HomeForumsSoftwareUsing Audacity to analyse your accuracy

This topic contains 19 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  PaulWolfe 1 week, 5 days ago.

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  • #11780

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    Here’s a little trick for you – in case you don’t do it already.

    Audacity can become your best friend when you want to analyze the accuracy of your playing. With it you can check the evenness of your rhythm, your dynamics, if you tend to play ahead or behind the beat… or simply when things start to crumble!

    I changed my picking style last summer and am still coming to grips with in some areas so I decided to go back to MAB’s Speed Kills program.

    The image below shows a recording of exercise number one at 40, 80 and 120bpm. I’m playing against a metronome and you can easily spot its clicks. What’s more, with Audacity you can zoom in and out easily and check exactly what you’re doing.

    So look at it and I’ll read it for you.

    On top you have the first bars played at 40 bpm; 4 notes-per-bar. It looks pretty even but you’ll see that I started late on beats 1 and 2, managed to catch up on beat 3 and played a little late on beat 4 again. The dynamics look pretty consistent to me and each note is outlined clearly.

    In the middle you have the 80 bpm recording. It’s easier to match the click at a somewhat higher speeds (playing very slow is really hard). You’ll see that on bar 1 notes 3 and 4 are “glued” together… that’s perhaps because I left my pinky on the D string while already playing my first finger on the G string. Notes 3 and 4 on beats 2, 4 and 6 appear stronger than the rest, that’s when I come back to the D string and hit the note with my pinky. Overall it still looks good to me.

    Now, at 120 bpm, the bottom graphic line, things got a lot worse! I started early, again glued the notes on different strings the first time and barely played the last note on the G string (bar 2 note 2) already worried with the string skipping back. It took me 5 bars to finally adjust and catch up with the metronome, but that last note on the G string is always a problem!

    Have to keep working on it 🙂

    One final note: I played and recorded this with a clean guitar sound, just a tiny compression, and some reverb that does not interfere… I don’t know how it will show with some heavily distorted sound, for instance.

    40_80_120

     

    Attachments:
    1. 40_80_120.png

  • #11782

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    I practice MAB’s Speed Kills exercise 1 every day. It’s a good warm up. I normally just play eighth notes at 120 bpm. I would probably be really far off the beat if I was doing quarter notes at 40 bpm like you, that would be pretty tough to keep that slow rhythm. Very interesting graph. I always use a metronome, but this program would be actual visual proof of whether or not you’re on the beat, very cool.

    Bring hair metal back!

  • #11783

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    …and here’s MAB’s PPS – Potencial Picking Speed – graphic. I’m playing 16ths at 176bpm. I muted the string with my left hand and you can see clearly the result of the right hand work. That’s four bars and a final note on the 5th bar.

    PPS_176

    Attachments:
    1. PPS_176.png

  • #11785

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    I practice MAB’s Speed Kills exercise 1 every day. It’s a good warm up. I normally just play eighth notes at 120 bpm. I would probably be really far off the beat if I was doing quarter notes at 40 bpm like you, that would be pretty tough to keep that slow rhythm. Very interesting graph. I always use a metronome, but this program would be actual visual proof of whether or not you’re on the beat, very cool.

    Thanks, MC. Playing slow and be exactly on the beat is tough as nails, but a great workout too. I was playing 16ths at 40bpm, quarters would be even harder I guess 🙂

    When doing this kind of work I usually have Audacity turned on and record when needed to check results quickly and go back to work. Give it a try and let me know!

  • #11786

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    Ohhh I thought when you said 40 bpm, 4 notes per bar, I thought you meant like a musical bar, meaning 4 beats. Now I see when you were referring to a bar, you meant the bar that shows the beat.

    Bring hair metal back!

  • #11787

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    Ohhh I thought when you said 40 bpm, 4 notes per bar, I thought you meant like a musical bar, meaning 4 beats. Now I see when you were referring to a bar, you meant the bar that shows the beat.

    Man, you were right, that was my english playing tricks on me… I’m going to edit and correct it.

    What I’m playing is: 16th notes, 4 notes per click/beat, 16 notes per bar. Like in a 4/4 time signature.

    Sorry!

    Edit: can’t Edit post # 1!

