Jump to content
hb

Audacity question

Recommended Posts

hb    0

After recording on top of a track in Audacity, I see that I can raise or lower the volume of either track. I cannot figure out, (if it can be done), how, after changing the volume level of one or both tracks, how you can save this. It's kind of a bummer to bring my guitar out so it is audible and then not be able to save the file with this setting.

Any help appreciated,

hb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
carol m    64

When you say you've recorded on top of a track do you mean you now have 2 tracks - one above the other in your Audacity window, or have I misunderstood? As far as I remember if you record literally over another track in the same space in the window with the first track on it, the original disappears - I could be wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hb    0
When you say you've recorded on top of a track do you mean you now have 2 tracks - one above the other in your Audacity window, or have I misunderstood? As far as I remember if you record literally over another track in the same space in the window with the first track on it, the original disappears - I could be wrong.

Yes Carol, I should have been more clear. There are two tracks in the window, one showing the track I'm playing and the lower track is my recording.

Hope this helps,

hb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
carol m    64

As far as I remember you can record many separate tracks and add effects, volume changes etc - a zillion things to each track separately until you are happy with each track individually, and the balance of volume etc of the overall mix (all your tracks played simultaneaously). You can save your 'progress' from your original recordings at any time using Save, or use Save As (using a slightly different title for the take so you can see which track mix was which when you go back to it later) if you want to keep it any stage before adding/mixing further and then Saving again or Save As again until you get your final or 'best' mix.

Then you can 'export' any of your mixes to mp3 using the lame app - if you go to the Audacity site, there is info and links to show you how to do this. Once it's in mp3 format you can burn it, post it email it etc.

I think in Audacity you can 'export' as a WAV file (uncompressed) but that will be a large file you will have trouble uploading here or in an email etc. All your 'saves' will be in WAV format probably (set in Preferences) and that can eat up hard disc space, but the advantage is that before you mixdown/export in a compressed form (mp3) you can go back at any time and make changes to the tracks.

I generally make a 'Save As' for each original track/recording before I 'do' anything to it, so if I stuff up the original with editing in some way I still have the original so I can always start from scratch again. Then if I get something 'not bad' I Save As that as well in case that one turns out to be better than the result after I try to 'improve' it more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tekker    1
All your 'saves' will be in WAV format probably (set in Preferences) and that can eat up hard disc space, but the advantage is that before you mixdown/export in a compressed form (mp3) you can go back at any time and make changes to the tracks.

I don't use Audacity, but I would image that the 'save' would only make an Audacity project, which are small files. The wave files are made when you record (and export to wave file), but you should be able to save multiple Audacity projects without creating any more wave files.

-tkr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
carol m    64
I don't use Audacity, but I would image that the 'save' would only make an Audacity project, which are small files.

-tkr

It's true that a save makes an Audacity project file - I didn't realise they were small, I always assumed they were responsible for eating up my hard drive. I'm not on a computer with my Audacity files on it so I can't check at the moment - I'm sure you're right if you say so Tekker.:yes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lcjones    8

First things first....

When you start a new project in Audacity, the very first thing you should do, even before recording a sing note, is do a "SAVE AS" and name your project.

Yes, in Audacity the "SAVE AS" does in deed, save all the tracks you have created into a single "AUP" file. The ".aup" is the Audacity file name extension and points to the actual sound files, and there are hundreds of them for each track you build.

Now to the meat......

Each track you record is a separate entity inside the project as a whole. You can adjust all aspects of a single track by clicking on the track and highlighting it. Once the track is high lighted, you can change volume, pan Left/Right and apply effects. There's many more thing you can do but those will probably be the things you use the most. You can also high light all the tracks by selecting EDIT SELECT ALL and apply your adjustments to all tracks at one time. I do not recommend you do that though. Sometimes it can take a very long time to apply all the changes to all the tracks. And sometimes it just comes out as mush. Do your tracks one at a time to get the best results.

Once you make your changes to a track and are happy with what you hear, you can "SAVE" ... not "SAVE AS".

CAVEAT.......... PLEASE READ THIS.....

If you make any sonic changes to a track and SAVE, you can never go back to the original recording. Audacity is a "destructive" sonic editor. And that's OK .. I just want to make sure you understand that once you click SAVE, you can't go back to what you just had.

