The all-new "HELP! I have an Audacity problem" thread

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tony123
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Post by tony123 » July 9th, 2016, 3:26 pm

tamzy wrote:After I record, I listen to the recording and do my editing. Then I export it to an mp3 file. So far every single time I export it to an mp3 file, the first 30 seconds or so is cut off of my recording. I can't figure this out. I didn't even edit that part and when I listened to it, it was fine. Its not until after I export to mp3 that it gets cut off. I thought maybe it was the mp3, but when I go back to Audacity its cut there too... just gone! Does anyone know why this is happening?
I gather that you didn't have this problem when you did your 1-minute test.

The only thing that I could find to repeat what you describe was to take a piece of recorded material, select a portion of it, and then export it using Export Selected Audio instead of Export Audio.

I doubt this would be your problem, especially since you had the problem several times. But is it at all possible that the portion that you edited was highlighted and that you exported selected audio instead of just Export Audio? Then if you loaded the mp3 back into Audacity, the first part would be cut off just as in the mp3.

That's the only way I could come up with that problem. Otherwise, it's a complete mystery to me. I wish you luck in figuring it out!

bubbaspeare
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Post by bubbaspeare » January 13th, 2017, 10:49 am

Audio chain: Electrovoice RE20 (XLR, large diaphragm, dynamic mic) > Cloudlifter CL-1 (extra gain for gain hungry RE20) > Focusrite Scarlett Solo (audio interface) > Lenovo X240 laptop. All cables are by Vovox. The OS is Gnu /Debian Linux.

There were zero loud electronic noises using Ardour5, which I've dumped due to its complexity. I simply pressed record and it silently did its thing. However, using Audacity, the moment I press record, there's a very large click/pop. I don't mean a track click, but similar to the sound you get when inserting a cable into electronic gear with the volume turned up. Maybe more of a thump! This happens once upon opening Audacity and every time I press the record button, or select an effect. A little unsettling to the ears, and also wonder if longterm it might damage the Focal Spirit Professional headphones (1/4" jack).

Any ideas?

Bubba

tovarisch
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Post by tovarisch » January 13th, 2017, 11:19 am

Hi Bubba,

No, I don't have a certain answer why this would be happening. However, to protect the headphones you could simply record with them unplugged. :hmm:

I would try to check with Focusrite forums (if such a thing exist) or with their tech support. The USB driver (software) gives a signal to the device to turn itself on, probably, and, like you say, it's akin to plugging it into a power source, perhaps. Being more sophisticated software, Ardour5 can have a more gentle way of interfacing with the USB driver than Audacity, or it does it once when you start it and keeps it active. Perhaps somebody on Audacity forums could also help.

Honestly, I may have experienced the same thing, now that I think about it, but never paid any attention, probably because it wasn't so loud or probably because I rarely do it with headphones on (I mean starting to record). Yes, I edit with headphones on, but I can't recall any thumps when selecting an effect. BTW, which effect?

I am not going to speculate on the properties of your particular headphones, but generally speaking, the signal that reaches them passes through a dedicated amplifier and I am reasonably sure that if the signal were too strong/loud/abrupt to damage anything, it would be the amplifier circuitry rather than the headphones...

I do hope you do not have the phantom power turned on...
tovarisch
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bubbaspeare
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Post by bubbaspeare » January 13th, 2017, 11:53 am

Wow! that was a very speedy reply. Thanks tovarisch. Actually, don't know why I use the headphones while recording. Guess they make me feel as though I'm in another place/time, cut off from the real world :D . I'll try without.

Also, the Cloudlifter CL-1 actually needs phantom switched on. I know that it's normally reserved for condenser microphones, but the circuitry inside the CL-1 converts the phantom power into additional clean gain. Without the flip of this switch, it won't work.

Thanks again, and hopefully for the last time (yeah, right :oops: )

Bubba

tovarisch
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Post by tovarisch » January 13th, 2017, 12:17 pm

Well, it's possible that the surge you see is due to the phantom power. Try experimenting with it. I don't know the capabilities of the Focusrite (does it have 24 bits?), nor the needs of RE20, but try recording without the Cloudlifter and amplify afterward. The quality might suffer a bit, but for LV purposes it will suffice, most likely.

Good luck! :thumbs:
tovarisch
  • reality prompts me to scale down my reading, sorry to say
    to PLers: do correct my pronunciation please

bubbaspeare
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Post by bubbaspeare » January 13th, 2017, 4:06 pm

Hi tovarisch, yes, I tried without the Cloudlifter CL-1 with exactly the same result. Also, the Solo does indeed do 24-bit resolution audio quality (sample rates up to 96kHz). So, probably an Audacity quirk. No problem, I'll work around it and probably drop the headphones. Please don't waste any more of your time on this newbie. I'll figure stuff out for myself as it pops up.

Thanks again

Bubba

dlolso21
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Post by dlolso21 » January 14th, 2017, 12:30 am

bubbaspeare wrote:Audio chain: Electrovoice RE20 (XLR, large diaphragm, dynamic mic) > Cloudlifter CL-1 (extra gain for gain hungry RE20) > Focusrite Scarlett Solo (audio interface) > Lenovo X240 laptop. All cables are by Vovox. The OS is Gnu /Debian Linux.

...

Any ideas?

Bubba
Bubba,

Focusrite FAQ page - Linux compatibility
https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/articles/208530735-Is-my-Focusrite-Product-compatible-with-Linux-
Is my Focusrite Product compatible with Linux?

This applies to All Focusrite Products

None of our products are supported for use on Linux.

