Tag Archives: alsa

First “public” release for alsa-backup

For a long time, we’re using continuous recording tools to record our radio broadcasts. Many of these tools were homemade and alsa-backup is the latest project of this “serie” (after jack-backup and just-record).

alsa-backup can :

  • record several channels,
  • change record file according your naming policy (… without a blank),
  • run as daemon,
  • log into syslog,
  • stop record and retry after errors

And many other features are coming :) This piece of Ruby code is more flexible than just-record. It uses the awesome ruby-ffi library which allows to use C libraries with few lines of ruby code.

alsa-backup is available as debian/ubuntu packages on Tryphon’s debian repository. Source files are available in GitHub alsa-backup repository.

Use a M-Audio Delta 66 Rev E with alsa

I’ve installed this week a Rivendell station with a M-Audio Delta 66 Rev E sound card. As experienced in 2008, the alsa ice1712 driver can’t be loaded with (some ?) Delta 66 Rev E :

[   11.605252] invalid CS8427 signature 0x0: let me try again...
[   11.606638] unable to find CS8427 signature (expected 0x71, read 0x0),
[   11.606687]    initialization is not completed
[   11.606732] CS8427 initialization failed
[   11.606784] ACPI: PCI interrupt for device 0000:05:01.0 disabled
[   11.606790] ICE1712: probe of 0000:05:01.0 failed with error -14

Same problem occurs with alsa 1.0.17 on lenny or 1.0.18 on jaunty.

Several tips are available in forums … but the only way I found to use the card is to patch (again) the alsa driver to disable the cs8427 initialisation.

But this time, here are all the required resources to make your Delta 66 Rev E work with alsa :

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M-Audio Delta 66 “REV E” in the house

We bought a M-Audio Delta 66 last year to complete our multi-track captation system. We’re working for a long time with M-Audio sound cards and especially with Delta 44 ones. So we were a bit surprised when we discovered that the M-Audio Delta 66 revision E wasn’t supported by the alsa project.

To retransmit in live the Amparanoia’s gig at Esperanzah! festival, we need a additional 4 tracks sound card. On sunday, the challenge was to configure our Delta 66.

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Don’t record “noise” with your Audiophile USB

If you load the snd-usb-audio without option with the current (2.6.24) linux kernel, your Audiophile USB will send you a nice “noise”.

$ arecord -vvv -D hw:2,1 -c2 -t raw -r48000 -fS24_3BE /tmp/test.raw
Recording raw data '/tmp/test.raw' :
Signed 24 bit Big Endian in 3bytes, Rate 48000 Hz, Stereo
Hardware PCM card 2 'Audiophile USB (tm)' device 1 subdevice 0
Its setup is:
[...]
Max peak (12000 samples): 0x007ff202 #################### 99%

But if you take look, it isn’t a noise, it’s a swapped endian stream.

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JustRecord : a tool to record

For many years, we’re using various tools to perform long recordings : record (from xawtools), an home-patched jack-record, arecord+split, rotter, etc.

To record Esperanzah lives or Forum PHP 2007 conferences, we used our ugly (but efficient) arecord+split script. But it’s really a tool which can be shared with other teams.

So we’ve just started a dedicated tool to perform long recordings : JustRecord. These few lines of python can record in loop via alsa, run as daemon, log with syslog and execute an external script when a file is ended, etc. Tiny but usefull ;-) And many features will follow.

Setup for recording 30 hours of concerts

For 4 years, Radio Esperanzah! capture about 30 hours of live each year for the Esperanzah! festival. Until the 2007 edition, we used various recorders (from Archos Gemini to Tascam Compact Flash recorder). But recording something like 20 concerts with a mobile device consumes a lot of time. Lives at Esperanzah! are performed sequentially on two stages. You need to plug and unplug everything 80 minutes and move the capture system to the other stage. It’s painful.

For this 2007 edition, we betted on a new system : install a computer on each stage for the whole festival. The idea is simple : each “satellite” records continuously and recorded files are retrieved periodically by our NAS server via wifi. No (or less) useless movement, the same setup installed for the three days of festival, no cable to plug/unplug, …

A great idea … but it required a lot of preparation. Here are some of the problems we had to solve.

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