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Z-LiveRec 2.27 launched!

News and changes in version 2.27

I must first confess that not all new functionality works directly as expected. In the 2.26 version we introduced our first implementation to be able to use Z-LiveRec virtually from any VNC Client (like an iPhone, iPad or Android device) connected to the hosting Raspberry PI with a multitrack mixer attached over USB. But our first attempt was not 100% – But in 2.27 we have improved the implementation a lot – to make the remote experience perfect – just a checkbox and the functionality is up and running. In this new version you will also find many other improvements and fixes.

Have a look – and please check the new version out!

  • Fixed a problem with the filename dialog, so that pressing “Cancel” will abort the recording process.
  • Changed the filename dialog when running remotely in VNC – so the focus maintained and can be editable.
  • Addressed a problem when toggling between hardisk/storage devices when in touch mode.
  • Added a function so that a VNC session terminates when the VNC client is stopped.
  • Added a function so that a VNC session restarts after termination of a VNC Client/Session
  • Added so that the VNC Session uses the actual user at the VNC Host and be created in the user’s home directory.
  • Added a function to determine if Z-LiveRec is running in “Host” or in “Remote” mode. Visible in the GUI frontpage – “Host” or “Remote”. (The actual IP address can be seen in the license page)
  • Added a shutdown dialog to give options to reboot or only shutdown the system.
  • Investigated and found the issue why Bullseye have disappearing taskbars when attaching multichannel ALSA Sound Cards. See separate post at Z-LiveRec.com – Not implemented in Z-LiveRec – this is an OS patch.
  • Fixed a problem seen in PI OS Bulleye – Where Z-LiveRec did not store/read the saved hardisk path.
  • Updated the GUI on the license page/dialog.
  • Added a process to handle terminations of a Z-LiveRec window – like pressing windows “X” when not running in touch mode
  • Checked so that the autostart process uses the right credentials when created on the system.
  • Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions are available for both the trial and full version.

Check the Z-LiveRec V2.27 Manual for more information and details.

A free update is available for registered users (Login to “My Account” and download the latest edition or use the e-mail download link from the original order acknowledgement) and free demo/trial version is also available for everybody else to try the app!

Please note: Using the auto update function in Z-LiveRec (for registered users for the 32 bit version.) – You will find a zip file in the PI/Home directory – and you can just extract the zip file yourself – and the V2.27 version will show up.

The update process will try to unzip Z-LiveRec and overwrite the old version of the app – and a chmod r+x command can be required to get the V2.27 version to run again. See the manual for more information.

Best regards Anders / Z-LiveRec.com

A Raspberry PI OS Bullseye ALSA issue

A seen issue seen in both the 32 bit and 64 bit versions of the latest Raspberry PI OS called “Bullseye” is by using mixers with many channels like the Behringer XR18 or Mackie DL32S. The issue was showing up by just by inserting the USB cable in the Raspberry – the taskbar in the menu (also known as lxpanel) flashed for about 3 times and then the taskbar disappeared completely (Which made the Raspberry a bit hard to handle and work with) -even if Z-LiveRec would continue to work just perfectly.

However, this problem did not occur in the previous OS – “Buster”. So after much research around different sound cards and devices – because the problem was only seen with these multichannel mixers (2-10 channel devices were working fine)

So after digging hard and been looking on the alsa.conf, .asoundrc files etc…I gave up and just copied the alsa.conf file from an old Buster OS to my Bullseye installation. And viola – IT WORKED FINE!

So if you want to implement my “patch” – just follow these steps – (if you are not a Linux hacker):

  1. Go to the /usr/share/alsa directory on your Bullseye installation
  2. from the lxterminal use the follwing command: (To delete the current alsa.conf – 9.6kB)
    (You could make a copy of this file and store it some where else)

sudo rm alsa.conf
  • Download the Buster alsa.conf.zip from Z-LiveRec.com
  • Unpack it in your home/pi directory
  • From the lxterminal use the following command: (To copy the Buster alsa.conf – 9.4kB to it’s right place)
sudo cp /home/pi/alsa.conf /usr/share/alsa

READY Just to reboot – and you will not have any problems disappearing taskbars anymore!

