USB mic/line-in on KDE Mint 17.3 "Rosa": how best to achieve that?

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Veerstryngh Thynner
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USB mic/line-in on KDE Mint 17.3 "Rosa": how best to achieve that?

Postby Veerstryngh Thynner » Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:49 pm

Hello all,

Laptops previously owned were once equipped with analogue holes: one headphones output and one mic/line input, next to each other. So if I wanted to record, say, a guitar in Audacity, I'd plug the guitar lead into my preamp and the preamp plug into my laptop's mic/line input. Done! But the current generation of laptops just carries one single headphone socket, plus up to 4 USB ports. No problem at all for my electric piano and 88 key MIDI controller. But playing and recording any of my electric string instruments via a USB port (preferably on Audacity) most definitely is, at the mo.

My equipment, at present:

- OS: Linux Mint 17.03 "Rosa", on a Lenovo G585 laptop (with SD card slot integrated);
- Audacity 2.0.5, on the same;
- A Zoom R16, almost exclusively in use as pre-amp;
- 3 electric string instruments, not necessarily all guitars.

As to Audacity: I experimented with LMMS and Ardour as well, but these were never really much to my liking.

Peripherals:

- Behringer UCG102 Guitar Link;
- Guitar Link (looks a bit like this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Professional-G ... =sr_1_4?ie)
- A standard XLR microphone.

As to UCG102: "Rosa" recognises it, but that's all can say. I have no idea how to make it work in Audacity.
As to Guitar Link: not sure it'll work at all, in Linux. I bought it on a whim, long ago.

If you have succeeded, somehow, in playing/recording electric guitar in KDE Mint "Rosa", with the Behringer Guitar Link, or with the other, guitar-lead-shaped one, I hope you will be so kind to explain to me how exactly you did it.

Furthermore, I used to have a USB audio adapter, but all it ever sent to my headphones was awful screeching. Unfortunately, I can't check what the brand is, since it disappeared, one day.
But I found this on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/External-Dev ... one-Plug-N

Anyone familiar with it? And if yes, would its microphone input accept electric guitars and standard XLR microphones, do you think?

Finally, what also came to my mind, as a possible solution, is a small USB mixer. However, what rather confuses me is the USB bit, actually.

I have been told that USB just powers the machine. Yet if I were to connect a microphone or an electric guitar to that mixer, I'd actually expect USB to convert analogue signal, from guitar or microphone, to digital data first. And then back again to audio Audacity is able to "read".

In the meanwhile, all I'm wishing for is some simple, straightforward connection between microphone/guitar & laptop USB port on the one hand, and between laptop USB port and Audacity on the other.

Veerstryngh Thynner

Veerstryngh Thynner
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Re: USB mic/line-in on KDE Mint 17.3 "Rosa": how best to achieve that?

Postby Veerstryngh Thynner » Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:10 am

I seem to be shouting in the desert here. No takers at all?

Veerstryngh Thynner

folderol
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Re: USB mic/line-in on KDE Mint 17.3 "Rosa": how best to achieve that?

Postby folderol » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:42 am

I find Komplete's KA6 works with everything I plug it into, from age encrusted desktops to shiny new laptops. It has Mic/Instrument inputs (with switchable 42V phantom power) + balanced Line + digital + balanced line out + headphones out. It is USB2 class compliant.

It is compact and solidly built and takes it power via the USB connection.

Veerstryngh Thynner
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Re: USB mic/line-in on KDE Mint 17.3 "Rosa": how best to achieve that?

Postby Veerstryngh Thynner » Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:46 pm

Thanks, folderol, for your suggestion, but it confuses me a little, too.

If I understand you correctly you're talking hardware here. However, both Amazon and Ebay don't recognise 'Komplete KA6'. And on attempting to acquire a visual impression, I'm only getting pictures of lots and lots of glider planes!

Veerstryngh Thynner

folderol
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Re: USB mic/line-in on KDE Mint 17.3 "Rosa": how best to achieve that?

Postby folderol » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:05 pm

Hmmm.
In full "Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6"

Veerstryngh Thynner
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Re: USB mic/line-in on KDE Mint 17.3 "Rosa": how best to achieve that?

Postby Veerstryngh Thynner » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:48 pm

Found it, folderol!

https://www.native-instruments.com/en/p ... e-audio-6/

Looks promising, so thank you very much for your pointer. One little snag though: it's definitely an option worth of keeping at the back of my mind for the foreseeable future, but for now a bit beyond my budget, I'm afraid.

Another thing is that I'm not usually working with other musicians. In a live setting, I mean. Not because I don't like to, but simply because of lack of living space. My recording equipment plus what little furniture I have already taking up quite a lot of the total available. So until I'll be able to move to somewhere a bit bigger, or to rent separate studio space, it'll only be me recording myself playing.

With this in mind, I'd need something more basic, for the moment. Geared towards home studio one-man-bands, so to speak, without in any way having to renege on performance quality. Do USB guitar audio interfaces of such description indeed exist? Compatibility with KDE Mint 17.3 "Rosa" (laptop) or KDE Mint 17.0 "Qiana" (desktop) also highly desirable, of course! Or should I just dream on?

Veerstryngh Thynner

eric71
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Re: USB mic/line-in on KDE Mint 17.3 "Rosa": how best to achieve that?

Postby eric71 » Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:29 pm

Hi - I didn't see this thread until today. I also have an R16, and would recommend just using that. It handles 1/4 inch instrument jacks, and does Hi-Z for at least one of the 8 inputs. It works well these days with Linux, but needs kernel 4.4 or better for playback and capture. Kernel 3.19, which I believe Rosa has, only does capture. But I think for an Ubuntu Trusty based distro, you can get a Xenial HWE stack 4.4 kernel that will let you use the Zoom R16 in Mint 17 or 17.3. and it should be available as lowlatency. I'm using it with Mint 18.2 KDE with some KXStudio stuff installed and it all just works.


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