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Tech: Zoom H1 with Audacity

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maeve 21 Apr 11 - 05:00 PM
Arkie 21 Apr 11 - 07:07 PM
maeve 21 Apr 11 - 07:29 PM
Tootler 21 Apr 11 - 07:49 PM
Steve Shaw 21 Apr 11 - 08:02 PM
Newport Boy 22 Apr 11 - 04:46 AM
treewind 22 Apr 11 - 05:04 AM
treewind 22 Apr 11 - 05:25 AM
maeve 22 Apr 11 - 06:42 AM
Will Fly 22 Apr 11 - 06:46 AM
treewind 22 Apr 11 - 10:24 AM
maeve 22 Apr 11 - 08:57 PM
Stilly River Sage 22 Apr 11 - 11:04 PM
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Subject: Tech: Zoom H1 with Audacity
From: maeve
Date: 21 Apr 11 - 05:00 PM

I've read through the manuals and other related threads without finding what I need. I'd appreciate specific help figuring the best Bit Rate setting for the Zoom H1 recorder for vocals and guitar using WAV. I need to be able to end up with good quality WAV files I can send via email (up to 25 MB)and as mp3 files of the same songs.

I started with a Bit Rate of 96000Hz, and was pleased with the clean recordings. It turned out that Bit Rate creates a WAV file too large for my email programs, so I went back into Audacity and lowered the Bit Rate on the individual songs before exporting them as mp3 files and sent out a test email. The resulting songs were as unto thick, cold, molasses.

Constructive suggestions are welcomed. Please be gentle...I'm trying to re-record some of the songs I lost in the fire, while learning how to correctly use the H1 and run the Audacity program.

Thank you,

Maeve


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Subject: RE: Tech: Zoom H1 with Audacity
From: Arkie
Date: 21 Apr 11 - 07:07 PM

Maeve, there are some other options to email for sending WAV files. I do not have the experience to be too specific but one option is uploading the files to a program like Rapidshare, Megaupload, etc. Another is to use software called Dropbox. There is a free version that allows you to deposit files which can be retrieved by another party. I am not sure how that works. I think there are also other options involving saving files to an online repository from which the files can be picked up by a second or third party. You can also save the WAV file to MP3 at 256 or 320 bit rate which is supposed to be near WAV quality but I do not know if files that large could be emailed. Some email programs also allow larger files to be transmitted than others.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Zoom H1 with Audacity
From: maeve
Date: 21 Apr 11 - 07:29 PM

Thank you, Arkie. I'll take a look at some of your suggested options.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Zoom H1 with Audacity
From: Tootler
Date: 21 Apr 11 - 07:49 PM

Is 96000 Hz maybe a bit of overkill?

CDs are normally recorded at 44100 Hz. I remember reading sometime ago that that frequency was chosen because it was roughly twice the maximum frequency that most people with unimpaired hearing can detect. It seems that you need to digitise audio at twice the maximum frequency you want reproduced.

I have my Edirol R09 set to record at 44.1 kHz, 16 bit and I find that a good balance between quality and file size. The highest quality on my R09 is 48 kHz, 24 bit which will give a slightly higher maximum frequency on playback and a 24 bit word will capture more information than a 16 bit word, but the result would be substantially larger files.

I usually export my files from Audacity in flac format. This is a lossless compression system and though the files are larger than most mp3 files, they are smaller than wav files of equivalent quality and there is no loss of data, unlike with compression systems like mp3 and ogg which are described as lossy for good reason.

To send the files to others; rather than attach the actual files to an email, I upload either to Soundcloud or to my own website and then email the link. The recipient can then download using the link in the email. Soundcloud is a good choice in my view because their limit is based on playback time rather than file size and you can upload in almost any audio format (including wav).


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Subject: RE: Tech: Zoom H1 with Audacity
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Apr 11 - 08:02 PM

I hate to be too obvious, but if you want to pass on your WAV files to someone else you can't beat burning them on to CD-Rs and sticking 'em in the post...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Zoom H1 with Audacity
From: Newport Boy
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 04:46 AM

I would certainly recommend Dropbox for transmitting files. You simply put the file in the Dropbox folder on your computer, click on it to get a link ("blue clicky") and send the link in an email. The free storage is enough if you manage your files.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Tech: Zoom H1 with Audacity
From: treewind
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 05:04 AM

Bit rate is a misleading term for WAV files.
WAV files have a bit depth (16 or 24 usually) and a sampling rate (44.1k, 48k or 96k usually). CDs are 16bit and 44.1kHz.

MP3s have a bit rate.
64k is for mono speech only.
128k is about the standard of cassette tape
192k is indistinguishable from CD quality for most people.
They go up to 320k, which is still only 1/3 the size of the equivalent CD quality WAV file.

I'd suggest recording 26/44.1 WAV on your Zoom, then converting to different MP3 bit rates, listening to the result and looking at the file sizes and making a decision based on what you see and hear.

I usually upload MP3s to the net at 160k.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Zoom H1 with Audacity
From: treewind
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 05:25 AM

P.S.
CD-quality WAV files (16/44.1)are about 10MB per minute.
128k MP3 files are about 1MB per minute (and you can easily calculate what it would be for other rates)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Zoom H1 with Audacity
From: maeve
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 06:42 AM

Thank you all for the useful information you've posted. I've printed it all out and will explore. I'm going to learn a lot in the process. I hope others will find the thread useful as well.

Again, I'm grateful for your help!

Maeve


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Subject: RE: Tech: Zoom H1 with Audacity
From: Will Fly
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 06:46 AM

I find that 44100 kHz and 16 bit rate is fine for capturing the audio. I export the audio from my Zoom H2 to my Mac, using a USB connection, as a .WAV file. But I don't use Audacity to convert this to mp3 - I add the file to my iTunes library and then convert to mp3 - which keeps sound quality and creates a file roughly 1/10th of the .WAV file size. OK for emailing. I only use Audacity to top and tail the recording and, occasionally, to twiddle with the overall volume should it be too low.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Zoom H1 with Audacity
From: treewind
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 10:24 AM

"But I don't use Audacity to convert this to mp3 - I add the file to my iTunes library and then convert to mp3 - which keeps sound quality and creates a file roughly 1/10th of the .WAV file size."

If you end up with 1/10 the size you are making a 128k MP3, which is OK quality but on good speakers you can tell it's not the original. Which way you do it (Audacity or iTunes) doesn't matter much if you produce the same bitrate MP3.

I know some converters are better than others, but we are talking very subtle differences here. Audacity uses LAME which is a good encoder and used by may other programs, and there's some evidence that iTunes's MP3 encoder isn't the best.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Zoom H1 with Audacity
From: maeve
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 08:57 PM

I'm learning all I can from the excellent tips so far; any more?

Thank you,

Maeve


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Subject: RE: Tech: Zoom H1 with Audacity
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 11:04 PM

In the For-What-It's-Worth category, if you want to send very large files, there is a service that has a free component that lets you send up to 100meg files called YouSendIt.com.

How it works: You can subscribe without any fees and you upload your file to the site with the email information for your recipient. The YouSendIt folks email a note to your recipient with a link for downloading the file and it usually expires after a week or two. I'd suggest try sending it to yourself the first time to a home email address to see how it works. I've used it a couple of times and it is convenient when you don't want to burn a disk and mail it or load the file in a flash drive and deliver it. If you buy the service, you can send up to 2GB files.

Special Collections at my library uses this, and I've had them send large scans to me this way.

SRS


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