64 bit trial version of Z-LiveRec available for download

Z-LiveRec

News from 2022-11-14: We added a 64-bit trial version for 64bit Raspberry PI OS. The trial version is available for download at the Z-LiveRec Shop. (And you will find the 32bit version here also)

The trial version is limited to maximum 200MB of recordings.

In the full version of Z-LiveRec – both 32 bit and 64 bit versions of Z-LiveRec are included.

Z-LiveRec V2.26 has been tested with Raspberry PI OS 11 (Bullseye)

Z-LiveRec V2.26 is launched

News and changes in version 2.26

I must first confess that development always takes 4… 8x 🙂 times more than expected. But here you have a new fresh version of Z-LiveRec – The multitrack recorder for Raspberry PI! In this new version you will find many nice improvements and also some new nice tools and functions that will make Z-LiveRec to the recorder and virtual soundcheck tool #1 for your digital mixer!

Have a look – and please check the new version out!

  • Added .sox as a audio format.
  • Locators – Show the real time HH:MM:SS instead of just seconds. Works with both play and export. Shifting from red to blue when playing in a loop.
  • 10 channels added as option to support Behringer Flow 8 mixer – a reset of the Z-LiveRec.cfg might be needed first time of use.
  • Add feature to set your own filenames when creating recordings. A checkbox in the license dialog will enable this function. If not entering a filename – an automatic name will be generated.
  • The actual filename is showing up on the Buffer Size Status in the main GUI when recording.
  • Full export and exports between the locators of recordings can now be converted to any of the other defined formats. Recording in SOX, CAF etc formats can be converted to for an example to w64 afterwards.
  • Added “Stop” function when doing loop/play in virtual soundcheck mode.
  • Added detailed OS version logging in Z-LiveRec.log for easier error handling.
  • Fixed an error with the tempeture reporting on long recordings (over 1.5h) – which made Z-LiveRec to crash. Thanks to Michael Klein for reporting. Recordings of 50GB/Several hours have been tested without any problems.
  • Checked and fixed a dialog error when closing license dialog and the saved parameters in cfg file.
  • Added Virtual VNC to be started at autostart for remote control Z-LiveRec from other devices like a iPhone/Ipad running VNC. This function is enabled in the license dialog and the remote function is enabled in autostart for the system. When enabled you see both the Raspberry host IP and also the client IP if running remote. A control function is added to show if several session of Z-LiveRec is running at the same time – Which is not allowed and could interfere with the audio device. There is a check function if VNC is running remote.
  • Added more buffer size options – if experiencing over-runs. The W64 format seems to always report buffer errors if the USB stick is too slow. A lower buffer size as 130K seems to work better for the format W64.
  • Fixed an error when more than 4 audio devices are present in system when using the touch GUI.

Check the Z-LiveRec V2.26 Manual for more information and details.

A free update is available for registered users (Login to “My Account” and download the latest edition or use the e-mail download link from the original order acknowledgement) and free demo/trial version is also available for everybody else to try the app!

Please note: Using the auto update function in Z-LiveRec (for registered users) – You will find a zip file in the PI/Home directory – and you can just extract the zip file yourself – and the V2.26 version will show up.

The update process will try to unzip Z-LiveRec and overwrite the old version of the app – and a chmod r+x command can be required to get the V2.26 version to run again. See the manual for more information.

Best regards Anders / Z-LiveRec.com

Using Behringer Flow 8 with Z-LiveRec

Maybe a bit off topic…but maybe some interest anyway. A client have a outdoor gig and without any supply of external power…and asked if I was able to fulfill such request. And with a Behringer Flow 8, a power bank of 40000mA, 2x Mackie Freeplay 150W speakers…I think I can say yes! 🙂

Of course, I also had to test if I was able to record 8 channels from the Flow 8 using my Raspberry PI multitrack recorder – www.z-liverec.com using the same power bank…and the answer was yes even here – but the solution consumes power. The battery will probably last for 1-1.5 hours) 🙂

But Z-LiveRec recorded 8 channels without any problems – you are even able to record the bluetooth stream (channel 9-10) at the same time. Note that the Flow 8 only have 4 USB return channels – so it is not possible to playback channels to make a virtual soundcheck etc.

