Topic: Any audacity whiz kids?

Ok who is a Audacity whiz?

I have a lot of questions.  I think I have the basics down.   When it comes to post priduction I am a bit lost.

my biggest question right now is,  If I have a good dry vocal track and I want to add reverb, and I go to effects and bring up reverb,,,, How do I get a good setting?  I have been playing with it a lot and  the vocal comes out like crap.

I would love it if someone has some stock setttings they have found and always use across the board for some of the better options.

Interested in, well everything LOLOLOL but maybe a few stock good sets for:
EQ for vocals and one for guitars/whole band
echo
phase
reverb
I have the leveling, fade in and out down. any help would be great! thanks in advance.

“It’s like a Jab, you got the squeeze and you got the attack, you got the guitar and the emotion behind the song. 
You can plug into a Marshall, but if you are not attacking it's just going to sound so-so.  If the song doesn't grove, you are just bashing through chords” .
-- Mike Ness,  Social Distortion

Re: Any audacity whiz kids?

You may want to look around for various VST plugins for your 'verb.   There are tons of processors that range in quality from something Roger Waters would hook into to something not even I would hook into.  I'm not sure what ships with Audacity, but I'd wager you could find a better effects processor.

And as a bonus with VST, if you ever decide to use a different DAW, all of your plugins should port right over to the new platform.

I've been tinkering with Smartelectronix Ambiance lately.  Not sure if I like it better than the ReaVerb VST that comes with Reaper, though.

Someday we'll win this thing...

[url=http://www.aclosesecond.com]www.aclosesecond.com[/url]

Re: Any audacity whiz kids?

My advice would be to set all reverb,delay effects in your mixer before opening the program and dont use Audacitities,Audacity is fine for equalization,fade in or out,and rendering to mp3 or other formats but if you want to tweek I would suggest downloading the pdf Manual and as Jerome points out some VST pluggins are available.Audacity is a great program but it takes time to master the mixing effects and to save time I get the sound I want before I open the program but thats just me smile

"Growing old is not for sissies"

Re: Any audacity whiz kids?

I've used Audacity a lot in the past and found with the stuff I've done that trial and error is a good way of learning what's best for your sound.
A lot depends on what sort of kit you play back your music on and no two are the same. A setting which works for me may well not work for you.
Audacity is a good basic recording and mixing programe but does need time spent on it to master the sound you want.
ark

Re: Any audacity whiz kids?

Yeah, I haven't used Audacity in a while, but I downloaded it last night just because it comes up here so much.

The biggest issue is that Audacity doesn't work on an audio signal, it works on an audio file.  That is, it processes the data on disk, so you can't hear what the effect is doing until after you've run it.   A DAW will allow you to play the audio through the effect processor in real time so you can hear what each tweak is having on the sound.  When you find the one you like, you're done.

Someday we'll win this thing...

[url=http://www.aclosesecond.com]www.aclosesecond.com[/url]

Re: Any audacity whiz kids?

Thanks for all the replies.
@ Jerome--- your first reply,,,, that sounds like an inverse square law to me! LOLOL.  I am pretty illiterate when it comes to this Tech. What is a VST and DAW? Are there free ones?  I’m on a slim to nothing budget and even less free time for my hobby of music.
@Russell--I have printed everything I can off the audacity web page.
My mixer does not come with on board effects.  This is what it carries:

Premium ultra-low noise, high headroom analog mixer
2 state-of-the-art XENYX Mic Preamps comparable to stand-alone boutique preamps
Neo-classic "British" 3-band EQs for warm and musical sound
1 post fader FX send per channel for external FX devices
1 stereo aux return for FX applications or as separate stereo input
Main mix outputs plus separate control room, phones and stereo CD/tape outputs
CD/tape inputs assignable to main mix or control room/phones outputs

So with this effex post fader, I have to buy more s#*t. or can I create a loop with my DigiTech RP250?
As of now I have been planning on running through the amp and Mic it to the mixer.  I can then use the amps reverb.  ONLY CATCH is the vocal track will more than likely be "phoned in" via drop box.  I guess I’ll be playing for a while to get the reverb on it set right.
Maybe run the vocal track (which will be an mp3 more than likely) to the amp and DI to the mixer?

Crap, maybe I need to bite the bullet and learn that Cakewalk program I have had for 4 years and is still in a box.  ....but then I need a bigger hard drive/better comp and screen!

“It’s like a Jab, you got the squeeze and you got the attack, you got the guitar and the emotion behind the song. 
You can plug into a Marshall, but if you are not attacking it's just going to sound so-so.  If the song doesn't grove, you are just bashing through chords” .
-- Mike Ness,  Social Distortion

Re: Any audacity whiz kids?

VST = "Virtual Studio Technology."  It is a standard for writing audio plugins so that any conformant DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) can make use of them.   And almost everything out there, including Audacity is VST conformant.   The professionals using Pro Tools spend thousands on various effects, and because the VST is an open standard, there is a small army of people out there producing plugins for free, too.

Here's an example.

