Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Desktop Recording on my Laptop

Filed under
Linux

After retiring from 34 years of teaching high school computer science and mathematics, I finally thought I'd have some time to create some good instructional video lessons. My initial goal is to produce series of instructional videos for software that is cross-platform FLOSS--Inkscape, the GIMP, OpenOffice.org, computer programming in Ruby and Python, and so on. Along with my desktop computers, I wanted to use my new Acer laptop to produce these videos.

So, I need a good screen recorder program, that will record video to the screen and also record my audio.

RecordMyDesktop won't do the job on my Acer laptop! The on board ALC888 audio records with skips, tonal anomalies, and a great deal of hiss. I've spent a lot of hours try to fix these issues. No joy. So I look around for another Linux screen recorder program that will work. I find DemoRecorder.

The commercial (I purchased a copy) DemoRecorder program does work in its opengl mode, and fixes the sound skips and tonal anomalies, but the video sound still has a (very) loud background hiss. While DemoRecorder records the video in its own proprietary format, I discovered that the sound is recorded as a wav audio file (without the .wav extension), which I can then open and edit with Audacity to remove the hiss. Then I run the demorec-to-avi DemoRecorder program to assemble and transcode the recorded files into one avi video. It works well, and gives good video and audio quality, but the extra step of editing the audio is a lot of work.

Time to look for portable audio hardware compatible with Linux and my Acer laptop. After some searching on the Net, I find the Diamond Sound Tube, a USB Audio sound device. Diamond claims compatibility with Linux. It's available at Newegg for $29.99 US, so I order it.

It arrived yesterday, and looks like an old radio vacuum tube--kind of dorky, but fun too. I plug it in, and try to get it to work with Mandriva 2010, the distro I have installed on my laptop.

I can't seem to get Mandriva to recognize it as my primary sound device. Off to the Net again to see if I can figure out how to do this. I finally discover a solution posted by Adam Williamson when he was working for Mandriva (yes, they were fools to let him go, but, he's now doing good things for Red Hat/Fedora).

To make this long story slightly shorter, suffice to say the Diamond Sound Tube device works well with both RecordMyDesktop and DesktopRecorder. No skips, tonal anamolies, or hiss. My videos now look and sound great. And general sound output to my external speakers is much better too. The Diamond Sound Tube is recommended, particularly if your laptop built-in sound is lacking.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Sound tube howto?

Quote:

I finally discover a solution posted by Adam Williamson when he was working for Mandriva

You still got the link for that?

Set USB SoundTube device as default sound device.

Here's what I've done:

  1. Turn off pulseaudio (using the Mandriva Control Center - Sound option).
  2. Go into KDE Control Center, click the multimedia option, and set the backend from Gstreamer to Xine
    1. You may have to download and install the Xine related packages to see the Xine backend option.
    2. Setting the backend from GStreamer to Xine may not be necessary--I've had some issues with Mandriva in the past with GStreamer as the backend--but this is probably fixed now.
  3. As user root, open the /etc/modprobe.d/sound file.
    My built-in-laptop sound uses the snd-hda-intel driver, while the USB SoundTube uses the snd_usb_audio driver. (Yes, one driver name uses (-) hyphens as separators, while the other uses (_) underscores.)
  4. I've entered the following lines into this sound file:
    alias snd-card-0 snd_usb_audio
    alias snd-slot-0 snd_usb_audio
    alias snd-card-1 snd-hda-intel
    alias sound-slot-1 snd-hda-intel
    options snd_usb_audio index=0
    options snd-hda-intel index=1
  5. Reboot your machine.
  6. Go back into the KDE control center, select multimedia, and set KDE to use the preferred sound card devices.
  7. No guarantees with this howto--good luck!