The Scarlett range and iTrack Solo are Class Compliant USB Devices, and may work in a Linux-based setup that support this class of device, but we do not offer support for doing this and cannot verify the performance you may experience.
David O

bubbaspeare
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Post by bubbaspeare » January 14th, 2017, 4:45 am

Hi David O, my new found enthusiasm means I've already found and read that thread/info :thumbs:

Good, now for the spoken words...

Cheers

Bubba

DaleInTexas
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Post by DaleInTexas » January 14th, 2017, 9:22 am

Bubba,
I also have a RE20 and CL1 running through my Symetrix 528e channel strip. Two differences are that I use Reaper as my DAW in W7, instead of Audacity.

A couple of quick questions that you may have already checked.... I have inferred, from your responses, that you are a very thorough troubleshooter already..

Are you using the Line In position on the Solo?
Are you using the Focusrite ASIO drivers and is Audacity seeing the Solo?
If you have the Solo in 24-bit, is Audacity also set to record 24-bit input, in preferences?
Lastly, does the "thump" appear in the recorded signal?
Dale
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bubbaspeare
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Post by bubbaspeare » January 14th, 2017, 7:17 pm

Hi Dale, just an average end user here, not a geek. Didn't want to drag anyone else into my own issues, and thought I'd try to quietly close it here. Didn't want to be the person who won't do his own homework. I can indeed figure out everything, was just being a bit lazy, thinking it might be a common problem with a common answer.

But... just in case it will help other Librivox folk:

*Yes, line In is being used, and phantom power is switched on (for the CL-1)

*The Scarlett Solo is a Class Compliant USB Devices, meaning no proprietary drivers are required. However, Focusrite still won't officially support it.

*Yes, Audacity is clearly seeing the Solo after I select Solo in Alsamixer.

*Audacity defaults to the (recommended) default sample format of 32-bit. Selecting 24-bit doesn't stop the popping.

*Yes, the "thump" appeared in the recording, and always appeared in the playback, often much louder.

Anyway, I've now moved recording to a Mac, meaning I can also install the Checker app (Java on Linux could never be an option for me). The final straw was intermittent crashes of Audacity on Linux.

Things could improve too, as kind people in California would gift me an RME Babyface Pro if needed. They say these are very Linux friendly. I don't know whether to be happy though. That'll be another damned instruction manual to read. I don't worship equipment, unless it's green in colour :thumbs: . I might just pass on that for now and stick with Mac for recording and Linux for writing/browsing/email etc. I also like the idea of a separate dedicated drive full of .wav files backed up to a similar dedicated drive.

So, I declare myself problem free

Thanks to all for the help

Bubba

VivianWeaver
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Post by VivianWeaver » January 16th, 2017, 11:27 am

Can someone maybe help me figure out what is wrong. I am attaching a clip that I recorded with my headset, which I always use, but the sound is bouncing from one ear to the other. Its only 6', can anyone help me?


https://librivox.org/uploads/toddhw/magistrate_mr_wormington_3.mp3

Vivian

:hmm:

TriciaG
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Post by TriciaG » January 16th, 2017, 11:41 am

VivianWeaver wrote:Can someone maybe help me figure out what is wrong. I am attaching a clip that I recorded with my headset, which I always use, but the sound is bouncing from one ear to the other. Its only 6', can anyone help me?


https://librivox.org/uploads/toddhw/magistrate_mr_wormington_3.mp3

Vivian

:hmm:
I open it up, and it's in mono, so (by the nature of mono) it cannot be bouncing from left to right ears. Is the original recording in mono?

It does fade in and out, though, when I listen through my earbuds. That might give the impression of fluctuating between R and L channels.

Honestly? I think a better microphone is your best option. :)
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tovarisch
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Post by tovarisch » January 16th, 2017, 11:52 am

Hi Vivian,

I checked out some of your earlier recordings, and others do exhibit the same strange effects, as well. The sound is not really bouncing since it's mono. I can't really put my mental finger on it, but it sounds a bit like inversion, and only in spots, this is why you probably experience that "bouncing". Have you by any chance turned on "Sound Activated Recording" in Audacity? Are you actually using Audacity? You didn't say. :hmm:

Does your audio device in your OS has any noise canceling property that may have been turned on? Make sure both of them are off. Also, judging by the spectrum (see Analyze -> Plot Spectrum), your recordings have the lows pretty much suppressed. Are you applying some kind of "high pass" effect or the "notch filter"? Or is it inherent in the microphone?

I was not able to find your 1-minute test. It probably got overwritten by a later upload by another user who named it 'test1.mp3'. Can you find it on your computer and compare it to your latest files?

Perhaps you can share a bit more information with us about your setup...
tovarisch
  • reality prompts me to scale down my reading, sorry to say
    to PLers: do correct my pronunciation please

VivianWeaver
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Joined: September 13th, 2016, 2:31 am

Post by VivianWeaver » January 16th, 2017, 12:02 pm

Oh my! :shock: Thank you so much for your help, I will have to purchase one.
I am currently out of country so until I make a trip "home" I will continue playing with my current one. I see that audacity offers 3 settings for recording and listening and one is louder than the other 2, but I am still learning this narrating, and loving it. Again, thank you! Do you have any opinions which brands are better than the others? My current headphone set uses USB and I plug it into my computer. I am on a low budget too, but am willing to save up for something consistently better.
Vivian

carolb
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Post by carolb » January 16th, 2017, 12:08 pm

Hi Vivian,

There are lots to choose from, and everyone will have their own favourite!
You might like to have a listen to the 'Microphone Showdown' recordings:
https://librivox.org/search?q=microphone%20showdown&search_form=advanced

Good luck!

Carol

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