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Thread Trying to get started w/ digital, having crackling problems

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1 Trying to get started w/ digital, having crackling problems
Hi All,

Hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday afternoon. I decided to try and get started doing some recording with my computer today. I've been using an old analog Fostex 4-track for the last year and a half and I thought I would try to get with the times.

First, I have a pretty old computer, AMD K-6 450 MHz with 320 of RAM. My sound card is just the one that came with my computer, its a ESS PCI Audiodrive 1969. I have a couple Shure SM58's and am looking just to record some acoustic guitar and vocals, either together or one track at a time. Just a sketch pad basically, nothing fancy.

Now I know that I need to update my hardware, but I just wanted to try and get this to work so I can find out if it is worth investing the money.

This is what I have done, I downloaded Audacity, which from what I have read seems like a pretty decent freeware. I then took and ran one of my mics directly into the mic input on my soundcard using an adapter to get it to a mini plug. I got everything installed and set up and hit record on Audacity to see if I could get anything to record. What came out is pretty worthless, I can sort of make out what I was playing but I am getting serious crackling and it seems to be changing the pitch of what I am doing, it just sounds horrible, just broken sounds that sound seriously distorted.

Any help or advice would be appreciated!

Does your old Fostex have a Line Out RCA pair? Use the Fostex as a mixer and run the Line Out RCA jacks off of it to a streo miniplug adapter and then to the line in on your soundcard. It probably won't give you the best sound, but it'll sound better than running a mic to the mic in on the card. Also- watch your levels when you record. Don't let the signal clip. Digital clipping sounds like crackling. It's pretty ugly.

Anyway, this should give you enough of a taste of digital recording to decide to upgrade your soundcard, computer, mixer, and speakers. And I'd probably do it in that order, too, but YMMV. ;)
The Axeman (##(===> Cuts From My New Blues CD
music kid, i run my tascam 424mkIII 4track into my computers usb port with a edirol UA-1A....check it out, one of the most simple ways to get a good stereo sound from 4track to wav file...
Thanks for your tips! I'll give that a try when I get home tonight. I really appreciate the help. Nice people here.