Let's talk about Audacity

Discussion in 'Digital Integration' started by shrinkboy, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. shrinkboy

    shrinkboy AK Subscriber Subscriber

    i just got a TASCAM SS-R100 and have been slowly working my way through instructions. i have ripped some vinyl to an SD card, and would like to split tracks, label Folders and Files, and eventually store end product on a hard drive. i also thought about skipping doing all that on the device, and taking the card over to Audacity and doing the edits there. i know Audacity has been widely called 'easy to use' but i'm struggling.

    any experienced users' tips on how to get ahead would be greatly appreciated.
     

     

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  2. turnitdown

    turnitdown Well-worn member Subscriber

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    The scope of your question is quite broad. I say jump in, some is intuitive, other operations are covered fully by users - either in a forum or even YouTube. It's a good program.
     
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  3. Nightwisher

    Nightwisher Farer In The Goldilocks Zone Subscriber

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    To split tracks in Audacity (I do it all the time with vinyl):
    1. Highlight the portion of the track you want as, for example, "Track 1" by clicking at the point in the waveform where you want "Track 1" to end and then highlighting all the way back to the beginning by clicking and dragging along the waveform (I find doing it from end to beginning is easier because the track will most likely start at 0:00:00). Or simply type all zeros into the Selection Start box at the bottom of the screen to highlight all the way back to zero automatically, which is much easier.
    2. Then, go to File-"Export Selected Audio"-Save as whatever file type you want (I recommend FLAC if you're working with lossless files). File types are selected from the dropdown box in the window like most programs.
    3. From there, you can edit the metadata (artist, title, etc.) and then put it into the folder of your choice on your computer. You can create the folder while saving or do it beforehand, either way works.
    4. Once you have exported a track, delete the highlighted track by hitting delete or clicking the cut button (it's over by the volume bar usually).

    To edit out parts of the track:
    1. Select in the same method as before (highlighting might be easier here).
    2. Then, either press the delete key or click the cut button at the top of the screen.

    Let me know if you need clarifications. It's easier to show than to describe. For anyone who is not familiar with what a "waveform" is: the waveform is the visualization of the sound in the program, which looks like an image of wave of some sort (or a line if there's no sound).
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
  4. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8642 Subscriber

    You can do the save selection thang, but that can get a bit confusing keeping track of where you're at. Lots easier to just rip a complete side, set your metadata for the album, then insert labels at the beginning of each track. Export multiple, and each track will pop up in sequence based on those labels with all the tags already filled in, and you can add more info if you like on the fly. Once you've cycled through the last popup for all the tracks, Audacity will automatically save them all to your destination folder.

    I find it easier to create the folder for the album on your computer first. Make a folder for the artist, then add album folders beneath that, then select that as your save folder in Audacity.

    Here's a decent tutorial on track splitting. Thanx, Mike!



    Only thing I'd suggest is to set your metadata first (File/Metadata) and do the manual labeling ... automatic doesn't work that great with vinyl. And don't forget to label the first track.

