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Why is it always so damned complicated

gladsaxisme

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I have been trying to record my playing to bombard your ears with for approximately 12 months now, I have been trying to use audacity,I say trying because every time I give it a try I am unable to import a backing track to play to,I struggle on for 2 or 3 hrs going round and round in circles getting nowhere at all, and no matter how many times I read the manuals that are supposed to tell you how to do things I get nowhere. I think these people that write these things are from another planet because they certainly don't speak my language.Why on earth can't they just put to do this go there press this go there press that and run you through the complete operation from start to finish instead of first making the assumption that everyone that uses there program is a computer genius well capable of reprogramming a space shuttle or the likes if they felt like it.I have spent so long messing about with this that had I not shaved for the time I have been at it I would be tripping over my beard.

OH WHY DO THEY MAKE IT SO DAMNED COMPLICATED

Going to try and glue my hair back in now...john
 
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Chris98

Senior Member
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1,093
Oh, it's so tempting to throw petrol onto the fire >:) it's so easy John!

What you need to do is press the button on your computer that opens the cup support shelf, insert the small silver 'vinyl' disk and press the button again. That was the hard part, next you need to instruct the computer with a variety of mouse clicks and contextual menus to pull the right track off the 'CD' (small silver vinyl disk). By connecting the sprocket to the flange protruding from the CPU you will find the appropriate receptacle for the track you want.

If that didn't work you probably received a message saying your computer has performed an 'illegal action' and has phoned home to Microsoft to report you for cruelty to RAM based lifeforms. Expect a visit from the boys although I think they might have outsourced that to the CaSLM!

I hope that helped.

Chris
 

c9off

Senior Member
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604
I guess you may be trying to import/drag&drop an MP3 file... if so the Lame software needs to be installed...

2nd thoughts; might just be for exporting as MP3... now so sure now....

pm sent.
 
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BigMartin

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3,904
My current solution to this is extremely low tech, as I don't have the kit to do anything else. I just play the CD, play along with it and record everything into one mic, the one built in to my camera. If I don't like the balance, I adjust the CD volume and do another take. Luckily, the house next door is currently unoccupied. Results aren't brilliant quality, but it gives me some idea of how I'm progressing (or not).
 

Chris98

Senior Member
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1,093
Hi Martin,

Your system may be low tech, but if it works for you then great. However, we have in the form of 'Audacity' the possibility to take a little more control of the recording process and it has the advantage of being free provided you have the a mic and someway of getting the audio into your computer.

I'm only teasing John with my post above as he knows I'm currently putting together a set of instructions for him.

But you have just given me an idea of something to try...

All the best,

Chris
 

Lerome

Member
Messages
33
I have Audacity 1.3.11-Beta (Unicode) running on Windows 7.

I have no trouble dragging and dropping MP3 files onto it. If I have already lost you, I apologise! Assuming you use Windows, open Windows Explorer (hold down the Windows key - the one with the Windows logo on it - and hit the letter E) and then select the folder where you store your MP3s). Find the file, highlight it and, using the left mouse button drag it onto the Audacity window. Make sure that you can see both windows before you can do this, of course - don't have windows opened at full size, or dragging and dropping will never be possible!

You then only have to go to Tracks in the menu and Add a new Audio Track. On the assumption that you have a microphone connected (a web cam mike would do, at a pinch) you can play the backing and record onto the new track simply by hitting the red Record button.

It should look like this:


Now let's hear some music!>:)
 
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Sunray

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1,708
The Audacity of it ...

I have been trying to record my playing to bombard your ears with for approximately 12 months now ...

Polite Snip ------------- 8< -------------
Hey Hey John ...

I have Audacity version 1.3.5 installed and I am using Windows7 [64 bit]

To Import your backing track you may find it easiest to:

A] Make sure your backing track is in the MP3 format ... [If not convert it use a free audio converter - loads on the web]

B] Check you are using a reasonably up to date of Audacity [Mine isn't the latest] ...

