Live Radio Streaming and Recording

with JACK, Ardour, several music players and Liquidsoap as stream source.

Webradio Scheme
liquisdoap quick start


Virtual Signal Path

Virtual Signal Path

Preparation – Configuration

This page assumes an Ubuntu 10.4 Installation as described on Ubuntu Setup . Detailed Informations about the additional packages we’re usually installing can be found on Additional Packages.

Add User Account & Log in

It can be very useful to create an extra user account for doing live radio – especially if you want to be prepared for playing special formats by configuring additional players to use jack.
If you want to have the option to do audio processing with realtime priority, you have to check Use audio devices in the advanced user settings.

  1. System → Administration → Users and Groups → Add
  2. enter your Password
  3. Authenticate
  4. Add
  5. Enter name and click OK
  6. Enter password, confirm and click OK
  7. click Advanced Settings → choose tab User Privileges
    • check Use audio devices
  8. click OK
  9. click Close
  10. click the power icon
  11. click Log Out…
  12. log in to the new user
  13. You might want to configure the user account as described on Ubuntu Setup

Scipts, Patchbay & Template

Applications → Acessories → Terminal

md5sum radio-extras.tar.bz2 # should be 9f0546a8b95a79e0283e35124c227d20
tar -xvpjf radio-extras.tar.bz2

After downloading & extracting the archive you will have the following files:


bin/livestream-starter will create liq/livestream.liq
liq/livestream.liq will create liq/livestream.log

Add Application Launchers

right-click on the Panel


If you don’t already have a launcher for alsamixer in your panel, you should add one:

  1. right-click on the Panel
  2. left-click Add to Panel
  3. doubleclick Custom Application Launcher
  4. enter Name:
  5. enter Command:
    xterm -geometry 212x24 -T 'alsamixer (keyboardcontrolled) | select: Left/Right | increase/decrease: Up/Down | mute/unmute: M | help: F1' -e alsamixer
  6. enter Comment:
    souncard control in xterm
  7. click the Icon button
  8. select icon /usr/share/icons/hicolor/scalable/apps/gnome-volume-control.svg
  9. click Open
  10. click OK
  11. back in the ‘Add to Panel’ window click Close

JACK Control

  1. click Applications > Sound & Video
  2. drag & drop JACK Control onto the panel


  1. click Applications > Sound & Video
  2. drag & drop Ardour GTK2 onto the panel


  1. click Applications > Sound & Video
  2. drag & drop Aqualung onto the panel


  1. click Applications > Sound & Video
  2. drag & drop Mixxx onto the panel

If you have display problems in mixxx when opening it the second time, changing the skin or this workaround might help you:

  1. right-click on the new Mixxx launcher
  2. click Command: Browse
  3. double click the folder bin
  4. double click the script mixxx-starter
  5. click Close

(The script mixxx-starter deletes any existing mixxx-configuration & -log before starting mixxx.)


  1. right-click on the Panel
  2. left-click Add to Panel
  3. doubleclick Custom Application Launcher
  4. select Type: Application in Terminal
  5. enter Name:
  6. click Command: Browse
  7. double click the folder bin
  8. double click the script livestream-starter
  9. click the Icon button
  10. select icon /usr/share/icons/hicolor/scalable/apps/vinagre.svg (or any other icon you would like to have for the livestream-starter)
  11. click Open
  12. click OK
  13. back in the ‘Add to Panel’ window click Close

JACK Control Settings

  1. click the JACK Contol launcher in the panel
  2. click Setup
  3. change to the tab Misc
  4. check Enable system tray icon
  5. click OK
  6. click Patchbay → Load
  7. select the file JACK-Patchbay-players-to-ardour.xml
  8. click Open
  9. click Activate
  10. back in the ‘Jack Audio Connection Kit’ window click Patchbay to close the Patchbay window
  11. click Quit

