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Recording audio
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Kickaha
Likes his boobies blue.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hell
 
2007-02-14, 10:29

My wife has a series of research pieces she needs to transcribe, and they're on cassette tape. Instead of finding (or buying) a pedal controller for a tapedeck, she asked me to see about recording them as MP3 instead. So, I have a tape desk with RCA audio out, a combiner to a 3.5mm jack (okay, so it's technically a 3.5mm headphone jack splitter, but...), and a copy of GarageBand, which I understand does audio recording, although I've never tried it. The quality isn't really important, it's mono speech. We're snowed in for the day, so I thought it'd be a good time to give this a shot.

Anything else you'd suggest?

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chucker
 
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2007-02-14, 10:34

GarageBand or QuickTime Player (Pro) will do fine.
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Kickaha
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hell
 
2007-02-14, 13:58

Ran into a gotcha, and thank god for GarageBand.

The tapes are anthropological interviews, recorded on... a dictation machine. Dictation machines, for those who don't know, can record at 1/2 the tape speed of 'normal' audio machines. (Most are variable, that just happens to be what this was set to.) They're also pretty poor recordings.

So... record at 240bpm, then when done, drop to 120bpm and -12 in pitch to get it sounding 'right'. A little tweaking with the audio units to clarify it, and voila. She's going to be adding markers in a podcast track to keep it organized. Pretty danged slick.

My other brain is hung like a horse too.
#IRC isn't old school.
Old school is being able to say 'finger me' with a straight face.
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TMT
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: lost in space
 
2007-02-14, 13:59

don't forget to check the input level in the audio-preference pane, before you digitize a whole tape (that happened to me once...), and you might want to take a look at this:

http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/26293 ,

it's a transscription software, a roommate of mine used it for some interviews, and he was quite happy with it.


edit: too late...

Last edited by TMT : 2007-02-14 at 16:04.
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Kickaha
Likes his boobies blue.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hell
 
2007-02-14, 14:08

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMT View Post
edit: too late...
Not necessarily, we were just experimenting with 60-120sec chunks until we got it down. It's only been recording 'fer realz' for about 10 minutes. Thanks, I'll take a peek at it.

Edit: Oddly, Transcriva does the thing *we* wanted it to for the original too-fast files (slow down tempo and pitch simultaneously) but not what I would think most people would want it to do with regular audio. Hmm. Now that we have it down to the right speed and pitch, I think slowing it down further while dropping the pitch would make it harder to work with, not easier. I'll have to see what she thinks about it though, thanks.

Edit Deux: Now, can anyone explain why it keeps stopping recording at 33:18, give or take a bit? It's a 45min tape. Memory limitation? (which would be odd, but not unheardof) It's not giving me any warnings or errors... Going to try locking the track we have so far, and starting a new recording track.

My other brain is hung like a horse too.
#IRC isn't old school.
Old school is being able to say 'finger me' with a straight face.

Last edited by Kickaha : 2007-02-14 at 16:14.
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TMT
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: lost in space
 
2007-02-14, 16:14

I think the main advantage would be to do the typing and playing the files within the same application, you don't have to switch from iTunes to your texteditor, you can bookmark files, and if you need to slow someone down, because he is talking faster than you can type, you can do it on the fly, instead of getting your husband to reencode the file at another speed and pitch...

I can't remember which features were disabled in the free version, but for simple transscription, it should be fine.

edit: are you using garageband for the recording, or quicktime pro?
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Kickaha
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hell
 
2007-02-14, 16:18

GB for the recording.

I see the purpose of the app, but slowing it down makes it harder to understand *because* it drops the pitch as well... which is weird, since the app has to do extra steps to accomplish that. If they left the pitch alone, and altered the speed, it'd be exactly what she's looking for.

My other brain is hung like a horse too.
#IRC isn't old school.
Old school is being able to say 'finger me' with a straight face.
  quote
TMT
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: lost in space
 
2007-02-14, 16:26

Sorry,I never used Garageband.
do you record to an existing track in the timeline? if you do, is it long enough?
I think it would be an extra step to keep the pitch,a simple speed change in an audio application always affects the pitch, in the more sophisticated plugins you have the option to keep the pitch.
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Kickaha
Likes his boobies blue.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hell
 
2007-02-14, 16:36

Analog, yes, changing tempo is tied to altering the pitch, but that isn't the case with digital samples. Play it back twice as fast, and the pitch data isn't changed. As you point out, you *can*, but it's actually more work to keep them synced than it is to just alter one at a time.

As for the timeline, it's essentially open-ended. It'll just keep adding time as needed. What's really odd is that on the second track I added, hitting record ends up with a ~1sec burst, then it stops. It also goes into this state where the track info is disabled, and the window's Close button is disabled... but only the Close button. Very, very bizarre.

My other brain is hung like a horse too.
#IRC isn't old school.
Old school is being able to say 'finger me' with a straight face.
  quote
TMT
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: lost in space
 
2007-02-14, 16:47

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickaha View Post
Analog, yes, changing tempo is tied to altering the pitch, but that isn't the case with digital samples..
You are right...
well, I suppose they left it the analog way, when digital sound processing came up, because the sound - people were used to it.
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malcolm
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Canada
 
2007-02-15, 20:23

I'll pipe in... I use Transcriva, and love it. The thing I love the most (maybe other software includes this option, I don't know) is the fact that you can easily program it so that when you hit play (after pausing to type - - transcribe - - what you've heard) it starts a couple seconds back, so you don't miss anything.
I use Audio Hijack to import audio (from whatever source), then use Transcriva.
Cheers,
Malcolm
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Kickaha
Likes his boobies blue.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hell
 
2007-02-15, 21:13

The automatic pop back is a nice feature. I'll have to give it another look, thanks. Any idea why on earth they ship it with the Play/Pause keystroke set to Cmd-space (Spotlight trigger) by default??

My other brain is hung like a horse too.
#IRC isn't old school.
Old school is being able to say 'finger me' with a straight face.
  quote
julesstoop
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Leiden, the Netherlands
 
2007-02-16, 04:01

As far as I remember (haven 't used it for some time) cmd-space is (or was) the standard "start recording" key combo for ProTools.
So I guess it conveys a professional feel?

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