Multi-Channel Simultaneous Recording Release

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Multi-Channel Simultaneous Recording Release

Permanent link to this post Posted by Andreas » Thu Aug 06, 2009 4:01 pm

Just wondering if you will ever release a version of Audacity that can, for example:
1) Record someone singing whilst the computer is playing backing music such as MP3 or via Karaoke software?
OR
2) Record someone singing whilst at the same time playing guitar?
OR
3) Three people singing with other instruments also being fed into the software at the same time.

All the above assume you have an external device such as the one I have (which only has 4 inputs - Mic Left & Right and Line Left & Right) - TASCAM US-144 Interface Audio/MIDI USB 2.0.

At the moment I have to record the singing separately and then record or import the backing or guitar and try and match the singing to the backing music by moving the tracks left or right slightly as Audacity only recognises one input at a time.

I find this very hard to do. What would be nice is to be able to stipulate where the sound is coming from for each track. For example if one track is coming from the Interface's Left Mic, the other track from the Interfaces Guitar input and maybe the third via the internal sound card as this might be a backing MP3 playing in the background. I have had 1.3.6 until now and just downloaded 1.3.8 but this looks similar to me and does not seem to include such features.

Is something like what I describe on the cards for a not too distant release?

Many thanks
Andreas
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Re: Multi-Channel Simultaneous Recording Release

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:19 pm

<<<release a version of Audacity >>>

Audacity is a complete slave of the computer that's running it.

<<<Three people singing with other instruments also being fed into the software>>>

But you're not, are you? There's a computer in the way. Although the software will cheerfully handle 16 tracks of audio in both directions, it's generally agreed that there's no way to actually get 16 tracks in or out because of hardware limitations. The computer is in the way.

So based on normal hardware available:

1) <<<Record someone singing whilst the computer is playing backing music >>>

There is a Preference setting in I/O called "Play other tracks while you record a new one." If the computer is up to it (that computer again), it will play existing tracks while you record a new vocal or guitar. And you can keep stacking them like that up to 16. This preference may appear in a different place depending on your computer and version.

Playing other, different software might be possible, but there you may run into Audacity liking being the only sound program running. Audacity is a really simple program and likes running on really simple computers.

2) <<<Record someone singing whilst at the same time playing guitar?>>>

Plug your microphone and microphone amplifier into "Left" and the guitar into "Right". They're both mono feeds, so this is valid. Plug that into the Line-In of your computer and you will get a recording of both at the same time you can split up and remix as you wish.

3) <<<Three people singing with other instruments also being fed into the software at the same time.>>>

That's an external mixer. You might be able to force a computer to do this (which I doubt), but actually using it would be very awkward and painful. No premixing, no headphones, no panning. You'd be missing so many performance mix tools that everybody would give up and go home.

I posted a general all-call a while ago about wanting to get all 16 tracks into Audacity at the same time. My checkbook is open. What do I buy? I never got a response.

There are much worse computer limitations. If you're on a Windows PC, there's a very good chance you only have a Microphone-In. There's very little you can do with that other than plug a microphone in.

Many people go on to external USB mixers to get production abilities.

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=9477

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Re: Multi-Channel Simultaneous Recording Release

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:46 pm

There have been posts from people doing 16 channel recording with Audacity using an Alesis MultiMix 16 USB. If anyone would like to buy one for me I would be happy to check it out :)
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Re: Multi-Channel Simultaneous Recording Release

Permanent link to this post Posted by Andreas » Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:05 am

Thank you Koz and Steve.
Isn't what I have an external USB mixer (Tascam US-144)?
I will check out Alesis MultiMix 16 USB but sounds expensive.
Anyone else that can still help with this would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Multi-Channel Simultaneous Recording Release

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:39 am

So this still isn't an Audacity problem. The computer and interface equipment in the middle has to be appropriate to the show.

If somebody buys you an Alesis MultiMix 16 USB for your birthday and you plug it into your computer, then the exact same Audacity that had been recording stereo up until then will suddenly record 16 tracks -- also assuming the computer itself is up to it.

It's always the hardware in the middle.

I can't tell from the Tascam instructions. Does your device have pan controls? Can you push the guitar all the way to the right and a microphone all the way to the left? If you can, that will give you two independent sound channels that you can mix in production later.

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Re: Multi-Channel Simultaneous Recording Release

Permanent link to this post Posted by takm » Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:51 am

I have two sound devices, one onboard, the other off-board. Would what he wants be possible? or due to windows limitations (directsound, mme, ks) audacity can only record from one device?
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Re: Multi-Channel Simultaneous Recording Release

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:53 pm

The poster claims a TASCAM US-144 which has multiple inputs. The question is whether you can slide the guitar to one side and the voice to the other. This will give you two independent sound channels that you can manage and edit to a final show later.

If you can't do that, then whatever mix you choose in the little mixer during the live capture is the show. You can't separate the voice and manage it after the fact.

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Re: Multi-Channel Simultaneous Recording Release

Permanent link to this post Posted by Polleke » Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:55 pm

Koz, your explanation is clear to me, but still this puzzles me. I have an old 8-channel board (Guillemot Maxi Studio ISIS). Actually it has 4 stereo inputs, but you can also configure them 8 mono. In the supplied software this works, but I'd rather use Audacity :D . But in Audacity I can only choose inputs 1/2, 3/4 etc one pair at a time. No chance I can open all 8 and record 8 tracks simultaneously.
So, is the computer still in the way then?
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Re: Multi-Channel Simultaneous Recording Release

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:04 pm

Polleke wrote:But in Audacity I can only choose inputs 1/2, 3/4 etc one pair at a time. No chance I can open all 8 and record 8 tracks simultaneously.

That's a limitation of Audacity with some multi-track hardware. The reason is that some hardware uses multiple 2 channel drivers rather than a real multi-channel driver, but Audacity can only record from 1 "device" at a time. This means that as far as Audacity is concerned you have 4 stereo sound cards rather than one 8 channel sound card, so you can select which of the 4 you record from, but will only be able to record from one (stereo pair) at a time :(
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Re: Multi-Channel Simultaneous Recording Release

Permanent link to this post Posted by Polleke » Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:54 pm

Sounds logical to me, why didn't I figure that out myself? :? So I'll just make a basic recording with the provided software, import all tracks in Audacity and edit them!
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