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Mistakes I frequently make when using Audacity (and some solutions)

April 9, 2013

by David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

I love to use audio recording when teaching. It addresses a bunch of good teaching practices at once and students usually get motivated when they hear themselves performing. I tend to use Audacity if I'm doing a simple recording without any frills and usually Audacity plays nice and cooperates. But not always.

Here are a bunch of little things that I deal with on a daily basis when recording and some possible solutions. Now, I must admit, these problems are all my fault for not clicking something or plugging something in. Maybe you run into similar issues.

List your bugs in the comment section and hopefully somebody will respond with a solution. More Audacity stuff here.

Problem Solution
The Blue Snowball mic isn't showing up in the mic selection menu

Close Audacity, unplug mic, replug in mic, restart Audacity. (Takes like 2 seconds but annoys me every time)

I hit record and it plays all the tracks at once Mute all the other tracks or go to the 'Transport' menu and unclick 'overdub'
I record and it is all fuzzy and distorted sounding Recording input level is too high, so turn it down. Move the mic further away. Also make sure the Snowball is selected from the drop down menu instead of a built in microphone.
The recording sounds fine but it is really quiet Select the track and go to 'Effects' then 'Normalize'
I exported as an mp3 but the file is gigantic(like 20+ MB) When you export, go to 'options' and reduce the audio quality, (unless it's something very important) this will make the file smaller
When I record a lesson the talking is too quiet and the instrument is too loud Turn down the recording input and then afterwards go to 'Effects' then 'Normalize'
I recorded a bunch of recordings but don't want to take the time to export them one by one Instead, use 'Export Multiple' from the 'File' menu.  Check out this post for a how to.

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