My first home laptop recording experience! (Audacity)

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So i got this cheap Griffin USB line-in at work, so's I decide to try my hand at laptop a cheap little sony condenser mic. anyway, was just sort of figuring everything out last night, but Audacity seems pretty cool, fairly's what i threw together last's piano, backwards piano, acoustic guitar, an old electric organ, and jew's harp....

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Thursday, 1 June 2006 14:13 (fourteen years ago) link

Very French soundtrack-ish, somehow. Not that I would know.

Here's some hot beats I'm working on for a remix:

Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 1 June 2006 16:54 (fourteen years ago) link

cool l like the beats you use audacity? how do you make the beats? (sorry i'm super super super novice at all this computer recording stuff)

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Thursday, 1 June 2006 17:00 (fourteen years ago) link

I only use Cubase. So far that's one bar of drums from a brass band record cut up into snippets, with some additional tuba samples. Lots of ctrl+c/ctrl+v.

(I'm working on this 'cause I don't have anywhere to record live drums right now)

Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 1 June 2006 17:31 (fourteen years ago) link

btw if anyone has used audacity any advice would be appreciated..i'm a babe in the woods.

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Thursday, 1 June 2006 19:37 (fourteen years ago) link

Audacity looks cool, I might try it. Does it have beat quantization/click track/that type of stuff?

Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 1 June 2006 19:50 (fourteen years ago) link

(honestly I don't know i've just done one song literally to see if i could get it to record any type of sounds, i haven't delved into any of the intricacies of it at all)

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Friday, 2 June 2006 14:51 (fourteen years ago) link

I've never used (or seen) Audacity, but I always hear about it being used in live settings. What does it have over other programs?

And if this is gonna be a new IMM YSI thread, I got started on something for the first time in about 2 months. I got the idea for it from Steve Reich's Four Organs. But instead of taking one phrase and stretching it longer each repetition, I took a phrase and put it on several instruments playing simultaneously at different tempos. Somehow, the second section ended up sounding like some Sigur Ros song.

Fonzie Scheme (Matt Chesnut), Sunday, 4 June 2006 05:24 (fourteen years ago) link

That's pretty cool!

Jordan (Jordan), Sunday, 4 June 2006 12:58 (fourteen years ago) link

Audacity is great for a couple reasons: it's free, remarkably feature-rich, supports plugins. Audacity probably gets used for live work because there's a file size limit on WAVs (2 GB?) and Audacity can record in the more robust WAV64 format.

The biggest problem (which is kind of huge) - I've experienced some file corruption issues with Audacity. It seems like once you get into a large number of tracks (more than 10) on a lengthy piece of music (more than 5 minutes) you can experience some minor but irritating data loss. So it's good as a quick scratch pad or if your budget is absolute nil, but for anything serious I think you've got to look at other packages.

Because of the stability issues in Audacity I picked up a copy of Cubase, but have yet to get around to figuring it out. It's a little less intuitive than Audacity.

Here's a piece of piffle I recorded w/ Audacity:

Edward III (edward iii), Monday, 5 June 2006 14:54 (fourteen years ago) link

What a dogshit file-server. You must be broke.

FesterBesterTester, Monday, 5 June 2006 15:27 (fourteen years ago) link

What a response. You must have been raised by wolves.

Edward III (edward iii), Monday, 5 June 2006 15:32 (fourteen years ago) link

It is really, really annoying to dl from. Why use it instead of YSI?

Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 5 June 2006 15:45 (fourteen years ago) link

Normally I would, but YSI was throwing up a gateway error for me this morning.

Edward III (edward iii), Monday, 5 June 2006 16:09 (fourteen years ago) link

You must have been raised by wolves

No, but that was feeble even by ILM standards.

FesterBesterTester, Monday, 5 June 2006 16:34 (fourteen years ago) link

OK Rapidshare haters, here you go...

Edward III (edward iii), Monday, 5 June 2006 17:34 (fourteen years ago) link

i've also noticed that audacity sometimes does weird things to audio files when i use the 'silence selection' button. a couple times i've used it and then had to re-align the entire track BEAT BY BEAT w/ the rest of the song because it had shortened some of the beat segments within it. ????

when i'm working w/ tons of tracks it seems to help a bit to constantly condense tracks together using the quick mix function. obv, you should save incrementally before you do this so you can go back if you don't like your levels or want to change something. it still takes forever to save a file but i had less problems w/ audacity crashing when i did that.

one more thing that could be done to overcome the 'too many tracks' issue would be to export mixed-down .wav's whenever possible and then re-import them into a new session. (condense all drums into one .wav file, all guitars/synths, all vocals, etc) this will also rid you of all your 'history' info in your data folders, which speeds up the saving process as well as make audacity run smoother. again, save often and incrementally if you're going to do that.

there's some other quirks that i've come across but i can't think of them right now. i'll try to answer any specific questions if you have them...

