Recording Volume too high

Let me start out by saying I am brand new to using Audacity and recording.
I just picked up a Tascam DR-05 and tested it out on NYE to record our friends band. I was super excited to check it out when I got home but when I listened back it sounded like a whole lotta static. I’m not sure but I believe I had my recording volume too high and was basically at peak them whole time. Is there any way that I can manipulate the recorded volume to go down through Audacity so it actually sounds like music? Thanks for any help!

In a word, no. The damage is unrecoverable.

What levels were indicated on the DR05 while you were recording? Did you use its Peak Reduction feature and the built-in limiter?

– Bill

PS: please do not double-post. I have removed your identical post from the Audio Processing section.

Not sure what the levels were - as I mentioned this is my first attept at recording - I briefly scanned the manual but wasn’t sure of all the features or what they did - so I’m guessing I didn’t use either the Peak Reduction or limiter. Good to know that they are there and could have resolved this issue.

I pretty much set up high behind the bar on a mini tripod and let it go. It seems to me that there are a few things worth checking on the fly. I guess lesson learned…the hard way - I missed some great music. I guess I have some homework to do before my next show.

When the automatic transmission first appeared in cars, it only meant that you didn’t have to manually shift gears anymore.

It did NOT relieve you of the duty of being a safe and knowledgable driver.

Yes, a little education is in order, especially seeing how you were greener than a shamrock your first time out.

I’ve been doing my own recording for the past two decades, but after my first encounter with a 4-Track Portastudio, I was seriously wondering if I had wasted my money.

After 2 intensive weeks of hitting it, it started to be more “natural”.I also asked a lot of questions of people about recording who knew WAY more than I EVER will.

Here’s how to prepare for the next time:

  1. Read that manual from stem to stern.

Read it until it barks.

  1. Forget about B+W’s like “peak reduction” and “limiter” until you have a firm grasp on the basics. YOU are in charge of your recordings, NOT the DR-05.You have to learn to walk before you can dance.

  2. Speaking of which, DO NOT USE ANYTHING THAT SMELLS OR SPELLS OUT “Auto Level” FOR ANY REASON! “Auto Level” shouldn’t be allowed on ANY recording device because computer chips are not that smart (yet).

Google “auto level” and you will see why… STAY AWAY FROM IT.

  1. Set your recording level to -6 DB, meaning that’s where your “peaks” should hit, but not much above it. (Google this too.)

-6 DB means you have enough “headroom” to handle unexpected level spikes without distorting or clipping. Of course, your band MAY not start with their loudest song first, so, what you have to do is “ride gain”-that is, you have to monitor them according to the meter and make sure that you are in the area of -6 DB.

Where is your DB indicator?
Just to the right of the “R” metering indicator, just below the time remain counter ( if that’s what it is)

See the "-5 DB in the picture? THAT is what you keep your eye on!

I could say a few more things but it’s dinner time. Look up some stuff on youtube about proper signal levels and pay CLOSE attention to what you find( if they’re available.