Playthrough on Windows XP with Audacity

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by webmanoffesto, Dec 12, 2004.

  1. Playthrough to Listen While I Record, Windows XP

    I am a high school-English teacher and I am tired of using cassettes. I want to record cassettes to my PC (I think I will use Audacity). This is voice only, texts used for listening comprehension. I will record it to my PC (Audacity probably) split it into tracks and burn it to CD. I'm finding it difficult to get the volume right, too loud and I lose part of the signal, too quiet same problem. And of course the volume is different on different parts of the cassette. I think playthrough would help solve this problem. I think that would let me listen to the recording I am making. How do I do that?
  2. Ellegaard

    Ellegaard Active Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Central Copenhagen
    I suppose you're not using any fancy audio soundcard other than the one that was included with your computer...? If such, I believe you can turn the input signal up and down in the Windows Mixer. You want to reach the highest possible signal, but not exceed 0db because everything will start to clip, as you've probably noticed.

    If the signal is too weak still, there are two things you should do:

    1) Use a compressor. I don't know Audacity very well, but as far as I've understood it supports VST technology. There should be a built-in compressor, and try to find a default setting that compresses the signal hard enough (possibly a Speech preset). If not, get a freeware comp plugin like Blockfish.

    2) Normalize the tracks to 0db with the Normalize function.

    Does that help you?
  3. Nothing Fancy

    Nope, nothing fancy. Creative Soundblaster PCI card.

    I adjusted mic volume and then I could hear (the recording?) a little. But not much.

    What do you mean 0db. On my Audacity display I see it goes to +1 and -1. I can see when the spikes go above and below those nubers that I am losing signal.

    I guess I'm looking for an easier way to make sure my signal stays within those parameters. Any sugestions?
  4. Mic Volume

    Thanks. I figured out how to read audacity's recording volume meter better and now with mic volume so I can listen things are going great. Thanks.

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