    PS ... if you want to do any cleanup on the files, look into CHAINS as well ... that's kind of a macro feature that allows you to set multiple filters on each cut automatically and can save you a LOT of work if you're not just doing a simple rip 'n save. Love them chains!
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
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  5. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    Here is how I do the basics. First I record a side of the LP. Que the record, hit the red record button in audacity and drop the tone arm and let er rip so to speak. I don't worry about the needle drop getting recorded as that will get trimmed easily later.
    Once you have recorded the side you will have two long squiggly lines. Go to the beginning and you will likely visibly see where the needle dropped. Set the cursor just a little past that point and select by going to the edit menu and select-start to cursor. Once that part is selected, just hit the delete key and the first part, the needle drop is gone.
    aud1.JPG
    Now if you are not planning to break up the LP side into tracks all you need to do is go to the end and clean that part up in a similar way (select-cursor to end).
    If you are going to break the lp up to individual songs you will need to find the spot where the first song ends and the second begins. Once that spot is found, simply repeat the method you used to edit-select-start to cursor, but instead of hitting delete, do this.. edit-split
    aud3.JPG
    Once you do this, the selected part drops down and makes a new track. If the results were not what you wanted, just go edit-undo.
    To shorten or lengthen the visable audio tracks as they are layed out across the screen, use the zoom in and out buttons..
    audacity2.JPG
    Once you have all the tracks split up like you want it, there are a few things you need to do before exporting them out of Audacity. First play a few of the loudest tracks and see what the output levels are saying. I think you will find you need to adjust the tracks up at least 3db and possibly 6 in order to get the output level meter as close to 0 without going over. This doesn't need to be done while recording, just before exporting the files to WAV or mp3
    aud6.JPG
    Once that is done you can assign names to the tracks in audacity, or wait and do it later in the program that you will use to convert the wav into FLAC or other lossless file type.
    Now you are ready to export. Go to File-Export Multiple, or Export WAV (or mp3) if you didn't break up the lp into separate tracks.
    aud5.JPG
    You will need to assign a folder, I have one on my desktop called wav files that I permanently use . I also keep a permanent folder called Audacity projects that saves the raw .aud data files into a folder, until I am completely through with them and am satisfied with the FLAC files.

    At this point there are some other options.. I run all the tracks through another program (this one isn't free) called ClickRepair which is a wonderful, easy program to use to virtually eliminate pops, clicks and crackle from the recording. After that you need to use other software to convert to lossless (you don't have to but wav files are huge and there is about zero hit to SQ so might as well). Also wav files store metadata in separate "sidecar" files which can get broken and lost from the wav whereas FLAC and similar the metadata is embedded within the file itself so no getting lost. Then depending on software there is artwork (lp covers) that are downloaded from the web. You will then start entering a little of the tracks metadata info such as genre, date, artist etc. I use JRiver exclusively for all of this but there are also lots of other programs that will do some/most/all of JRiver..
    Now alot of what I have laid out can be done by different methods. Lots of ways to skin cats! Hope this helps..
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
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  6. shrinkboy

    shrinkboy AK Subscriber Subscriber

    so far this is great, guys! will report back soon!
     
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  7. gtv2000

    gtv2000 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    A tip on files - don't delete files to save disk space while Audacity is open. The current recorded data is stored in the last file you saved. For instance if you save "Album 1", then record a new album, it appends it to that file. If you have the recording displayed in the program and go to explorer and delete "Album 1" and subfolders in preparation for saving the existing recording as "Album 2" - oops, your data is all gone. AMHIK.
     
  8. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8642 Subscriber

    Got 4tb of storage here ... not too worried about disk space, eh. <G>

    Then again, I never save a working copy of a rip anyway. Nice thing about FLAC (or any other "lossless" format), if you decide to do some further work on the tracks, there's no additional loss of music integrity. Even if Audacity blows up (which it will do every now and then), just restart the program, and it will load a recovered temp copy of your rip that will exist until you manually close without saving. Do that, and Audacity clean flushes the temp directory. Rip another side, repeat as necessary.

    One trick I learned that works nicely. Most any vinyl rips can benefit from application of Audacity's noise reduction, but the hard part is getting a decent sample to capture a profile. I'll copy/paste the longest dead space I can find several times at the beginning of the timeline to get a few seconds to work with, then insert a second of silence to mark it off. Select that sample area, amplify it about 10-15db, then capture it as a noise profile, Apply the noise reduction using the default settings, and trim that sample section of the timeline before saving the file(s).
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
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  9. shrinkboy

    shrinkboy AK Subscriber Subscriber

    argh. all i want to do at this point is: rip vinyl to media (SD card), take card out of my device (tascam ss-r100), put it in my computer, label the album, cut it into tracks with names, and then save on a hard drive or portable player, etc. this i can't even get started on. i dl'd jRiver, and along with it came Media Editor. it seemed simpler, but it isn't. at least, not to me. i am reminded of when i first started learning how to use a computer 20 years ago.
     
