Recording is too fast for track

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Recording is too fast for track

Permanent link to this post Posted by aean » Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:53 pm

First off, I really enjoy using Audacity. I've used to record several versions of songs for my band. All was going well until something peculiar began to happen. Whenever I recorded a vocal track over the music track, the vocals would record a couple of seconds too fast. I recorded in Windows Sound Recorder and everything seemed to be in order there. But for some reason, in Audacity, it just records fast, making the vocals off-key to the song. I tried to record my guitar today and the same thing. Too fast.

I'm not an expert at Audacity; I played around with preferences, and messed around with the project rate. Still too fast. I fidgeted with the time tool, and it could work if i put the time and effort into finding the right time slot, but by then I lose interest and go play a game or something. I'd really like to know why I suddenly can't record like a I used in Audacity. I love this programme and don't want to go investing in a store-bought one. I'm poor...sort of.

I'm using a Soundblaster Live! soundcard.
I run my mic through my guitar amp (it's worked plenty of times before to give me a harsh otherwordly voice) and into my soundcard.
My preferences are setup to use the Soundblaster card.

I just found something called a Real Time Sample Rate converter. It was set to FAst sinc interpolation. I'm going to change it to High quality sinc interpolation and see what happens.

Ok, it's definitely recording faster. I isolated the track and it sounds as if it's been speeded up.

Can anyone help me?

**Update** i just tried to record in Cool Edit Pro I had lying round. Same thing. So the problem, I guess, lies within my hardware. Any advice? I don't understand how it would work several times before, then just not work the same. I know didn't make any radical changes to me setup.
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Re: Recording is too fast for track

Permanent link to this post Posted by aean » Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:13 am

Another update. My last one because I quit.

I recorded myself just counting in Audacity, I had it set up where I could hear myself doing it. I noticed a slight lag. I recorded a song and it was out of sync again. I'm lost. I guess I could just record to an 8-track and convert to a .wav or something. :x

I guessing it's the RAM in my pc. I have everything from graphics programmes to audio programmes I guess something had to give eventually.
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Re: Recording is too fast for track

Permanent link to this post Posted by Gale Andrews » Thu Dec 11, 2008 7:34 am

The Real-time Sample Rate Converter is only used if you are resampling during playback in Audacity - it's got nothing to do with recording. The "high quality" option sounds slightly better, but might cause choppy playback on a slower computer, because there is more processing involved. If that happened, using the "Fast" option would be preferable.

It's not that uncommon for a track to record at a slightly different speed than the other track is being playing at, so making the recorded track and the backing track drift apart over time. First thing to check is whether your playback and recording devices on the Audio I/O tab of Preferences are the same. You might be using the inbuilt sound device for playback, for example, but the sound card for recording. Different devices will have different clock speeds on a domestic computer system.

If the devices are the same, then it's nothing to do with RAM, but basically the card can't cope properly with playing and recording at the same time. Updating the SoundBlaster drivers, so they are the latest ones specifically meant for your version of Windows, may help.

To fix recordings which are out of step with other tracks, you can use Effect > Change Speed. Only a very modest speed change will be needed.


Gale
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Re: Recording is too fast for track

Permanent link to this post Posted by aean » Thu Dec 11, 2008 6:39 pm

Thanks for your reply.

i'd forgotten about updating my sound card. i'd bought it used, without any drivers, so I had to hunt them down (that was a fiasco in and of itself). As soon as I get home, I'll get right on top of them.

If memory serves me, I think I had both playback and record set for my card. I'll need to check on that "high-quality" and fast option. I know one of the settings is for high-quality. I think it was a default. I'll definitely look into it. thanks again!

Cheers!
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Re: Recording is too fast for track

Permanent link to this post Posted by aean » Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:35 pm

Well, I installed a update for my soundcard. Still the same thing. I'm just baffled because I was able to record just fine without any problems at all. Now, the recordings don't drift, they are out of sync even as I start the project. I did a test in Cool Edit Pro, using the metronome as a reference, just counting over the beats. Each time my voice come just a second or so too fast. This has to be a hardware problem. Or perhaps I should disable the Software Playthrough option? I don't know.

I want to upgrade my soundcard to an M-audio audiophile, but money's tight. Or perhaps it's my amp. It's a guitar amp because I found I couldn't just plug my mic directly into the soundcard because the programme even pick it up. Perhaps the amp is causing a lag. I won't know anything for sure until I can actually test different options.

