Recording Quality

Whilst recording either from my Laptop or CD player onto the Desktop with Audacity 1.3 and with the 1.2. (which is deleted) I use the function to hear it while it records. What happens is I get quite a few little skips or stutters. I have tried many different things but it keeps happening thus destroying my recording. The Desktop is Windows XP a few years old now, the Laptop is Vista Basic 2 years and a bit old. I’ve tried slowing down the cursor, increasing or decreasing the input and output volumes to no avail. Or could it be problem with the AC97 sound card? Any tips or info on this topic would be greatly appreciated.


Say that again and use more words. You’re recording from your external CD player through a wired connection to your laptop? I need to create your work area in my mind. We all do.

Do you mean you’re using Software Playthrough so you can hear what you’re doing? What happens if you make a “blind” recording by turning Playthrough off? Does the problem magically go away? You can easily use the bouncing light sound meters to know when the show starts and stops.


Thanks Koz.
I was not expecting an answer so soon. Sorry I should have said I have the E796 USB Audio Capture interface gadget (wired) which I first used on my Roberts
Cd/cassette/radio player. I was making an Mp3 Cd from 2 tape cassettes. It was not too bad the end product, but I thought I heard a little skip on a few tracks.
Then later weeks later I thought I would try the Laptop as the source. Using the USB Audio Capture interface plugged into my XP eMachine desktop computer. I thought it worked fine, but after 5 minutes or so it would start sort of fluttering again only last about a second or two. Then again a few minutes later and so on.
I did try it Blind as an experiment i.e. having the sound off as it recorded. On playback it was better but not a hundred percent. I started to think maybe I have too many things running in the background. I have dumped some toolbars that I don’t really need that had things that scroolled along with news and forecasts.
Its not a big powerfull computer so perhaps it can’t run all these things at the same time smoothly. Also switched off Msn messenger.
I have done a recording about an hour and a half long with the Laptop as the source and saved it on the eMachine via the USB E796. I will check it out later on Monday to see how it sounds. I thought about switching off Skype incase that was interfereing with the Audacity Prog. but I am not sure how to disable Skype.
I was just wondering if I switched the Broadband off if the Audacity prog. will still function.

I would find out how to turn Skype off. Skype Does Not Play Well With Others.

Skype got their reputation of working when nobody else will by a scorched earth policy. It viciously takes over and reconfigures all other sound services when you run it. It doesn’t matter what else you’re doing or what other software is running. You either have a Skype machine or you don’t.

So that’s a darn good start. You can also get this problem by having a highly fragmented or getting full hard drive. Either of those will slow your machine down to the point that it stops being able to handle live audio (or video).

Capture of live audio (or video) is usually the first time people find their machine isn’t as fast as they thought. Live performance doesn’t wait. If there isn’t free drive space waiting at the exact instant you play that B-flat over middle C, you lose on Sports Call®.


Hi, Thanks I did have a highly fragmented hard drive there was well over 5000 fragmented files which took some time to defrag.
Once done that made things a lot better. I have a 250gig portable Maxtor Hard Drive I might try incorporating it into my projects
to take the weight off the computer.

<<<I have a 250gig portable Maxtor Hard Drive I might try incorporating it into my projects
to take the weight off the computer.>>>

But only if the external connection is fast enough, and external drives get fragmented, too. If you have an early, slow USB style connection, you may be just trading one problem for another.


Work on your on-board hard drive for active projects - when the projects are completed Export them as WAV files to the Maxstor and delete the project files from your onboard drive.


Hi, My computer will be at the lower end of the scale when it comes to speed. That is quite interesting about exporting files to the Maxtor, I never thought of that
I have a feeling that might help me in my projects. Cheers will let you know how it turns out when I find the time to experiment.


That’s not what he said. Export the work as stand-alone, high quality WAV sound files and move them over to the external drive. Audacity will not Save a sound file. It only saves Projects and you can’t move Projects.


Actually no Koz. Stingray can work on his projects in Audacity abd the Export them directly to the external drive, Audacity need the high speed on-board disk access for capture and editing (particularly for capture) - but when exporting this speed is not required.

I just tested this on a small 2-song project
1)Exporting to my USB thumb drive directly took 1min 8secs
2)Exporting to my onboad disk too 28secs - copying onto the thumb drive was 12secs = total 40 secs

So 2) was slightly faster - but you have to add on more “processing” - more of my clicking time - plus the time to delete the on-board C: version

@stingray - having said that I would strongly recommend that you get a second external disk so that you can make a backup copy - a single copy of any important file is not a good idea at all.


Hi wc / koz,
I tried exporting as wav directly from Audacity to the external h/d but was stopped from doing so by the message that I did not have the permission of the Administrator. That’s weird as I thought I was the Administrator as its my computer. So what I ended up doing was to export the project as wav to my desktop first then from there send it to the external h/d. That worked well did not take long at all then as you said delete the copy on the desktop. It also works fine with mp3. The ogg vorbis is an interesting format but if I burn a cd disc it only
plays in the computer not on a portable mp3 player, I thought I read somewhere ogg vorbis would function well in an mp3 disc player. At the end of the day I don’t need that format. Thanks guys no doubt I will find some other problem or question that needs sorting.

sounds like your pc is overloaded.
turn off all internet and comm software.
turn off all virus software.
turn off all unneeded services.
close down all other programs.
stop anything from autostarting that you do not need.

there are a couple of sites that will give you a checklist of all the crud that needs to be stripped out to make sure your pc does not have problem processing audio in real time.

now if you are also using an external audio interface that may be causing delays. some can be near real time, some just are too slow. read the manual with the external devices to see what they say to do.

hi whomper, I do have a lot of stuff chugging away in the back ground messing up my real time speed etc. They should make things easier to switch off, or disable. There is probably more power diverted to these things than what goes to Audacity. I thought about disconnecting the
Broadband to see how thing s turn out. I don’t really like switching off the antivirus stuff but there again if the internet is off that would make it alright I expect. Will try all that when I have some free time to experiment.