and is only about $80. I ran that into one of the
little Behringer mixers like the UB802 which has two built in mic
preamps and about 6 other phone jack inputs for about $60. I used this
for micing vocal and my acoustic guitar. But when I tried running my
electric guitar into it, it sounded really bad (very dead) until I
guessed that it was an impedance mismatch thing so I bought one of the
very simple and cheap Dinosaur Direct Boxes which does impedance
matching and unbalanced to balanced conversion for $25 and makes a huge
difference in the electric guitar sound. Radio shack actually has
little inline adapters that do the same thing for about $18 (without a
few of the Dinosaur features). I run the XLR balanced line out of the
direct box into one of the mic inputs on the Behringer. (I've since
bought 3 more of those little mixers so I can have 8 fully separate
channels going into my computer.)

For software, it seems to me that the only logical choice for a beginner
is Audacity. You don't have to learn the complexities of JACK and the
program is extremely intuitive and easy to learn with some amazing
editing features. (And, of course, it is part of the "Instant CCRMA"
experience. 8^)

Later, I figured out that two (stereo) inputs is pretty restrictive, so
I bought a Delta 1010LT 8 track sound card which works great with my
Linux box (now running Fedora Core 3) but that little piece of hardware
was over $300. (Well worth it, though.)

Hope this helps.
Good luck.
Received on Tue Jul 19 20:15:06 2005

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