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(audacity) stereo vs. mono/waveform vs. waveform db/combining mp3s?

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  • robertdotnagle
    Hi, I m putting together a storytelling podcast (something similar to escapepod, but less snazzy). I ve found the old threads very useful, but I have two
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 18, 2007
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      Hi, I'm putting together a storytelling podcast (something similar to
      escapepod, but less snazzy).

      I've found the old threads very useful, but I have two
      audacity/general technical questions I haven't found answers for.
      Perhaps the answers are obvious.

      1)In audacity, they give you several audio displays, including
      waveform and waveform db. I've never quite figured out what they mean
      or what the difference between them is. I understand that you want to
      avoid hitting the top line (to avoid clipping), but other than that, I
      really don't know what to look for in the visuals.

      Waveform db has fatter lines, with scales of 0 (top) -10, -20, -36
      Waveform has thinner lines, with a scale from -1 to 1

      what should you be looking for at the displays? So far, I've been
      looking at gaps (silences), breathing and low overall levels. What
      display do you prefer to use and why?

      Second newbie question. Audacity recommends mono recording for
      recording a single voice, but I see that many of the more
      well-regarded podcasts are in stereo mp3. What are the advantages of
      having the final product in stereo instead of mono? (I'm a little
      worried that the extra load required for recording in stereo might tax
      my older laptop). I'm producing one voice stories with minimal
      effects, so I really have no need for stereo. But I'm wondering if it
      sounds bad in cars or mp3 player headphones? (is there an
      audience-motivated reason for doing it rather than a technical reason?)

      I have a perception AKG 200 perception mike hooked into the mixer
      with xlr and outputting to my edirol ua-1ex usb interface in two
      channels.

      3. Final question. A friend of mine has been producing 30-60 second
      mp3s (usually 96 or 64 bit). I'd like to combine these mp3s (or at
      least see how bad the result would be). Do you have any free tools to
      recommend for doing that? Are there any general guidelines about what
      kinds of mp3 combining
      sounds passable and what would sound awful?


      Robert Nagle
      Houston, Texas
      http://www.imaginaryplanet.net/weblogs/idiotprogrammer/
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