C] Open Audacity - Go to the Top Menu {File} {Import} then {Audio} This opens a dialogue window from here you browse to the backing track [MP3] that you want to load ... and open it ...

This should have imported the track you want into Audacity, and will play if you tell it to ...

Next: Open a fresh [2nd copy of Audacity] which you can now record yourself "Serenading us Orrible lot" use 1st open Audacity to play your Backing and the 2nd Audacity to record you playing ...

Once you have made your recording to save your work you need to Export it as an MP3 file ... [As c9off says you need to ensure you have downloaded and installed the Lame software]. If by chance you don't have it, when you go to export your file as an MP3 the program will tell you so and point you to where to get it and help you to install it .. [It's dead easy].

OK so now you should have two Audacities open - 1st with backing - which you play along to - with or without headphones [your choice]. The 2nd Audacity has your recording in it ...

Both are Exported [Saved separately] as an MP3 [For Example - Backing.MP3 and Me_Playing.MP3]

From here John it's up to you how you decide to mix your track and the backing track - but the process is the same - Import both into Audacity as an MP3

When you go to Export your new "Mixed track" as an MP3 the program will tell you it will mix you channels down to 2 channels if it needs to do so ... [it depends if you recorded either or both tracks in stereo or mono].

I hope that helps mate ... [Shout if you need to].
 

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,093
A] Make sure your backing track is in the MP3 format ...
Why?

Next: Open a fresh [2nd copy of Audacity] which you can now record yourself "Serenading us Orrible lot" use 1st open Audacity to play your Backing and the 2nd Audacity to record you playing ...
I'm confused as to why you'd do this, Audacity is a multi-track recording software:



Chris
 
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c9off

Senior Member
Messages
604
2 Audacity programs running

Hi Sunray, if 2 programs work for you that is fine, but this is not using the functions provided within the utility; Have a look at this thread which may provide a useful solution: http://cafesaxophone.com/showthread.php?402-Recording-with-Audacity

I see whilst typing Chris has provided a similar reply, always keen on Audacity problems is Chris!

As always with Audacity threads, it throws up many differing ideas!



Next: Open a fresh [2nd copy of Audacity] which you can now record yourself "Serenading us Orrible lot" use 1st open Audacity to play your Backing and the 2nd Audacity to record you playing ...

Once you have made your recording to save your work you need to Export it as an MP3 file ... [As c9off says you need to ensure you have downloaded and installed the Lame software]. If by chance you don't have it, when you go to export your file as an MP3 the program will tell you so and point you to where to get it and help you to install it .. [It's dead easy].

OK so now you should have two Audacities open - 1st with backing - which you play along to - with or without headphones [your choice]. The 2nd Audacity has your recording in it ...

Both are Exported [Saved separately] as an MP3 [For Example - Backing.MP3 and Me_Playing.MP3]

QUOTE]
 

Sunray

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1,708
Why?



I'm confused as to why you'd do this, Audacity is a multi-track recording software:



Chris
Yep I know it is Chris ... but by going the route I was outlining John can "EASILY" play one track while recording his own in a clean track before mixing them together ...

Remember he may wish to edit and re-record his own track a few times ...

I was trying to keep the process simple ...

Hope that helps mate ...
 

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,093
Yep I know it is Chris ... but by going the route I was outlining John can "EASILY" play one track while recording his own in a clean track before mixing them together ...

Remember he may wish to edit and re-record his own track a few times ...

I was trying to keep the process simple ...

Hope that helps mate ...
Hi Sunray,

I'm still a bit confused because that's the whole point of a multi-track recording program, all the tracks are separate and can be editing independently, exported independently and multiple takes can be made. For example here is a screen grab where I've recorded the middle section on a separate track because of a mistake in the original or because I wanted to try out different versions.



My main concern with your way of doing things is syncing them up again afterwards, how do you hit play and record at the same time in different versions of the same program so that the beginning of the backing track and the beginning of the recording are at exactly the same point for when you put them together again later?

