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Multimedia Publishing Help
Sound Recorder

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There are several options for recording sound on a Windows platform.  For all of them, your computer must have a sound card and you must have an external microphone. If you are going to record less than 60 second clips, you can use the free Sound Recorder (go to Start, select Programs, select accessories, select Entertainment, then select Sound Recorder). For clips over sixty seconds, you can use Total Recorder from High Criteria ($11.95) or Cool Edit from Syntrillium ($69.95).



Before you start, do you have a microphone that will work with your PC?  Is it plugged into the sound in jack on the back of your computer?



Windows Sound Controls



1. No matter which software you use (Sound Recorder, Total Recorder or Cool Edit), you also have to manipulate the sound controls on your computer.  You can find this utility within the Programs menu (START-> PROGRAMS ->ACCESSORIES-> ENTERTAINMENT-> VOLUME CONTROL). Open the Volume Control.
The Master Out window will open.  To get to the microphone controls, pull down the Options menu. Select Properties.
Select the Recording Option and click OK.
Now the Volume Control should have the Line In and Mic controls.  Put the volume at the max (the top) on both of these controls.

If the Line In and Mic controls did not automatically appear, close the Master Record panel and open it again.


Windows Sound Recorder 

Open Sound Recorder. You can find this simple utility in the accessories folder within Programs in Windows 98/2000.  




Remember you are restricted to 60 seconds of recording for each clip!

Reverse     Rewind     Play     Stop     Record


The Sound Recorder utility is very simple.  The controls mirror those on any cassette recorder.

Pull down the File menu and select Properties.

A new window will open.

Towards the bottom of the new window, there is an area labeled Format Conversion.  Pull down the menu in this box and select Recording Formats.

Select Convert Now.


The Sound Selection window will now open.  You should always record at the highest quality.  Select CD Quality in the top-left pull-down menu.  The format should be PCM.  The frequency (Hz) to select really depends on the quality of the voice but always use 16 Bit (either mono or stereo).

Make your selection and click OK.  This window should close. (If not, click on the X in the upper right to close the window.)

Now you are ready to record!

Click on the red button and start speaking into your microphone.  Hit the black square (stop button) when you are done.

To listen to the recording, click on the triangle (next to the red button).


To adjust the volume, pull down the Effects menu.  Unfortunately, you are limited in the amount you can increase the volume, but you can increase it more by selecting this option a number of times until the volume is acceptable.  

Remember this is a free utility!

If you decide to keep the recording, pull down the File menu and select Save as.  Be sure to give your file a memorable name.  If it is going on a web or media server it must have no spaces and no special characters.  Web and media servers are case sensitive so remember if you use any capitalization!  Also note where you saved the file.

You now have a .wav file that you can use on the web or embed in PowerPoint!




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Page last revised on Thursday, September 26, 2002.