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Hi, anyone tried using Audacity sound editing software? (free - use Google or it's on SourceForge) What do you think?
I'm on a laptop with no soundcard and it will happily record longer than I can play. I'm only using a cheap microphone too (surface mount, glued to a piece of shelving) and have found that the built in noise reduction tool works really well, at leat for my minimal purposes.
But Heres the Kicker - I've just been using it to open M3p files. A Shakuhachi Piece lays its self out,a basic waveform view is good, but there is some sort of Pitch Analysis view available which seems to work well (because its only trying to look at a "single" pitch) - its really interesting to see the low harmonic kick in as a note changes tembre.
See meri dance live on screen!
And if thats not enough to tempt you, there is a Tempo Change Without affecting Pitch Effect too.
Need I Say More?
If anyone is already experienced with using it, some tips would be great, freeware so you don't expect great documentation. Anyone, else I'd say it was well worth a try.
Did I mention - it's Free?
Todays Word is - RELAX
I was offering it as suggestion, and if others aren't using it, why? sort of thing though.
If you are experienced with using it, I was more after tips on how YOU use it rather than anything else.
I've only just (D'Oh) thought to load a full track, slow it down, And see the pitch changes laid out for me. (I've only tried the pitch view on more "complex" sounds before where it was not as usefull as the spectrograph). I got a bit excited and wanted to share!
I don't use Audacity much. I think it's decent software with a good interface; I usually edit in Peak 4. Don't do a great deal of editing with audacity, so I don't have a bunch of snappy tricks. I think the docs are good enough for the bits that I've used it.
For working on playing/learning shakuhachi music, I prefer an app called Amazing Slow Downer (www.ronimusic.com) from Rolf Nilsen in Sweden.
ASD change pitch or tempo or both simultaneously; it'll loop segments and store 10 presets for each tune/loop. Also has a balance control and a simple graphic EQ so you can isolate instruments/reduce high-end noise. Also has a very comprehensive keystroke system, so little or no mousing around is required. Very good documentation, printable and on board. Many other backside features.
It's shareware. I've used it for years, and he is constantly doing nice little upgrades on it. Lifetime registration for USD40.00 and worth every penny for working in the woodshed.
Highly recommended. For Mac or PC. He's got some other audio apps of interest as well.
Last edited by edosan (2006-08-13 23:12:57)
I like Audacity but in my experience it's a little unstable and some things take longer to get done than in other programs. Can't beat the price though.
ASD is indeed a nice little program. I'm involved in work on a major Irish music transcription work, transcribing playing style in unparalled detail, and that's the software we're using. Great to use.
I use Audacity too for making quick recordings, mostly of talks etc. through a little mini desk. Its great. I've heard of some incompatablity problems/ instability but have never had any trouble with it. I use it for recording sound files to email friends also. Have used it to edit large, live spoken word files, mostly paring down level peaks, coughs etc. using the volume envelope tool. V. handy for what it costs.
Yes, Audacity is great. I have used it for editing, converting, normalizing, etc. multi-hour live recordings. Lots of RAM and a fast disk helps, but that will be true of any digital audio software, I think.
I have also used it to pitch pieces up or town N semitones to see how they might sound on a shorter or longer flute. Works fine, but the ASD software Ed is talking about sounds better for this task.
Another set of useful and free audio utilities is the "SOX" collection. Unlike Audacity, these are command line utilities, useful for scripting large batch operations to run/re-run many times. Very helpful for converting to/from many different formats or raw audio.
And if you ever have to encode good quality source audio into something lossy like MP3, "LAME" (also free) is the best tool to become familiar with for tweaking all the variables that go into MP3 encoding. Every piece of source audio has different perceptual requirements and can benefit from awareness of encoding parameters. It's very interesting to prepare A-B listening tests of the same source material encoded with different bit rates, sample rates, pre-filters, stereo settings, etc. The downside is once you become aware of how good or bad MP3s can be, you'll start hearing artifacts in every MP3 that comes your way.
And remember... If you really have to edit an MP3 and resave it to in MP3 format again, you're degrading the material with another generation of lossy encoding on top of the first round. Yuck, but unavoidable if MP3 is what you need. Look to the FLAC or SHN formats for lossless compression.
Of course, it's easy to avoid all this technical heavy lifting... just practice and listen to the moment.
Last edited by dstone (2006-08-15 03:25:45)
Many thanks Darren, just the sort of thing I ws after. Usefull recommendations too, I'll have a look for SOX, and play with LAME a bit more (not that I've got or use it , Oh No). I'm in the process of trying to get everything I do on a PC migrated to Linux so I've lots to do!