More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

PCLinuxOS: Interview, systemd, Meemaw and Screenshot Showcase

  • PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight: pyjujiop

    I am a professional journalist who has been in the profession since 1993. At the current time I am a freelancer working for media relations firms and open to new clients! My main client is operated by an old colleague of mine, who is hoping to bring me on full-time. [...] I have two computers presently running PCLinuxOS as their primary OS. One is a Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop that has been completely overhauled; it now runs a 3.06 GHz T9900 CPU, 6 GB of RAM, and has both a 256GB SSD and a 640GB HDD installed. The other is a desktop with an Athlon X4 870K CPU at 3.9 GHz, with 16 GB of RAM and several HDDs and SSDs installed in the case. We have two other Windows machines and an Amazon tablet that Kay uses. [...] Honestly, I have no complaints about it. I would like PCLinuxOS to gain more users, but only because it would hopefully get more people to donate. I have no idea how Tex and the community manage to keep it as well maintained as they do. I returned to PCLinuxOS because I preferred the community-based model and the philosophy of this distro over using anything related to Ubuntu.

  • Mind Your Step: Miscellaneous Topics

    I have seen what could be accomplished with certain other distributions. The addition of support for FlatPak and AppImage applications is a great start towards the future of the distribution. I know we all hate systemd, so I won't even suggest the inclusion of this monstrosity. The original intention of systemd was to simplify the system initialization functions found in SysV INIT scripts as well as the scripts contained in the /etc/rc/rc.d directory into one system controlled by one daemon. Those of us who have worked with Mac OS-X or Windows in the past know what a PITA it is to maintain these operating systems and their startup routines. After having looked at systemd and its documentation, I do not see any reason why we should ever implement such a thing here!!!!!! But, what if there was another solution. MX-Linux (formerly MEPIS) has a solution in the form of the systemd API replacement package. Such a package would not be easy to implement, and if anyone had the time to do it, it could be done. But then, if Flatpak can be implemented without systemd, then is there really any reason why technologies such as Docker, Kubernetes, or even QEMU could be implemented without systemd? (BTW, I got QEMU 5.0 to compile on PCLinuxOS with all emulated processors enabled. It took three hours on my laptop, but it got the job done. I have yet to test it, though.) Another possibility is to create an ISO with the basics (including the base X.org installation), but without the graphical interface launching at startup. This would be useful for server installations, for low-spec machines, and for those of you who have trouble getting the graphical interface to work at all..

  • From The Chief Editor's Desk

    What we commonly call and hold dear as Linux almost had a different name. Torvalds briefly considered "Linux," a play on his first name and Unix, but considered it too egotistical. So, he changed the name to "Freax," combining the words "free," "freak," and "Unix." However, Ari Lemmke, one of the volunteer administrators of the FTP server at the Helsinki University of Technology at the time, thought "Freax" was a dumb name, and took it upon himself to rename it Linux. The name stuck. Tux, the Linux mascot, didn't come about until five years later. In 1996, when they were about to select the mascot, Torvalds mentioned he was bitten by a little penguin (Eudyptula minor) on a visit to the National Zoo & Aquarium in Canberra, Australia. Larry Ewing provided the original draft of today's well known mascot based on this description. The name Tux was suggested by James Hughes as derivative of Torvalds' UniX, along with being short for tuxedo, a type of suit with color similar to that of a penguin. ******************** This month's magazine cover was designed by Meemaw. It celebrates the 29th anniversary of the Linux announcement, the announcement of the IBM PC on August 12, 1981, and August being Watermelon Month. During the dog days of summer, there's little else as refreshing as some ice cold watermelon to cool us off. Until next month, I bid you peace, happiness, prosperity, serenity, and continued good health!

  • [PCLinuxOS] Screenshot Showcase

Introducing Inkscape 1.0

Smoother performance, HiDPI support, new & improved Live Path Effects & native macOS app After a little over three years in development, the team is excited to launch the long awaited Inkscape 1.0 into the world. Built with the power of a team of volunteers, this open source vector editor represents the work of many hearts and hands from around the world, ensuring that Inkscape remains available free for everyone to download and enjoy. In fact, translations for over 20 languages were updated for version 1.0, making the software more accessible to people from all over the world. A major milestone was achieved in enabling Inkscape to use a more recent version of the software used to build the editor's user interface (namely GTK+3). Users with HiDPI (high resolution) screens can thank teamwork that took place during the 2018 Boston Hackfest for setting the updated-GTK wheels in motion. Read more Also: Inkscape Tutorial: Inkscape 1.0 New Features

Android Leftovers