Running Audacity under Ubuntu 6.10 Linux

As a “budding” radio journalist (self-styled freelancer), I quickly realized the need to practice and learn the art of audio documentaries. So I decided to upon keep radio diaries.

For recording, I am using Audacity, an open source sound editing program. Running Audacity under Ubuntu Linux 6.10 proved a bit problematic. After a bit of poking around the Ubuntu forums, and Launchpad, I finally figured out a solution.

At first running audacity refused to work with my soundcard. Having installed alsa-oss already, I ran:

> aoss audacity

The minute I started recording, audacity crashed. This time a problem with the esd mixer many Gnome applications use. I need to turn off esd, by running Gnome instead of KDE.
I then ran System > Preferences > Sound and unchecked the esd mixer option. ESD problem fixed.

But the recording still did not come through. Turns out the volume was turned down to mute. Duh. I ran alsamixer:

After some experimentation, I found I needed to unmute the Line In, and change the Input So option to Front Mic. To turn up the volume, I pressed Tab and increased the Capture volume.

With audacity worked flawlessly, and I can record myself.

Audacity – an open source (and free) sound editor
Ubuntu Forums – excellent community with support for Ubuntu problems.
– Canonical’s bug and developer network, and used heavily for Ubuntu development.

Running Quake 4 Demo on Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy)

I felt the urge to do some violent gaming. So I grabbed the Linux demo of id’s Quake 4. The installation ran smoothly, but I ran into the infamous sound problem.

Turns out that the demo fails to use the right sound driver. The result doubled delayed sound that sounds like crap. The solution:

> quake4-demo +set s_driver oss

But then my Alsa and Arts mixers clash, and the game reports that it cannot use the /dev/dsp device (soundcard). Since I use Ubuntu (kUbuntu 6.10 GNU/Linx to be exact), I needed to install alsa-oss.

> sudo aptitude install alsa-oss

This gave the useful aoss command. So to run Quake 4 in all gory glory:

> aoss quake4-demo +set s_driver oss

Supposedly the +ss_driver oss argument, should be remembered but I run it this way just in case.