Photon sound recorder


phrecord [-s server_name] [-x position[%][r]]
         [-y position[%][r]]

Runs on:



-s server_name
The name of the Photon server:
If server_name is: This server is used:
node_path node_path/dev/photon
fullpath fullpath
relative_path /dev/relative_path
-x position[%][r]
The x coordinate of the upper-left corner of the window, in pixels, or as a percentage of screen width if % is specified. If r is specified, the coordinate is relative to the current console.
-y position[%][r]
The y coordinate of the upper-left corner of the window, in pixels, or as a percentage of screen height if % is specified. If r is specified, the coordinate is relative to the current console.


The phrecord utility is a fully featured audio recorder that uses the ALSA library to record wave files via the plugin interface.

phrecord and the mixer

Windows for phrecord and the mixer that it automatically launches.

The mixer shown above is set up to record from the microphone. You can select a different audio source but setting the Record Settings in the mixer window.

The sound recorder's control buttons are (from left to right):

Stop button
Stop a recording or stop monitoring.
Pause button
Pause a recording or pause monitoring.
Play button
Use phplay to play back the last recording; phplay is launched even if you haven't made a recording.
Record button
Start a new recording. New recordings are always saved in the temporary file ${TMPDIR/sound.wav. (You can use the Save and Save As items in the File menu to move the temporary file.)
Monitor button
Enter monitor mode. You can use this mode to check the recording setup, input gain, microphone volume, and so on.

When phrecord is in this mode, samples are collected but aren't saved. If the waveform graph is enabled, the samples are plotted.

File menu

The File menu includes:

Clear the waveform graph and the status bar, and discard the current recording.
Move the last recording from its temporary file to a specified file.
Save As
The same as Save (for now).
Exit phrecord.

Edit menu

The Edit menu currently includes only a Configure entry, which displays the Configuration dialog:

Configuration dialog

Audio configuration dialog for phrecord.

All the panels in this dialog include these buttons:

Reset all the configuration parameters to their default values These values aren't applied until you do so explicitly.
Exit the configuration dialog without changing any configuration settings.
Set phrecord to use the configuration settings.
Apply the configuration settings and exit the dialog.

In the Audio configuration panel, the sample types that aren't available are ghosted.

If you click on the Graph tab, you'll see the Waveform Graph panel:

Waveform Graph panel

Waveform Graph configuration dialog for phrecord.

You can use this panel to adjust the waveform graph's time scale and sample magnification.

The time scale is the range of the horizontal axis in the waveform graph; you can adjusted it in tenths of seconds. The magnification decreases the range of the vertical axis in the waveform graph. For example, a time scale of 1/10th of a second with a 50x magnification produces a sensitive, accurate and detailed graph of quieter sounds.

The waveform graph scrolls smoothly at higher sampling rates.

If you click on the Device tab, you'll see the Device configuration panel:

Device configuration panel

Device configuration dialog for phrecord.

If you clear the preferred audio-device checkbox, you can select a card/device pair from the Available audio devices combobox, which contains only devices that support at least one of the sample types that phrecord supports.

The phrecord utility initially tries to use the preferred (default) audio device or the first device that can sample using one of the supported sample types.

View menu

This menu lets you toggle the display of the waveform graph. Here's how the Photon Sound Recorder looks without the waveform graph:

phrecord without the waveform graph

Environment variables:

The directory in which phrecord saves recording files.

See also:

mixer, phplay