hearing my microphone/making podcasts

Joel Roth joelz at pobox.com
Thu Jul 23 01:19:30 UTC 2015

Kristoffer Gustafsson wrote:
> Hi.
> I would like to do some Linux podcasts.
> to do that I want to record the things from my soundcard.
> And I also want to get the sound from my microphone into my headset so
> I can hear what I'm doing, and get that recorded at the same time.
> Have you done such a thing Before?
> /Kristoffer

Hi Kristoffer,

Even the cheapest built-in soundcards can be used for
recording and playback under Linux.

Live monitoring depends in some part on the abilities of 
your soundcard.
Hardware monitoring, if your soundcard supports it, 
will let you hear what your microphone picks up without
delay. However this function must be turned on.

Software monitoring is where an audio app captures the sound
and streams it to the soundcard output.  In that case there
may be some latency--a small audible delay--between input
and output.

You can control soundcard mixer levels, and possibly turn on
hardware monitoring with amixer (see 'man amixer'). I'm more
familiar with alsamixer, which uses ncurses.

The ALSA sound libraries come with command-line recording/playback apps
aplay and arecord.

For more featureful audio production, you may like to
investigate Ecasound, a flexible and powerful application
capable of multitrack recording, or Nama, a digital audio
workstation based on Ecasound.  By default, Nama mixes its
audio sources (live, prerecorded) and sends them to the
soundcard output.

Ecasound is probably packaged for your distribution.
Nama can be installed using the 'cpan' or 'cpanm'
perl software installers.

These are all terminal-friendly applications.

If you use orca or other accessibility software, you may
be able to use GUI apps such as Audacity.

Here is an older-but-still-useful guide to audio production
on Linux for blind users.

1. http://ltsb.sourceforge.net/index.html

And the author's own website.

2. http://juliencoder.de/

Note: The above assumes a vanilla linux system with ALSA. If
you have pulseaudio installed, you will need to learn to PA
way to do things, remove it, or disable it using pasuspender
('man pasuspender').

The best resource for audio on Linux is the Linux Audio
Users mailing list. Ecasound and Nama also have their respective

Hope this helps.

> -- 
> Kristoffer Gustafsson

Joel Roth

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