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Best sound capture device

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:48 pm
by samuelellis
Quick question - what is the best Sound capture device for the Pi - Either using USB or GPIO for a reasonable cost

Basically i have a big collection of reel to reel audio tape that i am looking to digitize so my plan is to use one of my Pi's to record the entire side of the tape at once using the command line tool arecord

Re: Best sound capture device

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:41 pm
by startrek.steve
I got a cheap Cmedia usb sound card for recording radio shows on my Pi2, quality is ok for the price, but the seller neglected to inform me that it was Stereo output and Mono single channel recording, bugger! After some investigation it seems most of these cheapy USB DAC's are mono recording. I suppose I cant complain for something in the region of 99p. Havent found anything with stereo recording functionality for the price, looking like £30 for stereo recording.

Steve

Re: Best sound capture device

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:49 pm
by PiGraham
I got one of these. Worked OK with ALSA on Pi B. Stereo in, line and mic, and 5.1 out.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/USB-External- ... SwLVZVsntp

Re: Best sound capture device

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:58 pm
by liz
IQAudio come highly recommended (by me and all the audio nerds in the Raspberry Pi offices). Very, very high-quality kit.

Re: Best sound capture device

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:01 pm
by Paul82
One of these would do the job nicely

http://uk.farnell.com/wolfson-audio-card-raspberrypi

HD Audio up to 24-bit 192kHz in/out

Re: Best sound capture device

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:27 pm
by DougieLawson
Paul82 wrote:One of these would do the job nicely

http://uk.farnell.com/wolfson-audio-card-raspberrypi

HD Audio up to 24-bit 192kHz in/out
Except the software support for Wolfson/Cirrus in the Linux kernel is abysmal, if you like building kernels yourself or like hunting round the internet to find a supported kernel then the Cirrus audio card is a good choice. For everyone else pick any other card.

Re: Best sound capture device

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:01 pm
by samuelellis
Thanks for the replies guys

I looked at the IQ audio equiptment and sadly it looks like it is just audio out - no audio inputs and that is s shame as it really does look like a well specced sound card so that may be added to the list for the in car Pi but not this project

Looking at my options its either going to be something like the Wolfson/Cirrus or a USB device. I was kind of hoping to stay off USB as i will be recording to a network location and iirc the Ethernet is on the USB so didnt want to flood the bus with traffic but it looks like a USB device will be the quickest/easiest way to do it

For anyone who is curious as i know some people may not have seen a reel to reel player before, this is what i will be capturing the audio from - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0MN0crBWnI

Re: Best sound capture device

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:02 pm
by PiGraham
liz wrote:IQAudio come highly recommended (by me and all the audio nerds in the Raspberry Pi offices). Very, very high-quality kit.
Do they do audio in? I thought they were DACs, not ADCs.

Re: Best sound capture device

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:17 pm
by fruitoftheloom

Re: Best sound capture device

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 7:40 pm
by asandford
I bought the x100 18 months or so ago, and like the x300, requires a prebuilt image to work, and it ran very hot whilst idle.

The image for the x300 is a year old. Most of this sort of kit is thrown out and never supported or upgraded again, as they have moved on to the next product (much like my Samsung S3 - obsoleted after 18 months)

Re: Best sound capture device

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:38 pm
by kusti8
Why not a cheap USB sound card with microphone input. You can get one for $5 or less and the quality is pretty good for the price.

Re: Best sound capture device

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:04 pm
by PiGraham
kusti8 wrote:Why not a cheap USB sound card with microphone input. You can get one for $5 or less and the quality is pretty good for the price.
Stereo input is desired, so cheap (~£7), but not cheapest, USB card is probably the best option.

Re: Best sound capture device

Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:22 am
by morphy_richards
I don't suppose it would be possible to get 2 cheap mono cards and mix the inputs to get stereo? :?

Re: Best sound capture device

Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:21 am
by PiGraham
morphy_richards wrote:I don't suppose it would be possible to get 2 cheap mono cards and mix the inputs to get stereo? :?
I doubt that would be any cheaper and it is likely to be more complicated to use, if it is possible.

Re: Best sound capture device

Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:52 am
by gordon77
I tried a Hauppauge USB-LIve-2 with arecord BUT it fills the SD card with 100's of wav files and the pi falls over :(

Re: Best sound capture device

Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:56 am
by samuelellis
Just incase anyone is interested ive been doing some looking around

According to this page http://www.raspyfi.com/raspberry-pi-usb ... rted-dacs/ the Behringer U-CONTROL UCA202 is supported. Looking on ebay they can be picked up for 20quid so im thinking i will go for one of those over a nobrand special USB audio device

Sorry for the awqward question is just with some of the tapes i want to capture i may only get one playback out of them as i know at least one is from the early 60's

Will update this tread with results of it it works or not when i get it

Re: Best sound capture device

Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:17 pm
by morphy_richards
It's a good question, it has added value to the ecosystem. Thanks for asking it. Good luck with your project.

