Brett Tolbert
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Bash one-liner: record video and audio from webcam and Blue Yeti microphone

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Brett Tolbert
·Mar 12, 2022·

8 min read

Here's the one-liner:

ffmpeg -vsync 1 -f alsa -ac 2 -acodec pcm_s16le -i hw:1,0 -f v4l2 -framerate 15 -video_size 640x480 -i /dev/video0 -vcodec libx264 -preset ultrafast -crf 0 -b:a 320k output.mkv

Modify the hw:1,0 to the right card and device numbers for your microphone. You can find yours using the arecord -l command, e.g.:

brett@brett-Z68XP-UD4:/data/Recordings$ arecord -l
**** List of CAPTURE Hardware Devices ****
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 0: ALC889 Analog [ALC889 Analog]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 2: ALC889 Alt Analog [ALC889 Alt Analog]
  Subdevices: 2/2
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
  Subdevice #1: subdevice #1
card 2: Microphone [Yeti Stereo Microphone], device 0: USB Audio [USB Audio]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 3: U0x46d0x825 [USB Device 0x46d:0x825], device 0: USB Audio [USB Audio]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

So we see above the Yeti Stereo Microphone is card 2, device 0. So on this computer, I must change hw:1,0 to hw:2,0.

Modify /dev/video0 as needed for your camera. You can list video device files like this:

$ ls /dev/video*
/dev/video0  /dev/video1

But how do we know which one is your webcam? Well, you can use the lsusb command to find info about your webcam (not the device file, but we'll get to that...)

brett@brett-Z68XP-UD4:/data/Recordings$ lsusb
Bus 002 Device 004: ID 058f:6364 Alcor Micro Corp. AU6477 Card Reader Controller
Bus 002 Device 006: ID 046d:0825 Logitech, Inc. Webcam C270
Bus 002 Device 003: ID 7392:7811 Edimax Technology Co., Ltd EW-7811Un 802.11n Wireless Adapter [Realtek RTL8188CUS]
Bus 002 Device 002: ID 8087:0024 Intel Corp. Integrated Rate Matching Hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 006 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 005 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 003 Device 002: ID 046d:c52f Logitech, Inc. Unifying Receiver
Bus 003 Device 003: ID 046d:c33b Logitech, Inc. K840 Mechanical Corded Keyboard
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 004: ID b58e:9e84 Blue Microphones Yeti Stereo Microphone
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 8087:0024 Intel Corp. Integrated Rate Matching Hub
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Install Video4Linux Utils
sudo apt install -y v4l-utils
List video devices using the v4l2-ctl (Video4Linux2 Control) command
brett@brett-Z68XP-UD4:/data/Recordings$ v4l2-ctl --list-devices
Video Capture 5 (usb-0000:00:1d.0-1.4):
    /dev/video0
    /dev/video1

I suppose that means either the first one is correct or both are correct.

I added the -vsync 1 option because my audio was lagging behind my video. It fixed it.

I'm using such a low frame rate and resolution because I'm running it on a very old laptop and I'm prioritizing audio quality.

Added -b:a 320k in attempt to improve audio quality. YMMV.

List supported video formats
v4l2-ctl -d /dev/video0 --list-formats-ext

E.g.:

$ v4l2-ctl -d /dev/video0 --list-formats-ext
ioctl: VIDIOC_ENUM_FMT
    Type: Video Capture

    [0]: 'YUYV' (YUYV 4:2:2)
        Size: Discrete 640x480
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 160x120
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 176x144
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 320x176
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 320x240
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 352x288
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 432x240
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 544x288
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 640x360
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 752x416
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 800x448
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 800x600
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 864x480
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 960x544
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 960x720
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 1024x576
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 1184x656
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 1280x720
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 1280x960
            Interval: Discrete 0.133s (7.500 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
    [1]: 'MJPG' (Motion-JPEG, compressed)
        Size: Discrete 640x480
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 160x120
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 176x144
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 320x176
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 320x240
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 352x288
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 432x240
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 544x288
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 640x360
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 752x416
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 800x448
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 800x600
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 864x480
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 960x544
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 960x720
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 1024x576
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 1184x656
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 1280x720
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
        Size: Discrete 1280x960
            Interval: Discrete 0.033s (30.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.040s (25.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.050s (20.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.067s (15.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.100s (10.000 fps)
            Interval: Discrete 0.200s (5.000 fps)
 
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