Every once in a while it’s good to write a check you can’t cash, metaphorically speaking of course. I volunteered to help out on the upcoming Fedora marketing blast by doing some audio recording for screencasts. I’ve often heard the audio for these, and it’s generally pretty bad, usually recorded with someone’s laptop microphone or a built-in sound card. Since I have all this good audio equipment here, I thought, why not help out?
Then I remembered — I usually do all my recording with Windows-based software, and it’s been a long time since I checked into any of the Linux solutions. The philosophical problem this presents is that to market free software, we should be using free software. So I set to work, picking up JACK and Ardour. But that wasn’t enough, nosirreebob, because I still had to get my audio interface working.
Fortunately, the ALSA Project came through. Turns out they’ve had Echo interace support for some time, thanks to the kind people at Echo putting their generic source under the GPL. I recompiled the newest ALSA for my system, dropped in the firmware, and POW, instant happiness. (OK, it wasn’t quite that easy… but a lot of that was simply because I had no idea what I was doing until I did it wrong a few times.)
After negotiating my way around the unfamiliar Ardour interface for a few hours this evening, and using the echomixer utility in the alsa-tools package, I can now record straight to hard disk in Linux! Now to go figure out what yummy plugin support they have under the hood.