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  1. #1
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    recorded audio now sounds tinny, hollow, from a barrel

    For a long time I recorded audio from online music sources using Freecorder, with good results. Then I was forced to upgrade to Version 5, which I did not like, so I uninstalled it and began looking for alternatives. That's when I discovered that everything had mysteriously changed for the worse. As I tried several applications--Audacity and others--I found that the quality of the audio was horrible, no matter which application was recording it. Everything sounded like it was coming from the bottom of a barrel. Yet if I play an old music file, the sound is still good, so it doesn't seem to have anything to do with my overall audio settings. Does anyone have an idea what could have changed?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Have you tried reinstalling your original version of Freecoder?

    How were you "forced" to upgrade from your original version of Freecoder?

  3. #3
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    I did look for an old version of Freecorder, and even found some sites that purported to have it, but each time I downloaded, I got Version 5 again. Freecorder must redirect the downloading or something. But I lost hope that an earlier version of Freecorder would solve the problem after I tried a couple of other programs and found they all produced the same hollow-barrel sound.

    I was forced to upgrade after Firefox seemed to catch a virus that made it crash constantly. When I uninstalled Firefox, I lost the old version of Freecorder and had to get the latest version when I reinstalled Firefox.
    Last edited by DavidToronto; 2012-05-27 at 06:33.

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    Look in systray for an icon which identifies your sound card. You should have the option to use the EAX console to produce different effects. Right click it and then click "EAX Console".

    Mine looks like this:

    eax_console.png

    If you can't see the icon and you're using Windows 7, click the "Custom" link to open the menu listing. You should be able to find it in there.

    Also, check the Sounds menu in Control Panel. That should also give you some options.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the ideas.

    Couldn't find anything useful in the Sounds menu in Control Panel.

    Don't know what or where the "Customs" link is.

    Couldn't find an icon for my sound card on the taskbar. I did find settings for it (Apowersoft_AudioDevice, by Wondershare) in Control Panel / Hardware and Sound / Sound: Manage audio devices. I checked to see that the driver is up to date, but I couldn't find any option to take me to the EAX console.

    I used Adudacity to record a music file, then saved it in lossless .ogg format to see whether that might be better than mp3, but it still has the barrel sound.
    Last edited by DavidToronto; 2012-05-27 at 10:47.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Some extra thoughts...

    Do you have a separate sound card, or is it built into the motherboard? Recheck some of your settings, look in "Windows Sounds"
    under "playback" for your audio, looks like you may have generic, or "speaker" sound controls. Look for an audio driver update.

    Have another look at what might have changed in your operating system too, maybe an " SFC /SCANNOW", especially after recovering
    from "catch a virus" isn't a bad idea. Maybe even a full repair install. But I would run the sfc /scannow command if you havn't already.

    You may want to compare sound quality with what you have already ripped to those that that you have with the new applications.
    Maybe take a closer look at the settings. Not quite sure what ecactly your using as "online sound sources", internet radio? Video sounds?

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    One step forward, one step back. It suddenly occurred to me that the poor quality sounded almost like ambient room noise, maybe a result of recording from the microphone instead of internally. As a test, I played a file and spoke at the same time and, sure enough, the recording included my voice on the output file. Aha! So I went into Windows Sounds and starting changing devices and settings, guiding myself by what seemed the most likely choices ... oh-oh. At first I lost even output to my speakers, but I got that back by selecting the correct one of my two listed speakers. But now nothing whatever gets recorded when I play a file and hit Record in Audacity or Freecorder (which I've now installed as version 5 for testing purposes).

    When I click on the Recording tab in Control Panel / Sounds, the three options are Line, (the caption shows Apowersoft_AudioDevice, which might be my audio card), Microphone (caption: Not plugged in - apparently it wants to be plugged in through a jack), and Microphone (caption: Webcam Pro 9000. Ready.) Line is shown as the default device for recording. The icon shows a two cables, one red and one white, which doesn't quite look like what I want, which is to record directly from the sound card.

    So I'm not sure whether I've moved forward or not. I've discovered what was wrong about my recorded sound, but not how to get it right.

    I don't know whether my sound card is separate or on the motherboard.
    The quality of the old recorded files is fine, the new ones terrible.
    Mostly I'm recording from the Naxos online music library (legitimately, since I have access through my account with the public library).

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    Maybe you could consider using a different application. Here's one I found on the web: http://www.accmeware.com/free_sound_recorder.html

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    Thanks for the idea, but it's not the recording program that's the problem. I've tried a handful of recording programs, even Microsoft's own built-in Recorder (located in Accessories), but none of the software hears or records anything. It's all a huge mystery, and I despair of fixing it without taking it into a repair shop. It's weird that everything was working fine on my system for years until recently. I've got a wonderful collection of mp3 files that I've recorded from the online Naxos library. So it's not that my sound card doesn't have a What You Hear feature, as I've seen suggested on elsewhere.

