PotatoHandle
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:06 am

USB soundcard "Line-in" hardware suggestions.

Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:33 am

Greets there fellas!

I'm hoping to turn my Pi into a small audio recorder. I have a screen with HDMI, USB ports and speakers, and I'm planning on using for this to keep the overall size down, so I can set it up near my electric drum kit for recording. I also want to hook it up to my PA and NAS, to play back music as well, but that part will be easy.

My main issue is that I don't know how to go about buying a sound card. Am I going to have to compile drivers myself? I'm generally pretty switched on, but I'm not a programmer, so this will prolly be beyond my scope. Alternatively, are there any cards that Raspbian will support natively?

My only real requirement at the moment for the card is that can capture a decent quality audio stream from a direct input such as a line in. (As opposed to a microphone input.) Which I'm pretty sure they all can anyways.

I haven't looked into software yet, but I'm pretty sure Audacity is already an available package, so i'll almost certainly be using that.

Thanks for any help!

User avatar
redhawk
Posts: 3465
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: ::1

Re: USB soundcard "Line-in" hardware suggestions.

Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:47 am

If you wanted a ultra compact audio recorder with line-in I would have suggest an iRiver ifp-899 however this is all about the PI. :)
When it comes to USB sound devices with Line-In recording capability there isn't much to the choose from with a reasonable price tag.
Looking on eBay I can see a second hand Sound Blaster Live 24 external (SB0490) http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_nkw=sb0490 and a C-Media chipset based device http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/USB-2-0-Exter ... 1060335752
My little USB audio dongle is based on CM108 and works with the PI so I am pretty certain the C-Media sound device will also work.
You may find that the power supply from the PI's USB port is insufficient so an external power supply or powered hub would be needed.

Richard S.

ferrymanr
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:09 pm

Re: USB soundcard "Line-in" hardware suggestions.

Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:43 am

Soundblaster Audigy 2NX (ecternally powered) won't work, lots of errors at boot-up. Tapco Link-USB powered via an adapter that feeds external 5V to it's USB connector is recognised but any attempt to use it crashes out. One cheap dongle works but quality is poor and is mic level and mono only. I reduced the noise and changed the level by inserting an audio isolating transformer with about 10:1 turns ratio on the mic input. This copes with 100mV audio input OK but need a higher ratio for 0dBm audio level. Using USB sound input tends to stop the network interface working properly.

User avatar
redhawk
Posts: 3465
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: ::1

Re: USB soundcard "Line-in" hardware suggestions.

Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:16 am

I just hooked up my Sound Blaster Live 24 external and sounds positively sweet however I have been unable to find a suitable application to record wav / mp3 audio.
I tried audacity, sweep and jokosher but apt-get is having problems finding suitable files to install.

can any recommend a simple app to record from my sound (box) card??

Richard S.

danboid
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:07 pm

Re: USB soundcard "Line-in" hardware suggestions.

Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:01 pm

PotatoeHandle:

I know a few years ago there was a 'recommended devices' page either on the official alsa-project.org site or on its wiki but I can't find that now nor can I find (in my inbox after a short search at least) a recent discussion on this very topic that occurred on the Linux Audio Users list in recent months but you could always browse that lists archives.

IIRC the general gist of it was that the majority of USB1 devices should 'just work' with Linux, ALSA, JACK etc but with USB2/3 devices you really need to do your homework first as very few have any Linux support. I know a popular model amongst the Linux audio users list is the M-Audio Fast track series.

Richard S:

I'm not sure what 'apt-get is having problems finding suitable files to install' means exactly - sounds like you were having apt probs. You should always run 'apt-get update' before you try installing any new apps or upgrading existing ones.

The simplest program to record audio under linux is arecord, which if you don't have it already is contained within alsa-utils. If you want to do it graphically then yes Audacity or qtractor if you can get JACK running.

gritz
Posts: 449
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:33 am

Re: USB soundcard "Line-in" hardware suggestions.

Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:37 am

The humble Behringer UCA202 has been pretty popular in Linux circles for a while now and should "just work". The only caveat being the state of the Pi's own USB and the possibility of packet loss with low / full speed devices (I don't know if isochronous devices are affected, but to be fair I'm not sure that many people know wtf is going on there at all...)

http://www.thomann.de/gb/behringer_ucontrol_uca_202.htm

http://jamie.lentin.co.uk/peripherals/b ... r-uca-222/

http://nwavguy.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/b ... eview.html

edrabbit
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:39 am

Re: USB soundcard "Line-in" hardware suggestions.

Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:52 pm

has anyone given the Behringer UCA202 a try on the Raspberry Pi for recording? The size and price-point are nice for my project if it works.

ferrymanr
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:09 pm

Re: USB soundcard "Line-in" hardware suggestions.

Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:29 pm

Th UCA202 is working perfectly under Raspbian with latest firmware (via rpi-update) on two RPi boards early Rev1 and new Rev2. Been running for some time now. Even works on a cheap USB hub but tends to slow up the mouse. Tapco Link-USB also works and this is a very demanding audio device. I did find that for some reason I had to install pulseaudio for it to work with one application.
Not tried either in full duplex, my applications switch between record and play . I also have modified /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf by commenting out the last line entry "#options snd-usb-audio index=-2" to allow USB audio as the primary device.
Richard

thradtke
Posts: 492
Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 5:16 am
Location: Germany / EL

Re: USB soundcard "Line-in" hardware suggestions.

Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:44 am

Richard,
ferrymanr wrote:I also have modified /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf by commenting out the last line entry "#options snd-usb-audio index=-2" to allow USB audio as the primary device.
Is there a way to switch between internal and USB audio through the ALSA mixer, i.e. on the GUI level? I have a Behringer UFO202 (similar to UCA202, but with turntable support), correctly indicated with lsusb, but it doesn't appear in the mixer.

Thanks,

Thomas
Rocket Scientist.

Return to “Graphics, sound and multimedia”