But a pretty neat small environment!

Measuring storage performance on Raspberry PI.

The background for this post was that some Z-LiveRec users experienced problems with USB Sticks formatted in exFAT format and using the resources demanding W64 file format. The idea with using exFAT is the ability to utilize larger storage medias without any limits in file size – compared FAT32 which limit single files to 4GB. W64 is a wav format which is using 64 bits file structure…and supports unlimited file sizes – compared to wav which has a limit on 2GB.

By using W64 on exFAT…Z-LiveRec is able to store multitrack files which easily can be like 22GB for a 1.5h recordings with 48 channels. But it is here some users have started to see problems – a lot of buffer overruns was reported in Z-LiveRec. If selecting less channels – the problem disappears. Note: there is also another unlimited format available in Z-LiveRec called “CAF” (Apples multitrack format) which have the same characteristics as W64 – which seems to run more smooth and is nicer in performance for a Raspberry PI – so one solution is to use this format instead.

But why do W64 report a lot of buffer overruns in exfat? I had to investigate this more in detail – especially if using FAT32 instead – no problem was reported. 🙂

Equipment used:

  • Raspberry PI 4B with 2GB RAM.
  • Sandisk Ultrafit 64GB, USB 3.1 Stick. (130MB/s for reading and 55 MB/s writing)
  • Sandisk Extreme Go 64GB USB 3.2 stick (395 MB read/s and a write speed of 100 MB/s)
  • Samsung TEAM SX2 – 120GB SSD drive.
  • Behringer XR18
  • Raspberry PI OS “10” BUSTER 32 Bit.
  • Raspberry PI OS ”11” BULLSEYE 32 bit

First check the version of the Raspberry PI OS used:

cat /etc/os-versions

Ok – in theory – can a storage device be measured by Raspberry PI? Yes by moving to the drive you want to measure:

cd /media/pi/$HARD_DRIVE_LABEL

and then execute the following code:

dd if=/dev/zero of=test.bin bs=10M count=100

and the system will show: (Takes a little while)

100+0 records in
100+0 records out
1048576000 bytes (1.0 GB, 1000 MiB) copied, 755.422 s, 1.4 MB/s

The system will show the write speed – e.g. 1.4MB in this case! (Too Slow!)

Ok, using this info and apply it to our storage devices used will give us the following data:

DeviceFilesystemWrite speed
Sandisk Ultrafit 16GB on Buster OSFAT3210,2MB/s
Sandisk Ultrafit 16GB on Buster OSexFAT5.9 MB/s
Sandisk Ultrafit 16GB on Buster OSNFTS15,7 MB/s
TEAM GROUP SX2 SSD over USB 2 on Buster OSFAT3233,8 MB/s
TEAM GROUP SX2 SSD over USB 2 on Buster OSexFAT36,8 MB/s
TEAM GROUP SX2 SSD over USB 2on Buster OSNTFS30 MB/s
Sandisk Ultrafit 16GB on Bullseye OSexFAT15,3 MB/s
Sandisk Extreme Go 64GB USB 3.2 stickexFAT12,6 MB/s

Ok, when used these storage types in Z-LiveRec with w64 format!

DeviceFile systemRecording sizebuffer sizechannelsBuffer Overruns
Sandisk Ultrafit 16GB on BusterexFAT6GB1MB486
Sandisk Ultrafit 16GB on BusterexFAT4GB1MB183
Sandisk Ultrafit 16GB on BusterexFAT4GB256K181
Sandisk Ultrafit 16GB on BusterexFAT16GB256K1816
Sandisk Ultrafit 16GB on BusterexFAT16GB128K4817
Sandisk Ultrafit 16GB on BusterNTFS16GB1MB3210
Sandisk Ultrafit 16GB on BusterNTFS16GB1MB180
TEAM SX2 on BusterNTFS22GB1MB328
Sandisk Extreme Go 64GB on BullseyeexFAT15GB1MB180

Conclusion

ExFAT seems to have performance problems in Buster…but works great in Bullseye! It seems like a faster USB stick makes great improvements to the write speed. Another recommendation is to use Sandisk Extreme Go USB 3.2 Flash drives with 64GB – which has a read speed of 395 MB read/s and a write speed of 100 MB/s. Compared to the Sandisk Ultra Slim Fit – which has a read speed on 150MB/S and a write speed on 55MB/S – the Extreme GO USB stick can improve the situation with experienced buffer overruns a lot! (e.g Zero overruns!)

