Multi-channel Recording in Audacity

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biggityB
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Re: Multi-channel Recording in Audacity

Post by biggityB » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:32 pm

Newbie here with a question pertaining to multi-channel recording. My apologies if this question has already been addressed, but I haven't been able to find a clear-cut answer after digging for a while through the forums/wikis.

I have two vinyl turntables connected to a mackie d.2 pro mixer by RCA cables (out of curiosity, if I want to simultaneously record both tables in stereo, is this considered 2 or 4 channels?), which is connected to an external firewire port in my Dell Inspiron 1545 (had to purchase an adapter, because this computer doesn't come with a firewire port). I'm able to record just fine from one turntable or the other, but can't record from both simultaneously. So, to scratch vocals over an instrumental track, for instance, I must record the instrumental, then change the recording device in my control panel settings and in audacity's preferences to record the vocal scratch as another track from the second turntable.

I'd very much prefer to have the ability to record from both turntables simultaneously. I understand that this may be a function of having the right sound card AND drivers for the sound card. I have the Dell's factory sound card and have not changed drivers (aside from auto updates on them). Does anyone know what I must do to be able to record from both of my tables at the same time (i.e. 1) change drivers 2) purchase new sound card 3) both of the above 4) other ideas).

Your help is much appreciated.

Brian

bgravato
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Re: Multi-channel Recording in Audacity

Post by bgravato » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:11 am

biggityB wrote:if I want to simultaneously record both tables in stereo, is this considered 2 or 4 channels?)
A stereo track has 2 channels (left and right). Two separate stereo tracks would be 2x2 = 4 channels.
biggityB wrote:(had to purchase an adapter, because this computer doesn't come with a firewire port)
Adapter from firewire to what? USB?
biggityB wrote:then change the recording device in my control panel settings and in audacity's preferences
Audacity can only record from 1 device at a time. So if you have to select two different devices for recording all that you want you won't to be able to do it with audacity. You'd need 1 source outputting 4 channels rather than 2 sources outputting 2 channels each.

What you can do is to mix the signal coming from both tables into one. Don't your mixer allow you to do that? The drawback is that you get only one stereo track in audacity with the sound coming from both tables already mixed. Therefore you won't be able to process separately voice and instrumental tracks.
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biggityB
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Re: Multi-channel Recording in Audacity

Post by biggityB » Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:52 am

Hi bgravato,

Thanks for your response.
bgravato wrote:Adapter from firewire to what? USB?
My firewire adapter fits in my computer's expresscard slot (I guess it’s a controller card rather than an adapter, per say). No USB connection is involved.
bgravato wrote:What you can do is to mix the signal coming from both tables into one. Don't your mixer allow you to do that?
The output I hear through my speakers from the mixer is a mixed signal from both turntables. However, the signals from the turntables seem to be maintained separately when they go from the mixer to my computer via firewire for some reason, because as I mentioned, I can only record from one t-table at a time. I look forward to any further thoughts you or others may have.

bgravato
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Re: Multi-channel Recording in Audacity

Post by bgravato » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:41 am

Which options do you get on Preferences -> Devices (regarding your external device)? Which ones do you need to select for recording one turntable or the other? Any other option beyond those two?
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biggityB
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Re: Multi-channel Recording in Audacity

Post by biggityB » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:35 pm

I get 7 different analog input options in addition to microsoft input mapper (see image) Image

A couple of each analog input option correspond to each turntable, but none allow me to record from both simultaneously. The Microsoft input mapper doesn't appear to work.

steve
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Re: Multi-channel Recording in Audacity

Post by steve » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:11 pm

Unfortunately it looks like Mackie are using multiple stereo audio drivers rather than a single multi-channel driver. Audacity can only record from one "device" at a time, but due to there being multiple stereo drivers, as far as Audacity is concerned you have multiple 2 channel stereo devices and no multi-channel devices. For Audacity, if there is no multi-channel audio device driver, then recording more than 2 channels at once is a non-starter. You may however be able to record using other software - in particular, and multi-channel recording software that supports ASIO drivers, as the ASIO drivers will almost certainly support multiple channels.
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Keldridge
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Re: Multi-channel Recording in Audacity

Post by Keldridge » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:12 am

Well, in the spirit of the original post, I'll write down what I have.