  10. Nightwisher

    Nightwisher Farer In The Goldilocks Zone Subscriber

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    Try walking through my or Alobar's instructions step by step, and let us know where you're getting stuck.
     
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  11. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    Yes, while I am not a true expert on JRiver, I have managed to climb past the steepest part of the bell curve and would be glad to help if I can. Skizo, is someone who is probably more proficient than most on here about JRiver and Audacity and he is always helping out..
     
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  12. shrinkboy

    shrinkboy AK Subscriber Subscriber

    ok, i split tracks on Audacity. at least, I THINK i did. exported to jRiver. it doesn't recognize the individual tracks, plays the whole ripped side. i'm stuck in kindergarten.
     
  13. HTHMAN

    HTHMAN Super Member

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  14. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8642 Subscriber

    OK ... sounds to me like progress of a sort.

    By splitting tracks, you mean you've labeled the ripped side? If so, your next step is to EXPORT MULTIPLE from the FILE menu in Audacity. This will give you a pop up window for each track that you've labeled, and automatically filled in the track title (the label assigned) and the track number (the order of the labels in the labeled side). Hopefully you remembered to label the beginning of the rip as the first track, and bonus points if you've also done the METADATA from the FILE menu (album title, year, etc). Once you've stepped through all the pop up windows, Audacity will save all the tracks in the folder you assigned during the process.

    jRiver should be set to automatically import that folder (even if it's a sub folder in your "music" directory. You do that in TOOLS/IMPORT/CONFIGURE AUTO IMPORT. Give the software a moment after starting, and you should see your new ripped tracks show up in PLAYLISTS/RECENTLY IMPORTED in the left part of jRiver's screen. From here, you can select or or all the tracks listed and append any tags that jRiver might have missed during the lookup. If you gave the tracks a good track, artist, and album name during the save process in Audacity, and you have a live internet connection, jRiver also should have already filled in most of the blanks and assigned a cover photo.

    - Couple tips ... rip and process one album at a time. Just easier to keep things straight.
    - Create your save folder in the Windows Explorer. Once again, just easier in the long run.
    - Select and delete all the tracks in the RECENTLY IMPORTED list after you're done with that particular rip so it's clean and ready for the next rip. This does NOT delete the files, although you are given that option. My advice here? Don't do that. ;-}

    And ya ... it can seem a bit complicated at first, but that's true of any new software. Take your time, follow the steps, repeat as needed, and it'll soon make sense and give good results.
     
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  15. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    ^^ what sKiZo says.. If you get confused look at the pictures I attached to this thread. Remember JRiver cannot read .aud (audacity files), so the convert to WAV must be done inside audacity. You are almost there!
     
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  16. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8642 Subscriber

    FLAC is a better save format as it stores tags internally. WAV and WMV need what they call "sidecar" files for that, and good luck if you ever need to move the files to a different computer ...

    They're all "lossless" or bit perfect when compared to the original rips, and or multiple generations if you have to go back and edit them, so it's more a convenience factor than anything else.
     
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  17. shrinkboy

    shrinkboy AK Subscriber Subscriber

    i'm getting there....
     
  18. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8642 Subscriber

    Speaking of confusing pictures ... I got bored last night and tossed together a video on what we've discussed here.

    Let me know wotcha think ...

    EDIT >> Cleaned up the video some, and updated the link here.

     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
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  19. shrinkboy

    shrinkboy AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Wow...so helpful, Ski. many thanks. will report back. :beerchug:
     
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  20. shrinkboy

    shrinkboy AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Skizo-- your video was super helpful...i've recorded, edited and exported to iTunes my first full lp. you helped me cut through a whole lotta pointless poking around. much appreciated.
     
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