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phoeniximago
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:58 pm    Post subject: ibook audio recording Reply with quote

I'm trying to rig my ibook (dual usb G3) to record audio with my tascam us-428. Not sure how powerful it'll be but I want to find out!

At the moment I have a pretty bizarre problem though. I have jack working and can use jackrec to record an audio file and playback with audacious etc. However, Audacity crashes when I try to select the alsa input/output in preferences and when I select jack although the output works I just get loud static (with a very quiet background sound of what is actually hitting the inputs). The same happens in Rosegarden - static.

I've set /etc/security/limits.conf and messed with kernel options to get lower latency. What's so strange is how jackrec works fine to record and playback works with any program. It's only recording with Rosegarden and Audacity that fails in such an odd way... Sorry I don't have any more details here but I'm not even sure what questions to ask.

Any help would be appreciated!
Rob
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phoeniximago
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Closer investigation reveals: museseq does same thing with Jack. Loud static with very quiet version of input in background.

Also, arecord gives me the same mega static with quiet distorted signal. I'm now thinking maybe some volume setting is turned up ridiculously high?
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phoeniximago
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right, clarified the problem a bit more if anyone's listening;-)

Jack playback works, Jack record works with jackrec but anything else you get massive distortion
Audacity doesn't run with alsa because portaudio crashes when trying to select a sample format.
Arecord records fine when set through alsa but if it's running through jack then jack conditions above apply.

Currently trying installing pulseaudio to see if jack will run through that into alsa. Bit desperate but can't think of much else right now...
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JoseJX
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a bit confused, the Tascam device is a USB audio device? Are you recording only from that device or also using the line in on your Mac? Are you sure that the microphone input is turned off if you're using the Tascam as a recording device?
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phoeniximago
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply. Yes recording only from USB device. As far as I can see whether you're using alsa or jack you only get to select one input. Besides, my ibook doesn't have any audio in - only an out...

With a bit of further probing I've found that if I connect the system capture to the main out in Jack I get the same heavy distortion. It makes me wonder what jackrec is doing to record correctly with no distortion...

Also, I've got Audacity to record and play separately using OSS emulation. Only problem is it can't overdub. Whenever I record and play previous recordings at the same time it comes up with an error message.

However, I can use 'aplay' to play something and use 'arecord' to record something simultaneously and it works fine so there's nothing fundamental wrong with the usb side of things. Can't exactly work like that though as it poses rather serious synchronisation problems:).

Irritatiingly, Ardour (which has an Alsa driver built in so therefore need not rely on jack) does not want to compile. It gives me a 'scons died' error. I've tried three different versions of scons as well... I might put this in another thread if I get time to investigate it more thoroughly. Pondering getting my x86 box to do the compilation. Maybe that would help?

btw please ignore my plan regarding pulseaudio in previous message - it was nonsense;)

Rob
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JoseJX
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, that is strange. Can you perhaps try recording from the USB device with the audio output muted? Maybe there's a bug or DMA issue with simultaneous playback and record with that device.
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phoeniximago
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing is I can run aplay and arecord simultaneously just fine. That makes me think it's a problem with jack. If I mute the output in muse (running through jack) then I still get the same problem. Hmmm...
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phoeniximago
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not exactly a solution but I've found that ecasound works perfectly through alsa with overdubs, multi-tracks etc. It's a beautiful program - powerful as I need yet really forces me to think about what I'm about to record before I record it...
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JoseJX
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad you found a work around! Another quick thought though, is there anything in the dmesg which might indicate a problem with the USB device?
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phoeniximago
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm. I don't recall there being. I'm fairly certain I'd have checked that although I can't be totally sure as I'm selling the device now (it's all packaged up!). I've got a M-audio Mobile Pre now that (thank the penguin lord...) works out of box with alsa/jack etc. So I'm guessing the problem was most likely related to the drivers for the tascam. Still using ecasound though:-)

Thanks for your help anyway,
Rob
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