Our computer system has a MOTU setup. I have a PCI424 card with a 2408Mk1 and a 2408Mk2... I have 2 Behringer ADA8000s hanging off one 2408, and an ART TubeOpto off the other. That gives me a total of 40 channels: 24 XLR, 8 1/4", 8 RCA.

I followed the directions on the ASIO web page. Any deviation from the directions got me into trouble, but following them step by step worked fine. (I tried a newer version of the compiler and hit a wall quickly...) I have a decent amount of programming background, but it's been a while, and very little is on a Windows platform.

The system I have seems pretty stable. I have recorded all 40 channels for about an hour in one session doing a live band. Audacity gets a little sluggish, but it all seems to work fine. After getting it all recorded, I break a set into individual songs, do a quick mix on each one, and turn it into a CD that I give to the talent, mostly for a reference. I'm not taking the time to produce something professional... (yet)

Hope that helps!

-Kelly

Gale Andrews
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Re: Multi-channel Recording in Audacity

Post by Gale Andrews » Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:48 pm

biggityB wrote:The output I hear through my speakers from the mixer is a mixed signal from both turntables.
Then can you plug that output into a line-in input in the computer and record from that?

Other possibilities (apart from compiling Audacity with ASIO support) could be (long shot) to try the Windows DirectSound Host in the Audacity Devices Preferences or (slightly shorter shot) see if there are alternative drivers from Mackie that might give you a "multi" device you can record from.



Gale
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SethNeumann
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Re: Multi-channel Recording in Audacity

Post by SethNeumann » Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:09 am

I am (trying) to use the Presonus AudioBox 1818 with a Digimax 8B to get 16 channels. I am running Win7 64 bit. I was able to record 8 channels on my old XP machine (32 bit). While I could see the inputs on the Digimax I was only able to record 2 Digimax channels at time (unless I've completely misunderstood the device panel). However when I tried to migrate to the Win7 64 bit machine, I could only record two channels at a time. I've loaded the Presonus driver software and ASIO for all.

Does anybody know how to get Audacity to see all 8 channels on the AudioBox? All 16 including the 8 on the Digimax? Do I need the 32 bit version of ASIO?

thanks for indulging a newbie!

Gale Andrews
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Re: Multi-channel Recording in Audacity

Post by Gale Andrews » Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:06 am

SethNeumann wrote:I am (trying) to use the Presonus AudioBox 1818 with a Digimax 8B to get 16 channels. I am running Win7 64 bit. I was able to record 8 channels on my old XP machine (32 bit). While I could see the inputs on the Digimax I was only able to record 2 Digimax channels at time (unless I've completely misunderstood the device panel). However when I tried to migrate to the Win7 64 bit machine, I could only record two channels at a time. I've loaded the Presonus driver software and ASIO for all.

Does anybody know how to get Audacity to see all 8 channels on the AudioBox? All 16 including the 8 on the Digimax? Do I need the 32 bit version of ASIO?
Audacity as shipped does not support ASIO drivers. You can compile Audacity with ASIO support (strictly for your own private usage only) but it is time-consuming and possibly complex if you have never done anything like that before. See:
http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/ASIO_Audio_Interface .

If Audacity on XP saw 8 channels (without ASIO support) this may be because the Presonus driver set has changed. It is not uncommon for later drivers to remove multi-channel ability from their WDM (non-ASIO) support. Or, it's possible you did not have ASIO drivers installed before and because Audacity as shipped does not support ASIO drivers, their presence is creating the problem. Or you might have been using an earlier Audacity before where multi-channel support happened to work up to a point with the driver set you had.

So the only sure answer (on WIndows) to get multi-channel recording is to compile Audacity with ASIO support.


Gale
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