Hi - I have original song ideas on an Olympus hand held digital voice recorder. I am connecting it to my computer via it’s only output of the earphone jack to my computer line in input. In Audacity I have Line In selected in the drop down box. The play back and recoding device set to Windows Direct Sound: SB Live! Wave Device and under Recording Channels, it is set to 1 (Mono). Play through is set to over dub. Quality default sample rate is at 96000Hz. It records and saves the way I want it to in that it plays back through both speakers. These are not stereo recordings on the hand held. When I export the selection (what was just recorded in Audacity) to an mp3, it comes up with an “Invalid sample rate” error box saying “The project sample rate (96000) and the bit rate (320 kbps) combination is not supported by the Mp3 file format…” It wants you to select a different sample rate and I just use the default of 48000 which is already selected. I get what seems like an ok recording when I play it back in Windows Media Player but the volume is a little lower than the original.
Can anyone tell me what the best, ideal settings and/or method I should use to get the best recording with this situation?
Don’t export as MP3, export in WAV format. MP3 is a “lossy” compression format which lowers the sound quality.
Check in the SoundBlaster mixer that your recording source is set to “Line in” (assuming that you are recording through the Line-in input) and not set for “What U Hear”.
For best quality recording, take care setting the recording level - you want it to be reasonably high, but it must not be allowed to touch 0dB or distortion will occur (clipping). After recording, select the entire track and apply “Amplify” with the “New Peak Amplitude (dB)” set to about -0.3
It’s unlikely that you get any real benefit from recording at 96kHz. Record at 48kHz 32 bit and Export as a 32 bit WAV file (in Audacity 1.3 this option is under “other uncompressed files”).
If you also want a file that is compatible with most other applications and the correct format for burning to CD, change the project rate to 44100 (box in lower left of main Audacity window) and Export as a 16 bit WAV file.
If you want to compress the files so that they take up less disk space, Export in FLAC format - it does not compress as much as MP3 (FLAC files are about half the size of WAV files) but it is a “lossless” compressor, which means that there is no loss in sound quality from the original uncompressed audio.