The Adafruit USB Audio Adapter

This USB module is recommended for the Raspberry Pi, but one of the sales bullet points for this module says “Not recommended for Mic input”

Why would you buy it just for the audio output when the Pi already has an audio output?

Well I need it for the audio input, and for just £4.77 post free from The Pi Hut via Amazon, it was worth a punt.

I bought one of these adapters 3 months ago, but didn’t have the time to work out why it wasn’t working. Now I have two applications which need it, so its time to take another look.

Since Raspbian and Lubuntu are closely related, I set to work from the comfort of my armchair using my laptop. I wanted to use “arecord” from a Gambas program, and this turned out to be my biggest problem.

Both Raspbian and Lubuntu 15.05 use the same version of alsa-utils (v1.0.27) which has a bug. Using arecord creates an audio file, plus a seemingly infinite number of small, 44 byte files.

The Adafruit USB Audio Adapter

The Pi process

Here is my recommendation for getting this running on a Raspberry Pi. Commands are entered in terminal.

Probably a good idea to start by updating Raspbian:-

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Connect the module to Pi, and connect a microphone (or suitable audio source) to the module mic input.

lsusb

…in the output you should see: C-Media Electronics CM108 Audio Controller

arecord –list-devices

…the output should include:-

**** List of CAPTURE Hardware Devices ****
card 1: Device [USB PnP Sound Device], device 0: USB Audio [USB Audio]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

So far, so good. We will need to specify card 1 and device 0 when using arecord (e.g. hw:1,0)

alsamixer

Press F6 and select: “1 USB PnP Sound Device”
Select Mic
Un-mute Mic (press M) then up-arrow for maximum input level.

Download alsa-utils: http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/view/svn/multimedia/alsa-utils.html
Download alsa-lib: http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/view/6.3/multimedia/alsa-lib.html

Extract both files.

Navigate to unzipped alsa-lib folder using file manager.
Hit F4 to open in a terminal.

./configure
make
sudo make install

Close this terminal and navigate using file manager to the unzipped alsa-utils folder.
Hit F4 to open in a terminal.

 

For more detail: The Adafruit USB Audio Adapter

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