Detecting track breaks
"with our old and slightly worn recording it was difficult to find a setting that would recognise the track breaks without also finding spurious breaks elsewhere"
You weren't testing it on 4'33" were you?
Open-source audio editor Audacity was upgraded to version 3.0 this week with a new single-file project format emitted alongside other fresh features and fixes. Audacity originated from a 1999 research project at Carnegie Mellon University by Dominic Mazzoni and Roger Dannenberg, and was first released as an open-source audio …
I used to have an awesome plugin for WinAmp that simulated vinyl - you could choose the speed (33, 45, etc), simulate dust and scratches, a warped disc, and so on. Yes it was almost entirely frivolous (“Hey look, I can make my clean pristine digital audio files sound like crap!”) but as someone who grew up with record players, I rather wish it was available for VLC.
I've been using it for years. It's perfect for topping and tailing a final mix of a new recording. Quick and easy to use.
On one occasion I was able to hep a friend who had played just one duff note on a long guitar piece. I was able to find a match in an earlier verse, and cut and past it in seamlessly. You can expand the view so much that you can see individual wave cycles, so I was able to trim to a perfect join - wouldn't want to make a habit of it though!
Yep, cuts the track the moment a DJ is about to talkover. Just think of all those C-60 'Pick of the Pops ' recordings just waiting to be digitised and catalogued. A bonus would be a hetordyne eliminator for '208' recordings.
A beer for the creators and maintainers of this great public asset.
I've tried Audacity on and off over the years, but have always found it a bit more fiddly and less intuitive that the "rival" Goldwave. Yes, I accept that Audacity is open source, cross platform and free, whereas Goldwave is not. But you can get the fully functional trial/demo version for free, and the lifetime purchase fee is minimal for what it does. I've edited 1000's of hours of audio with it over the years. Just the X/Y and visual spectrum displays are worth it on their own.
It is quite easy to set a heterodyne filter for those "208" recordings - just introduce a sharp notch at 9khz, or a roll off over 8khz - extremely easy to see on the spectrum graphic. I assume Audacity can do the same. Also useful for correcting those old tape/cassette recordings where the tape deck never ran at the exact speed.....
Projects like that are things that I support by torrenting them and leaving them available for upload.
I don't have any use for the application myself, but if it is popular, then I will torrent it, just like I torrent the latest Linux Mint releases.
I am happy to give up some of my bandwidth to Audacity.
The thing about the GUI for Audacity, is that everything is pretty easy to find. When it's not, it's easy to figure out.
I'd take that any day of the week over something that's pretty as hell but makes simple tasks like setting changes, turning off unwanted/intrusive features or configuring input/outputs an absolute ballache (see Virtual DJ and try to stop it pitchmatching, simple it is not...)
A chap called Jouni Helminen is, apparently, working with the Audacity team "on a redesign of the UI/UX". He mentioned this on the third comment about the Audacity announcement over on the orange and grey news forum.
I'm sure the Audacity people will keep his feet on the ground, so no need to panic just yet...
I used Magix Audio Cleaner to rip vinyl many years ago when I did it frequently (using Windows, one of the few reasons I used Windows). That was able to identify track breaks most of the time. The first version I used was a freebee on a cover mount disk on PCW, but I ended up buying the next version anyway. I think it included an MP3 encoder.
I did use Audacity 2.something to do the same a short while back. I'm sure that there was a plugin to place labels at periods of silence, although I found the label handling with Audacity a little awkward, and I don't believe that it had the ability to generate track listings for CD from the label names. But it can split the tracks into separate files so that they could be burned to CD in the correct sequence using K3B or Brassero.
When I decommission systems, I tend to keep the hard disk around for a while (well, I guess forever so far). I recently found the disk from the Windows system I used to do rips with about 30 albums ripped, but I could not read the labels and listings, although the audio was in WAV format, so I can actually listen to the rips.
Of course, I've updated my turntable now (a couple of times actually), so I really should rip them again. But it's surprising how good the rips sound. Most are from before the era of 'remastering', so they are more authentic than current CD purchases that have been messed around with.
Have you tried using abcde?
From the man page:
abcde [options] [tracks]
Ordinarily, the process of grabbing the data off a CD and encoding it,
then tagging or commenting it, is very involved. abcde is designed to
automate this. It will take an entire CD and convert it into a com‐
pressed audio format - Ogg/Vorbis, MPEG Audio Layer III (MP3), Free
Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC), Ogg/Speex, MPP/MP+(Musepack), M4A (AAC) wv
(WavPack), Monkey's Audio (ape), Opus, True Audio (tta) or MPEG Audio
Layer II (MP2) format(s). With one command, it will:
* Do a CDDB or Musicbrainz query over the Internet to look up your
CD or use a locally stored CDDB entry, or read CD-TEXT from your
CD as a fallback for track information
* Download the album art appropriate for your music tracks with
many user configurable options for download and post download
And a lot more options
It was ripping vinyl to burn to CD that I was talking about, and I although I guess that you could use A Better CD Encoder to do vinyl as well, I also apply scratch and rumble filters before doing the track separation, but you would need to attach metadata in the track, because it could not be read from the LP.
I've often found that CDDB is a little unreliable about identifying vinyl albums and tracks. It's a little inflexible when tracks have slightly different lengths or appear in different order from the catalog entry, or in the case of vinyl rips, vs. CD rips, completely different numbers of tracks.
I'm sure abcde could work, not that I've come across it before. But I'm not really doing this too much any more. The time I did it recently was more an academic exercise to see whether Audacity could do it nowadays, with the additional plugins that have been added since the last time I tried. But thanks for the info.
For CD rips, I used to use grip, which is now unmaintained. But my local copy of the source still compiles and runs, and I like the interface.
I have used Audacity a few times to digitise recording made on cassette tape years ago. Its probably suitable for the majority of users like myself who aren't sound engineers or audiophiles and therefore don't need all the functions that commercial audio editors come with. Although perhaps there are sound engineers who do use Audacity as find it good enough for their needs to?
Disappointing to see that there is still no support for VST instruments. Given the ubiquity of them in music production since the early 2000s and that Audacity is a wannabe Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), this is a huge omission. Despite this, it is still in the premier league of open source tools. I can't think of many others that get so much right - including the user interface. For free, you cannot argue with what the team have produced. This is one project I will not hesitate to contribute to once I have been able to put in the leg work to learn enough to be useful.
Some of the comments above made me chuckle. It reminds me of people seeing word processors for the first time and being amazed at what they could do. Yes folks, editing audio on computers is a thing. Works quite well too.
I'm a long time user of Audacity on Linux, but only for very simple stuff. That's why the model of "a project" doesn't suit me at all. I want to load an audio file, tweak it and save a new copy. And when I exit Audacity, I don't want it to ask me if I want to save "the project". Every time.
And they've decided to use a relational database to store a project's files? A database is for analyzing and organizing data. It's not a general container for files. You would use zip or gzipped tar for that.
Mixbus has all the bells and whistles, is inexpensive, and most importantly has the big fat sound of a large-format console, which is Harrison's main business. Well worth trying -- one listen and you may become addicted, as I have. Also easily imports all standard formats, making it ideal for final mixes, so you can use your tool of choice for tracking, editing, etc. (although Mixbus does all of that also).