So .. In order to get around that piece of awkwardness, I ALWAYS make an original recording and SAVE AS. I build all my tracks as raw, dry recordings and SAVE AS. Dry meaning, I have not applied any changes to any track. They are the original raw files as recorded.

Example....

I name my project ....

SONGNAME-09-19-2009.aup

When I know I'm going to make drastic changes to SONGNAME I will open the original project as named above. I will then SAVE AS again, only I will rename it ....

SONGNAME-09-19-2009-TAKE-A.aup

As I add effects and make more changes, I open the "TAKE-A" file and then "SAVE AS" again using a sequential naming convention.

SONGNAME-09-19-2009-TAKE-B.aup

And as the date changes, I change that as well so I know which files are the latest files for the entire project..

In this fashion, I always have my original dry recordings to go back to.

It may sound like a lot of work but it isn't. It's just a matter of getting used to doing it. Once you have your master tracks, the ones you are completely satisfied with, you can then MIX DOWN and create you final mix. I always name the last and final take as

SONGNAME-09-19-2009-FINAL.aup

Hope this helps....

**

LC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tekker    1
If you make any sonic changes to a track and SAVE, you can never go back to the original recording. Audacity is a "destructive" sonic editor.

Wow, I knew Audacity was destructive for effects that you applied directly the to track, but I didn't know it that didn't save projects non-destructively.

In that case, I would definitely go with Reaper or even Kristal Audio (which is a free program) as both of these programs are non-destructive editors. I know a lot of people like how simple Audacity is to use, but destructive editing is ALWAYS more difficult to work with. Just try a non-destructive editor for a while and you will never go back. :winkthumb:

-tkr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lcjones    8
Wow, I knew Audacity was destructive for effects that you applied directly the to track, but I didn't know it that didn't save projects non-destructively.

In that case, I would definitely go with Reaper or even Kristal Audio (which is a free program) as both of these programs are non-destructive editors. I know a lot of people like how simple Audacity is to use, but destructive editing is ALWAYS more difficult to work with. Just try a non-destructive editor for a while and you will never go back. :winkthumb:

-tkr

Agreed, Tekker.....

I use Audacity frequently. And have done so for quite a long while. And I do like using it. However, I have switched in how I record. I now use MixCraft 4 as my main sonic editor. MixCraft has an "external editor" option. I set my external editor as Audacity. By doing so, I can craft individual tracks much easier in Audacity than Mixcraft. One major difference is I can magnify tracks and get right down to the nitty gritty where as I can't get that close of a picture in MixCraft. There's just some things in Audacity that is much easier to do ... like noise removal.

But for those doing simple recordings with one, two or three tracks, Audacity is fine and does an excellent job; even though Audacity has the capacity to manage dozens of tracks based on your hardware capabilities. Gale & Crew at the Audacity shop are continually refining Audacity. With each release it gets better with more options and better operating features.

I should also mention, while Mixcraft is not a destructive editor I continue to use my "SAVE AS" plan .... just to keep myself sane. Again. I make my raw recordings, SAVE AS, reopen and rename it. That way I never run the risk of losing those precious first takes for reference!

**

LC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
carol m    64

Yes the Save As is the one I always use, so it doesn't really matter if it's destructive if you do that. But - I do like GarageBand and Reaper where you can record a track and then, while it's playing back you can change the effect/voice, whatever, on the fly without stopping the playback and you get really useful comparisons. I hardly ever use Audacity for that reason now, but I'm glad I started out with Audacity where I learnt some of the basics with an 'easy' interface.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tekker    1
Yes the Save As is the one I always use, so it doesn't really matter if it's destructive if you do that.

I guess that depends on many different files do you want to save so you can go back to different points in your mix. Also, if you just want to make a small change in a sound, you would have to have the original settings written down, then you'd have to open an older version without that effect, add the effect and remake the settings, then tweak them slightly to how you wanted. I used to go through all this with my first recording program also which was an old (pre-Sonar) Cakewalk program where most of the effects were destructive. I had pages full of effects settings I had drawn so I could undo them later if I needed to and it was quite a pain.

I hardly ever use Audacity for that reason now, but I'm glad I started out with Audacity where I learnt some of the basics with an 'easy' interface.

