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Author Topic: Audacity (osx): How to mix two AUD sources?  (Read 22349 times)

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Offline justink

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Re: Audacity (osx): How to mix two AUD sources?
« Reply #90 on: September 07, 2017, 09:51:08 AM »
This thread is great - I spent an hour trying to line up a two hour matrix last night in 2.1.3, and figured out 3DP wasn't enough. Came here, downloaded 2.1.0, and I'm back on with the task.

Has anyone informed the Audacity team?

probably not.  we definitely need a fix.  i still can't figure it out.
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Re: Audacity (osx): How to mix two AUD sources?
« Reply #91 on: September 07, 2017, 02:48:39 PM »
Messaged the Audacity team on Facebook this evening; will post if I hear back.
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Offline JiB97

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Re: Audacity (osx): How to mix two AUD sources?
« Reply #92 on: October 26, 2017, 07:49:22 PM »
posting in here so I can reference later.

been having issues recently combining sources; everything is coming out clipping even when both source are max peaking @ -4.  wish there was a program where I could tell it to have source A @ 60% and source B @ 40%...
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Offline bvaz

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Re: Audacity (osx): How to mix two AUD sources?
« Reply #93 on: October 27, 2017, 07:06:24 AM »
posting in here so I can reference later.

been having issues recently combining sources; everything is coming out clipping even when both source are max peaking @ -4.  wish there was a program where I could tell it to have source A @ 60% and source B @ 40%...
I usually play the file in audacity at spots and look at the meters to see how high it is hitting before exporting.  not full proof, but it gives me an idea.

Offline Life In Rewind

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Re: Audacity (osx): How to mix two AUD sources?
« Reply #94 on: October 27, 2017, 08:05:03 AM »
posting in here so I can reference later.

been having issues recently combining sources; everything is coming out clipping even when both source are max peaking @ -4.  wish there was a program where I could tell it to have source A @ 60% and source B @ 40%...

Percentages aren't very useful or meaningful...use your ears.

And yes - its normal to have higher peaks when combining sources.

Solutions are - record in 24 bit and don't run so hot. (like -8db instead of -4db)

Or - once you have your mix - use the faders (on the left) to reduce the gain by equal amounts on each file set.

Just nudge each one down by 1db until the peaks go away.

Then export!
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Offline morst

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Re: Audacity (osx): How to mix two AUD sources?
« Reply #95 on: February 14, 2018, 02:11:40 PM »
posting in here so I can reference later.

been having issues recently combining sources; everything is coming out clipping even when both source are max peaking @ -4.  wish there was a program where I could tell it to have source A @ 60% and source B @ 40%...
I usually play the file in audacity at spots and look at the meters to see how high it is hitting before exporting.  not full proof, but it gives me an idea.
You can also just quickly render the peak area, so you don't have to wait for the whole thing to run, just to find out that the hot part went over!?

Run a test render, import it, if it peaks, lower everything & repeat. If the test doesn't peak, then render the whole thing, import and check for peaks!
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Offline nak700s

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Re: Audacity (osx): How to mix two AUD sources?
« Reply #96 on: February 15, 2018, 12:20:59 PM »

been having issues recently combining sources; everything is coming out clipping even when both source are max peaking @ -4.  wish there was a program where I could tell it to have source A @ 60% and source B @ 40%...
I usually play the file in audacity at spots and look at the meters to see how high it is hitting before exporting.  not full proof, but it gives me an idea.
[/quote]
You can also just quickly render the peak area, so you don't have to wait for the whole thing to run, just to find out that the hot part went over!?

Run a test render, import it, if it peaks, lower everything & repeat. If the test doesn't peak, then render the whole thing, import and check for peaks!
[/quote]

It isn't brain surgery, it's post production.  Experiment and write down what you do.  After doing it a couple times, you will know where to have the levels on all tracks.  If it helps, the way that I find works best for me is to use my ears and eyes.  In that order!  I listen to determine which tracks I want louder...or possibly the same.  Once I figure that out, it's easy from there.  When initially recording the show, I record low (ALWAYS at 24bit)... ideally peaking around -12db or lower.  I raise the tracks (or lower them if the band got crazy loud or the board patch was unmanageable during the show) to have the mix I want.  An example, being the last show I did, the board patch was brought to -5.5db and the microphone tracks were brought to -8.5db.  I liked the mixed ratio with the soundboard being a little more dominant in this case, but it isn't always like that for me.  From there, I export and save my work.  In this stage, I have gotten used to where to adjust my levels to so they are not peaking when combined.  Now I have two files in that folder, the original (which I will never delete) and the work in progress.  From there, I basically start over, opening up a new Audacity window, and dropping that new file into it for further editing.  This is where I do the bulk of my post work.  If there are only a few spikes, I'll bring them down (by highlighting the spike, then hitting the "+ magnifier" symbol 9-10 times, I isolate the spike to the point that I'm ONLY reducing that one jump in volume).  Once I'm happy with that stage, I bring both tracks up to -0.50db (some prefer -1.0db, while others prefer 0.00db.  I say too each their own on that point).  From there, if I'm happy, I'm almost done...but let's be honest here, I'm never happy at that point!  I will look at spikes, if there are whistles or screams, etc. to see what else needs to be done.  It is at this stage that a normal human being will normalize or use other features to essentially compress the music and give a more uniform wave.  I do not do this.  Ever.  I like the dynamic range of the live show and do my best to keep the highs and lows, while only eliminating the spikes to bring up everything else to a good volume.  This may sound like normalizing or compressing, but when I reduce a dozen or so spikes, around 1/1000 sec each, throughout one set, in order to bring everything else up, it is very different.  Once I've finished this, I will individually bring up the two tracks to -0.50db if they aren't already there.  Once this is finished, I like to do a 10 second fade in and fade out before saving this now completed file.  I prefer to track out the songs in CDWave...
And that, boys and girls, is how I have figured out how to reduce my 4-5 channel recordings down to a two channel recording that I can burn to CD, share, email to the band, etc.  I hope my step by step is helpful (and that I didn't leave something out because I take it for granted). 
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Re: Audacity (osx): How to mix two AUD sources?
« Reply #97 on: Today at 07:12:23 PM »
  From there, if I'm happy, I'm almost done...but let's be honest here, I'm never happy at that point!  I will look at spikes, if there are whistles or screams, etc. to see what else needs to be done.  It is at this stage that a normal human being will normalize or use other features to essentially compress the music and give a more uniform wave.  I do not do this.  Ever.  I like the dynamic range of the live show and do my best to keep the highs and lows, while only eliminating the spikes to bring up everything else to a good volume.  This may sound like normalizing or compressing, but when I reduce a dozen or so spikes, around 1/1000 sec each, throughout one set, in order to bring everything else up, it is very different.
Please correct me if I am wrong, but AFAIK, normalization is arithmetic and linear. Compression is decidedly NOT linear. They are very different.

My super-detailed approach involves making a test mix just a LITTLE hotter than I think I can get away with. I then import it, and find volume spikes that cause over-level peaks in the current render. I then lower those peaks manually, one at a time. I usually use the "amplify" plugin with a negative value like -1 or -3 dB. Once I have done this, I bounce a new mix and compare to make sure I got 'em all! If there are more than 10-100 peaks, I just master it a little lower, depending on how much work I want to put in for that last little bit of diminishing returns!!!
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