Audio recording quality in Audacity

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saintman
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Joined: Thu May 06, 2021 6:29 am
Operating System: Windows 10

Audio recording quality in Audacity

Post by saintman » Thu May 06, 2021 6:33 am

I would like to record audio of high quality (commercial song) and am unable to get my microphone working in Cubase.
However I found that it works fine in Audacity.

So, is there any loss of quality by using Audacity to record the sound from the microphone as a Wav file?

Also, it there any advantage to increasing the sampling rate to 48khz, or just keep it the usual 44.1khz?

I have read threads on this but can't find a clear answer.

Thanks for your help.

kozikowski
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Re: Audio recording quality in Audacity

Post by kozikowski » Thu May 06, 2021 10:10 am

Audacity doesn't apply filters, effects, or corrections during recording. As long as the computer is up to the job and doesn't add dropouts, noise, or effects of its own, it should be good to go. Restart the machine and make sure Skype, Zoom, and other chat programs don't start.

Visit the Windows control panels and make sure there are no "Windows Enhancements" applied.
it there any advantage to increasing the sampling rate to 48khz, or just keep it the usual 44.1khz?
Match what the client wants. I used to regularly produce voice tracks at 48000, 16-bit, Stereo because I knew that was most convenient for the video editors who were going to get the files. Stereo would normally be a waste for a simple voice track and I delivered to other clients at mono.

If the client is a mystery, 44100 is "safe," but very slightly lower quality than 48000. Most video editor programs totally will not care, but some audio editor programs might.

Studios run at 96000, 24-bit, Stereo unless you stop them. There are no quality restrictions and it's up to you whether or not you can use the files. The restriction here is shooting it. This is where home computers fall apart. Studios use sound recorders.

I had an outside shooter for a complex job deliver in native editor program files that nobody could use...and MP3. We were forced into using the MP3. Not optimal. Do Not do anything in MP3 unless the client says so.

Koz

kozikowski
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Re: Audio recording quality in Audacity

Post by kozikowski » Thu May 06, 2021 10:15 am

am unable to get my microphone working in Cubase.
It does bother me you're being forced into using Audacity because your commercial audio program failed. Find out why. I don't mind being the Desperation Method as much as I mind not knowing.

Koz

saintman
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Joined: Thu May 06, 2021 6:29 am
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Re: Audio recording quality in Audacity

Post by saintman » Fri May 07, 2021 2:09 am

Audacity and Cubase are the only software I have installed that can record audio and I am familiar with.

If Audacity will produce an equally high quality recording as Cubase, I would rather use it because it's simple and it works.

I could try to diagnose my Cubase issues, but it may end up being some issue with Windows, or a driver, and may take days to figure out, and I'm also not keen on that as I'm considering migrating to another DAW, given that I only have the LE version and it's limitations are affecting my workflow.

I can easily change the quality setting to 48kHz in Audacity, as you recommended.
I just wasn't sure if that was unnecessary, given that the final mix would be in 44.1 kHz Wav format.

steve
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Re: Audio recording quality in Audacity

Post by steve » Fri May 07, 2021 4:22 pm

saintman wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 6:33 am
Also, it there any advantage to increasing the sampling rate to 48khz, or just keep it the usual 44.1khz?
Just keep it at the usual 44.1 unless you are making a DVD.

If you are making a DVD, then there is a very slight advantage to using 48 kHz, because that's the standard for DVD, so recording at 48 kHz would avoid the need to change the format later. However, the difference is extremely small and no-one is likely to be able to hear the difference.

saintman wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 2:09 am
If Audacity will produce an equally high quality recording as Cubase
Audacity works internally in 32-bit float format.
For many years, Pro Tools (the expensive "industry standard" software for many professional sound studios) used 24-bit by default, which is theoretically lower quality than Audacity (though even 24-bit is capable of extremely high quality).

Sound quality issues are much more likely to be the result of microphones, other hardware, and the recording environment than the software.
I know for fact that Audacity has been used on some (high quality) commercial audio CDs (because I was there ;))
9/10 questions are answered in the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

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