When you export to mp3 in audacity, make sure you go to options and change the quality to max. 320 kbps mp3 isn’t so bad. Compressed audio is always going to be worse than lossless though. Audacity being free has nothing to do with the quality.
I can only get 128 kbps with my version of Audacity. (version 2.0.3) … and so far, I can’t find anyway to change that. No wonder it sounds so bad.
Perhaps this is not the issue… I don’t know the mechanics behind MP3 encoding at all.
EDIT Nevermind, I am a TRUE idiot… I never noticed to “Options” button when you click “Export” until now. Haha… wow. So… it will allow me to export at 320kbps but at 44,100Hz. I’m not sure what that means.
After having issues with win7 and audacity - I started using the evaluation copy of i-sound recorder. Works beautifully, so you can specify which type of audio format you want and it will record it directly from whatever source is playing through your speakers (like Audacity used to) and you don’t have to preset it to do so. Unlike audacity though, you will have to do your audio editing through another piece of software - this is easy enough through Renoise. It’s clean and simple, not a whole lot of flash associated with it, play/record/stop about covers it. />
Edit Addendum: while playing around with i-sound recorder, it directed me to another free wave editor. I haven’t played with it yet, so I can’t vouch for it. Free Sound Editor - Wave Editor
Just curious what issues you were having in win7 with audacity? I find audacity to be amazingly useful for batch processing, and it’d be a shame if you didn’t have access to that. Example, you have a sample pack and need to remove silence at the start or end, or convert them all to particular format, this is quick and easy to do in audacity. You can even batch process files with a VST effects chain.
Tried taking it private with you because I’m certain other users have gotten an eyeful of text on this matter =)
Where do I begin?
When I used vista 64 with my previous audigy card and later maudio delta 1010 card, I did not have any issues with Audacity. The ‘record what you hear’ function was still in tact, it ran like a beast, loved it!
A couple months ago, my previous pc finally died and I had to do a full rebuild - decided to go with Win7 because there is software I wanted to use that no longer had support for vista & did not provide adequate support for Win8; so I went with Win7 and all was right in the world, 99% of my original software and hardware did a 5 mile sprint in 4 seconds. Love it!
Audacity just quit working altogether. I figured it had to do with some audio changes in win7 in conjunction with my maudio card, sure enough, correct; searched backup reviews, forums here, maudio and audacity forums - some seemed to have viable workarounds, tried them, didn’t work. Downloaded VAC trial, it seemed to bridge the gap between software in windows and audacity; so I bought it (VAC is still viable and reliable software; just not with maudio/win7/audacity). I’ve been working between my mixers - hardware & software + OS - testing each usable line, enabling the disabled, more testing - still, zero sound output through audacity. Recording through the monitor function, disabled/hidden/nonexistent. =(