Recording with the Rode Podcaster on Linux

 

The Rode Podcaster is a very decent USB microphone.  Back in 2009, I figured out how to get this mic recording on the Linux platform.  I’m reposting the information here for future use.

Update the Firmware

If your Podcaster has a serial number less than 7730, then you need to apply Rode’s “Vista” Firmware
Update using a Windows PC.  For more information, see the support page at Rode.com

Plug the device into Linux

Once the microphone has been plugged in, you should see the entries on the linux logfile. Issue the dmesg
command to confirm.

$ dmesg

[259364.405901] usb 1-1.3: USB disconnect, address 3
[263935.850793] usb 1-1.3: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 4
[263936.275739] usb 1-1.3: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
[263936.300492] ALSA /build/buildd/linux-ubuntu-modules-2.6.24-2.6.24/debian/build/build-server/sound/alsa-driver/usb/usb
[263936.310464] ALSA /build/buildd/linux-ubuntu-modules-2.6.24-2.6.24/debian/build/build-server/sound/alsa-driver/usb/usb
[263936.375667] input: RODE MICROPHONESj Rode Podcaster as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1f.2/usb1/1-1/1-1.3/1-1.3:1.3/inpu
[263936.408705] input,hidraw0: USB HID v1.00 Device [RODE MICROPHONESj Rode Podcaster] on usb-0000:00:1f.2-1.3

Get the card number

ALSA will detect the device, and assign it a card number.

$ cat /proc/asound/cards

0 [PCI ]: Allegro – ESS Allegro PCI
ESS Allegro PCI at 0x1000, irq 5
1 [UART ]: MPU-401 UART – MPU-401 UART
MPU-401 UART at 0x300, irq 10
2 [Podcaster ]: USB-Audio – Rode Podcaster
RODE MICROPHONESj Rode Podcaster at usb-0000:00:1f.2-1.3, full speed

In this case, the Podcaster is assigned to card number 2.

Turn up the volume

The microphone might be muted. Turn the volume up by issuing this command :

$ amixer -c 2 set Mic 32

Simple mixer control ‘Mic’,0
Capabilities: cvolume pswitch pswitch-joined cswitch cswitch-joined
Playback channels: Mono
Capture channels: Mono
Limits: Capture 0 – 32
Mono: Playback [off] Capture 32 [100%] [23.04dB] [on]

Note that the -c 2 refers to the 2nd card (as we found in the /proc/asound/cards file).

Record your audio

To record the audio, run the following command. Break it (CTRL-C) when you’re done. (Note, that 2,0
refers to card 2, device 0)

arecord -Dplughw:2,0 -f cd myself.wav

Recording WAVE ‘myself.wav’ : Signed 16 bit Little Endian, Rate 44100 Hz, Stereo
Aborted by signal Interrupt…
or
arecord -D hw:2,0 -f S24_3LE -r 48000 myself.wav
Recording WAVE ‘myself.wav’ : Signed 24 bit Little Endian in 3bytes, Rate 48000 Hz, Mono
^CAborted by signal Interrupt…

FAQ

I don’t have permissions to record on the audio device

This can be solved with one of two methods. Add yourself to the audio group (in the example, phil is my
username)

$ sudo addgroup phil audio

The 2nd method is to change the permissions of the /dev/dsp* device, however I would not recommend this approach, as it may revert back on reboot.

$ sudo chmod o=+rw /dev/dsp*

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