Poor Sound Recording Computer Playback [SOLVED]

I have just installed the latest version of Audacity and am getting poor results recording music. I have attached the WAV file. Thanks in advance for the help

What’s your source? Are you recording streaming audio over the internet or something plugged-into your computer?

If you are plugged-in, what kind of hardware are you using? How are you connected to the computer? Do you have a laptop (with only mic-in) or a desktop/tower with a regular soundcard and line-in?

If you are recording streaming audio, tell us what version of Windows you have.

I can’t listen to your file right now 'cause I’m at work, but “poor quality” is usually something on the analog-side. (From looking at the waveform, your levels are good.)

I am using Windows 8.1. I have an M-Audio interface. With the previous version of Audacity I could use the WASAPI and the loopback to stream live audio but I don’t see those options with this Audacity. I am just recording live from youtube with a good quality condenser mic (ART C-2). I have a Fender Passport 300W PA plugged into my laptop, so the sound quality is not the problem. Regards, Al

OK, I’m home and I’ve listened to the file.

a good quality condenser mic (ART C-2). I have a Fender Passport 300W PA plugged into my laptop…

That’s about the WORST way to do it. You’ve got the speakers, microphone, and room acoustics, all affecting the sound. But, but I’ll take your word that it sounds better in the room than what the recording sounds like.

With the previous version of Audacity I could use the WASAPI and the loopback to stream live audio…

That might work if you select your regular soundcard instead of the M-Audio interface. It depends on the driver, and since WASAPI LOOPBACK is a digital method the quality doesn’t depend on the quality of your soundcard. [u]This page[/u] has some suggestions/options for recording streaming audio.

Another option is to download (instead of recording) the YouTube video and then open the file in Audacity. YouTube doesn’t want you downloading (or recording) their videos and it might be a copyright violation, but there are free applications on the Internet to do it. In order to open the compressed file, you’ll probably need to download and install the [u]FFMPEG import-export library[/u] if you have not done so already. (Audacity will just extract the audio from the audio/video file.)

Like most recording software, when recording Audacity just “captures” the digital audio stream and sends it to your soundcard and it doesn’t monkey with the sound. But, Windows can mess-up the sound before Audacity ever sees it. Make sure all Windows [u]“enhancements”[/u] are disabled.

I have an M-Audio interface…

… with a good quality condenser mic (ART C-2).

Scratch the microphone’s grill with your fingernail to make sure you are recording from the studio condenser, and not accidently from your laptop’s built-in mic.

Have you plugged headphones into the interface to see what kind of analog sound you are getting?

I apologize if these are “dumb questions”, but have you used that mic before? Do you have phantom power on the interface turned on? That’s a side-address directional microphone, so are you recording into the front side of the mic, not the back side or end?

How about telling us what version of Audacity you have and where you got it from? See the pink panel at the top of the page.

The current Audacity 2.1.1 from http://audacityteam.org/download/ includes Windows WASAPI host.


You’re gonna laugh at this. All I had to do was increase the size of the menu by dragging it to the right and then I could see the loopback function. All is good and I am back in business. Thanks for the input.

Nah, we like people that are brave enough to fess up :slight_smile: