Multi-channel Recording in Audacity

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boss96
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Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:01 am
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Re: Multi-channel Recording in Audacity

Post by boss96 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:24 pm

Switching to high performance mode is important to do anyway on any PC recording audio. The sticking point with having whole 16 tracks appear when you push record or overdub is that audacity records the noise floor on all of the unused tracks which uses a processing power. You can avoid that though by muting the unused tracks which does seem to save resources. Or you could use another smaller USB interface that has only two inputs and use that as the input for your overdubs which should work pretty well.
One other point of interest, if I remember correctly on Berringer's website they list audacity as included recording software.

Gale Andrews
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Re: Multi-channel Recording in Audacity

Post by Gale Andrews » Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:01 pm

boss96 wrote:The sticking point with having whole 16 tracks appear when you push record or overdub is that audacity records the noise floor on all of the unused tracks which uses a processing power. You can avoid that though by muting the unused tracks which does seem to save resources.
If you mute the unwanted tracks that appear when recording, they still record the noise floor, don't they? You're just saying that when overdubbing, muting all but the tracks you want to play helps save resources?

I'm not sure why muting tracks would save resources when not overdubbing.


Gale
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boss96
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Re: Multi-channel Recording in Audacity

Post by boss96 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:19 pm

From what I've seen if you hit mute "within Audacity on the mixer screen" the unused recording tracks that appear when you hit "record", that it does not record the noise floor. This way even though 16 tracks (in the case of the Tascam 16x08) appear you can mute them and only record the new track that you want to add to your project.
I've also noticed that my file size (.aup files) goes down if I mute, during recording, unwanted tracks.

Gale Andrews
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Re: Multi-channel Recording in Audacity

Post by Gale Andrews » Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:40 pm

boss96 wrote:From what I've seen if you hit mute "within Audacity on the mixer screen" the unused recording tracks that appear when you hit "record", that it does not record the noise floor. This way even though 16 tracks (in the case of the Tascam 16x08) appear you can mute them and only record the new track that you want to add to your project.
I've also noticed that my file size (.aup files) goes down if I mute, during recording, unwanted tracks.
Thanks for replying. I am not totally clear if you mean that you are manually muting each new track that you don't want to record. If your Solo button preference in Tracks Preferences is set to "Multi-Track", you might be able to save time by using Tracks > Mute All Tracks then just press Solo on the tracks that you need (Solo over-rides Mute).

With standard two channel recording devices that I've ever seen, muted tracks record regardless, even if append recording into two separate mono tracks and muting one of the tracks.

Perhaps some might expect muting the track being recorded to make it record silence (flat line). Is that what happens for you, or does Audacity not draw the flat line on the tracks that don't record?


Gale
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boss96
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Re: Multi-channel Recording in Audacity

Post by boss96 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 4:34 am

Well I guess I'm not so sure now Gale, it appeared to me that if I did not mute the unused tracks during recording (overdubbing or adding a new take) that Audacity would run very slow or not at all.
Lets go over the scenario again.
When I push record I see 16 tracks on the screen, the Tascam is a 16 channel interface. I record the band using 9-10 individual tracks and the other ones are ignored. When I work with my project file I delete the unused tracks and end up with a project file that has 9 or 10 tracks.
If the singer, guitar player, etc, are not happy with their performance I can open the project file, mute the particular track they want to do again, push record on Audacity which causes the original tracks to play.
At the same time since I have hit record, I now have 16 additional tracks displayed, all recording even though I am not using all of them. So at that point I have 16 new tracks as well as the original tracks from the project file, for a total of approx. 25 tracks. My experience doing that is it may record for a short while but usually causes Audacity to lock up or otherwise quit. If I mute the unused tracks individually it appears to work correctly without causing Audacity to lock up.
So I concluded that if I did not mute the unused tracks then it must be recording the low level noise from the hardware which is using more PC resources. I may be wrong though. And I suspect a faster PC would help too.
In the end it is easier to simply use a small 2 channel usb interface for overdubs since I am only adding 2 more tracks to the existing project file. And thanks for pointing out the "mute all tracks" feature, I had never noticed that before.

Gale Andrews
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Re: Multi-channel Recording in Audacity

Post by Gale Andrews » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:23 pm

boss96 wrote:If the singer, guitar player, etc, are not happy with their performance I can open the project file, mute the particular track they want to do again, push record on Audacity which causes the original tracks to play.
At the same time since I have hit record, I now have 16 additional tracks displayed, all recording even though I am not using all of them. So at that point I have 16 new tracks as well as the original tracks from the project file, for a total of approx. 25 tracks. My experience doing that is it may record for a short while but usually causes Audacity to lock up or otherwise quit. If I mute the unused tracks individually it appears to work correctly without causing Audacity to lock up. So I concluded that if I did not mute the unused tracks then it must be recording the low level noise from the hardware which is using more PC resources.
I think a few other people have said that muting redundant tracks that are being recorded might help prevent lockups, but I am not sure what the mechanism is if as I suspect the tracks are still recording.

You can try selecting content in the recorded track after you muted it then Effect > Amplify... . If "New Peak Amplitude (dB)" says -Infinity, then Audacity just padded silence and did not record. But if "New Peak Amplitude (dB)" is a number, then you actually recorded the noise floor.


Gale
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madoues
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Re: Multi-channel Recording in Audacity

Post by madoues » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:58 pm

Hi,

I have been using Audacity for a very long time on stereo tracks and would like to see if it is possible to can make it work multi-channel with my mixer.
It is a QSC touchmix Pro-30 mixer with Windows drivers on Windows 10.

If Wasapi is chosen as driver model in Audacity, the Touchmix can be chosen in the device list and 32 numbers appear in the channels list.

First question: Is there supposed to be a way to find out which channel a track is assigned to?
I have read that we cannot assign a track to a channel, but can we tell which track the program assigns it to?

All works OK in stereo MME and DirectSound. But when Wasapi is chosen, an error gets generated on pressing record:
"Error opening sound device: try changing host, device and project sample rate".

Second question: Is there anything to try to see if Audacity can record multichannel with this mixer, or is this the end?

Dan

madoues
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Re: Multi-channel Recording in Audacity

Post by madoues » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:12 pm

Well, I guess I will answer my own question.

It was just a matter of setting the "output" driver to something else than the QSC mixer.
For some reason, Audacity didn't like to have the same driver for input and output.
It recorded fine after that; 32 tracks simultaneously, how about that!!!

One can't check the assignments to tracks because the tracks are non-existant before you record.
In other programs, you must create the track first before recording to it; not the case in Audacity.
I keep forgetting that because I normally don't record in Audacity, until now, that is.
Audacity creates one track per channel when you click record and I am assuming that they are created sequentially from 1 to 32.

So you can add QSC Touchmix Pro-30 mixer to your list of interfaces that work multi-channel with Audacity.

Dan

steve
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Re: Multi-channel Recording in Audacity

Post by steve » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:21 pm

Thanks for the feedback madoues.
9/10 questions are answered in the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

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