Friday, November 21, 2008


Day 18

I use Audacity (along with Hydrogen) to record demo tracks of songs. I haven't played in a band in over a year, but I miss playing, and I still have songs rattling around in my head. Audacity helps get those out. It isn't intended to do large-scale sound recording, but it works well with my makeshift "studio" in the basement. I also use Audacity at my school were I head up the school's "radio station." Much of this duty is spent teaching kids how to record, edit, and produce shows that are then broadcast on a short-range transmitter. It's basically a glorified podcast, but again, Audacity gets the job done.

I wanted to see how Audacity performed on the Eee, despite its limitations. Rather than turn to the console this time, I check Synaptic, and it popped right up. (I'm guessing it is included in the Xandros repos, but I may be wrong.)

Audacity has a history of hiccups on Linux machines. People, including myself, have experienced strange errors messages that made it impossible to record. Fortunately, I didn't run into this problem on the Eee. I grabbed my guitar and click on record.

Even though there's an 1/8" mic input, I decided to see how the internal microphone handled sound. It recorded well with little noise or evidence of lag (which can be a deal breaker when recording music). Everything was going well - until I tried to record another track over the first.It's visually apparent that something's not right with the second track.

Now, logically speaking, in order to recording multiple music tracks, one needs to hear them all at once. Apparently the Eee can't quite handle this, because the second track was nothing but static. When I turned off the "Play other tracks while recording new one" option, the second track sounded as good as the first, but it's useless at this point.

The verdict - I need to play with this some more. Audacity certainly works on the Eee, but not without flaws. I plan on doing some editing on Audacity this weekend, and I'm optimistic that it will go well. As long as the limitations present with recording don't emerge while editing as well.

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