amateur recording problems (warning: noob alert)

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Member Since: May 23, 2007

Alright, so I've been making extremely lo-fi recordings the past couple years or so. I've always been attracted to songwriting, and tried to learn just enough about recording to get by...all of my songs were recorded line-in/with a computer mic.

Anyways, I've been trying to take time this summer to learn more about recording and such, especially because I'm a music industry major and will be a junior in the fall. I want to start getting some real equipment (a minimal amount, maybe an SM57 and some sort of preamp/mixer for starters). But even now as I try to record songs on my freeware download of Audacity, I am having problems that I can't seem to solve. Basically, whenever I record a track, my computer makes the length of it contract, so that when I finish recording the length of the track changes. Now when I'm recording myself playing a new track along with the old one, everything gets out of sync. I've had this problem on and off for a while, I just have no idea why it's happening and I've tried a couple ideas and nothings worked.

The only remedy so far seems to be playing with a click track, then muting the recorded track and playing the new track along with the click track again, so that both tracks are shortened to the same length. But that's not very practical and I was hoping some of the kind folks here could help me out.

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Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

May 25, 2007 09:10 pm

Well the timing thing is called latency. That is due to using the onboard sound card. Most of them are not capable of playback/recording very well. A newer higher quality sound card would be a good addition for you. That will solve the latency problem more then likely. Something along the lines of an M-Audio 2496 or an ESI Juli@ will do well for you and not break the bank. They are simply 2 channel audio interface cards and can give you decent low latency for recording/playback situation's.

On the track changing size, I'm a bit baffled by that one. You might want to check you recording settings to make sure there is no option ticked that re-aligns the track after recording. That or a buffer setting is off somewhere for the internal sound card.

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