All the best,

Chris
 

teebones

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I have been trying to record my playing to bombard your ears with for approximately 12 months now, I have been trying to use audacity,I say trying because every time I give it a try I am unable to import a backing track to play to,I struggle on for 2 or 3 hrs going round and round in circles getting nowhere at all, and no matter how many times I read the manuals that are supposed to tell you how to do things I get nowhere. I think these people that write these things are from another planet because they certainly don't speak my language.Why on earth can't they just put to do this go there press this go there press that and run you through the complete operation from start to finish instead of first making the assumption that everyone that uses there program is a computer genius well capable of reprogramming a space shuttle or the likes if they felt like it.I have spent so long messing about with this that had I not shaved for the time I have been at it I would be tripping over my beard.

OH WHY DO THEY MAKE IT SO DAMNED COMPLICATED

Going to try and glue my hair back in now...john
Hi John
Here is my input for what it's worth :w00t:

You will get lots of advice from forum members (All Good to be Sure)

But sometimes to be shown something is far better than trying to struggle on your own (Reading from books is not always the easiest) Is there not some one you know or who lives near you that have some skills in computers to give you a few pointers in the flesh so to speak.

Tony (another old git):mrcool
 

Lerome

Member
Messages
33
What I have been doing, for many years, is to ask all those friends of mine who have difficulty reading instructions - even very simple ones! - to download the FREE (not Trial) version of Logmein (from www.logmein.com). If they can manage to set that up, it enables me to help them directly by remotely manipulating their PC while they watch. It saves me a lot of time as trying to do it by phone usually ends up with the other person panicking and pressing all the wrong buttons!!

It's also really useful as it also enables me to get at my desktop PC when I am travelling (I never switch the PC off).
 

Sunray

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,708
I'll try to answer Chris ans C9off in one here ...

Hey Guys ... {This post is sent in a friendly and mild manner - Bold etc. are for emphasis only}

My reason for making the post I did using the two open programs was purely to simplify it for John [by breaking it down into simple, easily describable stages], because he had in his own words:

I have been trying to record my playing to bombard your ears with for approximately 12 months now, I have been trying to use audacity,I say trying because every time I give it a try I am unable to import a backing track to play to,I struggle on for 2 or 3 hrs going round and round in circles getting nowhere at all, and no matter how many times I read the manuals that are supposed to tell you how to do things I get nowhere. I think these people that write these things are from another planet because they certainly don't speak my language.Why on earth can't they just put to do this go there press this go there press that and run you through the complete operation from start to finish instead of first making the assumption that everyone that uses there program is a computer genius well capable of reprogramming a space shuttle or the likes if they felt like it.I have spent so long messing about with this that had I not shaved for the time I have been at it I would be tripping over my beard.

OH WHY DO THEY MAKE IT SO DAMNED COMPLICATED

Going to try and glue my hair back in now...john
As far as hitting the play and record at the same time - It's easy enough Insert or create some free space and use it to count in the backing track ...

But that isn't the only problem John is likely to have ... [And this is just an assumption - "no disrespect John"] ...

I suspect that John [like myself] isn't an experienced user of Audacity based on his words above ...

Therefore as soon as he or anyone else has to edit [cut out, add in, join tracks or partial tracks] things will go out of sync ... I think it it's unlikely the recording will happen in a single take ...

John I am sure would be able to line things up once he has made his final recording which he played whilst the backing track was running ...

Remember guy's all I was attempting was to help John to Import, That's where he seemed from his post to be having a problem ...

I took it upon myself to separate [use two copies] so he didn't have difficulty playing along to the backing track as all he needed to do was to edit [as needed] his own track ...

I must say that I am aware the program has many functions and can certainly do the job in much better ways than the one I described ... But to use them effectively needs experience and knowledge ...

I hope that helps answer your questions - I hope also that I haven't confused John with my suggestion ...