Raspberry PI in displayless mode…

I recently got a question about if Z-LiveRec could be used on Raspberry PI but without a screen or monitor. (Headlessmode) The idea from the user was to be able to remote control Z-LiveRec running on Raspberry using a RealVNC terminal window (which is built in Raspberry)

So the challenge was to create a Raspberry PI to boot up, logging in to the pre-defined WI-FI network and create a remote server session which any device on the same WI-FI network could to attach to.

I liked the idea – so I had to try it out!

I first installed a Raspberry PI and also Z-LiveRec and got it working, using a hdmi screen attached. I have a post for this exactly how to make a nice Raspberian installation for Z-LiveRec in this linked post. I had both DL32S and XR18 built in WI-FI on my target list for these tests. I tried first to attach to the terminal session by using XR18s built in Wi-Fi network. I was of course able to attach to the network from my iPad running x-air and also from the Raspberry PI. (The multichannel recording handled by Z-LiveRec is going over USB to XR18)

But after many attempts trying run the VNC client on my iPad…it was totally impossible to get XR18S built Wi-Fi network to route/forward any other network information than just the X-Air network information – which have been said using port 10024. (It does not route/handle port number 5900 as VNC is using) – and you also have a limit on max 4 devices on the built in XR18 Wi-Fi. So the conclusion was if you want to use VNC against a Raspberry PI forget the XR18 internal wifi – it is not possible.

Ok, I changed to a external router and BAM!!! The VNC session showed up and worked immediately!

So was now able to start Z-LiveRec in a VNC session from my iPad.

I have made the same tests on my Mackie DL32S…and here the internal router forwards all ports – so on this mixer the internal Wi-Fi can be used – but is not recommended…always use an external router when out on gigs!

To create a system which will auto start a VNC Server Session, the following tasks needs to be done.

Edit the rc.local file by typing:

sudo nano /etc/rc.local

Insert the following line, just before the exit 0 line.

sudo -u pi vncserver -randr=1280x720

You can check if VNC Server is installed…by typing VNCSERVER. You will also see which IP address is used.

VNCSERVER

Note: You actually don’t need to enable VNC in the PI configuration hardware…the auto startup will take care about this. (If you also enable it in the configuration…dual VNC sessions will be created – eating more resources.

Now you can run the VNC Client on your iPad and attach to the Raspberry PI – 192.168.1.xx:1

The login screen in VNC on a ipad.

Check your username and password.

It normally takes about 30 seconds for the system to boot up.

If you have trouble with cannot currently show desktop messages…set the screen resolution to 1280×720 with sudo raspi-config command and choose display options.

Conclusion – you can indeed use a Raspberry PI in headless mode/black box – and run Z-LiveRec remotely from any network device that is supported by VNC. (You need to have done the homework with all settings for the mixer wifi…but after this – it will work just as good as with a touch display.

Z-LiveRec V2.25 launched!

V2.25 2022-04-18 – NEWS!

I must first confess that development always takes 4 times more than expected. But here you have a new fresh version of Z-LiveRec – The multitrack recorder for Raspberry PI! In this new version you will find many nice improvements and also some new nice tools and functions that will make Z-LiveRec to the Virtual Soundcheck Tool #1 for your digital mixer!

Have a look – and please check the new version out!

