Is my setup Okay for a live DJ recording?

Hi all, I am a videographer and I have been recording audio using the on-camera mic for quite some time now. But now I am thinking of recording everything from the DJ’s mixer to my MacBook Pro and then using the audio file to replace the on-camera audio…

I have not yet bought but will get the “Behringer UCA202” very soon. However, as I am quite new here, I don’t exactly understand how to go on to record something. Following are the steps I think are required:

1). Connect the Behringer UCA202 to MacBook Pro and the DJ will connect his own RCA out from mixer (2 cables, 1 for left and 1 for right) to the USB interface.

2).Then I shall connect my headphones to the headphone out on the card and it should be playing back whatever is coming in from the RCA cables. - Any software changes to Audacity (1.3.9 -Unicode) needed to activate live monitoring through headphones?

3). Then I should boot up Audacity and go to PREFERENCES---->DEVICES and then select the Behringer wherever I see it (Host, Playback, Device), and select 2 channels (stereo signal).

4). Then probably I should hit record, monitor the input for some time and make sure that there is no clipping in the audio signal (probably set the levels at this time) and then leave the setup like that for the rest of the time.

It is going to be a 4-5 hour event.

Am I covering all the steps needed to record audio from the mixer?

I would appreciate some guidance on this.

Akash Negi

<<<But now I am thinking of recording everything from the DJ’s mixer to my MacBook Pro and then using the audio file to replace the on-camera audio…>>>

Yes, but don’t stop doing it the old way. If anything happens to the MacBook, you still have the conventional track.

<<<3). Then I should boot up Audacity and go to PREFERENCES---->DEVICES and then select the Behringer wherever I see it (Host, Playback, Device), and select 2 channels (stereo signal).>>>

Maybe not. That step I would go to Apple > System Preferences > Hardware > Sound > Input and select the USB device there. That panel has a wide range sound meter and you can check that your system is working up to there. If you don’t get the bouncing blue balls, there’s something wrong.

Then, in Audacity Preferences, you may find that “Default Source” works, or less likely, the USB device will show up. Change Audacity Preferences to 44100, 16-bit Stereo and restart Audacity.

<<<4). Then probably I should hit record, >>>

You can click once in the Audacity red recording meters and they will wake up and meter your show without going into full record mode and using up hard drive space.

<<<It is going to be a 4-5 hour event. >>>

That’s the first time you said anything I worry about. The show qualifies as a Long Recording and those have problems, not that Audacity can’t do it, but more likely the computer falls apart.

This is less likely with a Mac than a PC, but you need very generous hard drive space available ( 2GB per hour) and I would do first level system maintenance (Disk Verify and Periodic) and absolutely not allow the machine on WiFi or any network connection and no other tasks running.

Clean your desktop. Create a folder called Desktop20100304 (no slash marks in the date) and collect all that garbage you have on your desktop and stick it in there. You can leave the drive icon up there if you use that, but everything else goes in the folder. Cluttered desktops slow the machine and create problems.

Remember you don’t have a show until you export sound files and WAV files over 4GB are not supported. Do not use MP3 anywhere. Export in one hour chunks and import those into your video editor. I would probably change my export parameters to 48000, 16-bit, Stereo as that’s the television sound standard, 44100, 16-bit Stereo is the Music CD standard.

Use Audacity 1.3. Newer Macs do not support Audacity 1.2.

Let me know if you need any more detail on any of this.


<<<It is going to be a 4-5 hour event. >>>

How are you recording that on a one-hour camcorder?


Thanks very much kozikowski, The technique I am using for camcorder is that I will have 2 camera mounted on a tripod and 1 camera that is handheld with me. None of the cameras are 1 hour flip cameras. They are all Sony XR-520V, (240GB HDD) to be precise.

and I am assuming that Audacity saves in multiple formats ( i have to select .wav). So what I can do is not to export the whole recording but select 1 hour chunks (as u said) and “Export selection” from file menu while changing the sample rate to 48k, 16 bit.

I should have the Behringer tomorrow at my disposal. How can I have like a mock recording from an external source. Maybe I can give RCA inputs to the USB Interface from my home theater? and then record for 2-3 hours and do everything you said. The event is day after tomorrow!

That should give me a basic idea of how it looks in practice.

Thanks again and I will ask more questions tomorrow after looking at it. :slight_smile:

I forgot about 1 thing. Given my setup, do I need to change the recording speed (if there is such option) in Audacity? My camera will record video in HD: 1920 x 1080/60i.

Do i need to worry about anything here, or is this not a problem?

Okay, I got my Behringer today and works like a charm. I recorded 2 hours worth of audio and everything is very good. But as KOZ said, I should convert it to 48000 and 16 bit PCM… I did not notice any difference in converting from 32 Bit float to 16 bit PCM, but when I converted a selection of 5 minutes of audio from 44100 to 48000, I saw that the audio clip changed by a few seconds!! the higher i choose the sample rate, the shorter the clip becomes. I did not know of this problem beforehand…

So is there any option to natively record in 16 bit PCM and 44100 sample rate?? instead of converting from 32 bit and 48100 (music standard).


Using Audacity 1.3.11

Go to “Edit menu > Preferences > Quality” and set the default to 44800/44100 16/32bit (32 bit gives the highest quality if you want to edit/process the sound in any way. 44100 is CD standard. 48000 is DVD standard).
Make your recording - it will use the default settings.
Do any editing/processing that you want to do.
Export the edited recording as a 16 bit WAV file.