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mike

Request: Decent Easy Guide To Audio On Pc

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anyone with a up to date , easy to follow, usefull guide ??

if so could they throw it up please

otherwise will have to throw up a quick off the cuff hughes version

which will not be "easy to follow", well written etc etc :unsure:

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I'll start the ball rolling with this offering. It starts off a bit techi but eases up as I got bored and my head cold worsens.

.cda Files – compact digital audio

Data in the CD digital audio format is encoded by starting with a source sound file, and sampling it to convert it to digital format. CD-DA audio uses a sample rate of 44.1 kHz,.) Each sample is 16 bits in size, and the sampling is done in stereo. Therefore, each second of sound takes (44,100 * 2 * 2) bytes of data, which is 176,400 bytes.

Audio data is stored on the disk in blocks. Each block holds 2,352 bytes of data, with an additional number of bytes used for error detection and correction, as well as control structures. Therefore, 75 blocks are required for each second of sound. On a standard 74-minute CD then, the total amount of storage is (2,352 * 75 * 74 * 60), which is 783,216,000 bytes or about 747 MB. From this derives the handy rule of thumb that a minute of CD audio takes about 10 MB, uncompressed.

Using special software (e.g. windows media player), it is possible to actually read the digitally-encoded audio data directly from the CD itself, and store it in a computer sound format such as a .wav file.

To get a track from a CD onto your computer you need to extract the (xxxx.cda) file with the help of a “ripper” such as Audiograbber (www.audiograbber.com-us.net); this is very easy to use programme which will grab the file to your hard drive either as a .wav file or a .mp3 file

.wav Files

.wav files are uncompressed and consequently you’ll need about 10 mb of hard disk space per minute of music. Files are encoded and the standard is 16 bits at 44.1 kHz (i.e. CD quality) and has no “loss”. This is the best format to manipulate the audio files. You will need a sound editing programme to manipulate a track and this is the real expense come in. Top end software like Sonic Foundry Sound Forge, Steinberg WaveLab and Cool Edit Pro all cost quite big bucks. However, there are some free ones about like Audacity (www.audacity.sourceforge.net) & Exact Audio Copy (www.exactaudiocopy.de) There are also free demos kicking around the net too .

With theses programmes you will be able to trim the noise from the beginning and end of tracks, amplify, fade in and out and with some remove noise, hiss, click and pops.

Because .wav files are so big, it is necessary to compress track in order to save space and allow files to be emailed and streamed over the internet. Compressing can be lossy or lossless. Lossless encoding doesn’t save much and so it’s not really much use in these days of large hard drives. Lossy compression is the most widely used such as .mp3 and real audio files .ra. Basically, bits of a tune can be removed because some parts of the audio can not be heard by the human ear (so why the hell it there, I do not know)

.mp3 Files

Many of the editing software packages will allow you to convert an audio file to a different file format. There are also many free ones that can be downloaded from the net. My favourite is dbPowerAmp Convertor (www.dbpoweramp.com). Once you have installed the software, you can simply right-click on a .wav file in windows explorer and convert it to a .mp3, and you can choose the encoding to reduce the size of the file. You can also convert mp3 (and rar files with a plug in) to wav files to clean up and burn to CD.

.rar Files

Rar files are produced by Real audio software and tend to be used to “stream” audio over the internet such as radio shows. The basic programme is at http://www.realnetworks.com/products/producer/basic.html . The software to play them is free. I think that Sound quality depends on the file size and / or the speed of the server and your internet connection.

Recording to a PC

If you have got a sound card, you should be able you find a line-in socket around the back of the PC somewhere, it’s usually takes a 3.5 mm jack plug and an arrow pointing in +/- a blue ring (they’ll be a headphone (green) and microphone (pink) socket too) . To record onto your hard drive you will need a programme; a free one can be found at http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

To record from a tape deck you just need to have the appropriate cable with connection to the tape out put socket (usually phono) and a 3.5mm jack on the other end. However to record from a turntable you will need to amplify the signal somewhere along the way:

1) connect your amp ‘out’ to your sound card in

2) connect you headphone socket to your sound card in

3) connect the turntable lead to a pre-amp which you then connect to your sound card in. (These can be bought separately and cost around £40 - £50)

4) Buy a package like Steinberg Clean Plus that is software to clean up .wav files and contain a pre-amp too

You will need to check on that your sound card’s line channel is active; look for a speaker next to the clock in the bottom right corner of your screen and double click on it (if you can’t see it open Control panel from the start menu, click on Sound and Audio Devices and tick the box next to” place volume icon in the taskbar’. I would set the line in level to about half way and check the mute box is not ticked.

Usually, by default, your recording will be an uncompressed .wav file 16bit , 44.1kHz on the hard drive

You can now edit the files, convert it to .mp3 or .rar, and finally burn a CD to swap with other Soul Source anoraks like me!

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Phew.... Thats made quite a difficult subject, still difficult :-)

Because it is....

Microsoft Media Player 10 is good at dealing with and ripping cd's. it sorts out your music libary. and lets you compile audio cd's from your mp3 wma wav collection I've not had a problem with it.

The problem with pc sound is that there is only 1 line level input, and 1 output.

I've got tape running in playback/record. magnetic cart phono. via pre amp. all set up through the pc, via switch boxes. it's a right pain in the arse avoiding hum loops, and feedback.

this might make me look stupid... not hard.

Some real audio files are pretty good... but you can't copy them onto your hard disk (can you??) I stream them to the cassette recorder. then playback and encode to the pc. via Audio cleaning lab. and save as a wma. file. (I don't like mp3) I don't do this to sell them, only so I can listen to them in the car. Honest.

I don't see this as violating the moral debate on Soul Source.

If anyone knows an easier way of doing this please let me know.

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I don't rate Windows Media Player personally, although it is getting better. I am of course (ask Johnny One Trout) the unofficial spokesman for Jet Audio. I don't normally stick with audio players for too long but I can't see me changing this one and been using it months.

It will rip to wav, mp3, mp3pro and real media format. It will also convert from one to the other.

You can get the free version >>HERE<< and I've a fix that will install the toolbox to allow mp3 conversion, 14mb in size. Can't go wrong with this player IMO.

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