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

From: Richard Hubbell <richard.hubbell@email-addr-hidden>
Date: Wed Jul 20 2005 - 08:41:52 EEST

On 7/19/05, Steve Fosdick <lists@email-addr-hidden> wrote:
> On 19/07/05 05:52:16, 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).
> Are you intending to DI the guitar or are you planning to mic the guitar
> amp?

I guess you mean Direct Input and I think that's what I'd like to do.
What are the pros/cons?

> For DI you could just try making a lead to connect the guitar to the
> line in of a normal sound card, i.e. connect it to one channel and see
> how you get on. If the quality is not good enough you'll need to invest
> in a "Pro" sound card.

What sound cards are people using that are reliable and well made?
I've also seen a USB device that has 1/4 jacks, it's appealing because
it looks so simple of course I have no idea if it'll work under linux.
 The fact is there are so many devices that's I am overwhelmed by it

> > 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.
> OK, for this you'll need a decent microphone. The big choice is between
> dynamic, e.g. the Sure SM58 that is commonly used live and which give a
> punchy sound and condensers which give a more accurate and detailed
> sound. There shouldn't be any Linux specific problems with Mics so go
> to somewhere like and see people there are using. The

I wasn't sure what language they were speaking there, I just don't
know the lingo yet.

> only thing to watch out for is that if you get a condenser mic you'll
> need to look for a sound card/audio interface or pre-amp that includes
> phantom power (most good ones do).

Phantome power means the power comes from the bus it's connected to?
Like USB provides a little power. Or do you mean something else?
Would like to know if anyone here has experience with a particular combo.

> Connecting a mic to the mic-in on a normal PC sound card is very
> unlikely to yield acceptable results for serious work as the built-in
> pre-amp is usually noisy and the mic-in is unbalanced wheras all pro
> mics have balanced outputs, so you'll either need to use a separate
> pre-amp to raise the mic's output to line level then use the line-in, or
> get a sound card/audio interface that has a mic pre-amp built in. You
> could even get a separate mic pre-amp and a pro sound card.
> Regarding sound cards/audio interfaces you have a choice of USB or PCI.
> If you're intending to do all your recording with a single PC then PCI
> is probably better as it seems to have more stable support and lower
> latency. If you need to frequently move the interface between PCs, e.g.
> you desktop and laptop then a USB interface may be more conventient.
> You also need to decide how many channels - if you're going to record
> one track at a time then one of the two channel devices will be fine.

USB on linux has had some issues past/present. I would like to go with USB
I think as it's more portable (as you point out).

> I needed an interface I can carry around and got a USB TASCAM US-122

I will have a look.

> which seems to work quite well though the drivers in Linux seems to have
> only become stable since kernel 2.6.12. This has two channels in/out
> and MIDI in/out and the inputs can be either mic or line/guitar and it
> can do phantom power. For close miking the noise performance is fine,
> but for miking large enembles at a distance the mic pre-amp is a little
> too noisy.

Is that a mike problem too?

> There is a direct competitor to the US-122, i.e. the Edirol UA-25.
> For the PCI cards I'll let people who've got them describe them.
> > Do I need one box or several? I don't want to spend a lot to start
> > but would like to have something that's made reasonably well.
> Some of the PCI cards have a separate "break-out" box to which you
> connect your inputs and then a cable that connects the breakout box to a
> connector on the back of the PCI card. If you get a card that has line
> level inputs only then you'll need a separate mic pre-amp. Many people
> are suspicous of built-in mic pre-amps on anything and would recommend
> the two box solution anyway though I don't have the experience to
> comment.

Okay I think this makes sense, separate the components, easier to
isolate problems
and cheaper to replace things.

> Once you got a decent mic, sound card and maybe mic pre-amp I'd see if
> you can do everything else you need in software before buying any other
> hardware. There's ardour as a multitrack recorder and LADSPA for
> effects pulgins all connected together with jack. For wave editing
> you've got audacity. There's jamin for mastering, cdrdao for writing CDs
> and other choices too. LADSPA effects include compressors, expanders,
> filters, eq etc.

I am surprised at how much software there is, I will be looking at it
all eventually.

> HTH,
> Steve.
Received on Wed Jul 20 12:15:07 2005

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