6335, Monday, 5 June 2006 22:56 (fourteen years ago) link

here's something i did in audacity recently -its a remix for a local band here called 'paper cranes'. its kind of dance-punkish

6335, Monday, 5 June 2006 23:01 (fourteen years ago) link

That's a good tip on improving stability in Audacity. But the problem w/ combining tracks via quick mix or exporting to WAV is you lose the ability to work with the individual tracks during mixdown. If you want to tweak eq or add effects to one track you can't 'cause you've combined it with other tracks... kinda defeats the purpose of having multitrack.

Good thing about Cubase is that it keeps your original tracks and remembers what you've done to them, so you can always undo effects/eq at a later time - or so the manual would have you believe.

Audacity's good for futzing around, getting your feet wet in recording digitally, quick scratch pad stuff, but I hesitate to do anything serious with it.

Edward III (edward iii), Tuesday, 6 June 2006 13:44 (fourteen years ago) link

Audacity's good for futzing around, getting your feet wet in recording digitally, quick scratch pad stuff, but I hesitate to do anything serious with it.

then it's just about what i need right now haha!

thx for the advice everyone...i have another thing almost finished. it doesn't suck as much as the first thing i posted in this thread.

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Tuesday, 6 June 2006 14:53 (fourteen years ago) link

yeah, it does hamper your abilities during mixdown. i usually try to combine tracks that don't overlap each other. like 4 bars of hi-hat at the beginning of the song + a guitar part in the middle + bells at the end. then you can still tweak those parts by selecting that part of the track individually.

agreed, though = it does kind of defeat the purpose of multi-track. it's something i've made do w/ for the time being because my home computer (which has cool edit pro, adobe audition, a couple other programs, and is what i normally use) has been down for a while and needs to get repaired..

6335, Tuesday, 6 June 2006 14:59 (fourteen years ago) link

oops, xpost.

6335, Tuesday, 6 June 2006 15:00 (fourteen years ago) link

I have some bad habits with this stuff in Cubase. I'll want to save on processing power so if I want some delay on one snare hit, I'll just move it down to a keyboard track that already has that effect running. Then I have to clean everything up and export/import for mixing.

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 6 June 2006 16:07 (fourteen years ago) link

Here is the track that resulted from those beats above. Still tweaking, I fear the first half is too boring compared to the chaos of the second half (which is too short).

Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 7 June 2006 13:09 (fourteen years ago) link

Jordan, that Cubase issue you mentioned on ILM -

Okay, I'm exporting (in Audio Mixdown) a few tracks. I have them solo'ed and the indicators setup correctly. When I do this and then re-import them, they're at a slower tempo. But otherwise in time and correct. What the fuuuuuuck.

Sounds like it might be a sample rate issue? Moving between sample rates can fuck up the speed tracks play back at.

Edward III (edward iii), Wednesday, 7 June 2006 16:11 (fourteen years ago) link

Oh, it totally was, thanks Edward. Sample rate was the last thing I checked and that was causing the issue. I think I was mentally confusing it with bit depth.

Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 7 June 2006 17:22 (fourteen years ago) link

Hey, uh, Edward (or anyone) I open up my project in Cubase and it just won't play. Like, I press play and nothing moves and no sound comes out. Any idea? :(

Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 7 June 2006 23:02 (fourteen years ago) link

It "fixed itself" after restarting my computer. Sorry for my software freakouts.

Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 8 June 2006 00:34 (fourteen years ago) link

btw, i feel i should finally introduce myself - my name is ryan, i've lurked on these boards for a couple years now and finally registered. i live in slc, utah. hi everyone!

6335 (6335), Thursday, 8 June 2006 21:36 (fourteen years ago) link

one month passes...
Audacity is decent as a wave editor, but sucks for multi-tracking. If you're on Windows, I strongly recommend Kristal Audio Engine. It has a much better interfact than Audacity, and it supports realtime VST plugins and ASIO drivers. I used it for most of the demos on my web site.

Steve Go1dberg (Steve Schneeberg), Friday, 28 July 2006 22:37 (fourteen years ago) link

ten years pass...

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