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Audacity software

MandyH

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Hi all,
I have a question about using Audacity - the free audio editing software.
For a bit of fun, and as an exercise in self-education, I have decided to record a sax quartet piece, with me playing all 4 parts.
I am recording using my zoom H2, then transferring the track to my desktop and editing it in Audacity.
Yesterday I recorded the Bari and Tenor tracks separately.
I have them both in 1 audacity project on 2 separate tracks.
Is there some way of marking one track and then syncing the second track to that mark?
I am playing "Carol of the Bells" which starts with Bari for 4 bars, then the Tenor joins at bar 5, then the Alto at bar 9.
If I could mark the start of bar 5 on the Bari track I could sync the Tenor track to the mark. Currently I am just pushing the Tenor track left or right until it sounds OK.

I hope this makes sense.
Thanks
 

dooce

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Mandy, thanks for raising this - I am about to embark on exactly the same sort of project, if time allows, so hopefully I will learn from the responses as well. How are you syncing the tracks? Do you have a click track or lay down a guide track in an ear-piece for when you record?
 

fibracell

Senior Member
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618
Hi Mandy,

I always make sure there is click track or at least a 2 or 4 bar click count in, which I sometimes duplicate to other tracks, just in case there is a sync problem.

One other thing - if you are going back and forth between Mp3 and wave files there will be a slight sync problem.

cheers - Rob
 

MLoosemore

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Align Tracks under the Tracks menu option might do it. If you select both tracks and then choose Align Together it aligns the start of each track with the other.

This doesn't help much if like me you can't keep in time for the rest of the piece :)
 

MandyH

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I am playing a metronome into headphones, so apart from the final "rit" bar, I should be together with myself.
Yesterday I tried recording the Bari part with a metronome and playing that in headphones while playing the Tenor part, but I still didn't sound very together in some bars.
Maybe once I get all 4 parts together it will be less (or maybe more) obvious that i am not keeping up with myself!;)
 

rudjarl

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I think that, as long as you don't actually do the recording in Audacity, you are left with the fiddly bit of aligning the tracks.
 

MandyH

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so...I have just recorded separate Bari and Tenor tracks on my Zoom while listening to a metronome.
I then downloaded them to the PC, and brought them into the same Audacity project (2 separate stereo tracks). I chopped off the front of the Tenor track at the absolute first waveform of the first note. I listened to the Bari track to the point where bar 5 starts (it was also visually clear where the first note of bar 5 started on the waveform) and I put the cursor there. Then I aligned the tenor track with the cursor.
So far so good "we" are sounding OK. Just need to record Alto and Sop yet....maybe learn how to play them first, I guess :rofl:
 

MandyH

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I think that, as long as you don't actually do the recording in Audacity, you are left with the fiddly bit of aligning the tracks.
are there problems with latency in Audacity? would they be aligned even if I listened to the track in my headphones and recorded what I played. I thought the latency caused them to be adrift. I must admit I've never tried.
I could use my "Pete's recipe" bell mic, but the PC is in the conservatory which is not a good acoustic space.
 

BigMartin

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You can adjust the latency correction in Audacity. I forget how exactly but there are YouTube clips out there. If you record fairly close to the mic you may be able to minimise the accoustic effects of your conservatory and add your own reverb later if desired.
 

rudjarl

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You can adjust the latency correction in Audacity. I forget how exactly but there are YouTube clips out there. If you record fairly close to the mic you may be able to minimise the accoustic effects of your conservatory and add your own reverb later if desired.

Edit - Preferences - Recording

(As I do not use ASIO drivers, but DirectX I'm left with a huge latency correction of -140ms.)
 

muzza

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If you are able to, why not record directly to audacity. I record this way, with track 1 metronome or backing track then record other parts. I have no synchronization problems, get instant play back to see how things sound and it also allows play back with metronome on to check timing.
 

Sinne

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I've been recording and using audacity for years now, though I'm new to the sax and I tried recording a sop-sax quartet recently. I love different kinds of recording software, but audacity always has a special place for me.

