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Studio Tascam: Recording with Audacity
This document has instructions for using the Tascam USB audio interface to record an audio project with multiple mics in Audacity. The Tascam and Audacity are available for use in the Studio.
Step 1: Getting Started
Tascam USB Audio Interface
- Ensure mics are plugged into the Tascam.
- Set the switch on the bottom-left to “+48v.”
- Plug headphones into the Tascam on the right side. Use the gold adapters. Two headphones can be plugged in at once.
- Plug the Tascam into the Studio computer, or a personal laptop, via USB.
- Turn the Monitor Balance knob to the Noon position. This knob controls the output volume level for the computer as well as for headphones plugged into the Tascam. If audio can’t be heard from either, ensure this knob is set correctly.
- Only one person at each mic. For groups of 4+, pair together people with similar speaking volumes.
- Space out presenters physically so that they’re not close to each other.
- Set the mic close to the mouth of the presenter. Use the arms to reposition the mics.
- Use the knobs on the mic arm to slightly tilt the mic up or down towards the presenter’s mouth. Don’t point the mic straight-on.
- Position the pop filter between the mic and presenter’s mouth, without touching either.
- Place the sound baffle panels between the presenter(s) and the bare walls (door wall and opposite) to reduce reflections/echos. The panels should be close to the presenter(s) to isolate sound.
Step 2: Set Mic Levels
Set the mic volume levels for each presenter individually.
To set the volume level of a mic:
- Find the volume knob for the mic on the Tascam audio interface, which will match the number on the mic.
- Speak into the microphone at normal speaking volume. Continue to speak through the next 2 steps.
- Turn the knob to the right until the red light flashes.
- Turn the knob to the left in small increments until the red light stops. The volume should be as loud as possible without triggering the red light, which indicates that it’s too high.
- Repeat steps 1-4 for each presenter.
Step 3: Record
It’s recommended to do a test recording at the beginning of each recording session. Listen to the recording and correct any audio issues, such as mic volume levels or unwanted noise.
To record a project in Audacity using the Tascam multi-mic setup:
- Ensure the mics are plugged into the Tascam USB Audio Interface, and navigate to Go > Applications from the top menu bar. Double-click “Audacity” to launch the program.
- Click the mic input drop-down and select the Tascam, which may be named “US-4x4.” If it isn’t an option, quit Audacity by navigating to Audacity > Quit Audacity and launch the program again. If problems continue, restart the computer.
- Click the channels drop-down. Select the number of microphones being used.
- Click the Record button. New track(s) will begin recording and appear in the Timeline.
- Re-adjust the mic volume knobs on the Tascam as needed to finalize the levels. The ideal level is between -12 and -6 db. Each presenter should speak into their mic individually.
- When done recording, click the Stop button.
- Listen to the recording to check for errors. If needed, adjust the volume of the track(s) with the slider in the Track Controls.
- Navigate to File > Save Project > Save Project As.
- Rename the file, select a storage location, and click “Save.” This will save a backup of the original recording in case it needs to be retrieved.
- Navigate to File > Export > Export as MP3 (or WAV).
- Rename the file, select a storage location, and click Save. The recording will be saved as an audio file.
If working from the Studio computer, save project and audio files to a flash drive or Google Drive. When ready to edit, start a new Audacity project and import the audio file.
For more help with Audacity, see Audacity: Information.