I am able to import an audio drum loop and it plays fine but when I try to record voice over the loop using the my computers built in microphone the voice is distorted. Can anyone tell me what the easiest fix is for this problem? I am not doing any professional recording just for a music class assignment. I don’t need pro quality I just need to eliminate the voice distortion. Thank you …
If the drum loop and vocal are not distorted separately, but become distorted when mixed, reduce the levels of each by about -6dB.
Mixing is done by summation (addition). If the resulting mix goes over 0dB (the “digital maximum”) you can get clipping (distorted flat-topped waves).
Audacity itself won’t clip because it uses floating-point so you can go over 0dB with essentially no limit. But, A/D converters, D/A converters, “normal” WAV files, and CDs will clip if you try to go over 0dB.
If the mix ends-up too quiet, use the Amplify effect to bring the peaks to 0dB. That’s as loud as you can go linearly without distortion.
Don’t expect your homemade mix to be as loud as a commerical recording. Pros use compression and limiting (non-linear effects) to make a song louder. You can do that too, but it can be tricky to do without noticable distortion, and it shouldn’t be necessary in this case.
If the vocal by itself is distorted, that’s what you get with a built-in laptop mic or with a “computer mic” connected to a regular soundcard or a laptop.
You can get nearly studio quality with a “studio style” USB microphone (starting around $100 USD) if you have a quiet “studio” with reasonable acoustics and a something nearly professional to record.
Or, you can use a good performance or studio mic (with an XLR connector) along with a USB audio interface which has the appropriate XLR mic input.)
Or, the line-input on a regular soundcard is often acceptable for use with a good perfromance/studio microphone and a mixer. (Most laptops have only mic-in.) In this application you don’t need to “mix” with the mixer, you just need to use it’s built-in micrphone preamp.