I know Reaper can look intimidating if you are new to recording, but all programs are different and you just have to learn the quirks of the program. IMO switching programs isn't necessarily a help as the basics of recording are the same no matter what program you're using and you just have to learn how to do those things in your program. When you switch apps you have start over and learn all the basics again like how to add tracks, set the inputs to your sound card, arm the tracks for recording, etc...

If you can find a program you like and stick with it, it will be more beneficial than starting off with one program, learning it really well, and then moving to another one and going back to square one. And unless you want to spend a lot of money you won't find better than Reaper IMO (and even then they still may not be better than Reaper) so I think it's a good one to learn.

Now having said all that, if you just want a recording app to use as a tape deck to get ideas down and you don't want to do all the technical stuff yourself (record, edit, mix, master, blah blah blah....) then Audacity is perfect with the press record and play approach. But if want to you go beyond that, then it is going to be a far more difficult program to get the job done. Kind of like a screwdriver vs a power drill. ;)

-tkr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
carol m    64

All of what you say is true, Tekker - you are young enough not to worry about it, but us old'uns need constant learning tasks to keep Alzheimer's away - correction: to try to keep Alzheimer's away.:winkthumb:

Also I still rely on my trusty screw-drivers (proud owner of 3) - haven't graduated to a drill yet, but maybe for Christmas if I'm lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
starsailor    20
All of what you say is true, Tekker - you are young enough not to worry about it, but us old'uns need constant learning tasks to keep Alzheimer's away - correction: to try to keep Alzheimer's away.:winkthumb:

Also I still rely on my trusty screw-drivers (proud owner of 3) - haven't graduated to a drill yet, but maybe for Christmas if I'm lucky.

I agree, the old brain does tend to seize up, the memory's not so hot these days, some of the stuff requires constant repetition before it sinks in, apart from screwdrivers I've also found a hammer comes in useful in times of pure desperation:yes:

I mostly use Mixcraft these days, it was the first one I used that was instantly accessible a lot less hassle for newbies to recording, didn't like the destructive nature of Audacity actually had another go with it last week still don't like Audacity found it a bit clunky, got on better with Reaper that's probably the one I'd go for. One day I would like to have a go at Garageband too but at present I'll stick with what I have that said I am currently upgrading to a higher spec. computer so I will keep my otions open, another one I'm interested in is Adobe Audition I've heard that's pretty good, having a higher spec computer gives me more room for manouvre I think, hope it's a good way forward anyway.:winkthumb:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tekker    1
All of what you say is true, Tekker - you are young enough not to worry about it, but us old'uns need constant learning tasks to keep Alzheimer's away - correction: to try to keep Alzheimer's away.:winkthumb:

LOL! I don't think you have to worry about that at all, as I'm sure there are enough features in Reaper to keep you busy for a long time. :D Once you get a handle on the basic recording you can dive into the more advanced features (MIDI, editing, mixing, mastering, etc...). It's definitely a program that will grow with you. Plus as fast as Justin upgrades Reaper, even if you tried everything in the program you'd still have new features to try out daily. ;)

-tkr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
carol m    64

Indeed, getting to know Reaper keeps your brain up to speed, so long as you don't start over-heating and have a meltdown - best cured by

1. Walk away from the computer

2. Count to ten

3. Ask Tekker for help.

:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tekker    1

Seems to me that "throw computer out window" should also be on that list... or maybe that's just me? :isaynothing::brickwall:

Also, I should add that the Reaper forum is a much better source than I am as I don't use Reaper as my main recording app. I just play around with Reaper once in a while. ;)

-tkr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
carol m    64
Seems to me that "throw computer out window" should also be on that list... or maybe that's just me? :isaynothing::brickwall:

-tkr

That's exactly why no 1 is 'Walk away from the computer.'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lcjones    8

An update on Audacity.....

I've you are using an early version of Audacity (1.37 and earlier) I think you will be very pleased to install version 1.39.

I'm running it through the paces this weekend. But here's the cool factor. Audacity has always support VST's. However, you could never get the VST interface. Rather you would get a slider bar interface and usually with limited capabilities of the VST

Beginning with Ver1.38, Audacity is now fully VST capable. You now get the full VST interface as designed and all it's options. Audacity is not VST-I capable.

I'll be reporting back on Audacity......

**

LC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×