  • Feature to change the ”Quit” button to not only quit the application – but also added the function to able to completely shutdown the Raspberry PI OS. This features can be turned “on” in the License dialogue window and by checking the Quit Button option.
  • Added keyboard shortcuts ctrl + r(recording), p(playing), s(stop), x(quit app), (and F1, F2, F4 and F10 – see below)
  • Added more buffer sizes – smaller size 131072 and bigger sizes 4194304 – to try with if buffer overruns show up and when using slower USB Sticks.
  • Fixed so that sound files can be played/read from any sub directory. Recordings will still only be stored in the root of the selected storage device. (Except when exporting recordings)
  • Added a file split counter in the GUI when recording in *.wav type of files. (2 GB splits)
  • Virtual Soundcheck & Export tools – Added locators in the GUI. When in play mode – the new Virtual Soundcheck & Export tools shows up with some new buttons. Left & right locator will set play area of an existing recording. Pressing “Play” will replay the recording between the locators. Pressing “loop” will keep playing the selected area between the locators forever. (Keyboard shortcuts are also added to set left/right locator by pressing ctrl F1 and ctrl F10. Ctrl F2 will start playing between the locators. Ctrl F3 will turn on ”loop” replay – Ctrl F4 will turn off loop replay)
  • Virtual Soundcheck & Export tools – by pressing “export” when replaying sound files in locator mode – the selected area between the locators can be exported to a new wave file. (This can be done from any file format like *.wav, *.W64 or *.caf and these can be exported to *.wav format. The exports can be done to both to a single multitrack file or be split by channel to separate wav files. See button “Separate tracks”) This function is extremely useful when been recording a complete concert with 32 channels and you want to export a part, song to a new separate file. By splitting all channels to separate files – any DAW on the market can be used for post-production tasks.
  • Virtual Soundcheck & Export tools – when in main window – an export function is available to export a complete recording from any file format like *.wav, *.W64 or *.CAF to *.wav format – both to a single multitrack file or been split by track/channel to separate wav files. See button “Separate tracks”. Note – Free storage space is needed on the same drive as the original file.

Performance and bug fixes:

  • Added some performance tweaks and fixed some hangs ups bugs.
  • Memory management using a garbage collector function to clean up the system after playing/recording – reports and stats can be found in the logfile.
  • Logging of CPU version and OS version when recording/playing in the Z-LiveRec.log.
  • Fixed a bug when in touch mode when the USB devices were more than 3, all devices did not report. Same with storage devices.
  • Hard test of doing large recordings – up to 64GB – without any problems or GUI shutdowns. Works great in Raspberry PI OS – 32bit Bullseye.
  • GUI clean up in the main screen/window.
  • Launched 64 bit support for Raspberry PI OS – Bullseye – this is delivered as a separate application – available to download for registered users of Z-LiveRec. Note: This version is still for experimental uses. (Please note: a 64 bit application will not run in a 32 bit OS and vice versa – and the auto update function will currently not work.)

Some Other notes

  • An USB Stick must have a proper set label name – before use with Z-LiveRec. (When using default or none label – errors will otherwise occur when recording)
  • Verified that 2GB wave splits (when using *.wav to not violate the format) does not generate any delay between splits. Checked and verified in Cubase 11 – no delays found between files.
  • If experiencing many buffer overruns problems when using exFAT and doing recordings with W64 and with many channels – a too slow USB stick could be the root cause. It looks like changing to NTFS file format can improve the situation. Another recommendation is to use Sandisk Extreme Go USB 3.2 Flash drives with 64GB – which has a read speed of 395 MB read/s and a write speed of 100 MB/s. Compared to the Sandisk Ultra Slim Fit – which has a read speed on 150MB/S and a write speed on 55MB/S – the Extreme GO USB stick can improve the situation with experienced buffer overruns a lot! (e.g Zero overruns!)
  • More details about Z-LiveRec 2.25 can be found in the manual for V2.25

A free update is available for registered users (Login to “My Account” and download the latest edition or use the e-mail download link from the original order acknowledgement) and free demo/trial version is also available for everybody else to try the app!

Please note: Using the auto update function in Z-LiveRec (for registered users) – You will find a zip file in the PI/Home directory – and you can just extract the zip file yourself – and the V2.25 version will show up.

The update process will try to unzip Z-LiveRec and overwrite the old version of the app – and a chmod r+x command can be required to get the V2,25 version to run again. See the manual for more information.

Best Regards

Anders / Z-LiveRec.com

Z-LiveRec V2.24 launched!

