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Trying to use Audacity

HI, just downloaded Audacity from sourceforge. Seems good enough for what I want to do.

Anyway, Problem.

I have got out my four track tape stuff and have decided to individualise each track into Audacity to give the old song a bit of a makeover, the problem I am having is aligning the tracks together again-Is there some kind of technique I'm missing, the more I muck about with it the worse it"s getting.

can anyone help, this is my first true adventure into computer mixing.


TURK's picture

Dave, I might not be the best person to give you advice on Audacity as I don't know much about it, but I have been in a similar situation before and have a suggestion for you. A few years ago I created a track that started in Reason 3 on my computer, I needed to do some guitar work on it but Reason didn't have an audio recording function so I imported the wav files into my stand alone Zoom 16 track multitrack hard drive recorder and recorded all the guitar parts then I transferred each track individually back to my pc and it all synced up perfectly. I cant remember which DAW recording software I used, might of been acid pro. Here's the important bit though, so long as you align the start of each track up 100% in the DAW you are using, all the tracks should in theory sync up regardless of how long each track is. You've just got to make sure you export each track from the start of the song and not from when the instrument comes in. I think this should work for Audacity too. Just make sure the start point of all the tracks are kept 100% in alignment. I have installed Audacity before just out of curiosity but it's not a program I use, it seemed like a good bit of software but I was using Reason alot at the time.

You didn't say which 4 track recorder you are using, does it even have a track export function where you can transfer the tracks in wav format via a USB cable? If not, then that would mean you would have to re-record each track from your four track machine into Audacity separately one at a time. I can see how that would make it a bit more difficult to sync up but still if you can get the start points of all the tracks to match up, some of the above info should still apply.

The only other thing I can think of is that you get the tracks roughly aligned in audacity zoom in a bit and move them with the mouse one by one, to sync up with the drum track making it the reference point for all the rest to be aligned to. That's the best I can do for you my friend.

Turk

TURK's picture

Oh yeah you should sync up your drum track to the audacity metronome if you plan on using any vst synths especially if you're going to be using arpeggios you'll want them to sync up properly.

Turk

Ddave's picture

Hey thanks Turk...I am using a Tascam mk2 four track tape recorder, and I had to record manually onto my roland 8 track using direct to disc with rca leads.

So each track is a little off as I would have to start th record function myself without the use of any sync recording software.

After I transfered to disc I then loaded it into my pc and started to use Audacity-the software is fine It's just me...maybe I need to trim the silences or something...

TURK's picture

Hmmm... that could be tricky. I'm sure you'll pull it off though Dave :)

Turk

Ddave's picture

Nah didn't work Turk...I'm completely stumped with it.

Ddave's picture

I can't understand how I could send Kronic Music done the same way and he has the ability to line it all up and make it work...Maybe you guys are Einsteins...

TURK's picture

Well if you have learned how to moved the individual tracks left and right in audacity then all you got to do is place them in the right place on the timeline or grid. You need to watch a few youtube videos on audacity to see how that works, you'll get it bro. I taught myself by trail and error. Wish I could be better at explaining this lol.

Turk

Ddave's picture

OK thanks Bro..I started getting somewhere but it is getting better and it's not if you know what I mean LOL...I'll have a look at you tube then and see what happens...I'll let you know, bloody stressful and time consuming this business is don't you think?

TURK's picture

Yeah it can be! I remember trying to get to grips with Fruity Loops a while back but I hated it and gave up. I've got to click with a programme from the start otherwise I'll move on to another one :) Well sorry I could help you much Dave. Let me know how it goes mate.

Turk

TURK's picture

I meant "couldn't"

Turk

ScreamingZombie's picture

Zoom in as far as you can, find the start of the tracks and line them up using the time shift tool.

.:Screaming Zombie:.
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Kronic's picture

Well the biggest problem with this is probably accuracy.

As for aligning tracks. It takes some getting used to. I learned how to in pro-tools when vocal had moved or I had to do post-production on sound effects and such.

A: I suggest you know the tempo for your songs. This will help the most

B: Find the downbeat. If your looking at all 4 track waveforms and mute/unmute them it'll help you align them. I like to do it where its quiet and then gets loud. That way you have a clean 0/1 type of association.

C: SnaptoGrid/box/line/etc turn it off. Just turn it the F$&# off It'll do nothing but make this process impossible. Because even if you have the exact tempo to match up the measures with lines there is always mili seconds at the beginning of tracks and other issues. It's best to be able to freely move the waveform around without restrictions.

D: Start with the drums. The very first bass kick/cymbol or downbeat base everything off of that. If you can make the first measure sound right then you got everything as long as the tempo is set correctly in the program.

Other than that I've never used audacity.

Also if you want to send me the individual tracks I can probably put together a video of how to do it using your song in the video [screen video capture]. And you can learn my method. But like I've said I've never used that software before so I can't really be more specific. But if its just making the stuff into wav format maybe thats the only thing you should use it for. There are plenty of free sound editing software that will let you align multipal tracks and then export.

Ddave's picture

Thanks Kronic that's all I want to do is align tracks then export, maybe EQ a little as well, I'll email you the links for the individual tracks then, I can't quite remember the Tempo though I think it's 127.

If you can let me know of any other software that I can take a look at the would be cool too. I don't think Audacity is that great.

And thanks dJ Zombie, I tried that but it seems that when I got the start of the track good it went out of time a bit later on, tricky business I think. I might keep looking for something more suitable to my needs.

Ddave's picture

Oh yeah, I don't think Audacity has a tempo thing set up to make it easier for me

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