Small Gaps in Recording from LPs?

Hello, folks,

I am currently using Audacity 2.0.0 to transfer my LPs to MP3 files. Since upgrading to 2.0 from 1.3 (I think it was), I occasionally get a small gap/ hiccup in my recording, where I lose a brief piece of the track. It is sort of like the needle jumping/ skipping a track, but it is not anywhere near that long in duration. Other than that, this program works GREAT for what I am doing, supplemented by the additional Noise Removal feature, the Limiter add-on and the purchase of the suggested Click Repair program.

I had thought that maybe my problem was linked to using the computer for other things like internet use while recording, but when I experiment to try to recreate the effect by opening browsers, etc. while recording I cannot recreate the event. It just happens every once in a blue moon. I am using Windows XP, and have 2GB of RAM and a Pentium 4 processor, so I wouldn’t think it is a processing issue, but I don’t know… I did not have this problem with the 1.3 version, but honestly did not use it very often for this “heavy duty” type recording before I switched to the 2.0.

Any ideas?

Thanks very much,

Yes. I think you should tell us exactly what’s going on between the needle and the computer. USB turntable? Do you go through a USB hub with other equipment? That will produce little gaps like that. You were on the right track, but may have been looking in the wrong place.

If your audio gear is connected via USB, you are possibly experiencing brief overloads on the USB channel. Your analysis that it was workload conflict was probably spot on; you just tried the wrong kind of workload. Put some stress on the USB devices other than your audio and see if that causes the drop-outs. Writing in parallel with Koz.

Thanks, folks. My Pioneer turntable goes through a Pioneer amp/ equalizer, out the headset plug through a 3.5mm stereo adapter, to the 3.5mm stereo receptacle in my sound card (SoundMax Digital Audio), to the Audacity program. There is no USB connection involved. I record to Audacity, export the WAV file to a folder, open the WAV file with Click Repair and run it through that program, open a new Audacity window and import the CRed WAV back in, run the Noise Removal feature, run the Limiter feature (Steve’s add-on) to adjust the volume, label the file and tracks, and export it in individual MP3 files to my Windows Media folder. I first thought this was happening in the file transfer process, but in backtracking I found the defect on the original recording track.

Not being able to do other things while recording the music is really going to turn it into a chore, if I can’t figure this out.

I spent some more time last night recording, and throwing every operation I could think of at it, but still couldn’t produce a gap. Then, when I’m driving down the road and least expect it, a gap shows up in something I recorded! By then I have no clue what I was doing at that particular time or even during the recording of the song. GRRR!

Thanks again for your input, I really do appreciate it.

Beware of program automatic updates (such as Windows Update). They can make heavy demands on CPU or disk access at just the wrong time.
When I used XP it was mostly for audio use so I disabled Windows Update and ran it manually once a week at a time that was convenient.

I disconnect the computer from the internet when recording, so no interruptions via the net.
You can also give audacity higher priority on your computer so it is not interrupted by another program, say an anti-virus scan, see …

NB: you will only hear the skip (aka drop-out) on the play back of the recording, you won’t hear it when you are monitoring the recording process.

Thanks very much, Trebor,

I definitely learn something every day. I did not realize I could prioritize processes; will the priority stay set permanently, or do I need to reset it each time? I also thought I had read all the Audacity tips and tutorials, but I did not know about the tip to zoom the window out to encompass the time length of the whole recording; I have not been doing that.

I do realize I will not hear these gaps while recording- that makes it all the more frustrating when they pop up later, as the only way to find them before I process the raw recording is to listen to it all over again, which takes a lot of time. I will make these adjustments and see what happens. Thanks very much for your help!

Take care,

I also use another audio program on Windows Vista and its priority must be increased from the default setting otherwise skipping occurs,
the priority setting is remembered by the operating system: you don’t have to modify it every time you run a particular program.

You could try out DPC Latency Checker

Just keep it running while you record. If hickups occur, they will show up as red bars.
It once helped me track down the cause of drop-outs while recording. In my case it was the scroll wheel on my USB mouse, but only in the Opera web browser.
A friend of mine discovered that any playing of video would cause crippling recording latency.


So far so good, folks. Thanks so very much for the help!

I put up a separate post for anyone interested- any idea how to make the inside tracks (ex.- #5 and #10) to sound better?

Thanks again!