(I didn’t have any pressing need, but I did have a little free time.)
I tried two or three experiments at once: setting up Audacity, using a page on my personal wiki as a kind of digital journal (instead of scribbling in the spiral notebook I use to track software experiments), and making a few recordings.
Lots of stops and starts, naturally, but in a couple of hours the other night, I was able to record a voice track and also record streaming music (like the sound track off a YouTube clip).
As with many things technical, there’s stuff I can’t quite figure out. And I had to do some hunting — at first I couldn’t get Audacity to make the switch between recording off a microphone and recording from the stream. I downloaded a few new drivers, I fiddled with my computer’s sound setup as instructed by the Audacity wiki.
It helps, I think, to expect that you’re not going to get it right the first time. Of course, it also helps (if your ego’s not too easily bruised) to think that 13-year-olds all over the country are managing to do this.
I think I probably did more adjusting than I needed to — I may not have understood that SigmaTel (which I think is the name of the sound card or chip) might have been a valid choice all along, which means I downloaded or tinkered more than I needed to.
So what? Well, this morning, I thought I’d try another experiment. Here’s what I wanted to do:
- Record a voice track
- Record a music track from a streaming source
- Combine those things into a single file
- Post them here on the whiteboard
In reality, I had four voice tracks — each “edit” ended up on a separate track (I haven’t figured out if that’s a requirement, or just ignorance on my part). The thing is, I started at about 9, and by 10 *, I was listening to this one-megabyte mp3 file:[audio:first_mix.mp3|leftbg=0xB4C24B|rightbg=0xB4C24B|rightbghover=0x58BBEB]
* Of that hour, about 30 minutes went to picking out the tune, which means I was getting the melodic cart before the mp3 horse. Nothing new there.
Okay, now I have to find an mp3 player to work here within the blog; right now, if you click the link, you get to download the mp3.
Late-evening tech update: I installed the WordPress Audio Player plugin, but didn’t have the files in the right folders. That’s fixed, and you should have a control to let you play the file. Feel free, if you like experiments.