Last updated on August 14, 2020 by Dan Nanni
If you want to capture input from microphone connected to your Linux computer, there is a simple way to do it. But prior to recording, you probably want to adjust the input volume of your microphone for optimal quality recording. With low input volume, your microphone may not pick up your voice properly, while too high an input volume may introduce a lot of background noise in the recording.
If you are using Ubuntu Desktop, you can adjust microphone input volume by going to
In order to record microphone input on Linux, you can use a tool set called
alsa-utils which is developed for Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA).
$ sudo apt-get install alsa-utils
$ sudo yum install alsa-utils
$ sudo pacman -S alsa-utils
One of the command-line utilities contained in
arecord, which can capture microphone input to WAV format.
To verify that microphone is successfully recognized on your system:
$ arecord -l
**** List of CAPTURE Hardware Devices **** card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 0: CONEXANT Analog [CONEXANT Analog] Subdevices: 1/1 Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
To record microphone input to WAV format:
$ arecord output.wav
Recording WAVE 'output.wav' : Unsigned 8 bit, Rate 8000 Hz, Mono
Without any argument,
arecord will record microphone input to WAV format with sample rate 8000 Hz, unsigned 8 bit depth, and single mono channel.
arecord will continue to capture a stream of microphone input until it is terminated by
If you want, you can customize output WAV format as follows.
$ arecord -f cd output_stereo.wav
Recording WAVE 'output.wav' : Signed 16 bit Little Endian, Rate 44100 Hz, Stereo
$ arecord -r 16000 -f S16_LE output2.wav
Recording WAVE 'output2.wav' : Signed 16 bit Little Endian, Rate 16000 Hz, Mono
To play back a WAV file, you can use another ALSA utility called
$ aplay output.wav
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