Question about Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 Sound Card

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Recording audio on hard drive for books, etc.

Get skips or stuttering on my audio with Audacity free recording program. Just got the soundblaster but need a manual, do not know how to use it.

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Re: Recording audio on hard drive for books, etc.

Probably too high a setting in record for your computer. Try setting the quality down a little and see if it helps.

Posted on Nov 19, 2007

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I have a compaq presario c700 running windows vista. On my previous laptop I was able to record successfully using Audacity. Now, however, recordings are very poor - the sound comes and goes, and is of...

Stuart, make sure have the System requirements Here are the recommended memory (MB or GB of RAM) and processor speed (GHz) requirements for using Audacity with different versions of Vista:

Version Recommended RAM/
processor speed Minimum RAM/
processor speed Vista Home Basic 2 GB / 1 GHz 512 MB / 1 GHz All other Vista versions 4 GB / 2 GHz 1 GB / 1 GHz
Note that the minimum system requirements as defined above (i.e. those that allow the operating system to run, ignoring what is required to run applications) are much greater than for Windows XP. If your computer does not significantly exceed these minimum requirements then you may have problems doing more intensive tasks in Audacity such as recording for long periods or editing a large number of long tracks, or may need to close other programs and processes before you can do so. Please be aware that the cheapest "deals" for new Vista machines may well only include the Vista Home Basic Edition and system specifications little in excess of the Vista minimum requirements.
Other things being equal, 64-bit versions of Vista will require more RAM than 32-bit versions. While some users report Audacity runs fine on 64-bit Vista with 2 GB RAM, this depends on the number of tracks being worked with and the number of other programs and services running on the computer. Memory is now very inexpensive. The general recommendation for 64-bit Vista is to install a minimum of 4 GB RAM - and for very best performance, install the maximum RAM that your motherboard supports.

If you meet the min system requirements. Uninstall your sound card drives and try the beta version for Windows Vista.


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This is actually simple to do. Connect the line out on your tape player to the line in on your computer. Then download a free program, from the net called Audacity at The program is totally free and works great. Some recording studios use this program. In the middle of the main Window on Audacity set it to record from Line in. This is from the small drop down menu next to the little microphone icon. Then hit the record button on Audacity and play your tape. You can record each song individually or you can record the whole side of the tape at once and separate the tracks when you save them. You can even use this program to clean up the sound on your recordings. I have transferred many of my tapes and records to CD using this process. I hope I have been helpful and good luck

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It's crucial that you understand the concept of latency.

Latency it the time delay between the trigger and the operation.
In terms of computer sound recording and generation:
1) The time between the midi trigger and the sound generated by a software synth to come out of the speakers.
2) The time between the analog audio signal input to be converted to digital and stored on the hard drive.
3) The time between the digital audio track to be retrieved from the hard drive and converted to an analog signal that comes out the speakers or headphones.
4) All of the above at the same time.

The factors that contribute to this latency form a pipeline that include the A/D (analog to digital) device (UA-25), the software drivers for that device, the operating system, the recording application being used, the operating system again, your internal computer speed and your hard drive speed. Remember that the sound needs to go both in and out, often simultaneously (thats called full duplex).

A latency of up to 50ms is probably tolerable, but for optimum recording, it should be closer to 5ms. If you were to go over 50ms, you would need some sort of time compensation, whether automatic or manual, because nothing would synchronize properly, be it the metronome or previously recorded tracks.

"What's this mean, and how does it relate to my situation?" you ask.

Lemme tell you. The recording program and drivers will incorporate software buffers to adjust for slower components in your sound recording pipeline. Without buffers, or with too few buffers, the pipeline can drop information (sound) if it is not be able to process it quickly enough. This will often result in stuttering and skips. Sound familiar?

So why not just put LOADs and LOADs of buffers in the pipeline? You most certainly can, but for every buffer you add, you gain a bit of latency. And remember that too much latency is a bad thing.

"Ouch! I still don't get it. What am I supposed to do?" you ask.

I reply, "Good question, Grasshopper." You want to stop your stuttering. You need to increase the efficiency of your sound pipeline. For regular people this means the following, in order:
  1. Make sure you purchase an A/D-D/A device that has low-latency drivers utilizing one or more of the following standards: ASIO, WDM, MME or CoreAudio. Selecting the one that your RECORDING APPLICATION utilizes. ASIO is widely supported and good. WDM is the worst because it is really just regular Windows drivers, but they can sometimes be optimized for low latency.
  2. Make sure you install your drivers properly, selecting the one that your RECORDING PROGRAM uses.
  3. Make sure that your recording application has the hardware selected for your A/D-D/A device and the drivers that you previously installed.
  4. Make sure that your recording application is using ONLY the hardware specifically designed for low latency, which is your A/D device that you previously purchased and installed.
  5. Make sure you include as many buffers as you can while maintaining a low latency. Often, this is dependent on your recording application.
  6. Set the UA-25 to 44.1KHz or 48KHz, not 96KHz. 96Khz does not allow for full duplex.
Do these things and attempt to record something. If it stutters right away or you get "underruns" you need to increase your buffers. If everything is peachy for a while, but soon you start getting skips, try increasing the buffers, or get a faster hard drive or turn off some digital effects.

In summation: A Celeron 1.6GHz should have sufficient power to record, play and add a few VST plug-ins, maybe even a dozen or more. Chances are that your hard drive is fast enough to retrieve and record 16-32 tracks at a time. Turn off all the stupid, little programs that make icons near your clock, like the DELL support and Weatherbug and AIM and AOL and HP Monitor and anything that takes processing power and hogs memory.

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Disconnect the mobile pre...and go here:

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