I’m a beginner trying to make playlist and mixes. I’m using a mixer that goes to a Komplete 2 soundcard then into the USB drive of my ASUS Zenbook 13. I’m using windows 10 and the most recent 3.0.2 Audacity.
When I first downloaded Audacity and started making mixes everything sounded great. The sound wave in the Audio Track area would be big and dynamic. I had the gain on the sound card up about 1/4 of the way. All the lights on the mixer and sound card would go up and down perfectly with the music and I was making sure the lights were just about peaking but not staying all the way lit.
Then randomly when I tried to record one day, I noticed the sound wave in the Audio Track screen was almost a strait line with just little bumps for the vocals or random beats. The playback sound on what was recorded partial and terrible. I’ve double checked my gain and output levels and they all seem like they would be great for recording. Then I maxed out the gain and output levels but got the same quality.
I’ve loaded my old saved recordings and they seem totally fine but when I try to make new ones it still doesn’t work.
I’ve double and triple checked all my cables.
I downloaded Audacity on my wife’s computer. Plugged the exact same soundcard into her USB and it recorded perfectly. Unfortunately, her computer is too slow to keep up with the recording speed. I copied off all the Audacity settings from her computer to mine and still the same quality of recording on mine.
So I returned my computer to factory settings, and removed all the old files. Then downloaded and installed Audacity again and still not making quality recordings. Nothing has changed, still the straight line sound wave and terrible sound from what been recorded.
Thank you for reading and help or ideas would be apricated.
Then randomly when I tried to record one day, I noticed the sound wave in the Audio Track screen was almost a strait line with just little bumps
How about the LED meters on your Komplete interface? Are they still showing good levels?
Make sure you’ve selected the USB device as your [u]Recording Device[/u]. It may actually say “Komplete” or it might say “USB… something”. Do NOT select an option that includes “(loopback)”.
And make sure that all [u]Windows “Enhancements”[/u] are turned OFF. (Some applications like Zoom or Skype will mess-with your settings.) Audacity doesn’t alter the digital audio stream while recording, but sometimes Windows does…
and I was making sure the lights were just about peaking but not staying all the way lit.
Once you get your problem solved… DON’T try to “maximize” the recording level. If the signal is too “hot” and it “tries” to go over 0dB you’ll get [u]clippiing[/u] (distorted, squared-off waves). Too-low is better than too-high and the signals have to be very-low before it becomes a problem. (Currently, you have have some problem that’s causing low levels and that’s a different issue than intentionally reducing the recording levels.)
It’s usually recommend that you shoot-for peaks between -3 and -6dB, leaving some headroom for unexpected peaks. There’s no issue with slightly-low digital levels and you’re probably going to re-adjust the levels after recording anyway. If you are digitizing analog recordings the levels are fairly predictable but if you are recording “live” vocals or instruments the levels are less predictable and you need to allow for more headroom. And if you are actually mixing, the signal gets “louder” when two or more signals/sounds are combined.
then into the USB drive
Its not a drive, it’s a USB port. You can plug a USB hard drive or “thumb drive” into your USB port, but you’ve plugged an audio interface into your USB port.
I’m a beginner trying to make playlist and mixes.
From vinyl? If you are “scratching vinyl” and maybe rapping and you want to record your “performance”, a mixer is a good way to do it.
But if you just want to combine digital songs into one-big file (optionally crossfaded) that can be done entirely in Audacity. It’s been several years, but I’ve made a few crossfaded “mix tape” style CDs. The downside of one-big file is that if you are not making a CD there is no good way of making separate track markers.
Or if you just want a playlist (without crossfading) you can do that with your audio-player software. (Some players can crossfade but good-sounding “smart crossfading” is a rare feature.)
…Speaking of playlists, iTunes (and some other applications) can make a Smart Playlist. I have several smart playlists… For example I have an “early 60s” playlist that includes rock and soul released between 1960 & 1965, but excludes Christmas and comedy, etc. If I add another album from that era to my music library it’s automatically added to that playlist.