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Sep 20, 2021 - 12:33:25 PM
174 posts since 5/11/2006

I recently got a decent mic, an Audio Technica AT2020 USB+ cardioid condenser, and I've started to make some recordings in Audacity.

I've got the basics down of recording and making simple edits, but I would like to hear what other hangout members do with their solo banjo audio in audacity.

Currently, I am:

  • Using some noise reduction by sampling a quiet section of the track (should noise reduction come first, or last?),
  • making small adjustments with the envelope tool,
  • cutting frequencies below 100 hz (with the thinking that this is well below the natural frequencies of the banjo and is just getting rid of other noise) 
  • sometimes messing around with compression and loudness normalization (though I'm not really sure what I am doing with these yet). Does anybody use these regularly?

Are there any tips/tricks/tools that I should know about in Audacity for editing banjo audio? 

Sep 20, 2021 - 1:34:04 PM

12274 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by TrailerParkPickin

Are there any tips/tricks/tools that I should know about in Audacity for editing banjo audio? 


As an AT2020 owner, I'll be watching this with interest. I don't know how to use any of those tools (other than cutting low frequency). Would like to know what people think is necessary.

My AT2020 is the standard recording/live performance type that uses an XLR cable, not USB. I've used it in the two banjo videos I've recorded and posted: On the Street Where You Live and Redwing. I recorded on a Fostex MR8-HD then used iMovie to either strip out or silence the camera audio and replace it with the recorder audio.

I used no effects or audio improvement tools. Using either Garageband or Reaper (I forget) I did edit together different takes of the the three verses of Redwing into the one audio track. I disclosed this in the description.

I offer this so people can hear unaltered audio as captured by the AT2020 and Fostex.

Sep 20, 2021 - 4:18:55 PM

29 posts since 12/2/2020

quote:
Originally posted by TrailerParkPickin

I recently got a decent mic, an Audio Technica AT2020 USB+ cardioid condenser, and I've started to make some recordings in Audacity.

I've got the basics down of recording and making simple edits, but I would like to hear what other hangout members do with their solo banjo audio in audacity.

Currently, I am:

  • Using some noise reduction by sampling a quiet section of the track (should noise reduction come first, or last?),
  • making small adjustments with the envelope tool,
  • cutting frequencies below 100 hz (with the thinking that this is well below the natural frequencies of the banjo and is just getting rid of other noise) 
  • sometimes messing around with compression and loudness normalization (though I'm not really sure what I am doing with these yet). Does anybody use these regularly?

Are there any tips/tricks/tools that I should know about in Audacity for editing banjo audio? 


reverb

Sep 20, 2021 - 9:36:43 PM

1267 posts since 8/7/2017

Normalize will make the recorded sounds louder; the magnitude of the wave forms are increased, but the overall tone is not altered. I use this all the time if I did not get enough volume in my recording (also good when recording off youtube if the sound is too weak to hear well).

I often use Change Pitch to get an historical recording to match today's standard pitches (this is by trial and error), or to get the recording in a key I prefer to play (e.g. pitch down 2 semitones (-2.00) to change key of D to key of C).

Fade In and Fade Out can be used to make a home recording sound more "professional".

I use Change Tempo to slow a song for learning without changing the pitch or key. 50% or 30% slower is useful. I've gone as slow as 70% slower for figuring out tricking fingering.

Hope this helps (and hope it was not too elementary for you).

Sep 21, 2021 - 2:17:02 PM
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174 posts since 5/11/2006

Old Hickory those recordings sound really good, thanks for sharing.

BrooksMT Thanks for clarifying what normalize does. I just read up a bit more on it and I think it is something I will use regularly near the end of my workflow.
I hadn't thought much about using audacity to edit other music to change pitch or tempo. I'll have to keep that in mind.
And as for Fade in/out, there are at least a few tunes I know that I want to try using that on.

General question: When using noise reduction, is it best to use it at the start or end of my workflow?

Sep 21, 2021 - 3:01:57 PM

12274 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by BrooksMT

I use Change Tempo to slow a song for learning without changing the pitch or key. 50% or 30% slower is useful. I've gone as slow as 70% slower for figuring out tricking fingering.


I mainly use Apple's free QuickTime Player to slow down recordings. I've saved an old version that included both tempo and pitch alteration. Doesn't sound good enough for saving, but it's fine for learning.

Less often, I use Transcribe! to slow down recordings. Its audio quality is much better. One if its features is note recognition. If you're having trouble matching a note, which I do sometimes, you can select the narrowest part of the waveform to constantly play that one note. Transcribe! will display the letter name of the note it's hearing and you can confirm. This feature has helped me a lot.

For YouTube videos, I just use YouTube's speed adjustment, slowing down to 50% or even 25%.

Sep 21, 2021 - 8:23:17 PM

1267 posts since 8/7/2017

TrailerParkPickin

I have not used noise reduction too much, just a couple times...I'm no expert. What I found was that it dulled the sound, to my ear anyway. It took away the sparkle of the banjo, along with the noise. I am sure you can adjust what frequencies you want removed, but I've not played with that; need a real sound engineer to advise you.

I'd save noise reduction for the last step, being sure to have a "noisy" backup copy. Audacity can undo everything, far as I know. But it undo's in reverse order (last in, first to be undone), which makes sense. But if you noise reduce 1st, it means to recover the original noisy version, you have to undo each thing you did after the noise reduction step.

Hope this helps.

Sep 21, 2021 - 8:28:34 PM
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58248 posts since 12/14/2005

I just hit RECORD, and hope for the best.

Sep 22, 2021 - 6:33:06 AM
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285 posts since 5/25/2015

Personally, I don't like the Noise Reduction function in Audacity - it seems to take out some of the sound you want as well as the stuff you don't want, and the results sometimes sound really weird. Its probably better to get a clean recording at the source with a good level to just try to minimise the amount of noise in the recording from the start and then leave it alone. The rest of the functions sound good - cutting out low frequencies can make the whole thing sound louder. Compressing, maybe limiting as well, then adjusting the overall volume with Normalisation - you can also use the "Amplify" function for this

Sep 22, 2021 - 12:21:07 PM

2765 posts since 4/16/2003

Rather than play around with all those settings (which may not change the finished output much)...

... Why not record two, three or even four "takes" of the song (all recorded to the same click track or "base track")?

Now you can "comp" the best parts of each take into a final mixed track -- and thus "edit out the weak parts" or mistakes.

Until you've tried it, you won't understand how well this works...!

Sep 22, 2021 - 10:20:53 PM

174 posts since 5/11/2006

banjohangout.org/myhangout/mus...id=12277#

This is what I recorded today, a quick take of Spotted Pony. I used fade in, fade out, low pass filter, high pass filter, and normalize.

Sep 23, 2021 - 2:49:42 AM

146 posts since 12/4/2007

A device such as these will help to stop reflections and clean up the recording at the source.

genericsurplus.com/top-10-best...-shields/

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