not showing ant wave forms

hello my name is owen, i just downloaded audacity 2.0.6 ( the exe installer ) and i am having problems. i’m running win 7 home premium 32 bit. i’m not showing a wave form when i try to record. i understand this is due to not getting a signal from my set up, i just don’t know why. what i am trying to do is run my dj set up, sing to a karaoke song and record the result. not sure i can ev en do this with audacity. i have a fully digital dj/kj set up, to include behringer mixer, e-mu 404 sound card speakers etc. i need help making sure i have the connections right for what i am trying to do. please help. thank you owen

Hi Owen, How is you mixer connected to your computer?
Are you getting a good strong signal at your mixer (showing on the mixer’s meters and audible if you plug your headphones into the mixer)?
How familiar are you with the rest of the equipment (the dj/kj stuff)?

hello steve, thanks very much for the reply . my mixer is not connected to the laptop, it is connected to the sound card via 1/4 in saber from l&r inputs of mixer to the main output of the e-mu 404 (sound card). the soundcard is then connected to laptop via usb. yes music is loud and clear from mixer, speakers.

OK, good.
What about at the e-mu 404? If you plug your headphones into that, can you hear the music loud and clear?

Hello again. well i did plug in a set of headphones into the e-mu and no sound coming from headphones. but if i remove
the headphones i still get loud and clear from speakers. not sure how good hp are and i had to use a 1/4 connector and adapt down to 1/8 for the h/p connection. have to leave in about 30 min. appoint. but i do want to follow up with this. i have
never recorded anything and i’d really like to learn. by the way , about the only thing i do not have is a usb mic, u think i
should get one for audacity? thanks again

OK you’ve lost me. What speakers are you talking about? Where are they connected (we can’t see your setup, so you need to describe everything).

Probably not. If we can get your mixing desk and sound card working properly then a conventional (XLR not USB) mic will probably be better.

ok here’s my setup as we speak. behringer mixer connected to behringer 212d speaker ( 2 way powered ) also connected to mixer is one shure hand held wireless mic/reciever/ transmiter connected by xrl cables. ( all cables are either “Monster” or “Mogami”. also a shure headset mic is connected to mixer as well. next is the sound card ( e-mu 404 ) this is also connected by 1/4 " connecter. then the e-mu is connected via usb to my laptop. the only other hardware would be 2 external hard drives that are connected by usb. also i went and bought a better pair of headphones and they work fine being plugged into sound card. tt

is it possible that i have audacity set up improperly? like the mme ( host ) audio device etc. ? the sound card seems to be doing it’s
job. anyway i m back now if u want to continue. thanks owen

Details are everything :wink:

That’s a wired connection to the mixer? Big XLR plug into the desk?
If it is, let’s go with that for setting up.

One 1/4" jack?

Which model is the Behringer mixer? What output on the mixer is connected to which input of the emu 404?

mixer is behringer xenyx1002. i have others but this is the one i have at home.yes i only have one 1/4 " jack and it’s connected to
the left side only of the 2track input port of the mixer.( should i use left and right" input" ports?) that connector goes to the left
side only of the main “output” of the e-mu. your question has the inputs and outputs reversed. then the main output of the mixer
connects to the behringer 212d via 1/4 from mixer output to xlr on the speaker.

OK, it sounds like your connections are not quite right.

Lets go back to what “the job” is.
You wrote:

what i am trying to do is run my dj set up, sing to a karaoke song and record the result.

  1. Where does the karaoke backing track come from? Is it an MP3, or one of those special karaoke disks, or a normal CD or …?
  2. Which microphone are you intending to use?
  3. Do you have a normal, wired (big XLR plug) hand held mic that you can use while we are getting this all set up right?

the music is what’s known as a “cdg” the music is an mp3 and the words are a seperate file for the graphics. but when it is a “zipped”
file you can play it, move it from folder to folder etc. the mic i’ll use for this is a shure sm58. it connected directly to the mixer
via xlr. ready when u are.

So that’s a “karaoke CD” yes?

The way that one would usually record vocals over a backing track with Audacity, is to import the backing track into Audacity (which gives you one track in Audacity with the music), then record the vocals into a second track (while listening to the first track). This is called “overdubbing”. The main advantage of this method is that if you mess up part of the vocal, you can make a second “take” (or third, 4th …) on separate tracks, then edit the takes to get one “perfect” recording.
To do this you need the backing track as a file that you can import (such as a WAV file or an MP3 file).

