[solved] Linux: ALSA recording Device Setup & Crackles

I using Renoise 2.0.0 on Ubuntu 8.04, with a realtime kernel and alsa.

A few weeks ago I tired recording audio through a old mic attached to the line in of my m-audio 2496 pci soundcard, the results were very poor, it sounded crackly or as if the sound was stopping/starting many times every second. I blamed this on the mic, so this week I bought a Samsom Q1U USB mic. Recording samples in renoise with this new mic produces exactly the same glitchy audio.

I adjusted the record level with alsamixer, but this made no difference. I tired recording outside of renoise using arecord:

arecord -f cd -D hw:1,0 -d 20 test.wav  

This produced a perfect recording, therefore I’ve come to the conclusion this is a renoise issue.

Is this really a bug, or can somebody tell me how to solve the problem?

The sound that you descripe sounds like the latency on your soundcard is set up too short.
Dus it sound the same when you turn your latency up to 10 - 15 msec?

Thanks for the reply Charly. Do you mean by adjusting the sample rate/buffer size in preferences? I’d never changed this from the defaults, it currently says 46 msec latency anyway. I will try increasing it further when I get home from work in about 12 hours :(

As the others said: Try fiddling around with the buffer and especially periods/buffer settings. If this still doesn’t work, you may want to try out if Jack can correctly use your ALSA device in full duplex (playback & recording at once).
Unfortunately running ALSA in full-duplex will often cause troubles, because you have to “sync” the playback & the capture device in the applications. This often doesn’t work well. “arecord” can only open and use the capture device, so theres no need to sync something and its more likely that it works flawlessly.

Thanks Charly and taktik for the advice. I played around a little and have great sounding recordings now.

Currently I have buffer size 256 and periods/buffer set to 8, which gives a latency of about 46 msec. This was only my second attempt so I’m certain I’ll improve latency when I have more time to experiment with settings.

I really appreciate the help :)