This is a VST plugin I love called Bittersweet.  It is a transient manipulator, which means I can use it to either smooth out transients (say, pick noise on a guitar track) or enhance it (line on the attack of a snare drum) as needed.  It is immensely useful, and it costs absolutely nothing.

http://www.fluxhome.com/products/freewares/bittersweet2

I can download it and install it, and it is on my computer, not attached to any one program.

If I use Reaper, I can attach it to any track, route the audio from the track to the effect, and listen to the change in real time.  Here I have it attached to a ukelele number I'm noodling on.  I can turn the dial and push the buttons and monitor the signal just like I could if it were a bit of hardware bolted into a rack.

http://img717.imageshack.us/img717/160/btswreaper.png

Now, her is the exact same plugin in Audacity.

http://img546.imageshack.us/img546/5240/btswaud.png

Now, the first thing you'll notice is that this doesn't have the nifty interface that it had with Reaper.   As long as you understand what each of those inputs means it's not a problem. I don't happen to know what they mean, so for me, that's a problem. I know if I had that nice dial I could just turn it and see how it effected the sound of my track.  Some effects have dozens of inputs, though, so the ability to render a nice interface can be important.

What you can't see in the picture is that with Reaper, I can play the track and tweak the effect at the exact same time, just like it was a send effect on a real mixing board.  I can even send live signal through it from an instrument or MIDI device just like I could a stomp box or racked effect.  Audacity doesn't let you do that.  It simply takes a section of track off of the disk and applies the effect to it, then writes it back to disk, so you can't hear what the effect is until you've modified the track.  I know it allows you to "sample" it, but it's still kind of cumbersome.

Anyway, the point is that the effect here, Bittersweet, was only on my computer once.  If I fire up Cubebase, it will be there, too.  (I'd' provide you a screen shot of that but for some reason the plugin only stays visible if Cubebase is the top window.)  Tomorrow, if I go buy Pro Tools, I can still use the same Bittersweet install I already have.  VST lets you do that.

So you can get a different re-verb than the one you're using.  There are, literally, hundreds of reverb effects to choose from.

Here's a place to start...

http://www.vst4you.com/reverb%20vst.html

Edited___

Oh hey, as far as using the verb on the vocal track, you can do the following to use the verb on the mixer.

You are going to close mic the amp and run the input through the mixer and add reverb there.  That's good.

When you are done with that, simply run the vocal through the same signal chain, and pipe it through the mixer using the same reverb settings.

Bass is often recorded like that for players that have a "signature" amp sound.  Since it is really hard to record bass live (it bleeds into everything) it is usually recorded DI.  After all the other tracks are laid down, the bass signal is ran back through the amp, and that signal is recorded.  Works great.

Someday we'll win this thing...

[url=http://www.aclosesecond.com]www.aclosesecond.com[/url]

Re: Any audacity whiz kids?

Thanks Jarome!  I  have just bought a 2 gig external.  once I get everything moved into it, and free up my laptop memory again, I am going to load up cake walk and actually learn teh darn thing. I think I will be sooo ahead. and thanks for the basics on the VST.  Ill use that link as soon as I can get everything cued up.

I should be ashamed for letting that program sit for 4 years.  now its way outdated, but I still see cakwalk stuff in MF, so I sohould be able to update as needed.  I think it has a reverb in its mixer that dials in.

“It’s like a Jab, you got the squeeze and you got the attack, you got the guitar and the emotion behind the song. 
You can plug into a Marshall, but if you are not attacking it's just going to sound so-so.  If the song doesn't grove, you are just bashing through chords” .
-- Mike Ness,  Social Distortion

Re: Any audacity whiz kids?

That's the best way to approach it.  Pick a DAW and just learn it.  That's what I did with Reaper, and I'm so glad I did.  I've been working with it pretty much exclusively for about 18 months, and I figure if I keep that up for another 18 years or so, I'll have it all figured out.  smile

And just because, I bought a new mixing board for the band, and it came with some VST plugins that I really like.

http://betabugsaudio.com/plugs.php

The Crayon filter is pretty nice.  It's like a combination parametric EQ and gain.  You overdrive only certain parts of the frequency spectrum for some nice color effects.

Someday we'll win this thing...

[url=http://www.aclosesecond.com]www.aclosesecond.com[/url]

Re: Any audacity whiz kids?

jerome.oneil wrote:

Yeah, I haven't used Audacity in a while, but I downloaded it last night just because it comes up here so much.

The biggest issue is that Audacity doesn't work on an audio signal, it works on an audio file.  That is, it processes the data on disk, so you can't hear what the effect is doing until after you've run it.   A DAW will allow you to play the audio through the effect processor in real time so you can hear what each tweak is having on the sound.  When you find the one you like, you're done.

Good point here. Audacity is good for some of the basic functions but it certainly has limitations. I have used it occasionally and found trial and error works best for some of the plugins. If you want some basic settings for Gverb, have a look here.

http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/GVerb

You can tweak them accordingly to get just the right amount of reverb

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