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#1 2022-02-02 03:33:16

Micronaut
Member
Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 169  

Listening to local playback with Audacity

According to the Audacity site, you need to select the Pulse audio device to capture playback on your own system. But when I load Audacity on my Beowulf system, it doesn't show the Pulse Audio service as an option in the device toolbar, only ALSA. After trying nearly every available source in the list with the ALSA option selected, there is no sound captured. But I do know that Pulse Audio is present on the system. Why would it not appear in the device toolbar list for Audacity?

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#2 2022-02-02 09:36:52

Camtaf
Member
Registered: 2019-11-19
Posts: 177  

Re: Listening to local playback with Audacity

If I remember, under edit/options, you should see your input device, you just need to choose it, then Audacity should record from it.

(Haven't recorded lately, & don't have it on this system.)

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#3 2022-02-02 15:09:15

Head_on_a_Stick
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From: London
Registered: 2019-03-24
Posts: 2,388  

Re: Listening to local playback with Audacity

Micronaut wrote:

I do know that Pulse Audio is present on the system. Why would it not appear in the device toolbar list for Audacity?

Is PA actually running?

pgrep -a pulse

No idea about Audacity though, I don't use that.


To obtain a root shell use su -. Using just su will result in "command not found" messages.

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#4 2022-02-04 23:32:37

Micronaut
Member
Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 169  

Re: Listening to local playback with Audacity

Pulse is definitely running. I've tried disabling it and several things break. Oddly, the sound of games running under Wine does not. They still work. Either the Wine engine is smart enough to use the active default sound or it's just configured to use ALSA by default now.

After trying literally every available device, I cannot get any sound capture in Audacity. But again, it only shows ALSA in the toolbar for the recording option. Yet it does show pulse in the list of playback options. ??? Why it cannot recognize the Pulse Audio Server in the recording options I can't guess.

Further note: The very minimal "Gnome Sound Recorder" which is installed by default CAN record playback. I can start a stream with an audio player like VLC or SMPlayer and then capture the sound produced with Sound Recorder. But that has very poor options. You can't even select the bit-rate it stores the audio at.

Does anyone know where the config file(s) for Gnome Sound Recorder are stored? I'd like to see what device it is attaching to. Maybe I could manually edit the Audacity config files with that info?

Last edited by Micronaut (2022-02-04 23:33:37)

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#5 2022-02-05 13:45:15

fsmithred
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Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 2,079  

Re: Listening to local playback with Audacity

You can record a stream through vlc or audacious to audacity using JACK. You don't need pulseaudio. I use qjackctl for an easy gui interface to jackd.

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#6 2022-02-05 16:13:26

Micronaut
Member
Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 169  

Re: Listening to local playback with Audacity

It's not that I "want" to use pulse audio, but the installer gave it to me by default. I'm not sure how much trouble it would be to completely remove it and then figure out how to make things work with ALSA. What is this 'Jack' util? Something specifically intended to make media connections?

According to a post I found on one message board there is a package called "alsa-plugins' that would create a device to let Audacity find the pulse audio server. But I can't find such a package in the Beowulf repositories.

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#7 2022-02-05 22:29:29

fsmithred
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Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 2,079  

Re: Listening to local playback with Audacity

https://jackaudio.org/

JACK Audio Connection Kit (or JACK) is a professional sound server API and pair of daemon implementations to provide real-time, low-latency connections for both audio and MIDI data between applications.

apt remove pulseaudio pavucontrol
apt install qjackctl

It is possible to use pulseaudio and jack together, but I've never done that.

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#8 2022-02-05 22:36:36

Micronaut
Member
Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 169  

Re: Listening to local playback with Audacity

I've always seen it recommended to purge pulse audio and then remove and reinstall ALSA due to the extensive changes that removing pulse will involve. Is there a good tutorial for this JACK daemon and control panel?

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#9 2022-02-06 11:39:17

fsmithred
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Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 2,079  

Re: Listening to local playback with Audacity

I haven't needed to purge pulseaudio, but it can't hurt to do that.

It's also possible to record a stream in audacious using just alsa. In the audio settings, check the box for recording a stream, and a red button will appear on the toolbar.

