Aucacity won't record from Alesis USB 2

Hello, all -

This problem has been getting worse it seems over the last few months.

I am recording from an Alesis mixer into an USB 2 port on an IBM thinkpad t43 running Ubuntu 11.10. All my OS maintenance is current. I am running Audacity 2.0.1 installed using apt-get from ppa:audacity-team/daily.

I installed 2.0.1 today in order to try to workaround this problem, but so far with no luck. I have seen this problem under Audacity 1.3.X for the last six or eight weeks. I am assuming it was something introduced with maintenance from the OS. Today I uninstalled Audacity, re-installed 1.3.x from the Ubuntu repositories, unistalled it again and installed 2.0.1 all in an attempt to work around this problem.

I point Audacity to the USB Line 0. Audacity sees the device and the input becomes Line:0. I begin to record, the new audio track appears, the recording proceeds for a second (sometimes up to 5 or 6 seconds) and then suddenly stops. Usualy the recording stops after a fraction of a second.

As a test, I found an old headset/microphone unit, pointed audacity at my soundcard microphone and exactly the same thing happens. I can record maybe a syllable or so (if that much) and then the recording stops dead.

I can re-create the problem at will. I know my mixer is working correctly, I know my USB ports are working correctly and I am pretty confident my sound card is working correctly (the headphones/speakers work just fine).

If I point Audacity to a non-existant recording source (pulse or “default”) Audacity chugs right along; the new audio track is empty, of course, but it doesn’t stop dead in its tracks. Audacity only seems to choke when I point him to a valid, working audio input. I notice that frequently when I have pointed Audacity to a valid, working audio input, I get a big noise spike waveform when I begin the recording. I’m not sure what is generating the spike.

I have seen this problem over the last few weeks. It started with a few intermittent failures, got progressively worse and has now progressed to the point where Audacity is completely inoperable. I feel it may be the result of Linux Ubuntu 11.10 maintenance. I am current and apply my OS updates as soon as I get them. I have been recording with Audacity very happily for some time now, and hadn’t seen the problem at all until about in mid March or so.

I have been using Audacity for a year or so now - I don’t claim to be an Audacity (or Ubuntu) internals jock by any means, but I can work my way around my preferences and system settings pretty well.

Any advice or direction would be greatly appreciated.


What happened with the repository version of Audacity? Did that show the same problem? (If you’re unsure, could you try that again).

Ensure that “Software Playthrough” is not selected in the Audacity “Transport” menu.

What are you using as the playback device?

And it was previously working fine on Ubuntu 11.10?

Thanks for the repsonse, Steve.

The problem appeared under the 1.3.X repository version of Audacity about 6-8 weeks ago. The problem was intermittent and if I closed and restarted Audacity or rebooted the T43 that would take care of it. The problem has become more pronounced since then. I thought I would uninstall and reinstall to see if that might take care of the problem. It did not. I noticed that the latest-and-greatest Audacity was available and out of Beta and I thought that might have fix. I am seeing the same problem now under 2.0.1

Audacity with my Alesis coming in on an USB 2 port worked just fine under 11.10 up until the last 6 or 8 weeks when I first saw the problem.

“Software Playthrough” was selected, but I have since unselected the menu option. I will try some more recording this evening and will report back.

Thanks again for your reply.