| From Caprio Alexander
| Sun, 29 Oct 2006 14:27:08 -0500
| Subject: [Audacity-help] I need help with my Audacity Softwear
| While I'm recording, sometimes Audacity will randonly stop recording.
| I'm not sure why that happens.
Unless this happens only during long or multi-track recordings and not
otherwise, it is most probably an issue of outdated sound device drivers
(especially if you are on a Windows machine, which routinely ship with
very old generic Microsoft drivers which cannot record properly). You may
additionally have resource issues such as inadequate memory, or need to
defragment or enable DMA on the hard drive. If you are doing long or
multitrack recordings Audacity probably needs at least four times the
stated minimum requirements of 64 MB RAM and 300 MHz processor.
So definitely update your sound device drivers to the latest ones for your
computer model from the manufacturer of the sound device or motherboard.
These may be obtainable from their website or on Windows you can try
updating the drivers from Device Manager. To do this: click Start >
(Settings) > Control Panel > System , click on the Hardware tab, then on
the "Device Manager" button on the Device Manager panel. Expand "Sound,
Video and Game Controllers" by clicking on the + sign, right-click on the
sound device and click "update driver". If you cannot get an appropriate
non-Microsoft driver, seek a driver from the manufacturer's website.
Please also look through the list I have pasted in underneath this message
of recording tips which may help you to identify any resource issues you
may be having.
| Also, Audacity over rides my computers volume, how can I have it so
| that I can control the volume coming from Audacity by sing my
| compute's volume controls.
This is probably part of the same problem with your sound device drivers -
you should be able to control the output of Audacity with the master
output control ; but note however in all but our most recent test builds
(at least on Windows), the Audacity output slider does itself influence
the volume of all other output, such that if it set to zero, you will have
almost no volume level in other applications.
If you have any further questions, please tell us what operating system
you are on (e.g. Windows XP, OS X 10.4) and what version of Audacity
you are using (see Help > About in the program).
Here are some general tips on avoiding recording problems.
* Close all other programs while recording. Be aware of background
virus scanners and other system tray programs. Norton, Sophos and other
anti-virus products scan each file as it is opened and closed by default.
On a slow computer this scanning can affect recording as it takes too long.
* Reduce the bit depth for recording and importing from the default
32 bit to 16 bit at Edit > Preferences > Quality tab: Default Sample
Format. Reducing the bit depth halves the amount of data stored and the
time taken to write it to the disk.
* Don't record stereo unless you have to. Stereo requires your machine
to handle twice as much data. A single instrument or solo vocal track should
usually be recorded mono. You can position it in the stereo mix later. To
record in mono, set recording channels to "1 (mono)" on the Audio I/O
tab of Preferences.
* Turn off "Auto-scroll while playing" at Edit > Preferences >
Interface. This stops the display re-drawing as the recording is made
so reduces the amount of processing power used, freeing power for
recording. Alternatively minimise Audacity during the recording.
* Zoom out to the whole length you will be recording
* Disable the Meter Toolbar at Edit > Preferences > Interface
as this will conserve resources on a slower computer
* Make sure your system swap or paging file is large enough. As a
working rule, with RAM of less than 512 MB the swap file should be set to
1.5 times the available RAM. Recordings will stop if the swap file is full.
If you have 1 GB or more RAM, set the swap file to a low size like 256 MB
to prevent the swap file being used in place of the (much faster) RAM.
* Defragment your hard drive (only affects Windows users). This
increases the speed your computer can read and write information by
ensuring that files are kept close together in a logical manner.
*Windows 2000/XP users can try increasing the priority of Audacity
in Task Manager. On GNU/Linux you can run as root (back up everything
first and not recommended unless you are on a standalone machine)
* Make sure (Windows/Linux) that DMA mode is enabled for your
hard drive - see
*Try to avoid interrupt sharing for your soundcard
* Update your hardware drivers to avoid conflicts and get better
hardware performance. Key targets are:
o Sound Card. This is also a common cause of crashes, especially
o Video (Display) Card
o Hard Drive controller - This is especially important for RAID and
other high performance controllers.
* If you are making a long recording and you will be away from the
computer, it is advisable to disable any screensaver you have. Simply
switch the monitor off instead.
* If you have audio equipment such as microphones or amplifier close
to the computer, consider moving them apart, altering the grounding so
that the PC is not grounded together with the audio equipment, and using
high quality shielded audio cable, to prevent extraneous noises from the
equipment or the computer seeping into the recording.
Outbound message virus free.
Tested on: 10/30/2006 12:30:24 AM