Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Screencasting Under Linux--A brief Story

Filed under
Linux

My first consideration for making A/V screencasts under Linux is Software. What programs are available to do screen-recordings with simultaneous audio narration under Linux? I've probably tried them all: recordmydesktop (which has both gtk-recordmydesktop and qt-recordmydesktop GUI font ends), Istanbul, xvidcap, and wink. Frankly, none of these yielded the high-quality screen capture I wanted. But the real problem is that the audio quality was worse. After thrashing about, I finally end up with a non open source commercial product called DemoRecorder.

Now DemoRecorder is a commercial, proprietary program, which costs $47.00US, $77.00US, or $247.00US depending on the desired feature set. I purchased the $77.00 license. This does not work under Mandriva 2010 in nested desktop mode, but the openGL mode of capture works well. No dropped frames on the video side, and relativey smooth modion. On the audio side, no major sound glitches like I had with recordmydesktop.

Using DemoRecorder in the openGL mode is a two-phase process--Running the demorec --opengl program to perform the initial capture of the video and audio files, then the transcoding or assembly into a finished product using demorec-to-avi (or demorec-to-dv, demorec-to-flv, demorec-to-mpeg1, demorec-to-mpeg2, demorec-to-ogg-theora or whatever video codec/container you wish).

While the sound quality is considerably improved, it's still a bit hollow and tinny when recorded from my Logitech headset. I found the captured sound file produced by demorecorder, which I could then import into Audacity in raw format. I could then edit and improve the sound in Audacity, and export the edited sound file back to the drive before the assembly/transcoding of the video files and the sound file into one avi file.

This works--still, the sound isn't quite professional quality, but close. The real issue with this is that this type of post-production sound-editing takes a lot of time. Better, if possible, to get a high-quality sound recording to begin with, and bypass the editing step. Time for some research into sound production.

I have no experience in sound recording--I'm a computer guy, but I do like to play with hardware.
Fortunately, I already have a really good high-quality sound card in my working desktop computer--an HT Omega Claro Plus.

Turns out, you can get a decent quality mic, and a device called a sound mixer, and you can record really great sound. Good to know. I end up purchasing a Behringer XENYX 1204FX model mixer for $179.99US. This model of mixer turns out to be overkill on my part, and I now know I could have got by just fine with a cheaper mixer (prices for a mixer can range from $99.00US to several thousand US dollars).

As is often the case, one purchase often begets another. So, on to buy a decent, but relatively inexpensive condensor mike (after shelling out too many $$$ on the mixer). I end up purchasing an MXL 990 condenser microphone with a shock mount for $49.00US. Then a proLine desktop mic stand, model MS112 ($29.99US). Finally, I purchase assorted cables and adapters.

After all my sound gear arrives, I connect the mic to my mixer, the mixer to my sound card. Then I fire up Audacity to run some tests. After fiddling with the gear for about an hour, I'm amazed at the quality of the sound captures. Now I can start recording those educational screencasts in earnest.

More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

  • How to use the W3M text-based web browser on Linux

    Do you need a text-based web browser on Linux to use in your terminal? Don’t like using Lynx, as it seems dated and sluggish? Hoping for something better? Check out W3M. It’s a modern text-based terminal web browser for Linux that has much more to offer.

  • How to Install or Enable Cockpit on AlmaLinux 8 - Linux Shout

    The Cockpit on AlmaLinux is a server management platform that allows administrators to easily manage and control their GUI or CLI Linux server systems remotely using a browser. Among other things, admins can take a look at the systemd journal, check the load or start and stop services. It has a responsive design thus we can also use it conveniently on tablet s and smartphones. We can monitor our remote server performance using just a browser without actually having physical access to it. Furthermore, we can also access the command shell with root access to issue commands and install various packages over the server remotely. Since AlmaLinux 8 is based on RHEL just like CentOS 8, this means by default out of the box, the Cockpit is already installed on your system. Just we need to enable it.

  • How to Export and Delete Saved Passwords in Firefox - Make Tech Easier

    Firefox comes with a built-in password manager, also known as Lockwise. The Lockwise password manager is safeguarded with your Firefox account and allows you to access your passwords on the desktop and mobile. If you have been using Lockwise but now want to migrate to another password manager app, here we show how you can export and delete your saved passwords in Firefox.

  • How to Install Docker on Ubuntu Linux

    Docker has taken the software engineering industry by storm, and it has not only revolutionized the way we ship and deploy software but has also changed how engineers set up software development environments on their computers. This guide shows you how to get started with Docker by installing it on Ubuntu Linux 20.04 (Focal Fossa), the latest Long Term Support (LTS) version of Ubuntu at the time of this writing.

EndeavourOS: Our April release is available

We are proud to announce our second release of 2021 and this one is a bit more than a refresh ISO release, so before you hit the download button and go play with it, just sit back and let us inform you first because we are really excited about this release. [...] The other new feature on the knowledge base are video tutorials, like the wiki articles, this category will expand over time and at the moment it contains general Linux and Arch specific tutorials from the Youtube channels Chris Titus Tech and EF Linux. Very soon videos from DistroTube, Eric Adams and TechHut will also be added to enhance the experience. Read more

Zorin OS 16 Beta Released with Remarkable Changes. Download and Test Now.

The Zorin OS team announced the release of the Zorin OS 16 Beta which is immediately available for download and testing. With this pre-release, Zorin OS promises some massive changes. Let's take a look. Read more

Android Leftovers