Originally Posted by weaseldb83
A wise hacker (called Gandalf) repeatedly told me "there are only pros and cons". He's spot-on; you can't tell people what to do, but you can warn them off the dead-ends, and help them pick a path which they can follow for a while.
The screencaps I provided are from mixing/cleaning/mastering a charity gig I recorded. The venue had a ZED-10 mixer plugged into their PA. I'd planned to use that, plus my Akai EIE I/O for recording; but, when I hooked the two up, there was a horrific mains hum due to appalling mains wiring in the venue. For that, I need to make myself a little ground-lift box. What I was left doing was using three 'spare' mics, scattered across the stage, to capture what I could.
Really opens my eyes about what I should be using my setup for. I should be viewing my setup as just an advanced R-R recorder with some neat post effects. I think I'm gonna just buy a 4-Track mixer to do what i"m looking for; and group my sessions that way.
Something like the ZED-10 might-well suit your purposes. However, as-soon as you mix down you lose the ability to do overdubs, punch in, etc, etc.
Audacity is, sorry to say, 'a toy'. If you can lay something down in one take? Great. If not? It ain't the tool to use.
So far Audiacity is my go to program to lay something. It is intuitive and simple. That being said, I'm wondering about Ardour. It looks pretty, but I've tried several tutorials with only partial success. I can sometimes see inputs active. but have never been able to use it to capture & record. Is it even worth fixing and running? Or is it honestly worth learning compared to the simplicity and reliability of Audiacity?
Ardour is well-worth getting to grips with. I chuckled at an earlier poster getting their comment edited for profanity. Powerful and sophisticated software enables you to do amazing things, as well as becoming so frustrated that you break things and swear profusely. The way to learn is to aim low, exceed your expectations, and know you can make it work when more-complex efforts go a little wrong.
Here's a suggested route for getting to grips with Ardour:
You've got a USB doohickey; check the manual/documentation for it. What sample rates does it support? (44.1kHz? 48kHz? 96kHz?)
Pick the highest sample rate, and set up QJackCTL with that. If it's giving you problems, brain-dump what you find here, and folks will try and help you get it working reliably.
When you get it starting, running with as-low a latency as-possible, just wire the inputs straight to the outputs using Patchage. Once you're happy you can play through it, then you're ready to record with it. This is where you'll want to bring Ardour into the equation.
Disconnect absolutely everything in Patchage when you first start Ardour. Then, add a mono audio track.
Connect your USB input to the new mono track; connect the mono track to the master L/R, and connect the master outputs to playback.
'Arm' record on the track you've created (you'll hear nothing until you do!)
Tweak levels until you're happy with the output sound, and arm the master record.
Start recording, and play.
Disarm the track's record, and disconnect it from the input.
Check you can play back what you've recorded.
Add another mono track, wire it to the master, and connect your inputs to it.
Arm that mono track, and the master, then play along with yourself.
There are more-than-a-few professional recording studios actually use Ardour, so your efforts will not be wasted here. As-said earlier, this ain't a toy; I first played with this stuff about four or five years ago; most of what I've figured out has been on my own, and I'm not a musician. I'm a Systems Analyst (25 years of that s**t); the musician friends whose crap sound made me first attack a mixing desk all swore by Mac and Windows software. I've spent a few grand playing in 'real' recording studios; what you can get in Linux would make 'Abbey Road'-era George Martin drool. So, persist.