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  • Audacity won't record.

    Hello, I am trying to record for the first time. I bought a M-audio Fast Track USB interface. And since I am low on cash, I am forced to use Audacity. But it just won't recognize my guitar. I have the recording device set to "Line (3- fast track)", and when I plug my headphones into the actual device I can hear everything just fine. Also when I turn up the mic knob I get a lot of feedback. Anyone know what the problem is?
    http://www.last.fm/user/TisUsernameSuks

  • #2
    OK... you need to trace your signal flow and figure out what's going wrong. A paper and pencil will likely help.

    Also, if you want people to try to help you, you need to give them more pertinent detail.

    But right off, here are a couple of things that caught my attention: you say Audacity is set to record "Line 3" from your fast track, yet you're talking about turning up the mic knob. Is your guitar plugged into the MIC IN or the LINE IN? (If it's plugged into LINE IN, then you probably won't have much level at all, because a bare electric guitar with no preamp or active direct box will put out a very low level signal. Plugging a guitar into a MIC IN is not ideal -- the levels and impedance won't be a good match and it will likely skew the tonal balance -- but at least you'd get some level.) That said, a mic preamp will probably have balanced XLR connectors while your guitar cable is most likely to be unbalanced 1/4" phone plug connectors.

    You say you're getting feedback when you turn the mic knob up... is there a mic plugged in? Your guitar? Are you talking about getting feedback in the room over your speakers or is this something that sounds like feedback but doesn't involve speakers and mic?

    If any of the above sounds confusing to you, you probably need to do a little basic homework so that you have a general idea of what's supposed to be going on and what all the pieces of your puzzle do. I'd commend your attention in particular to the TweakHeadz educational materials in the top link below. They're basic, relatively easy to understand and avoid insider jargon and specialized knowledge, for the most part.

    Good luck and have fun!


    __________________

    Technical Info / Education

    http://www.tweakheadz.com/guide.htm
    - a comprehensive guide to home recording

    http://www.gearslutz.com/board/tips-...echniques.html GearSlutz Tips & Techniques Collection

    Using a Mixer with a DAW - from EQ Magazine

    http://www.computermusic.co.uk/page/..._beginner_pdfs
    http://www.harmony-central.com/articles/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_audio
    http://www.theprojectstudiohandbook.com/directory.htm

    more from Wikipedia:
    PC Optimization for music - a sticky thread from recording gear site Gearslutz

    AudioForums - Optimizing Windows XP for DAW Use - this looks like a pretty thorough write-up on a subject near but probably not dear to many of us

    Dan Lavry Forum Archives at ProSoundWeb- a genuine legend in digital audio technology and designer of some of the most desirable digital conversion hardware around, Dan Lavry presided over a hardcore digital audio technology oriented forum that was a magnet for a wild mix of the super-knowledgeable and those who thought they were...ProSoundWeb - an extensive set of forums oriented to audio technology, sound reinforcement, and recording

    I've Read Mixing With Your Mind (Starvous), Mastering Audio (Katz), What Next? -- an exhausistive recording reading list from Gearslutz member, Teddy Ray

    even more
    .

    music and social links | recent listening

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    • #3
      If any of the above sounds confusing to you, you probably need to do a little basic homework so that you have a general idea of what's supposed to be going on and what all the pieces of your puzzle do. I'd commend your attention in particular to the TweakHeadz educational materials in the top link below. They're basic, relatively easy to understand and avoid insider jargon and specialized knowledge, for the most part.

      Good luck and have fun!


      Thank you for your help and the links, but Tweakheadz seems to be down at the moment.
      http://www.last.fm/user/TisUsernameSuks

      Comment


      • #4
        I got ya. I probably should have looked up the FastTrack; I wasn't considering that it had an instrument input.

        Unfortunately, the images on the M-Audio product page don't show the knob controls on the top. I presume one is blend (of computer playback and direct monitoring), one is mic or perhaps more likely mic/instrument input level, and the other is overall output level?

        I take it there is no mic pad (attenuator) swtich? (Some mic pre's have such a switchable pad to lower the signal level by a given amount, often 10 or 12 dB, to prevent loud sound sources or very high output mics to keep from undesirably overloading the pre's input stage. If a pad is kicked into the mic/instrument circuit, it could throw your input gain structure off so much that, without turning the mic/inst pre gain way up, you didn't have enough level. (What you describe as white noise is presumably preamp self-noise from having the gain all the way up.) Check for either a hardware pad switch or maybe a software setting. Particularly with affordable units like this, a software switch (that controls the preamp circuitry) is a much cheaper way for the maker to go.
        .

        music and social links | recent listening

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        • #5
          I think it's a software problem, not a hardware one. When I open up Sound in microsoft it shows me the fast track line under the recording and if I play the volume bar rises, implying that the guitar is being picked up by me computer. But still, no sound comes through audacity. I have the I/O settings set to the line that is picking up the noise.
          http://www.last.fm/user/TisUsernameSuks

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