Some real improvements and bug fixes are included:

  • Multilanguage support – some country localizations captures some Unix commands and answers in local language when going from UTF-8 to something else. A change in Z-LiveRec made it possible to use the app with any localization of Raspbian OS. Tested and verified to work for English, French and German language settings.
  • A proper split function for wave files is now implemented – so if recording wav file formats – a seamless file split will occur at each 2GB. The file names are autogenerated with xxxxx001.wav, xxxxx002.wav, xxxxx003.wav etc.
  • The new play “slider” have been improved to better handle several transfers and jumps back and forward in the playing file without any problems.
  • Minor fix when enabling auto update or auto start functionality in Z-LiveRec, will now request for PI password for sudo operations with hidden characters. (It does not store the password!)
  • Added auto update events and data in the Z-RecLive.log file.
  • Added replay operations data in Z-LiveRec.log file.
  • Update hard disk sizes when toggling between storage devices in touch mode.

A free update is available for registered users (Login to “My Account” and download the latest edition or use the e-mail download link from the original order acknowledgement) and free demo/trial version is also available for everybody else to try the app!

Please note: Using the auto update function in Z-LiveRec 2.23 (for registered users) – You will find a zip file in the PI/Home directory – and you can just extract the zip file yourself – and the V2.24 version will show up.

Z-LiveRec V2.23 launched!

Finally – a new version launched of Z-LiveRec! The goal with this edition was to “touch” enable the application to 100% so you don´t need a keyboard when running it on a 3.5″ touch screen. (This is the first step to create a new GUI) Another goal has been to close the gap for the app to become “The virtual soundcheck tool” – were we now added better functionality for fast forward & backwards using a slider to jump in the recordings when playing. More functionality will follow! And of course – some small changes and bugfixes.

Change list and new features in V2.23:

  • A transfer slider added to the replay function – you are now able to jump/transfer in the recordings when replaying and move forward and backwards to a certain play point – Perfect for virtual soundchecks! You can see time locator update when moving the slider forward/backward – the player will continue playing at the selected time when releasing the mouse button or pen.
  • A 100% touch based GUI (When enabled in the license dialog window – select the “Touch” checkbox). Perfect for Raspberry PI implementations with 3.5″ touch displays. The main page dropdown lists will is converted to label buttons instead in the touch mode showing the actual selection of setting – and by clicking on the button will toggle and increase the value – e.g. channels 2, 4 ,8 etc, storage devices and file format.
  • In the license dialog window – when entering e-mail address and also license key – a pop up onscreen keyboard is visible – just perfect for Raspberry PI implementations with 3.5″ touch display.
  • More information added to the log handling, (Z-LiveRec.log) when replaying sound files.
  • Added functionality to determine file information – when opening multitrack files for replay, Z-LiveRec now checks the amount of channels, bits deep and time length. Z-LiveRec always uses 24bit when recording to keep file sizes low. But when replaying multitrack files changed in popular DAW applications – most of them will save the multitrack files in floating 32bit format. Z-LiveRec can now automatically detect and read these files.
  • Added support for Raspberry PI Zero WH – a bit limited and slow – but it can handle up to 8 channels using Wav/CAF.
  • Added support for Raspberry PI Zero 2W can handle up to 32 channels in Wav/CAF file format. (Note: Can’t handle 32 channels in the W64 format which “eats” more resources.)
  • Fixed the open file dialog so it is centered to the Z-LiveRec app – not to the actual screen.
  • Performance optimization of threads
  • Fixed the Z-LiveRec logo so it points to https://www.z-liverec.com.
  • Checking license at boot.
  • Some bug fixes.

A free update is available for registered users (Login to “My Account” and download the latest edtion) and free demo/trial version is also available for everybody else to try the app out!

A small bug was found in a late stage of the launch of V2.23 and that is for the auto update function found inside Z-LiveRec – where it does not update the existing app exe. This is for both V2.21 and V2.23 – You will find a zip file in the PI/Home directory – and you can just extract the information yourself – and the V2.23 version will show up. This bug will be fixed in V2.24.

Have a look at the Z-LiveRec product page.