audacity question

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by J-MADD, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. J-MADD

    J-MADD Active Member

    Ok here is the question:
    I have recorded a song put it on CD and want to do some editing. My friend got me a copy of audacity and it will not take my file because it isn't an mp3 or wave file, but instead is uncompressed audio. So, I can't get it into the program. Is audacity any good for doing final editing? If so, how do I convert my song to an mp3 or wav file?
    Thanks guys
  2. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Do you know the format mp3?
    Please don't trust a program that only takes mp3.

    This is a mastering forum. Here we try not to talk about formats that seriusly compromise music.
    Or formats that doesn't care about music you could also say.

    -sorry for being so direct.
  3. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member


    No need to apologize for directness!

    However, this poor guy came looking for advice, the least we can do is help him.


    Henrik is right, MP3 is not a viable mastering format. Many here would argue that it's not a viable format at all! MP3 seriously compromises the sound of the original source. Editing/Mastering an MP3 would be like touching up the Mona Lisa with watercolors.

    However, .wav is not a compressed format. It is one of the standard formats for audio. Editing/Mastering a wav is common practice. Your CD (files stored as .CDA) can be converted to .wav by numerous programs - ripping programs, audio programs, heck, I think windows media 9 will do it too. (I could be wrong on that last one, I never use it.) .CDA is simply a header format that points to a useable audio file, such as .wav or .aiff. Try converting your CD to wav using any standard audio program and then give it a try.

    I am not familiar in the slightest with "Audacity," but I'm sure it would let you do the same.

  4. J-MADD

    J-MADD Active Member

    Thanks for all the info.
    Truth be told with what I have heard, I don't know how much I will even mess with this program. As I said a friend got it for me for free. Last week I got a response on RO regarding wavelab, and I will probably be looking into buying this if I can't get this audacity program to work.
    Once again, I appreciate all the advice.

  5. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    You are welcome.

    Best Regards,
  6. Stabb

    Stabb Active Member


    What file format is your stuff in, aiff or ...?

    Is the cd an audio cd?

    Did you use 'Open' or 'Import'?

    What kind of editing do you want to do?

  7. J-MADD

    J-MADD Active Member

    Well, I got the Korg to transfer my master track into a .wav file. I transfered this to the computer by loading the wave file onto a CD and opening it up in Audacity. I don't think I can get any more volume out of it though, in this program. Not to mention, I don't think this program will allow you to put your songs together, as they would appear on a whole album.

    So long answer to your question Stabb, is that the track is a .wav file. I think I'm gonna look more into wavelab.

  8. Stabb

    Stabb Active Member


    I got Audacity because it came free and worked in Mac OSX. So I knew that it didn't have to be an mp3 to get into the application.
    I import my aiffs and use it to export mp3s.
    Also to truncate songs into snippets then export mp3s for use on a webpage.

    I am somewhat surprised at the dismissive attitude toward mp3s.
    I am not a proponent of the format, but I don't think its a stretch to say that the majority of the work of the MEs here will wind up a 4mb mp3.

    FM radio seriously compromises sound quality.
    Do you not talk about how your work sounds on the radio?

    where I'm coming from-
    I'm not a mastering engineer.
    I'm a musician who gigged for almost 20yrs, now I have 'real' job (which is what often happens when a gigging guy gets married) and I produce music in my home studio.
    I also worked as an engineer in a 2" 24 trk studio for a few years.
    I remixed a song I had originally mixed to 16bit so I could send the ME a 24bit recording.

    I know squat about mastering.

    But I did get to sit next to and watch Bernie Grundman while he worked on an album I produced w/ the vinyl cutter grinding away behind us.
    For me that was a cool experience.

  9. stratego

    stratego Guest

    you will need LAME, which is a plugin many many sampling programs use to convert mp3s. wav file and raw data, audacity can open up np. Audacity doesn't edit anything in mp3 format, it will convert either the wav or mp3, quantifying dB from -1 to 1 but can be changed. but audacity is superb for being free, its a wonder plus it is open source, so once they rewrite the whole thing i can only imagine, and has a simple interface compared to a lot of recording apps.
  10. Moseph

    Moseph Guest

    ok, despite being a relatively powerful editing tool, Audacity cannot rip audio from a CD. You'll need some other program to act as a CD Ripper to get your audio off of CD and onto hard disk.

    Or, if your CD is a data disc, rather than Red Book Audio (eg, you have all the individual tracks available in uncompressed format), you need to open up the CD using Explorer, Finder, or some analogous utility and copy the files onto hard disk anyway. CD-ROM is a read-only medium, and any sort of editing will need to be done on a read/write medium. Hard disk is typically the fastest and most reliable for such things.

    I'm extremely familiar w/ Audacity using Windows, but since it's cross-platform, and you didn't specify your system, you may run into some discrepancies.

    For starters, Audacity is designed to support natively .wav, .aiff, and .ogg (Ogg Vorbis). Additionally, you have the option of importing raw data using the "Import Raw Data" function found in the "Project" Menu. To use this function you need to know a few things about your data, but so long as you do, you should be ok.

    Audacity is a nice open-source/freeware introduction to recording/editing/mixing audio, but it's still pretty limited in terms of what it can do and how it can do it. More info is available for those interested @ Robbie

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