  • #11788

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    Lol, yeah, I think there’s like a 20 minute period of time or something where afterwards you can’t edit a post.

    Bring hair metal back!

  • #11790

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    I had also tried this and was not very gungho about my own performance at speed, yikes. Thread- http://guitarlessonforum.com/guitar-forums/topic/keeping-time-at-faster-speeds Not a great practice result. (And that’s also when I stopped racing with GP6’s speed trainer)

    What I did later in my measurement was make a stereo recording track with my guitar on L and metronome on R (or similar). It might be good to use anything that playback MIDI while recording, like Garageband (or Reaper? or DAW?). Because then you can see how the MIDI notes and the BPM grid lines up to the recorded guitar audio.

    This reminds me of the software drum trainers. When you hit electronic drums with the trainer on and set to a particular drum metronome, it has a running guide which says whether you’re late or early, and keeps a tally score.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #11791

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    Keeping tempo at faster bpms you kind of have to keep the beat in your head and feeling. You’ll definitely know it when you’re off tempo. I’ve practiced S&A exercise 13 so many times at 250 bpm that keeping the beat has become natural. I normally fuzz a couple notes but I still stay on the beat. You just get into a kind of zone with the beat. I always have my metronome sit right near the amp so that the sounds are coming from the same direction and I keep the volume at a level where I can hear the metronome.

    Bring hair metal back!

  • #11802

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    I had also tried this and was not very gungho about my own performance at speed, yikes. Thread- http://guitarlessonforum.com/guitar-forums/topic/keeping-time-at-faster-speeds Not a great practice result. (And that’s also when I stopped racing with GP6’s speed trainer) What I did later in my measurement was make a stereo recording track with my guitar on L and metronome on R (or similar). It might be good to use anything that playback MIDI while recording, like Garageband (or Reaper? or DAW?). Because then you can see how the MIDI notes and the BPM grid lines up to the recorded guitar audio. This reminds me of the software drum trainers. When you hit electronic drums with the trainer on and set to a particular drum metronome, it has a running guide which says whether you’re late or early, and keeps a tally score.

    Cool idea about the stereo recording…. gonna try that. It would be awesome to check solo transcriptions, if you could find bits with just the guitar part!

  • #11803

    rorygfan
    Participant

    This is a cool idea, thanks for posting that, I will need to try doing that myself.  Just the other night, I started recording myself with the Backing Tracks and Audacity finally using my old USB interface for the first time, and had to do the feedback loop thing (on their help page) by inserting the cable from input to output and turn on the click track to find out the latency value so I could properly synchronize and calibrate the thing.  I like Audacity alot, much better than Cooledit.

  • #11808

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    This is a cool idea, thanks for posting that, I will need to try doing that myself. Just the other night, I started recording myself with the Backing Tracks and Audacity finally using my old USB interface for the first time, and had to do the feedback loop thing (on their help page) by inserting the cable from input to output and turn on the click track to find out the latency value so I could properly synchronize and calibrate the thing. I like Audacity alot, much better than Cooledit.

    yeah, me too, I’m great fan of Audacity – I think its simple interface kinda triggers creativity, you have to come with solutions to achieve what you want.

    Cool idea, that of the loop cable! I’ll have to try that – usually I sync tracks visually 🙂 I zoom in, move it around and that’s it (lazy, I know)

    But the soundbytes above I recorded all together, using an USB mixer. Also, as I’m on Linux, it makes it easy to record the sound from your sound card directly into Audacity: so what I did was to go for an online metronome, played the guitar through the mixer into the PC, and Linux recorded all the sound straight into Audacity… but with just a mixer you can do it easilly, just plug your smartphone to the mixer and use a metronome app. In this way you don’t have to deal with latency (at least for these basic projects, of course).

  • #11811

    PaulWolfe
    Participant

    Brilliant ideas here… going to have to try this out with my bass exercises.

  • #11816

    Doug Marks
    Keymaster

    That is a great trick. I’ve been doing that for many years but never even thought about the importance of sharing that info.  I’ll put this in my course revision. Very good.  I use a program called melodyne that can be used to tune notes to pitch after they’re recorded.  It also can be used to quantize audio recordings.  That’s correct, in lieu of practicing you can spend hours cleaning up the audio.  It shows how flat or sharp each note is before correction. That can be illuminating.

