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I'm sorry if this has been asked before but i'm very...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by kylelang, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. kylelang

    kylelang Guest


    I'm having trouble importing(exporting?) files from my 8 track to my computer. It's a Fostex MR8-HD. I record songs and mix them right on the 8 track, and they sound great and perfect, but when i plug that 8 track into the computer with the USB cable and transport the file, the song's quality goes down about 80%, and the audio seems to switch from stereo to mono. This has always been a problem.

    I decided to try something new, so, I have a Yamaha USB mixing studio, and I plugged the Fostex into the Yamaha and equalized everything so it sounded right. Then, I plugged the Yamaha into the computer using a USB cable and tried again. I had the same problem.

    I tried yet AGAIN by instead plugging the Yamaha into the microphone jack with a stereo to 1/8 cable. Again, it's just not working out for me.

    I should probably say that I'm using Audacity, and I'm not sure if that's the best program to use for what I'm doing. When I try to record directly to audacity through the USB or 1/8 cable, audacity shows that only the left channel is picking up anything(which I'm assuming is because left is mono by default.

    I have a feeling I could be plugging the cables into the wrong places. the cables from my 8Track are labeled "Stereo Out", and I'm just plugging them into the 3rd Input on the Mixer(maybe I should plug them into separate inputs). My stereo cables are in the mixer where it says "REC OUT".

    So I suppose all I want to know is if there's any way to move the song on my 8 track to my computer and keep the sound quality and the panning and the whole thing all the same. I took some pictures so you can see what I'm set up like.

    If you have any questions about making something clearer please ask, I need help and I'm desperate.

  2. Halifaxsoundguy

    Halifaxsoundguy Active Member

    Note the POWERFUL button for Mastering on the Fostex! :lol:
  3. kylelang

    kylelang Guest

  4. basilbowman

    basilbowman Guest

    Right, so a couple of questions -

    1.) What are you mixing with - headphones or external monitors?

    2.) When you export the song, are you bouncing it down (punching play on the fostex box and recording it to the computer), or actually copying a file over to your computer?

    3.) Have you only ever tried it with Audacity? What about Kristal or Reaper?

  5. kylelang

    kylelang Guest

    thanks for responding

    1. I'm mixing with headphones

    2. I have tried both. Copying sounds a little better because playing it just turns it to mono completely while copying it just screws with the panning a bit and decreasing the quality

    3. I'm using Audacity, and I haven't heard of Kristal or Reaper.
  6. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    I'm not going to drag out my Fostek manual right now (though you might want to) and I do have the 4 trk version of this deck that I use mostly for field recording, practices, camping etc. If I remember right you need to run a mix and process it into a stereo file prior to USB export if you want a mix you have set up like you are hearing in your headphones or monitors.

    I know you can download the entire group of unmixed files and save them to your computer for future upload back into the Fostek for later mixing but the format for file storage may not be compatible with your DAW software. You can check the file ext. of the import unmixed tracks and see if they would work.

    A workaround solution would be to process as a stereo file each track seperately as a finished song and USB import those files into your computer and then to DAW: time consuming to say the least.
    Check your manual re: exporting of files via USB.

    If you do that and still can't figure it out I will open my Fostek case.
  7. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Kristal is free multitrack software with limited capability and several problems on Vista.

    Reaper is awesome "trialware" and reasonably priced should you wish to buy it after 30 days. Only $50 I believe.

    However both of these packages are ONLY free if you wish to do NON-COMMERCIAL work. Reaper is $225 (I think) should you wish to use it commercially. Kristal, I wouldn't buy unless I was feeling stupid and rich. Money would be better spent on Reaper or something.
  8. kylelang

    kylelang Guest

    oh, I see. I should probably get Kristal, then
  9. basilbowman

    basilbowman Guest

    My thoughts are that a.) a mix with headphones can give you a false sense of panning when you translate it to your cheap computer speakers - so it might be worth as an experiment panning a track hard left and something else hard right and listening to it on more than your system, just to see if you really are losing actual pan, or if it just sounds like it on your speakers, and that thought leads into the other thought b.) are you losing quality because you're going from nice and dead-on-top-of-your-ears headphones to itty-bitty computer speakers, or is it an actual conversion problem? To check that, try copying the file over, not recording it, and then burn it onto a CD and run that out to your car, or somewhere else you've got some nice speakers.
    Something that just occurred to me though, is that you might be losing quality because when you export the file, it's fairly quiet (I used to spend a lot of time playing with a Boss 900, where I had this problem, since I was 11 and had no clue how to work the damn thing other than punch record and play), and so you have to crank the volume to be able to hear it on your computer, so it might be just you asking too much of your little speakers, but that's probably a non-issue. Anyways, how are you bouncing down to your computer? Just an RCA to 1/8" mic in jack? (anyone else see where I'm going?)
    I mention Reaper and Kristal as other alternative free/demoable/decent DAW softwares, in the thoughts that Audacity sometimes doesn't like to play nice, EDIT: Fixed random blathering about my own trials and tribulations, and so it might be worth trying one or the other - my vote goes for Reaper. If you can't get anything going with them, you might try JG49's suggestion and bring over each track separately, but if the problem is more of a hardware one (i.e. bad speakers, going in the mic jack rather than a line in, going in a line in jack at all, etc.) you're still not going to be very happy. Good luck chief, and get back to me on how that homework turns out

  10. kylelang

    kylelang Guest

    thanks man, I just got reaper and I'll see how it is. Part of me is starting to think the problem is the fact that it's converting from a wav. to an 128 kbps MP3(disgusting)

    I'm working on it.
  11. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Where or what is causing the conversion?
  12. basilbowman

    basilbowman Guest


    Is there some kind of bundled software you're using to pull this stuff in with?

  13. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    I wonder how much trouble it would be to RESIZE those pix!!!!

    IIR correctly, the horizontal as explained in the STICKY reads that 700px is the MAX!
  14. kylelang

    kylelang Guest

    ok, here's how it works.

    I make my songs track by track and in the end I send them all to track 7/8. After that, I convert track 7/8 to a Wav file. All those things are done on the 8track's harddrive.

    then, I plug the 8track into the computer and enable disk use so the computer recognizes it. I copy the Wav file from the 8 track to my computer and then turn it into an MP3 in audacity using a "lame encoder".

    even the wav.'s don't sound very good, though, so i think it's the process of putting it from the 8track to the computer that changes the quality.
  15. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Are you recording to a stereo track in Audacity? Are tracks 7/8 panned hard left and right? They should be. Why are you converting to mp3 right away? Record as wav and convert after the fact. There has to be better front end for Lame. One that allows you to adjust the bitrate. There is actually. From Pianosoft at the bottom of this page.

    Edit: sorry, I see that 7/8 is a stereo track.
  16. basilbowman

    basilbowman Guest

    Could you post a sample of what you've got, both a WAV and the resulting MP3 so we can hear what's going on as far as the quality getting worse goes?

  17. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    There should not be any reduction in the quality of the WAV. file you download to the computer. I have downloaded numerous stereo mixed WAV recordings from my deck and while I usually convert to audio CD format using Nero (with normalization) they sound fine inside the limitation of the Fostex which is not exactly a premier recording device but it is not terrible either.

    So either Basilbowman is on the right track in that playback from your computer is the problem or something you are doing in Audacity is.

    The only other possibility is that you are recording on the Fostex at the minimum recording quality, I think there are three recording levels available. Though I would think that the recording at that setting would be poor even when played back in the deck itself.

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