[LAU] Best recording software for long session

Justin Smith noisesmith at gmail.com
Sun May 18 22:07:05 EDT 2008

On Sun, May 18, 2008 at 5:39 PM, Al Thompson <biggles58 at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> I have need to record a lengthy (2+ hours) live show non-stop, stereo, and
> was wondering what Linux program is best at this.  I've tried reading the
> docs and FAQs I could find, and those docs that I could find say nothing of
> any recording time limits, or file size limits.  It's got to save in
> 44.1/16bit .WAV format, and run on non-jack Fedora.
> I've got Audacity, but besides the fact that I don't know if it will do the
> length of non-stop recording, it's quirky on my laptop.  Sometimes it
> doesn't recognize the input device, and only has one logical input device
> available.  Other times it's fine.  There is no apparent pattern to it, so I
> hate to trust it since I can never predict if it's going to work.
> Thanks!
> Al
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> Linux-audio-user at lists.linuxaudio.org
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I have had success with making multiple hours long sound files with
the soxrec sox frontend and with csound. I recall a pd bug with
especially long sound files, caused by using floating point as the
file seek index, but this may be fixed by now. Since these programs
only operate on the current buffer when creating sound files, they
don't have explosive ram/cpu usage problems, the way that a program
that updates a waveform display or stores the sound in ram as you are
creating it can. From my experience with very large recordings, your
most convenient option is actually a series of shorter sound files,
with a few seconds of overlap on each adjacent pair. This speeds
load/save/effects times, and also prevents exposing those corner case
huge file bugs that so many otherwise reliable apps are prone to have.
Making the overlapped files may be hard without jack... perhaps you
would need to use dmix for the input device, or whatever the
equivalent would be? I am not sure about that part. I will see if I
can find the shell script I wrote to do this. Also using sox with the
trim command can make a series of shorter files from a mega file for
editors to work on.

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