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Tech: Recording questions

02 Sep 11 - 10:48 AM (#3217077)
Subject: Tech: Recording questions
From: Vixen

Hi Mudcats!

I'ven't posted in ages, but I'm still lurking around the edges...

Reynaud and I have recorded a number of tunes on our digital recorder in .WAV format. We have relatives who want some of these tunes on a CD. If the files sound good enough, we might do an EP for sale at the Ren Faire.

Here's the questions:
1) what audio file editor(s) do you recommend?

2) what file format is most likely to play on the most CD players and sound the best?

3) any other advice you can offer is appreciated

I'm hoping to get started this weekend, if at all possible.

Many thanks,

PS I can do Mac or PC; OSX and XP and Win7

02 Sep 11 - 10:56 AM (#3217086)
Subject: RE: Tech: Recording questions
From: Will Fly

You can use Audacity (free) software for Mac or PC - or Garageband for Mac. Both work fine. Don't compress to mp3 format if you're creating a CD - stick with .wav.

One good way is to collect the tunes as a Playlist in iTunes - then burn the Playlist to CD.

Good luck.

02 Sep 11 - 11:08 AM (#3217092)
Subject: RE: Tech: Recording questions
From: Big Mick

Listen to Will. That will work fine for what you are after.

02 Sep 11 - 11:16 AM (#3217096)
Subject: RE: Tech: Recording questions
From: treewind

Audacity is OK for simple cuts and processing, but for the sort of editing where you are pasting good bits over bad bits, it's either a complete pain or I have missed some essential detail about how to use it.

I use Ardour (mainly a Linux package but there an OSX version too) for fixing mistakes in recordings and multitrack recording, and Audacity for simple jobs on a stereo file.

Reaper is said to be an excellent multitrack editor and mixer for Windows. It's not free like Ardour and Audacity, but is very reasonably priced and you get a fully functional 30 day free trial which then becomes nagware.

Audcity and Reaper summary.

02 Sep 11 - 11:26 AM (#3217102)
Subject: RE: Tech: Recording questions
From: Vixen

Wow! Thanks much!

I've got garageband and audacity. I need to delete "junk noise" from the starts and ends of the tunes, and in one case separate out one "take" of a tune from a file of about 5 takes.

Nothing fancy a-tall.

if .wav is the format I should use, is there a way to convert mp3 to .wav or is it a "one OR t'other" situation?

Thanks again for the help.

02 Sep 11 - 11:33 AM (#3217108)
Subject: RE: Tech: Recording questions
From: Will Fly

If you already have mp3 files, you can open them up with Audacity and save them as .wav files. Or you can add them to your iTunes library and convert them to .aiff - a more-or-less equivalent format to .wav.

There are all sorts of interesting technical questions - I'm just trying to point you to the quickest and simplest solutions.

Again - good luck!

02 Sep 11 - 11:45 AM (#3217115)
Subject: RE: Tech: Recording questions
From: treewind

Vixen, you say your original recordings are in .WAV format. It would be better if you can retrieve those. Converting to MP3 impairs the sound and converting back to .WAV doesn't undo the damage.

Audacity is fine for snipping tops and tails and/or inserting silences, or doing fadeins and fadeouts, and for copying out the good take from a batch. It's also very easy to install and use and it's what you should start with, until you find something you want to do that it can't.

02 Sep 11 - 11:48 AM (#3217119)
Subject: RE: Tech: Recording questions

To answer your other question, the best format for CD players is the one which professional discs use - .cda, but you need a converter that will convert to this format. I agree with Will Fly that compressing to .mp3 first is not a good idea as you loose quality. Hope this helps and best of luck.


02 Sep 11 - 11:54 AM (#3217122)
Subject: RE: Tech: Recording questions
From: Vixen

Thanks, everyone...
Awhile ago, Reynaud and I did some recording at a friend's studio. I don't recall what format those files are in, but I know I had to convert them to Mp3 to have them be playable on our website. They need cleaning too. I don't recall how I converted them, but if those originals are wav files, then I'll use them instead of the mp3s.

Mudcats ARE the best!


02 Sep 11 - 12:07 PM (#3217132)
Subject: RE: Tech: Recording questions
From: treewind

Yes, on a web site bandwidth and space are limited so you use MP3's which can be 1/10 the size of the WAV file.

02 Sep 11 - 01:45 PM (#3217174)
Subject: RE: Tech: Recording questions
From: Dan Schatz

On a Mac Garage Band is good for beginners, and the price is right, and Logic is excellent and fully professional quality. ProTools is industry standard, but annoying because it only works with certain interfaces. The advantage of it is that you can get a mix halfway done and then send it to someone else to finish. If compatibility isn't your first concern, Logic is very good and relatively intuitive. That's what I'm using at home these days.

Anything you record can be bounced into .wav files and/or .mp3s. The .wav files can easily be made into an audio CD using your computer's existing software.

I'm not a big fan of Audacity, I have to admit. It doesn't do the things it purports to do quite right. On the other hand, the price is good.

Good luck!


02 Sep 11 - 02:02 PM (#3217181)
Subject: RE: Tech: Recording questions
From: Geoff the Duck

On your computer, when you use a CD Burning programme, they usually ask if you want to burn a data CD or an Audio CD. If you select Audio, it it would normally convert a .wav or .MP3 file to the usual CD sound format.
I seem to recall that .wav is technically an "envelope" which holds the CD sound format data in a container that microsoft programmes can use. Apple use a different "envelope" but the sound data inside is the same.