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Thread: How can I make my Recordings sound as good as the source?

  1. #1
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    How can I make my Recordings sound as good as the source?

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    I was cranking the Volumes on my stereo what my computer in
    the back room was recording.When I played back it just didn't
    seem to have that sound as before when it sounded like the
    Band was right there in my Living Room.Playback did sound
    pretty good but I couldn't crank it to the "Live" levels
    without it sounding like it's over pushing the system A bit.
    I'm A Mobile DJ and I want perfect copies.I don't think
    Audacity can deliver.
    The E MU1212 sound card is old, but makes my system sing
    at very high volume levels.
    I'm Recording streaming Audio (capradio.org) the Host plays
    music from CD's.

    Any suggestions,comments is appreciated

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    First thing is that Audacity, even though free, has the same sound quality as the software I use that costs a lot of dosh. Audio fidelity and technical specs all interact. Poor sound quality from even modest priced interfaces. Some internal cards like your one are quite good, so should be capable of decent audio quality - in fact, I doubt if the problem lays there at all.

    Can I check a few things. You are listening on a system in one room, but your computer that is causing grief is connected to the same system or a different one?
    Second - do you mean that you were listening to a CD or something, while recording and then when you play it back, it sounds worse? I think this may be the scenario you are describing.

    If so - then it won't be Audacity, but the Audacity settings you are recording with. What record settings did you choose? the obvious thing is the file format - full bandwidth uncompressed like WAV, AIFF OR FLAC, or a space saving format like mp3? Side by side, 44.1KHz, 16 bit recordings from a CD usually sound exactly the same. However, if you go from the CD via analogue, down an audio cable, then the computer has to reconvert it back to digital something gets lost. If you transfer in digital format - they sound the same to all intents and purposes. If you rise above 44.1 to 48 or 96 KHz sampling - for real live sound, the results get better until your ears limit the judgement.

    My guess - is that you are working with mp3 files. I just checked with my emergency copy of audacity on this MacBook - same spec as yours, and the default settings are mp3, not full bandwidth uncompressed. mp3 format throws data away to make files smaller. For quality, you don't want to use it. Differences are small, but most people can hear them, and lack of precision is a common complaint.

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    Hello and thanks for the reply.My projects' source is from capradio.org and the guy
    plays great Blues from CDs.
    The Comp is in the back bedroom.I can listen to the show being recorded on my main
    System in the Family Room(stereo room).
    I have both the E MU and Audacity set at 48khz.The E MU is playing at 24bit.Lately
    I've been setting Audacity up to 96khz.But I doubt there's any improvement since I can't
    get the E MU no higher than 48khz.
    Overall the Recordings are very good.But my way of telling if it's A good Recording
    is how it sounds at very high volume levels.I know my systems' capabilities,and where
    the max is for distortion free music.
    When I record I set the meters to around 6db which gives me plenty Headroom.THAT
    could possibly be the issue.I'll set it at 12db and see if that helps.
    I'm also going to buy the CD of one of the artist that was played (Eugene Hideaway
    Bridges Live at Tallahasee).The 4 song set they played blew me away! I'll compare the
    CD to the recording and see (hear) which is better.
    What do you guys think will sound better? 16bit 44.1 vs 24bit 48
    I think it might be time to try Reaper!

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    So, the source is actually a radio station stream of CD? ! That is almost certainly 'processed'. Radio stations have long compressed and 'sweetened' music tracks to beat the competition (tho' there is some justification since a big part of the audience is in cars).

    I do not want to be rude but "fooling around" with word lengths (bits) or > 44.1kHz sample rates shows you do not have a good grasp of the technology here. Using Audacity, Reaper, Sampliude, Cubase, PROTOOLS even will make sod all difference to the sound quality. Maybe, just maybe an AI ten times the cost of another will sound 'better' but once the data has been put on CD AND smashed about with radio station gear, you ain't never gonna tell.

    Dave. (BTW I had a 5min Harken to "Take 5" on that station. Sounded nice but a bit bright I thought? )

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    If it's already compressed, then re-recording at a higher rate uncompressed won't do much. You're a bit stuck really as your source material is compromised.

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    I think all the quality loss was in the Recording process.The "live" Stream sounded like E H Bridges was
    right there in my Living Room!

    Gonna compare A store bought CD of E H Bridges to my recording just to see

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    Before I buy the cd,I'll check and see if it's available in A Hi Res download.Because his stuff had this house
    shakin'!That,and Harvey Mandels' "I Don't Need No Doctor".

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    Err? You have an internet radio station, how are you recording it? I do this all the time for Radio 3 on this i3 HP laptop. Set Windows to "Stereo Mix" and use that as the input in my DAW, almost always a version of Samplitude. I record as a .wav at 16 bits 44.1kHz and the replay is EXACTLY the same as that heard live and that is very, very good.

    I have never tried doing that with Audacity or Reaper but I cannot see it making any difference? A digital stream is a digital stream! Some BBC programmes can be downloaded which is much more convenient of course but these are compressed, the quality hardly seems to suffer much at al though.

    Note: I understand Win10 has stopped you doing this? There is (of course!) an app some where to kludge it!

    Dave.

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    Here's some more information for ya'. A four hour show eats up about 4 gigs of hard drive space.

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    Thanks for the post Dave.Your point about the Recording being EXACTLY the same is very encouraging.

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