Laziness or stupidity?



  • I use Audacity for cutting down audio files - it's free, open source, and slowly dragging itself out of the hole it calls a UI. But then I found this:

     

    [IMG]http://i.imgur.com/ZWNXP.png[/IMG]

     

    If it's known that stereo mix causes problems, why doesn't it automatically disable itself when Stereo Mix is active - or better - give us an option (Disable software playthrough when using Stereo Mix) that's checked by default. I don't know much about the API for Windows audio, but it seems like this could be sniffed out.

    On a related note, if there's a better audio editor out there I'd like to know about it...


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

     It's nigh-impossible to autodetect such a thing because the stereo mix line can be named arbitrarily by the vendor author, and there's nothing in the API indicating that's what it is. Sure, they could maintain a list of known names for it "What U Hear", "What You Hear" "Stereo Mix" "Loopback" etc. but that would lead to people whining if they're excluded.



  •  What he said.

    Given a choice between "I have to do something extra to do what is the default for 99% of people" and "there is no way to do this thing that's different from the default for 99% of people", I'll take the former.

    As far as what audio editor I like, I'm happiest with GoldWave.  Audacity came with my USB turntable but it had a tendency to go to a high-volume sine wave at random times for no apparent reason, and stay there until I restarted it.  Worse than annoying when it happens three-fourths of the way through an album side when you're trying to convert a 24-LP set.  Only issue I ever had with GoldWave is that apparently the ability to monitor line-in recording won't work with Vista, and I never heard whether the problem was resolved when Win7 came out.



  • @Weng said:

     It's nigh-impossible to autodetect such a thing because the stereo mix line can be named arbitrarily by the vendor author, and there's nothing in the API indicating that's what it is. Sure, they could maintain a list of known names for it "What U Hear", "What You Hear" "Stereo Mix" "Loopback" etc. but that would lead to people whining if they're excluded.

    That won't work, at least not for internationally used software like Audacity, since they are usually named in the local language (e.g. on my previous Dutch computer it was called "Wat U Hoort")



  • I've got no idea what "stereo mix" means; I'm guessing it is bouncing a multitrack mix down to stereo, which should be easily detected. But I agree, Audacity is indeed a bit of a crappy piece of software.

    I'm not very familiar with Windows software, but there are quite a few sound editors out there. Adobe has a decent one, but if you're into multitracking, you could do worse than checking out Cockos Reaper.  If you want a free one, just google. I found this page: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/25-free-digital-audio-editors/



  • "Stereo mix" is the most common label for the recording source you click in your soundcard's mixer to record what's being played at this very moment. Like connecting line out to line in, except internally in-chip. If your recording program plays what it records, and you record from stereo mix, you get a really nasty feedback loop, for obvious reason.



  • @bannedfromcoding said:

    "Stereo mix" is the most common label for the recording source you click in your soundcard's mixer to record what's being played at this very moment.

    ... and my sound card doesn't seem to support it. Sure it's just a cheap on-board one, but good Christ! This is essential shit!



  • @derula said:

    @bannedfromcoding said:
    "Stereo mix" is the most common label for the recording source you click in your soundcard's mixer to record what's being played at this very moment.

    ... and my sound card doesn't seem to support it. Sure it's just a cheap on-board one, but good Christ! This is essential shit!

    Your sound card might expose it as a separate disabled "device". Try these instructions.

    But BTW, mine doesn't have it either, even if I follow those directions, which is weird because I'm sure it's a RealTek device. I think the difference is that I'm using the Microsoft Update drivers, and not the RealTek drivers.



  • @Weng said:

     It's nigh-impossible to autodetect such a thing because the stereo mix line can be named arbitrarily by the vendor author, and there's nothing in the API indicating that's what it is. Sure, they could maintain a list of known names for it "What U Hear", "What You Hear" "Stereo Mix" "Loopback" etc. but that would lead to people whining if they're excluded.

     

    Okay, well then I take back that specific insult for the program - sounds like the Windows audio API is a bit of a WTF.

    I might give Adobe Audition a try if they get their hyperactive auto-updater under control.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @derula said:
    @bannedfromcoding said:
    "Stereo mix" is the most common label for the recording source you click in your soundcard's mixer to record what's being played at this very moment.

    ... and my sound card doesn't seem to support it. Sure it's just a cheap on-board one, but good Christ! This is essential shit!

    Your sound card might expose it as a separate disabled "device". Try these instructions.

    Hmm I only have a bunch of microphones in there. Also, it doesn't work on Linux either. Guess I need to keep my line-out - line-in loopback cable.



  • @Schlagwerk said:

    I might give Adobe Audition a try if they get their hyperactive auto-updater under control.


    Out of curiosity, what did Adobe add to Cool Edit Pro since the buyout?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Schlagwerk said:

    sounds like the Windows audio API is a bit of a WTF.
    It could be worse. It could be Linux. Seriously, though, input classes are starting to make their way in. It's just that there isn't one for "virtual input" yet (because there are DRM-related concerns with whether or not they can officially support such a thing)



  • One thing that nobody else has mentioned yet is that many people will have some other form of external, hardware-based monitoring, which, where present, will be highly preferable to latency-hindered software monitoring. Audacity is not a very low-latency program, and deals poorly with small the small buffers required for that sort of thing. In the case of digitizing LPs or tapes, it's no big deal, but when multitracking audio in near-realtime (something Audacity really shouldn't be use for to begin with, really – REAPER is so much better for this), it's almost unbearable.



  • @Weng said:

     It's nigh-impossible to autodetect such a thing because the stereo mix line can be named arbitrarily by the vendor author
    Heaven forbid they have a combobox where you select your stereo mix line as part of the setup process.



  • @hoodaticus said:

    @Weng said:
     It's nigh-impossible to autodetect such a thing because the stereo mix line can be named arbitrarily by the vendor author
    Heaven forbid they have a combobox where you select your stereo mix line as part of the setup process.

    Whose setup process? The audio driver? (It probably doesn't have one.) Audacity? (Audio hardware is hot-swappable.)



  • @Mr. DOS said:

    One thing that nobody else has mentioned yet is that many people will have some other form of external, hardware-based monitoring, which, where present, will be highly preferable to latency-hindered software monitoring. Audacity is not a very low-latency program, and deals poorly with small the small buffers required for that sort of thing. In the case of digitizing LPs or tapes, it's no big deal, but when multitracking audio in near-realtime (something Audacity really shouldn't be use for to begin with, really – REAPER is so much better for this), it's almost unbearable.

    General-purpose OSS beaten at relatively niche application by more specialised commercial software. Next up: sky is blue.


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