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Audio capture/recording

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Bill Morris
Audio capture/recording
on Mar 30, 2009 at 5:10:48 pm

This weekend I was called upon to videotape a seminar. I wired my laptop directly into the sound board for the cleanest audio possible - backed up by the on-camera mic. I used Audacity to record the audio, using a large external hard drive as the temp location.

Now, from what I can determine, Audacity will happily record three hours worth of audio, but won't save it in any sort of reasonable time. I can't wait an hour and half for mix down, hoping Windows doesn't throw an error or that no one will cut the power and corrupt my files. Eventually, I just shut off the external drive to preserve the temp files, closed the laptop to preserve state, and took everything home. Audacity picked it all back up, and I saved a series of WAV files in fifteen minute chunks.

Not how I wanted to spend my Sunday evening.

Now, when I'm doing video capture - using WinDV through firewire off my camera - the capture software automatically cuts at 2gb, producing a use-ready AVI file. No matter what happens to your software or OS after that, you still have that AVI file - and any others produced to that point.

Is there audio software out there that does that?

- Bill in Kansas City

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Ty Ford
Re: Audio capture/recording
on Mar 30, 2009 at 6:58:01 pm

Hello Bill and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum,

The answer to that question is your assignment for the week! :)

I don't know. I do know that 2GB limits exist as part of an operating system. The BoomRecorder software that Take Vos created might be different and worth looking inot for you.


Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide

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John Fishback
Re: Audio capture/recording
on Apr 1, 2009 at 3:11:23 am

Ty is correct about your OS (and file system) causing the 2GB limit. The good news is that 2GB is a lot of audio.

I'm not completely sure of your question,but if it is what audio software records in real time so when you click stop there's a file ready to use, there are many answers. Pro Tools LE is an excellent tool, but you need an interface device between your computer and audio feed or microphones. In fact PT is often bundled with those interfaces. Check out MBox. There are a number of flavors at various prices.

You can also record with just your computer and drive using Quicktime Pro which would result in a useable file as soon as you stopped the recording. I think it costs $30.

Either solution's files can be edited in almost any DAW.

I'm not sure what would happen if you reached 2GB and didn't stop the recording/capture. You can limit PT. I'm not sure about QT.


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Jordan Wolf
Re: Audio capture/recording
on Apr 1, 2009 at 1:35:16 pm

So, you're looking for audio software that can mixdown what you've recorded in a faster way?

ProTools bounces audio like Avid captures real time (go figure, since Digidesign is an Avid company). This is a good thing if you have the time, but if you don't, it's a HUGE pain. From what I can recall, Audacity mixes down its audio in faster-than-real-time, so I don't see what the problem is.

However, BOTH programs save each track (and each take for that matter) you record as a separate wave file - or whatever format you chose for the session to use. There shouldn't be any worry that the files won't be there if you shutdown. As long as you've saved the session, everything will be there.

If you are talking about a sort of quota when it comes to recording time or data, then I know that you could manage that in the preferences. I just checked Audacity's preferences (I'm on a MBP) and there is no option for quotas. In ProTools, however, you can set the amount of time you want any single recording to be limited to (default time allotment is 60 minutes, but the default setting is "Use All Available Space").

Hope that helps.


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