Is there any reason I shouldn't use Audacity?

Is there any reason I shouldn't use Audacity?
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#1

You know how its a royal pain in the ass when people send you a mono source like a bass guitar in stereo .wav format?

I need a super fast app that can work standalone to discard one of the channels. I like how fast Audacity loads, and how I can dump 20 files in there then split the whole batch, discard the redundant side, then have it spit everything back out as new properly formatted files. I can get to the function really fast in Audacity, but I wanted to make sure Audacity doesn’t fuck anything up when I export the stereo interleaved -> mono file.

Does anyone know if Audacity attempts to re-dither or compress or anything like that when exporting?

Does anyone know of another standalone app that can simply strip an interleaved stereo file in half?


#2

To my knowledge it passes everything through without any downsampling or other such shenanigans. I use it all the time. Will of course defer to the more experienced here, but that’s my experience.


#3

I can’t imagine that it’s doing anything funky. If you are attempting to convert sample rate, you might want to look into it’s sample rate converter quality, but if you are keeping that the same, you should be fine.


#4

nope audacity is just like any other daw, just clunky to work with.


#5

Dither is only applied when reducing bit depth. Just export to 32-bit float wav—no dither.


#6

I think you’d have to engage their dither plugin algorithm to create any of that, so I’d say no they don’t mess with it at all. I think it’s a great program to throw or record .WAV in and then export to MP3. No muss, no fuss. Check the default Preferences for file import sample rates and export rates, etc, but with everything set the way you want it should be painless.

BTW - What kind of 20 files are you dumping in there?


#7

I used it to strip 16bit stereo MP3’s to mono and spit them out as 32 bit .Wavs. Did it just for experimentation and couldn’t hear a difference.

Now if I ~reduce~ from 32 bit Wav to mp3…then I need to be mindful of the converter algorithm…right?


#8

I thought the render and bounce algorithms on daws were different. No?


#9

So is bit depth the only consideration? Or bit depth AND sample rate as Boz mentioned?


#10

I use Sound Converter for just a format converter or sample rate converter. Its a little widget that sits on the toolbar. You drag a batch of samples in there, and unless you tell it otherwise, it immediately spits them out in the folder the source was. You can also tell it to replace to the source and it does that for you. I’ve been using it for years. Its only drawback is it can’t split stereo to mono.

Voiceover…recorded in various home studios around the country…some VO girls (all females on this project) were highly proficient with their mic technique, signal chain, and daws…others deliberately ignored instructions or did not understand the difference between mono and stereo.


#11

I was only answering the first question. Since you were talking about wanting to essentially strip off one channel, I assumed there was no sample rate change. However, I guess if you’re converting sample rate it’s because you need to, so obviously pay attention if you have quality choice available. But rate conversion is easy when not in real time, so I don’t expect it to be poor quality.

If you want more detail: The amount of noise added, in dithering, is always relative to the sample size being truncated to. In Audacity, the wiki says reduction to 24-bit adds -130 dB peak noise level. (IMO, they shouldn’t bother, since you can’t hear the difference between truncating and dithering at that level.) But at 32-bit float, it should add nothing. Even if it did, you could never detect it with your ears. Really, the only place you’re going to get in trouble is if you export as 16-bit, so I wouldn’t worry about the dither aspect. But personally I use 32-bit float audio tracks, so that’s my choice anyway.


#12

I didn’t see you mention your DAW. There should be a way to do it in most DAWs—either split a stereo track, or maybe export a track de-interleaved and re-import one side.


#13

I am fairly certain most DAWs still use their home brew variants of same Stanford’s open source SRC by Julius Smith, just like Audacity does. Some can be better than other but differences would be pretty infinitesimal. I know there is zero difference in recording qualities of audacity vs cubase vs reaper vs protools. If there is a render difference, it would be very very minor.


#14

Sounds like an IVR (interactive voice response) project, or anime/animation/video game with multiple character lines. I think you said you were going to be doing a video game project.


#15

Well, when I had that kind of things to fix, I use Reaper as a quick tool:
open Reaper, drag-and-drop the file, select the desired channel in the item properties, export, done! (it’s longer to write it than to do it).
And the file isn’t recalculated or something (no dither, no resample…)