I think I want to buy a new interface, today is 12/26/2023. I would like to get the best one that works with Audacity right now.
What’s your jobs? If they’re simple and they never change, you can get away with a relatively simple and inexpensive system.
If I was going to read an audiobook, I’d do it on my Zoom H1n stand-alone recorder and then transfer the files to my machine for editing. That also gets around the problem of having a hot, noisy, awkward computer in the room with you.
Just as an example. There are other recorders like this. It can record in perfect quality WAV files and it gives you an automatic safety backup copy of your work.
Look through the forum for people who can’t get their microphone and interface to work right. I think my favorite one so far is the poster that records blobs of “silence” periodically and nobody can figure out why.
Further, you don’t have to worry about interference from other software or apps. That’s a major problem with computer live recording. “My Zoom software is messin’ with my voice.”
Here’s someone doing a live interview with a hand-held recorder.
I don’t think that one is a Zoom. It looks awkward, but the interview sound is perfect. Slight echo in the room, but good to go with.
There is a note to look for a Sound recorder and not a Voice recorder. Voice recorders can have processing you can’t turn off and they can be stuck with MP3 files only. Never do production in MP3. Run away.
Josh Turner did all of his early music work on an H2.
What’s notable about that recorder is that it remained popular even after it was discontinued. It stayed available—at the same price—on the used market.
Later, when he graduated to multi-microphone band recordings, he did it on an H6.
I’m guessin’ you don’t want any of this. You want to know the interface and microphone that will make you record award-winning productions, make millions, and retire to a California beach house.
Did I hit it?
I don’t mean to cause any trouble here. I have been using Audacity for 20 years easy, and been very appreciative. Because I’ve have been able to record original music the whole way with pretty good success and I have the music to show for it, having recorded 1 track at a time, or 1 stereo track at a time effectively getting 2 tracks for the price of one. And overdubbing many tracks as I or my friends go. Wonderful.
So recently I figured I would get an interface that would pass 4 sources to the pc, say 1 guitar and 3 mics. I have yet to get an interface that can do this. I have had 3 interfaces by major brands quit passing signal on 1 or more channels, after having worked for a time. Recently. Two of them were just out of warrantee and one was new. Getting expensive, but the time spent recently trying to get something working is killing my project.
So I posted the question not to sell something but to happily buy whatever the group recommends.
It is known that multi-channel interfaces (more than two) don’t fare well in Audacity. Any troubles you may have had recording stereo are nothing compared to forcing custom, multi-channel interface software to work reliably.
That and unless they changed it, Audacity will always play in stereo.
I don’t think there is a trouble-free interface. I think the best we can do is point to one user who got one interface to work once. Full Stop. Not the kind of thing to crank out desirable recordings.
Other forum elves may comment.
I’ve never tied it, but Audacity is “not great” for multitracking. From what I see here on the forum not many people are doing it, and many (most?) people fail.
There is some information in the Audacity Manual.
You may need a full DAW. They are designed from the ground-up for multi-track recording & mixing. Many interfaces come with a “lite” version of DAW.
Most interfaces are quite good and “good enough” for home studio recording and it mostly depends on how many mic/instrument/line inputs you need.
One feature that’s nice to have in an interface is zero-latency direct-hardware monitoring. When you monitor through the computer there is always latency (delay) and sometimes it’s tricky to get the latency low-enough so you can monitor yourself without noticing the delay. IMO - It’s better to avoid the issue altogether with direct monitoring.
There are some USB mixers that double as multi-tracking interfaces but most inexpensive mixers just send the stereo mix to the USB port.
Another option is a Portastudio. You can record stand-alone (without a computer) and then optionally transfer the files to a computer for mixing & editing.
The multitasking operating system on a computer can be “trouble” and there’s just a lot that can go wrong with computers. Stand-alone recorders tend to be more reliable.
(“Portastudio” is a brand name, and there are others.)
…Computers ARE used everyday for pro & amateur recording, and it helps if you have a dedicated computer in your studio that you don’t otherwise mess with.
Thanks Doug. Yes I have accepted Audacity as one-stereo-track-recording-only some time ago. And interveningly acquired other professional DAWs and the best interfaces I could. Maybe it is just really bad luck, but as I have mentioned over these past weeks the interfaces exhibit failure to pass a signal on 1 or more channels on several different computers on multiple professional paid for DAWs. So the issue seems to be narrowed to really bad luck or terrible quality of the interfaces or some weird phenom capable of bricking interfaces. Interestingly maybe is that I also had an SSD bricked during this period, which has since been replaced with a new SSD and a new very clean Windows 10 installation.
So just to get myself back to playing music I have decided to try another Portastudio type device/mixer of model or another. Wish me luck. I have been through many Portastudios over the last 30 years. Thanks again for your time.
But the same machine. If you started out with Spinning Metal, then the machine may have been perfectly comfortable with high environment heat. That could be the cause of the bricked SSD. Solid State Drives do not like heat very much. This will be the first (1) case of an SSD failing I’ve ever heard of. I josh not.
I know somebody is going to bring this up. Win10? How are you going to prevent Microsoft from installing updates periodically behind your back?
l’d think twice about having a live network connection on a production machine.
That looks like a Tascam DR40 or DR40X. I have the DR40 (now discontinued). It’s a pretty good recorder.
See? I’m not the only one. I also have a series of Olympus recorders which I completely waste on office interviews, but will export perfect quality, stereo WAV files if asked nicely.
One of these times I’m going to set one up for announcing/presenting in a quiet room and see how it goes.
I personally do not recommend Focusrite if working from a Windows/Microsoft computer. As the newer drivers aren’t MESC(sp?) compatible. As was my experience with an old Scarlett Solo purchased 2021.
The new win10 updates rode through and the patches conflicted with the interface, causing major glitching in my otherwise prime recordings. Like what the heck was going on.
Contacted the audio place I bought it from, and Microsoft about it, and they confirmed that most windows were incompatible with the Focusrites for that reason.
I switched to a PreSonus, and smooth sailing since
Post back on what you decided to do and how it went. This is a forum. Users helping each other, not a Help Desk. Your experiences will help others.
After all, at first I said here that I would get a Tascam recording mixer, model 12, I also considered a Tascam PortaCapture 6 channel for its 32-bit recording. My plan was to then import the files into Audacity to work on them. But I realized that I too much would be missing working with Audacity while doing the actual recording - unacceptable. So for the time being I have ordered a UA Volt 4 and I know I will only get two channels at a time into Audacity.
I will make do by connecting a 10 channel mixer before the Volt 4 so I can at least have the option of using several mics and instruments mixed to the 2 channels going into Audacity. And continue to record more channels for overdubbing to each song as necessary. That’s been working for 20 years.
Next steps. So, in the near future I hope to add a PortaCapture 6 channel. I trust that will add 6 channels of 32-bit recording to the process. That’s doable. Then even later, as I can, I will consider additional computers to get true multi-tracking ability with 32-bit recording. (But that will probably prove to be impractical for me.) And I will still be happy to use Audacity, I have many hundreds of recordings already in Audacity, even though I have been occasionally recording on Pro Tools because that’s what they usually use in classes on music production.
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