    Metal Method Guitar Instructor

  • #11820

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    I was going to suggest a cable hack for the stereo measurement method. Here it is.. Buy a cheap stereo headphone Y splitter cable. (Usually $1-$2 in the electronics store bargain bin.) It has one male stereo 3.5mm plug and two female 3.5mm stereo jacks. Use it to plug into the mic-in of the laptop. For the two female sides, connect one to the guitar amp headphone output with a stereo patch cable, this will be mono but duplicated on both L and R. Connect the other one to the headphone output of a metronome with a stereo patch cable (also mono and duplicated on both L and R) but only plug it in halfway, so you can still hear the metronome’s speaker, meanwhile it’s still sending signal out to the cable. Then cut open the splitter cable legs. Snip opposite colored wires in the respective legs, so one side is cutting the L and the other side is cutting the R (the actual wire colors don’t matter, just cut the opposite colors, but obviously don’t cut the ground common). Tada, an isolated-two-mono-channel-to-one-stereo-channel adapter.

    It is possible to buy such a cable premade.. somewhere maybe monoprice.. but they’re hard to find considering the alternative 5 minute job of making one.

    This adapter at least gets rid of any latency (timing offsets) in the recording because both audio sources will be going thru the same audio input. It doesn’t matter what the latency is, because it’s the same for both metronome and guitar. It is not hi-fi audio but that’s not the objective. It also doesn’t do anything for audio levels, which have to be adjusted manually. Actually a maxed out level helps if measuring time offsets because any audio signal will be a steep cliff compared to a gradually sloping wave, which is easier to eyeball measure.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #11824

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    Brilliant ideas here… going to have to try this out with my bass exercises.

    That is a great trick. I’ve been doing that for many years but never even thought about the importance of sharing that info. I’ll put this in my course revision. Very good. I use a program called melodyne that can be used to tune notes to pitch after they’re recorded. It also can be used to quantize audio recordings. That’s correct, in lieu of practicing you can spend hours cleaning up the audio. It shows how flat or sharp each note is before correction. That can be illuminating.

    Paul and Doug, glad to help!!

  • #13308

    Doug Marks
    Keymaster

    Giving credit where credit is due…. As I mentioned in a previous post I’ve been doing this for years but never thought of using it as a practice aid.  Since you began this topic I’ve been giving it consideration and decided, yeah, this is awesome.  So, I included this technique in my new intermediate lesson and today’s newsletter. Thanks for sharing.

    Metal Method Guitar Instructor

  • #13318

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    Giving credit where credit is due…. As I mentioned in a previous post I’ve been doing this for years but never thought of using it as a practice aid. Since you began this topic I’ve been giving it consideration and decided, yeah, this is awesome. So, I included this technique in my new intermediate lesson and today’s newsletter. Thanks for sharing.

    How much of the $5 does Joao get?

  • #13321

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    Giving credit where credit is due…. As I mentioned in a previous post I’ve been doing this for years but never thought of using it as a practice aid. Since you began this topic I’ve been giving it consideration and decided, yeah, this is awesome. So, I included this technique in my new intermediate lesson and today’s newsletter. Thanks for sharing.

    How much of the $5 does Joao get?

    @doug-marks @safetyblitz

    Doug, thank you for the credit here in the forum, really. Again, I’m glad I could help, giving back some… that was the point.

    But, honestly, I’d have appreciate the credit in the lesson PDF as well. Just that.

  • #21796

    PaulWolfe
    Participant

    I just rediscovered this topic after picking up a WireTap from TC Electronics. I recorded exercise E from the original Speed & Accuracy program and ran it through Adobe Audition. Since I didn’t have a way to record the metronome (the WireTap records the direct guitar signal), I didn’t have the click as a reference. However, I can set the BPM in Audition so that there is a visual marker where the beat falls and I can see where I am behind and ahead.

    VERY enlightening idea… and very addicting. I spent a couple hours working on getting the beat “just right”. This is the most time I’ve spent specifically working on speed and timing since Doug proposed the contest in 2014.

    Thank you for the inspiration!

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