Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Testing #2 and a plea for help!

The time between now and my inaugural post has been spent fruitlessly grappling with the ogre that is Audacity. I finally got it to record, but can't get rid of the background hiss and try as I might , I just can't get it to convert to MP3 format.

I thought i'd just give it a go as it is anyway to see if it works as a WAV file. But if there are any geniuses out there who have mastered the mighty Audacity and have any tips on how I can get rid of the background noise and get it to MP3, all advice would be greatly appreciated.

The track (if you can hear it) is intended as a gift for Toffeeboy (in the highly unlikely event that he doesn't already have it) as a thank you for getting me to buy "George Best" by The Wedding Present over the weekend, I love it! Thanks!

Jonathan Richman - " You Can Have A Cell Phone That's OK But Not Me"

(The song is on a free 7" that came with the vinyl edition of his latest album - i'm not sure if it appeared anywhere else)

Jonathan Richman - You Can Have A Cell Phone That's OK But Not Me

EDIT!! Thanks a lot everyone, especially Goneforeign, I officially LOVE Wiretap. So Simple! Saying that, I hope this works! This should be a nice, clean, clear version of the same song.

Jonathan Richman - You Can Have A Cellphone That's OK But Not Me


Mnemonic said...

I can't remember having a problem with the conversion to mp3 at all but that may have been because I recorded from vinyl to minidisc first, mainly because it was logistically much easier to move the minidisc player around rather than the old hi-fi set-up or the computer, both of which involve lots of unplugging and inplugging and wires trailing all over the place. The cable I had to plug from amplifier speaker outlet to computer microphone inlet was also on the short side.

Fortunately, I still have 2 minidisc players because I still have so much to convert from minidisc to computer. If you don't, I remember picking up a very cheap one from Amazon for my nephew a couple of years ago. (He's a dreamy lad and keeps leaving things behind on buses.)

Mnemonic said...

It's playing but the hiss is loud and the music low. One thing I learnt from the minidisc experience is that you set the play volume much higher for recording that you would have it for listening (20 instead of 7)in my case.

saneshane said...


Have you downloaded
LAME 3.97 its a free mp3 converter.. unzip it and remember where you save it. Audacity (I think) only needs to find it once.

I still haven't got my converting up to scratch a grapple in the dark is always fun though!

Mnemonic said...

LAME 3.97 rings bells with me, too. I seem to remember downloading it at the same time as I installed Audacity.

Shoey said...

There is a post from the Summer (called "Fun With Computers" I think) that covers how to at up Audacity in Windows (no hiss), with links for the mp3 encoder.

Japanther said...

Hmmm......I did download LAME, but can't seem to "unzip" it......

saneshane said...

try googling
lame 3.98.2 WinRAR

that's what my file comes up as!

goneforeign said...

I gave up on Audacity and sent them a nasty email about their free product after trying to make it work for a couple of hours; I have softened slightly and have used it minimally but there's much better options for Mac users. WireTap and WireTap Pro, the former is free, both are simplicity itself, I keep both on my desktop and if I hear something I'd like to keep, literally 2 clicks and it's open and recording in mp3 format or any other that you choose.
For more serious stuff I use Sound Studio, an excellent recording/mixing/editing program, not free but not too expensive, try eBay.
Background hiss is often related to having a much too high recording level, I seem to remember that was one of the problems I had with Audacity, try turning it up at the source and down at the computer. It sometimes might be confused with a tone caused by a grounding problem, try running a ground wire from your source to your computer to a good ground, or what you call 'an earth'. Waterpipes are good or ground pins in wall sockets.
Mnemonic, what do you consider very cheap for a minidisc player? I have a deck but could use a player at my computer.

Mnemonic said...

It was a top of the range Panasonic, second hand but barely used, and cost £35. New it would have been at least £150.

ToffeeBoy said...

@ japanther - why, thank you. I'm touched. And I don't have a recording of this track - he did it live at Shepherd's Bush this year but I didn't know there was a recording of it. Fantastic stuff.

Glad you liked George Best - it should be in everyone's collection.

Japanther said...

@Toffeeboy - the pleasure is all mine. I'll endeavour to get a decent quality version up in due course.

@Everyone - Thanks a lot for all the advice, it's all helpful. I'll try to download LAME again and I'll give Wiretap a try too, which may be better for me as a Mac user. Thanks!

goneforeign said...

You can download Sound Studio free and learn it to see if it's what you want, the catch is there's a tone in it that isn't removed 'til you buy it.

Proudfoot said...

Thanks everyone (for the Jono, not the technical advice. I'm still working out what the right click on my mouse does).
Do they do posters of the Wedding Present album? I'm only 44 and I want one for my bedroom.

@toffee. Still waiting for someone to call their album/band Dixie Dean. There's a great rock'n'roll story there. Motorbike accident! Squintillion goals in top league football! A strike rate of nearly 9out of ten games! Never booked (despite having testicle crushed in a tackle that Vinnie Jones would deem OTT)! Headed medicine balls for fun! Finished working life as a porter! (maybe these two are related) Got his nickname from being compared to a 'darkie'! Cup medals stolen and returned by contrite thieves! Played for Sligo Rovers! They might yet make a statue of Duncan Ferguson at Goodison but it'll have to be 2 feet shorter than Dixie's.

sourpus said...

I'd also missed out on this track before - fabulous! Thanks

goneforeign said...

Sound quality on the wiretap version is much better, now you're a believer check out wiretap pro, it lets you edit and mix etc.