Blimey - I wish we could link up and chatter rather than type all this stuff [It's hard sometimes to express yourself in the best way] ... :shocked:

How about setting up a Cafe Saxophone Teamspeak so we could chat to each other ... ;}

PS - I have tried to write this in such a way that I don't come over as stropy, unfriendly, a know it all etc ... Cheers all :)
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
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Messages
3,409
Oh, it's so tempting to throw petrol onto the fire >:) it's so easy John!

What you need to do is press the button on your computer that opens the cup support shelf, insert the small silver 'vinyl' disk and press the button again. That was the hard part, next you need to instruct the computer with a variety of mouse clicks and contextual menus to pull the right track off the 'CD' (small silver vinyl disk). By connecting the sprocket to the flange protruding from the CPU you will find the appropriate receptacle for the track you want.

If that didn't work you probably received a message saying your computer has performed an 'illegal action' and has phoned home to Microsoft to report you for cruelty to RAM based lifeforms. Expect a visit from the boys although I think they might have outsourced that to the CaSLM!

I hope that helped.

Chris
I know you won't believe me but that made perfect sense to me
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
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3,409
I guess you may be trying to import/drag&drop an MP3 file... if so the Lame software needs to be installed...

2nd thoughts; might just be for exporting as MP3... now so sure now....

pm sent.
Well what a total gent you are.THANKS for all the time you spent with me I now feel like I'm in with a chance at recording something worth listening to,I hope it was partly due to a bad copy of Audacity which when we sorted that problem out things started to move a little,but it was probably my total pc illiteracy.When you left I tried out my new found abilities and found that even when you drag from itunes to desk top and then to Audacity you still get the error message so I searched in i tunes and found the convert programme to mp3 which I did on a full album and then imported them into audacity one by one and saved them as individual files,so now I can open it up and pick any of the files I want to work on...BRILLIANT...I may have to get back to you about saving these files with my screeches added later but we'll see how it goes who knows I may just be able to fathem it for myself ,we'll see...THANKS AGAIN FOR EVERY THING ...john
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
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3,409
Hi Everybody

I would like to thank you all for your help and will be working my way through the various suggestions ...john
 

jonf

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Messages
3,680
Hi John

My day job is running a large medical research database, so I'm not exactly new to IT, but I just found Audacity a colossal pain in the arse. I gave up and bought a Zoom instead. Now that really is easy to use. OK, it hasn't got the features of Audacity, but man, it's simple.

Jon
 

Lerome

Member
Messages
33
When you left I tried out my new found abilities and found that even when you drag from itunes to desk top and then to Audacity you still get the error message so I searched in i tunes and found the convert programme to mp3 which I did on a full album and then
Now iTunes is Apple. If you choose to dance with the devil..........

The problem with these various proprietary applications is that they just are not designed to be used for anything other than playing music (and, of course, extracting silly amounts of money for the privilege).

Why not just download the music as MP3s and save the files in folders that you can dedicate to various purposes - such as backing tracks and recordings. (At some stage you will want to learn how to use your PC properly and you will find that it is not that difficult.) When you get accustomed to using Windows Explorer correctly you will find life is much easier. Anyone who can master the fingering of a sax should have little difficulty mastering the PC!:mrcool

I used Audacity for the first time today and had no trouble at all loading a file and recording another track. And then saving the resultant mix as an MP3 file. So it ain't that hard! Of course, I may just be a genius....... but I am told that is NOT the case.:confused:
 

c9off

Senior Member
Messages
604
Your welcome John, onwards & upwards!

Do a search for previous threads on the recording & exporting as most is explained, but feel free to contact if you get stuck! (always better to have a go, as your efforts usually stay with you & you might even have success!!!).

Jon; I use both Audacity & Zoom h4 regularly, for me, Audacity is great for recording my playing, on the fly, as I play next to it... I then keep records for future disappointment. Zoom is used to record band practice, in two sessions, Mp3 dropped into Audacity& saved.. then play along with or often more helpful just to follow my part.

So I guess they both have their uses...
 
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