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Avoiding Recording Interuptus

Discussion in 'Computing' started by adiant, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. adiant

    adiant Active Member

    I'm looking for a relatively low-cost (less then $350) solution to making very long stereo recordings. A continuous 24 hours would not be unusual. I opened a thread on Budget Gear on the subject, but realized that I should restrict it to stand-alone solutions. And fully explore computer-based solutions here.

    Everyone I've known who has used a Windows-based machine for recording for any length of time has had trouble.

    I gave up on Windows 98 in 1999, and bought a Pioneer CD recorder. Windows has a seemingly endless ability to find ways to wreck recordings by "getting distracted" by other work while buffers overflow. As recently as a year ago, a professional musician friend told me how he'd just lost a recording with professional software that he had previously claimed controlled Windows XP, forcing it into Real-Time Processing mode (presumably he meant running in Real-Time Priority), and wouldn't let it get interrupted. He tracked the problem down to Avast doing an update and anti-malware scan. And was going to try running without Avast. I haven't heard from him since.

    Despite what has been said in other threads, Vista can be run with no Internet connection, after initial setup, which does require an Internet connection. My father-in-law's machine has been running for nearly a year without once talking to the Internet.

    But he isn't doing real-time recording. The question is: is unplugging a Windows machine enough to allow clean recordings?

    I'm not sure I can or want to afford a Mac. But, how about Linux? Can it properly handle real-time work like recording audio? Dell is selling dual-core Vostro machines, without monitor, for about $275 Canadian, which is well within my price range. It comes with Vista Home Basic (which I would not recommend for anyone; I pay $30 and upgrade to Home Premium), but I could install a free version of Linux. I could just share my existing computer's monitor by using the unused VGA connection (I am using DVI now).

    To recap from my other thread: my need for 24+ hours of continuous audio is for Unscoped Airchecks, a complete real-time recording of radio station, in this case, a complete day, used for both historical preservation and as kind of a time machine for listening enjoyment in the future. Personally, I have never known anything that made me feel as much like I did as a 9 year old as a 1962 recording of the radio station (Top 40/Rock CFUN Vancouver) I listened to ALL THE TIME back then.

    I'm very interested in your experiences with recording on computers.
  2. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    I tried Linux.
    You can install Ubuntu Studio which comes with a host of apps, and the -rt kernel which allows apps to run in real time.

    I found it stable enough (but I was PLAGUED by driver issues), also I never tried to record with it - just wasn't able to test it.
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Wave files, have a known mathematical limit regarding size.

    Conversely, if you can record at 16-bit, 11kHz sampling, it will sound like good-quality a.m. radio and will not be of the highest fidelity but still quite listenable.

    Do the math
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  4. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Like Remy said, your going to hit a mathematical wall.

    "He tracked the problem down to Avast doing an update and anti-malware scan. And was going to try running without Avas"

    This is the beginning of the issue. Recording on a computer not optimized for recording results in unknown things updating or polling, whathave you.

    But, since you are only trying to do IRadio capturing you do have an option.

    It requires the recorded audio to be on a hard drive outside of the box. Hot-swappable is a requirement so the interruptuus part is always part of it.

    I recorded a two track 3-1/2 hour show a friend did on an Internet radio a few years ago with no glitches. But I had a terabyte of hard drive space (optimized) the machine had been(up to that point) not placed on the Internet(optimized), using a Delta 1010LT sound card sitting under Sonar 5(stable).

    That resulted in 1 gigabyte wav file, which I found funny, one gigabyte for a recorded gig...ya had to be there.
  5. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    "one gigabyte for a recorded gig..."


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