If you need to play the CDG disk in a karake player (so that the words are displayed, then you would need to take a different approach which is a bit more tricky to get right (because you have to get your vocals right in one take). This second method is:

  • connect the outputs of the karaoke player to the mixer (line inputs on the mixer)
  • connect the mic to the mixer (XLR mic input on the mixer)
  • connect the mixer to the sound card
  • play the CDG disk in your karaoke player, start singing, and record the entire song in one take.

Whichever method you use, you should be listening to the music through headphones and not speakers (the microphone will pick up sound from the speakers and that will spoil the sound quality).

Which approach are you wanting to take?

ok steve, i think we can go with the 1st method because a cdg is actually 2 files, one of which ( the music) is in fact an mp3 file.

i’am sorry but we have another engagement tonight, so if possible i would like to follow up tomorrow. so at your convience please contact me in the morning. approx. 10:00 am central standard time. in the mean time i will find a cdg that is unzipped and
have it available. thank you so very much for your help so far. should i make any changes to my “set up” before we proceed ?

Leave it as it is for now, then we’ll do a couple of test runs to get this working a bit at a time. The main problem at the moment is that you have a complicated set-up, so it’s difficult to see where the problem(s) is/are.

I’ll post back in a bit with instructions for you to try tomorrow.

ok thanks again

Starting from all of the equipment disconnected from each other.

  1. Connect SM58 mic to the left XLR input of the emu.
  2. Connect your headphones to the headphone socket of the emu.
  3. Connect the emu to the computer with the USB cable.
  4. Switch everything on and wait a few moments for Windows to find the emu device.
  5. Refer to the emu manual and set a reasonably high microphone level.
  6. Open the Windows Sound Control Panel and ensure that Windows can see the emu device, and that the green meter in the control panel responds to you talking into the mic.

The above part must be working first, or Audacity has no chance.

Assuming that the above is all working:
7) Open Audacity (if it’s already open, close it down and restart it).
8) In the device toolbar, set the USB device (the emu) as the recording device and as the playback device. Set the number of recording channels to “1 channel (mono)”.
9) Press the record button and make a test recording.

What happens?

hello again steve, well this is the latest. followed your instructions and as far as i can tell both windows and audacity are “seeing”
the mu, as it shows up in widows sound and it shows up in audacity as well. one problem is with connecting the sm 58 to e-mu. no sound if connected to e-mu, but works fine connected to mixer. i did import the mp3 portion of a cdg into audacity and
the waveform is there for the song and plays perfect. but when i try to record it’s still a no go, so some progress. if we could just get it to record.

hi steve, well i fooled around and finally got it to record. took some fiddlin around with the settings on e-mu. mostly with
the direct monitoring aspect. the issue with the mic not working in the e-mu had to do with sound levels for the mic. i have a long way to go before i have a sound grasp of editing etc. but it’s a start. thanks again for your help. i’m sure i’ll be talking
to you again. you could give me a quick class on editing. the wave form is too wide, it touches at both top and bottom. i m gonna get into your manual and see what i can learn. thanks again. owen

The signal level (hence the height of the waveform) is determined by a number of settings.
When making adjustments to settings, follow the path of the signal (the “signal chain”). In my step-by-step instructions the signal path goes:
Microphone → XLR lead → Emu sound card ->(converted to digital) → USB lead → Computer (hardware) → Windows (sound system) → Audacity → Hard drive.

Settings for the signal level are available at:
Emu sound card.
Windows sound system (Windows Sound Control Panel)
Audacity, but see below:

The setting in Audacity is the, but this is just a duplicate of the Windows sound system control. It does not work in all cases - it depends on whether the Windows control responds to external commands, which in turn depends on the sound card device drivers. In other words, no need to worry about this control - set the Emu level and then the Windows Sound Control Panel recording level.

On the Emu, adjust the level so that on your loudest sound, all of the green LEDs light up. The yellow LED may just flicker on, but the red LED must not light. If the red LED comes on at all, turn down the level.

Then go to the Windows Sound Control Panel and adjust the recording level. This is often easiest to do if Audacity is open and “monitoring”.

To set Audacity so that it monitors the input signal, either click on the recording meter, or select “Start Monitoring” from the recording meter drop-down menu. (little black arrow next to the microphone icon).

Note that the Audacity meters may be resized (see Resizing to the full width of your screen makes reading the level much easier. The level that you are aiming for is “maximum peaks up to about -6 dB”.