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How to Capture Sound in Ubuntu Hardy Heron

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I remember that I had to search high and low for a simple-ish solution to my need to record sound from my computer. My specific example is due to the podcast that I record remotely. Others may want to record a movie clip, or a song to convert into a ringtone. Either way, Hardy Heron doesn’t make this as easily as I’d like.

I use Audacity for all of my podcasting and music mixing. There are other free options out there, but for the sake of this blog we’re going to record sound using Audacity.

First, double-click the volume control icon found in your top panel. In my install it is on the top right of my main screen.

Go to Edit > Preferences and make sure you have a check mark by the following: Master, PCM, Line-in, Line-in Capture, CD, CD Capture, Microphone, Microphone Capture, IEC958 Output, PC Speaker, Mix, and Duplicate Front. I’m not sure you need all of these, but this is how I got it to work. :)

Next make sure that you have unmuted all of the options except the PC speaker. Increase the volume as well. Here’s how mine looks:

Next click on the Switches tab and check Mix as well as IEC958 Output and close the window. Again, not sure if you need IEC958 Output, but this is what’s working.

Next you’ll want to go to System > Preferences > Sound. Change all of the devices to use ALSA – Advanced Linux Sound Architecture except the Default Mixer Tracks. That one should be VIA 8237 (Alsa Mixer). Click Close.

Now one final step before you can test!

Open Audacity and click on Edit > Preferences. You should see two options for the Audio I/O. Make sure that the Playback device is ALSA: default and Recording is ALSA: VIA 8237: VIA 8237 (hw:0,0) and click OK.

Now you can test! The easy way to test this is to fire up your music player and play a file from your computer. Open Audacity and click the Record button. You should see the blue line jumping up and down as it captures sound.

Hope this helps someone out there. I know I may need to come back to this blog should I ever rebuild or need to help someone else.

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