Recording Quality is Bad
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  1. #1
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    Default Recording Quality is Bad

    I'm recording directly into Audacity with an RCA from my DJM800 (rec out) to my Behringer UCA202, and the quality just doesn't sound good.

    http://www.mixcloud.com/hualicopter/...rs-vs-new-age/

    It has a very tinny sound, and I can't figure out what is wrong. The songs used to make the mash up are 320 kbps so it's not source quality issues either.

    Any suggestions?
    Bedroom DJ | Pioneer DJM-800 | Pioneer CDJ2000 and CDJ900-NXS | 2 x Mackie MR8MKII | Sennheiser Amperior

  2. #2

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    The mix sounds fine to me, Have you swapped out cables?
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  3. #3
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    Really? It sounds awful to me... I can try swapping cables.
    Bedroom DJ | Pioneer DJM-800 | Pioneer CDJ2000 and CDJ900-NXS | 2 x Mackie MR8MKII | Sennheiser Amperior

  4. #4
    DJTT Moderator Dude Jester's Avatar
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    Default

    I would say go through the chain. Check your recording settings in Audacity, As mentioned try swapping out the cables, I could not find exact specs on your soundcard (that may affect things as well) ..
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  5. #5
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    ...tinny is not what I'd call that.

    The mixing itself has some of what I'd call "flaws", but they may be stylistic things. It sounds really busy and thick...and not exactly in a good way. But, that's just my opinion.

    320kbit MP3s also aren't good for this sort of thing....they're barely acceptable for playing out, but they're useless for recording. You encode the audio once, play it, then record it and encode it again....at that point, it's clearly audible. Use lossless or uncompressed audio if you care about quality at all. There definitely are some compression artifacts, though whether they're from your file or mixcloud further compressing things, I don't know. That might be a good bit of what you're hearing if you're happy with the mix.

    Your recording levels are too hot. I heard at least one (bad) hard digital clip (coming out of the breakdown). This probably happened at your sound card inputs. You have to watch those levels like a hawk if you're recording hot. Or record quieter (preferably 24bit if the sound card will do it) and turn it up later. No one cares about the noise floor being 6dB higher (especially when modern dance music doesn't have enough dynamic range for it to matter anyway). That hard clip makes the song, as is, unplayable. Using an extra 6dB (or more) of headroom in your sound card's converters is kind of like using a "sound better" switch.

    If the sound card doesn't have analog gain circuitry for the inputs, you just have to run your mixer quieter.

    The levels were also really inconsistent in spots. It kind of sounds like you were just flailing on the faders...and you obviously put more time and care into it than that. What did the meters on your DJM look like? It almost sounds like you're hitting a limiter inconsistently. I know the DJM has one to try and fix the "red means go" disease a lot of DJs have, but I don't know how it behaves...so I don't know if that's it. It might just be incompatibility between the songs.

    It kind of only sounds right in the queiter sections....so I'm willing to bet you're just overdriving something....definitely the sound card at one point, probably the mixer's summing bus too.

  6. #6

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    Right away your recording way to hot and eqs too high... My advice if you want pound when you mix it turn cans and monitors to where you want.. Always record quiter can always expand later... Just curious you didn't run any post processing just file export MP3?

  7. #7
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    If I don't boost the gain a bit, the file is around 87.5 dB which is way too quiet. I don't see how I'm recording too hot when my DJM levels are always at 0, maybe +1-2 dB. EQs are rarely past 12.

    I don't think it's Mixcloud compressing the file again because it sounds the same on my end.
    Bedroom DJ | Pioneer DJM-800 | Pioneer CDJ2000 and CDJ900-NXS | 2 x Mackie MR8MKII | Sennheiser Amperior

  8. #8
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    that number "87.5dB" doesn't mean anything important.

    If I'm right about how the DJM is structured, peaking at 0 will clip the inputs of your sound card.

    Seriously....the difference between peaking at 0dBFS (in the recording stage) and at -10dBFS is only that the second one will sound better after you normalize it.

  9. #9
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    This is its wave form in Audacity w/ normalization to 90 dB.



    So what you're saying is that I am clipping the two input tracks and then recording the clipped tracks?

    Won't the audio just clip if I record at a lower volume and then normalize?
    Bedroom DJ | Pioneer DJM-800 | Pioneer CDJ2000 and CDJ900-NXS | 2 x Mackie MR8MKII | Sennheiser Amperior

  10. #10

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    Yes that could be clipping the mixer but not the sound card... Icon audacity it sounds the same and waveform looks like that then yeah I'm going with clipping before card... Djms clip real easy If I remember correctly

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