Search for 'qjackctl tutorial' will bring up a bunch of hits. The one for ubuntu is a good basic one, and the one at the arch wiki will have all the gory details.

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#10 2022-02-06 17:00:03

Micronaut
Member
Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 169  

Re: Listening to local playback with Audacity

It is not practical to remove pulseaudio. They have it tied into everything. I got suggestions to completely remove the XFCE desktop from the dependency manager.

Again, this would not be a problem in itself, if I could get the system to do some very simple things that Windows does by default. Either Devuan needs to clean up its sound systems, or Linux sound in general is really badly broken.

According to the tutorials, the Jack system will simply recognize any audio program you start if you have started it first. It doesn't. So this is also useless.

Yet in Windows all I have to do is start the browser and go to the page with the security-obfuscated stream I want to capture, load Audacity and tell it to capture local sound, then start the stream. The browser runs the javascript juggler that pulls in each fragment of the stream and plays it, everything gets captured by Audacity and can then be saved as .wav or .mp3 or whatever I want.  It takes a little fiddling with Audacity settings, but it's not difficult. In Linux it isn't even possible. It looks like I'll have to keep Wind'ohs around just for audio capture.

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#11 2022-02-06 18:07:08

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 2,079  

Re: Listening to local playback with Audacity

Press the record button in audacity. Look for PortAudio in qjackctl.

Or poke around in Audacious and you will find exactly what you want. You can save as mp3, ogg, wav or flac.

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#12 2022-02-06 18:09:03

Micronaut
Member
Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 169  

Re: Listening to local playback with Audacity

Well, it looks like there has been a recent change in some underlying packages that has broken things in Linux sound. I finally located a discussion of precisely the problem I've been having on the Audacity support board.

https://forum.audacityteam.org/viewtopic.php?t=119186

Pulse is missing

Post by wsfrmn » Thu Jul 15, 2021 10:15 pm
Ubuntu 20.04.02
Audacity 3.0.2 from PPA

For the last couple of weeks I've been recording audio from Firefox using PulseAudio. Three days ago Audacity stopped detecting Pulse and I'm not sure why. I didn't update anything and I can still start Pulse without any problems. But when I bring up the list of recording devices, Pulse isn't on it.

I removed Audacity and Pulse through the shell and re-installed them, but I'm still not able to pick up Pulse.

When I play a stream from Firefox, Pulse picks it up, but I can't get Audacity to monitor it using any of the recording devices available to it.

I've been searching through posts and can't seem to find the answer here. If I've missed it I apologize. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Thanks!

Wes

...

After they check all the devices, another poster shares the recent changes in a 'snap' package that also broke Audacity's ability to monitor various devices. This thread is from about six months ago, so you would think there would have been a fix by now. How often do the Debian/Devuan repository maintainers update things?

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#13 2022-02-06 18:50:27

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 2,079  

Re: Listening to local playback with Audacity

Micronaut wrote:

Well, it looks like there has been a recent change in some underlying packages
<snip>

Audacity 3.0.2 from PPA

How often do the Debian/Devuan repository maintainers update things?

Not often enough to have anything that new. Sid/Ceres is still on 2.4.2, but this bug report for the beowulf version might be relevant. (Same problem.)

https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugrepo … bug=913732

In Chimaera, I see pulse as a choice for output and input devices in audacity. It does record sound from a youtube video played in the browser, but I think it's recording through the built-in mic. That's no good. If you want to save audio from the browser, you might be better off using something like video download helper (ff plugin) or youtube-dl and then strip the audio with audacity.

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#14 2022-02-06 19:06:29

Micronaut
Member
Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 169  

Re: Listening to local playback with Audacity

Yes, I have used Youtube-dl. That works with Youtube, but not with real stick-up-the-*** DRM fanatics like Spotify. The only way I have found to get a podcast from Spotify is to play it in a browser on a different site that has setup embedding, and use the 'analog hole' to get the audio. (And I really do mean the only way. They are so paranoid that I cannot sign up for a legit account with Firefox. Can't figure out why, either.)

ETA: I downloaded the latest Audacity AppImage from the github page and that still has the problem. This is probably a bug in a supporting libraries for the audio system, not the program itself.

Last edited by Micronaut (2022-02-06 21:37:27)

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