Aqualung Settings

  1. click the Aqualung launcher in the panel
  2. click MS to close the Music Store window
  3. right-click on a free space inside the Aqualung window to get a context menu
  4. click Skin Chooser → dark → Apply
  5. right-click again on a free space inside the Aqualung window
  6. click Settings
  7. select the tab General → Systray
  8. select for Vertical mouse wheel: Change volume
  9. select for horizontal mouse wheel: Change current song
  10. click Add
  11. select Command Play/Pause song
  12. middle-click on Click here to set mouse button
  13. click OK
  14. select the tab Appearance
  15. check Override skin settings
  16. click Big timer: Select
  17. select Size: 72
  18. click OK
  19. click OK
  20. press Strg + Q to quit aqualung

Configure additional Players to use JACK

While Aqualung and Mixxx are atomatically using JACK as output when it is running, most other players need to be configured manually to use JACK. These players won’t work anymore without JACK before the configuration is changed back.
Some players that can be configured to use JACK and might help playing special formats are: vlc, mplayer, xine.

Starting Applications


  1. click the JACK Contol launcher in the panel
  2. click Start to start JACK


  1. click the Ardour GTK2 launcher in the panel
  2. enter a Name for a new Ardour session
  3. Create folder In: select, where to create the session folder
    You should choose a place with enough space.
    If you have a separate audio HD, you should create the session folder there – this might increase the stability of the system.
    You might need to click Other… to choose a folder where you have write permissions.
  4. select Template: 2-mono-in+player.template
  5. click Open
  6. click New
  7. click all record buttons inside the tracks you want to record. (Normally all: In1, In2, player)
  8. click the main record button
  9. click Window → Show Mixer


  1. click the Aqualung laucher in the panel
  2. add music files to the playlist or load a prepared playlist
    • add files:
    • click Add Files
    • select the file(s) you want to add
    • click Open
    • adding whole directories with audiofiles inside
      1. right-click Add Files
      2. click Add directory
      3. select the folder(s) you want to add
      4. click Open
    • load a prepared playlist
      1. right-click inside the playlist
      2. click Load playlist
      3. select the playlist you want to load
      4. click Open
  3. click the play button (triangle)

You should see the level of the playing sound in the play- and master- track of the Mixer window of Ardour now…

Connect Microphones, Mixing Desk & Headphones

Our Ardour template is optimized for a setup with two microphones & a mixing desk but you might also do live radio with a Headset (or two when you have the necessary adapters) & without a mixing desk. But this is less comfortable & most standard sound cards have a strong background noise on the microphone input.

A mixing desk has to be plugged into the line input (usually blue) while directly connected microphones have to be plugged into the microphone input (usually pink).

It’s better to use Headphones for monitoring than loudspeakers because otherwise you have to be very careful to avoid feedback. Headphone outputs are usually coloured green.


  1. click on the alsamixer launcher
  2. if you can’t hear the sound coming from Aqualung, you probably need to adjust it in the appearing Playback view of alsamixer
  3. press the Tab key once to switch to the Capture view of alsamixer
  4. Adjust the mixing desk to get nearly the maximal possible volume output when using the microphone with the maximal level.
  5. if your’e getting no sound from the mixing desk, you probably need to select the Line input first
  6. decrease the capture volume of the line input as far as possible to reduce background noise – you only need to be able to reach an input level of 0 in Ardour when you’re sending the maximal level from the mixing desk. With our hardware we can put the capture level totally down.
  7. check if you get a good sound quality from the microphone to the headphone

Start Livestream & Recording

last preparation for livestreaming

  1. click on the livestream-starter launcher in the panel
  2. A Terminal will open and you will be asked at least for the title for your radio broadcast. If you’re using the livestream-starter for the first time, you will be asked for more data. Enter the necessary data as advised but don’t press enter after entering the title (this would start the livestream immediately).

really start

  1. change to Ardour’s main window
  2. click the play button (green triangle) to start the recording
  3. change to the Terminal of the livestream-starter
  4. press Enter to start the livestream …