    I've been looking around the Internet for other ideas and found lengthy discussions at www.sevenforums.com, where all kinds of suggestions are given, but none of them apply to my case or, if they do, none of them have worked for me. I guess it's going to cost me some money to take it in to the shop, unless somebody here has had the same experience as me and actually knows for sure what's going on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidToronto View Post
    Thanks for the idea, but it's not the recording program that's the problem. I've tried a handful of recording programs, even Microsoft's own built-in Recorder (located in Accessories), but none of the software hears or records anything. It's all a huge mystery, and I despair of fixing it without taking it into a repair shop. It's weird that everything was working fine on my system for years until recently. I've got a wonderful collection of mp3 files that I've recorded from the online Naxos library. So it's not that my sound card doesn't have a What You Hear feature, as I've seen suggested on elsewhere.

    I've been looking around the Internet for other ideas and found lengthy discussions at www.sevenforums.com, where all kinds of suggestions are given, but none of them apply to my case or, if they do, none of them have worked for me. I guess it's going to cost me some money to take it in to the shop, unless somebody here has had the same experience as me and actually knows for sure what's going on.
    Have you tried running System Restore to wind back the clock to a time and date prior to the 'forced' upgrade? That should take you back to Freerecorder 4 which you say worked OK.

    You need to check the menus for that too and remove any option to automatically update so that you're not landed with the upgrade again.

  11. #11
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    Great idea. I don't know why I didn't think of that. Unfortunately, when I did try it on your suggestion, in the list of my Restore points the first 4-5 don't go far back enough, and the rest are too old, starting at 18 months ago.

    Again, finding an earlier version of Freecorder or using some other recording program won't help, because NO programs are able to record.

    I've been through Control Panel a dozen times and have tried everything that seems in any way connected with audio. The "Recording" tab looked especially hopeful, but it didn't provide a solution.

    I guess I'll have to take it in for repair, lose the use of it for a day or two, and pay money for what will probably be a minor tweak to some setting that I haven't been able to locate. Maybe I'll end up buying a new sound card.

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    Have you tried contacting Applian? Maybe they can advise you how to fix the problem? http://applian.com/support-products.php

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    After all that talk of software, have you checked to see if your speaker jack is fully plugged in? Have you noted whether the sound is mono or stereo for a stereo recording? Have you wiggled the speaker cables to see if there are continuity problems in the cables? Have you checked the Tone and Volume controls on the speakers?

    I can report all of the above for problems of my own that I have encountered at one time or another, and I had to reseat a keyboard jack this very morning. If it all happened overnight, so to speak, and fooling around with software is getting you nowhere, then simple hardware is the place you should be looking.

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    Fixed. I took it into my local computer shop, and they said they had a helluva time with it. My guess is that they worked on it for 3 hours, even though in general they don't troubleshoot software issues (they charged only $35 labour plus $10 for cables). The fix they came up with was to connect a cable to the Line Out jack, then connect a splitter to that, and take one of the resulting lines to the speakers and the other to the Line In jack. In other words, one of the lines is coming out of the audio card, then going back into it again, which sounds a little weird. Whatever works. Also, he said he had to hunt around for some sort of driver, not the driver for my audio card. When I look in Control Panel/Sound/Recording, there are new items there named Line In: Realtek High Definition Audio (Ready), CD Audio: Realtek High Definition Audio (disabled), Stereo Mix: Realtek High Definition Audio (Disabled).

    The mystery remains why everything used to work hunky-dory and why it couldn't be simply restored to the way it was in those glory days, but I'm happy just to get it working again.
    Last edited by DavidToronto; 2012-06-11 at 16:20.

  15. #15
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    Check Mixer Settings

    Check the record settings in the Windows Mixer or the Mixer application provided by your soundcard.

    You may have a situation in which the monitor (playback output) is redirected back into the record path along with the line input. When that happens the line input is mixed with the monitor output which is a copy of the line input. Depending upon the polarity and monitor latency there will be "phase cancellation" producing the scooped-out hollow sound.

    On Creative Soundcards the monitor into record control is called "What you hear." If "What you hear" is up and line is up, line input is comming into the record path two different ways.

    In reading your post it sounds like stereo mix and line in were active at the same time.

    Now, the reason you are hearing ambient room noise I can't comment on but I suspect you have an open microphone somewhere.

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