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Anyone Using Audacity?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by slipperyPete, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. There is this pretty cool free program called Audacity ( http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ ) that I have been using to transfer what I record on my Minidisc to a computer. My only problem right now is that I have to go through the mic input on the laptop and the signal is then too loud when recording and distorts. I have the mic input volume down as low as it can go. Is my only solution to rerecord at a softer volume and try again or is there some other way to decrease either the volume or the distortion? Thanks.
  2. idoru


    Dec 18, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Go into the Options dialogue for your soundcard & make sure the +20 db boost option is unchecked (if present). Also make sure the Input volume (with the mic icon) in Audacity isn't too high.

    Audacity is cool enough, but very destructive - import a CD recording into Audacity, then MP3 it - marvel at the tone suck!

    For stereo bounce-downs, I've found Nero Wave Editor to do a tidier job.
  3. Thanks for the advice, is Nero wave Editor free?
  4. idoru


    Dec 18, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Ahead Nero has come free with every burner I've bought in the last 3 years, and contains the Wave Editor.
  5. You don't want to try to fix the level problem by turning down the record level on the mic input. You need to control the level of the signal that you are hitting the input with. A line input would be better because you wouldn't have the noise from the internal mic input preamp. If you do it a lot it might be worth it to get a simple external interface with better inputs.

    If the MD unit has a output volume control, turn it down. Set the input fader to unity gain, usually marked 0db, and adjust the output volume on the MD until you get a good waveform without clipping.
  6. I wouldn't blame Audacity. Make sure that you have the most recent MP3 codec and that Audacity is using it. The quality of the MP3 conversion should be platform independent. Of course if you are encoding material that has already been through one level of MP3 compression, or ATRAC similar method, that is going to sound bad.
  7. Thanks for the input fretlessrock, and believe me I am working towards better equipment, but I won't have much expendable income for about a year or two longer (finishing up school.) If you know of any relatively cheap (in price, hopefully not quality) external units I can look into on eBay or something, please let me know. Thanks again.
  8. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    You can (and should) pad the input to the soundcard. Radio Shack sells some cables with padding built in. I can't remember all their available options, but I think I used a -30dB pad for a similar application. You might need some adapters depending on the format of your MD output. Many of those cables are oriented toward video applications. If you're handy with a soldering iron you can build the pad yourself too.

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