Question: Would recording through a USB interface solve this problem? I was toying with the idea of getting an USB interface for the same price.

cheers!
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Re: Recording is too fast for track

Permanent link to this post Posted by aean » Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:39 pm

Oops! I forgot to add that I will work with the speed settings as suggested in the meantime.
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Re: Recording is too fast for track

Permanent link to this post Posted by Gale Andrews » Fri Dec 12, 2008 9:34 pm

Apart from the fact that for some reason you can't record from the SB mic input (have you tried selecting it in the SB Control Panel?), I'm not sure if you still have a problem or not. If the recorded track is no longer drifting away from the track you recorded against, then use Time Shift Tool (F5) after the recording to drag the recorded track backwards to be in synchronisation. The recorded track will inevitably be laid down with a delay.

Software playthrough (which you use to listen to what you are recording) will also always have a delay. It's better to try unmuting playback of the line-in, which won't have significant delay.

If the recording delay is consistent, you can avoid it altogether by using Audacity Beta (1.3.6). Audacity will already try to calculate the delay and push the recorded track back, but you can calculate the remaining delay in milliseconds from the timeline, then set Audacity in the Audio I/O preferences to always apply this additional latency correction.

Most USB interfaces should have hardware playthrough so you can monitor quite accurately. You will still get recording delay using the interface's standard WDM drivers, which are all Audacity will support, as distributed. But if you can compile Audacity yourself, you can add ASIO support to it. Using ASIO drivers will substantially reduce the recording latency.


Gale
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Re: Recording is too fast for track

Permanent link to this post Posted by aean » Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:44 pm

Ok, some of you reading this are going to think: Boy, what an idiot this guys is. But, I'll take that chance...

Well now, today I toyed around with Audacity, hoping to record some guitar work, thinking, fine, if it's recording too fast or slow, I'll just use the time shift adjustment tool. So, I make sure everything is setup to record and play from my soundcard. Fine. I'm recording my guitar and I happen to glance up at the monitor to see my avast! On-Access Scanner Message popping up, showing all of the audacity .aup files being scanned. Suddenly it dawns me that I have my antivirus set to scan everything that comes in contact with my pc. I'm just recovering from a win32 virus that infected pretty much my whole system and to ensure it didn't happen again, I upped the security of my antivirus programme.

I shut off the A|V programme. I record. Playback, and everything is in order. There is that common lag Nancy mentioned, but I never caught before because I don't usually record new content very loudly because I want to hear the playing track. Today I recorded with the playthrough option and was actually able to HEAR myself. But, the lag seemed to be fixed by Audacity because all was fine.

This is a long shot, but it seems because of my paranoia avast! was treating all of my recording as potentially threatening files, scanning each and every piece of data coming from my mic and guitar. Even now as I type this its scanning firefox, this page and everything in it. So, I'm guessing that is the culprit. Something so simple. (It always is, isn't it?) I've managed to record five songs today.

Antivirus. Who would have known? :oops:

I might be wrong, but it sure seems feasible at this time.
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Re: Recording is too fast for track

Permanent link to this post Posted by waxcylinder » Sun Dec 14, 2008 6:24 pm

No - this was a good piece of analysis on your part.

With some antivirus programs you can set them to ignore/trust certain files. If you can do that with your you can get it to ignore.trust all .aup and .au files (Audacity projrct files/soundclips) - amd that way you should be able to keep your anti-virus running, but without it interfering with Audacity's activity.

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Re: Recording is too fast for track

Permanent link to this post Posted by Gale Andrews » Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:40 pm

Avast does let you disable scanning of selected files (right-click over its system tray icon > On-Access Protection Control > Standard Shield: Customize button). Anti-virus scanning of the .au files Audacity writes when recording can cause dropouts in the recorded waveform because the computer cannot keep up. It's our number one tip to check if you have dropouts:
http://audacityteam.org/wiki/index.php? ... nd_Drivers

It's also true that scanning may increase the recording latency. This may even mean that without scanning, the latency correction Audacity already applies after recording (by pushing the recorded track backwards) may be sufficient to make the tracks synchronise without using Time Shift Tool. I have to say I have never found that to be true, though.

The speed with which the recording is laid down is completely separate from the speed the recording is captured at. There is no way that scanning will cause the recorded track to record at a different speed, so that even when you have the starts synchronised, the ends will not be. If that recurs, it's a hardware problem.

Gale
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