[kde-linux] Recording with onboard sound card

LMa ludovicmarchetti at web.de
Sun Dec 18 23:39:10 UTC 2005

Hello everyone,

I am a relatively new Linux user.
I have the following major problem: trying to record with Audacity 
(among others) doesn't work with my on-board VIA ac97 sound card.

I know Audacity prety well (I wrote a User's manual for specific tasks 
with Audacity).
I tried all the settings, all the combinations (in Files, settings: all 
sources, mono-stereo, etc.).
I'm defeated. Although it worked perfectly fine with Win2000, it never 
worked either with Knoppix 3.4.
So I guess, if I want to have a chance of solving the problem, I've got 
to get under the bonnet...

I sport:
Software: Debian 3.1 ("Sarge") Kernel 2.4.27
with KDE 3.3.2
Audacity 1.2.3

Hardware: (under "Information center - Sound card" no information!)
I find my sound card under PCI:

0000:00:11:5 Multimedia Audio controller VIA Technologies, Inc. 
VT8233/A/8235/8237 AC97 Audio controller (rev 10)
Subsystem MicroStar International Co, Ltd KT266 onboard audio
Flags: medium devsel, IRQ 10
I/O ports at D0000 [size=256]

Some details.
Playing sounds under KDE3.2.2: system sounds all work; XMMS works; KsCD 
works; Totem DVD reader sound works; GNOME CD player works.
Recording sounds under KDE3.2.2:
With KRec: nothing!
With Gnome Sound Recorder : I get the message: "Could not open device 
"/dev/dsp" for writing."
With Recording level: I get the window: "Error (vumeter)" and the 
message: "Cannot connect to sound daemon. Please run 'esd' at a command 

Settings in KDE Configuration center:
General: KDE control of the sound card is suspended after 5 seconds 
(that was the only way I could get the recording sources to appear in 
Audacity); execution with highest priority (although I haven't had any 
problems so far). Hardware: automatic detection of the audio peripheral 
(strangely, all other settings don't really work as well as this); full 

That's as close as I could get to recording with Audacity (or any other, 
as you read)...

So now my questions:
- There used to be a programme "sndconfig" under Debian 3.0 to configure 
the sound card. What is it now under Debian 3.1? (perhaps that could 
deal with onboard audio)
- (and/or:) Is there an extra driver I should get from the Debian 
orginal DVDs?
- (and/or:) Is there an extra setting in this ARTS thing or elsewhere? 
(I've avoided getting into that one on my own, it's too hot to me, but 
if somebody knows how... I'm ready to follow...)
- Would recompiling be the only solution? (there I'm afraid I won't try 
it before I'm WAYYYY experienced wiht Linux, and that won't be tomorrow :-)
- I mean, can't a really serious programmer from Audacity or KDE (or 
else) look at that problem more closely (I believe it's pretty common)?
- Or do I really have to resort to the last (spoil-sport, kill-joy) 
solution and buy a new sound card?

So thanks for reading up to here, and especially thanks to all for your 
help (if you need more info, ask).


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