Re: Best sound capture device

Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:11 pm
by timrowledge
I have some of these and in general they're pretty good. The power conditioning was the main attraction at the time but they have quite a few other uses.

The sound 'card' is a C-Media usb based unit and I've had quite a few problems with it, though I see in another thread someone claiming to have got it sorted; my issue is that sound out comes via a "pinky-and-perky-on-helium" filter, which rather spoils things.
I've had rather good support from the supertonics people in the past too; my first x300 blew one of the power chips and they replaced it lickety-split.

I did find an ancient Griffin iMac usb dongle lying around and that works very well but they're more expensive than a Pi.

Re: Best sound capture device

Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:54 pm
by leol
Paul82 wrote:One of these would do the job nicely

http://uk.farnell.com/wolfson-audio-card-raspberrypi

HD Audio up to 24-bit 192kHz in/out
Don't get one of these. The support is non-existant. You need either to run a VERY old kernel or TRY to compile one yourself.


Leo

Re: Best sound capture device

Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:17 pm
by bantammenace2012
I have 2 Wolfson Audio Cards and whilst I agree it was one helluva job to getting them working how I wanted, they produce very good audio to my ears and they have on-board microphones.
I've also successfully used my Zoom H1 as an external microphone for them.
Unfortunately sound recording sucks on the RPi full stop for whatever the reason. It maybe a Linux thing, it maybe a RPi thing but I haven't seen any evidence of serious efforts by the RPi foundation to improve it either. Just try getting Jarvis to work well and you will soon find out what I mean.
It's therefore no surprise that none (afaik) of the other Hifi quality soundcard add-ons even attempt sound recording.
Credit where credits due Wolfson (latterly Cirrus) have at least had a go. I seem to recall that the latest Cirrus image on the Element 14 website works for both the Wolfson and the Cirrus variants. If it could be got into the repo then I am sure it would be more popular.

Re: Best sound capture device

Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:31 pm
by java
liz wrote:IQAudio come highly recommended (by me and all the audio nerds in the Raspberry Pi offices). Very, very high-quality kit.
Do these do recording, or are they playback only - if it is possible to record with them, then I missed something.

Re: Best sound capture device

Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:34 pm
by DougieLawson
leol wrote:
Paul82 wrote:One of these would do the job nicely

http://uk.farnell.com/wolfson-audio-card-raspberrypi

HD Audio up to 24-bit 192kHz in/out
Don't get one of these. The support is non-existant. You need either to run a VERY old kernel or TRY to compile one yourself.
Leo
That's not quite true. The support from Wolfson/Cirrus is non-existent, but there's a user who's built a 4.1.16+ kernel that's running on my B with its Wolfson card.

http://www.element14.com/community/thre ... 1?tstart=0

Re: Best sound capture device

Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:39 pm
by java
For recording, I use an ASUS Zonar U3, pretty decent, but not the cheapest - pity my Tascam US 144 MK II is not supported, very good device, but there being no drivers does not help. :(

Re: Best sound capture device

Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:19 pm
by Simone72
Hello everyone,
I'm thinking of using the solution Raspi + C-Media based usb to retrieve the mic sound and then transfer it to another PC via Ethernet. Think you can? What codec would be available? :(

Re: Best sound capture device

Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:53 am
by blc
samuelellis wrote:Just incase anyone is interested ive been doing some looking around

According to this page http://www.raspyfi.com/raspberry-pi-usb ... rted-dacs/ the Behringer U-CONTROL UCA202 is supported. Looking on ebay they can be picked up for 20quid so im thinking i will go for one of those over a nobrand special USB audio device

Sorry for the awqward question is just with some of the tapes i want to capture i may only get one playback out of them as i know at least one is from the early 60's

Will update this tread with results of it it works or not when i get it
The UCA202 is a fantastic little piece of kit. I've had one as the main audio interface on my PC for years; I use it for both recording and audio output. I've used this to record all sorts of voiceover stuff, and I've also used it in a live setting (secondary mixing console, fed by the main front-of-house mixer, with the stereo output being fed to the UCA202). It's fantastic. Fully USB HID compliant so needs no drivers, and it's dirt cheap.

There are a couple of great reviews here if you're interested in more technical details: http://nwavguy.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/b ... eview.html http://nwavguy.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/u ... ake-2.html