First off, make sure you record using audacity, with the Zoom plugged into the computer via USB and set up within audacity as the microphone you use. Secondly, even an external audio drive (or computer-soundboard if you like) won't take away the risk of track running out of sync - it happens to me all the time. This has to do with your computer's memory or RAM performance. Always overdub with a headset on so the sound of the first track doesn't leak into the overdub recording. When the overdub is out of sync (it's quite normal for the overdub to be 0,2 sec too late) use the <--> button to carefully drag it back, but make sure you're 'zoomed in' well enough to distinguish the seconds from close up, lest one might drag it back way too far. It can be a bit of a drag (forgive me), but after a zillion times you'll do it on autopilot within seconds.

Hope this is helpful, enjoy the process!
 

fibracell

Senior Member
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618
I record directly into audacity using a USB mic, and have never had any sync problems. It's only when I export the files and use another program (for reverb, compression etc), that I may get some problems. But it's still best to have reference clicks in case there is a problem, and you can then line them up.
 

Jeanette

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I am just trying to get to grips with audacity but have run into some problems:

1. For some reason now when I import the track it brings it in twice, it didn't do that the first time.
2. I want to use my Zoom as a mic and think I've figured it out from the zoom point of view but when I use it I can't hear the backing track through speakers or headphones?

Can anybody please help?

Thank you

Jx
 

Sinne

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Hey Jeanette,

When you see two tracks after importing, it usually means it's a stereo track. The two tracks you see are left (upper) and right (lower). Mono tracks only have a single track, audible 'in the center' of the stereo image you hear!

Using your Zoom as a mic should work as long as Audacity recognizes it as the default mic. The other tracks in the project should be audible while you record, as long as they're not set to 'mute' (or simply to low in volume). In audacity, the 'device settings' will let you tinker with different possibilities for choosing your machines that either record or play back sound.

Back in the day when I was new to Audacity I recorded a track that sounded so horrible I was cocksure of my audio-card's deficiency - only to find out later that I had been recording through the webcam's internal microphone :p

So if the Zoom is an option that you can pick in the Audacity device settings, and your normal speakers (or wherever you plug in your headset) is recognized as the play-back device, you should be good to go!

I personally love using an external sound-drive for recording, it's where I plug in my microphones and connects to the PC via USB-cable. Through that beastie everything concerning recording with the PC simply gets more stable and manageable. I'll improve PC-performance while recording, overall sound quality and most of all it makes all the settings straight-forward: I use it for BOTH recording and play-back. It figures out everything else for you.

Here's a long list of options in that department, read in on it if you like
:)

http://www.thomann.de/gb/usb_audio_interfaces.html
 

Jeanette

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Thanks for taking the time to reply

When you see two tracks after importing, it usually means it's a stereo track. The two tracks you see are left (upper) and right (lower). Mono tracks only have a single track, audible 'in the center' of the stereo image you hear!

Still don't understand why it was one and is now two, could I have changed a setting?

So if the Zoom is an option that you can pick in the Audacity device settings, and your normal speakers (or wherever you plug in your headset) is recognized as the play-back device, you should be good to go!

No the only device settings I can see are Microsoft sound mapper and stereomix realtek high def? same in playback yet I have speakers attached. If I don't have the zoom plugged in I can hear the tracks?

Jx
 

Sunray

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New Zoom Updates, don't know what Zoom & version you have Jeanette but check ---------> [Here]
 

c9off

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Does Audacity playback anything?

Just a thought regarding available playback devices, if you are windows - right click speaker icon (or start menu/sounds) to ensure that you have the correct devices enabled....
 

Jeanette

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New Zoom Updates, don't know what Zoom & version you have Jeanette but check ---------> [Here]

Zoom is H2, will look at that later thank you

Does Audacity playback anything?

Just a thought regarding available playback devices, if you are windows - right click speaker icon (or start menu/sounds) to ensure that you have the correct devices enabled....

Haven't got as far as play back, that was my next question lol

But if the zoom isn't plugged in to usb and set as recording device I can hear the backing tracks play just that when I try use it to record I cant hear the backing track.

Jx
 

c9off

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Is the overdub box ticked in edit/preferences/recording?
 

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