Basic Audio Recording

By: Joe Mac

Basic Audio Recording

Before Recording

If you have never recorded audio on a computer you may find that there are several easy ways to do so. Before attempting to record though, you will want to make sure you have a suitable microphone. These can range from a $10 computer microphone, a $1000 studio microphone, to one built in to your laptop. All these will work but the only differences will be audio quality, ranging from compression levels to audio pickup sensitivity.

Basic Recorders

The easiest and quickest way to record with any Microsoft Windows system is to use 'Sound Recorder' located within the start menu in Accessories. The only limitations are that recordings from Windows Sound Recorder are limited to time and one track. For more advanced recording you will probably want to use a "multitrack" software such as Mixcraft, Cubase, or Cakewalk.

Before Recording

Before using any software you will want to make sure your microphone is plugged in properly and that the correct drivers are installed if they are needed. Some hardware is "Plug and Play" meaning that it requires no driver installation. You can check on your computers audio input and output by going to Start, Control Panel, and Sound. If you find that you have no microphone input or output drivers you may need to search on the internet for your computers hardware sound device drivers. You can do this from any search engine.

Using Multitrack Recorders

If you are wanting to record audio with multiple tracks, such as, recording your voice to background music. The best way is to use multitrack software. For a simple recording of the previous example, you would add your background music to a track, "arm" another track for your voice and then record. Before recording you will want to make sure that the track you armed has the correct microphone settings.

Saving to .WAV, .WMA, or MP3 Format

To save your recording as a .wav, .wma, or .mp3 you will need to mixdown or export the audio to a media file. When selecting which type of file you want to save it as you will want to factor in file size to audio quality and format. .WAV files are particularly large files that take up a lot of harddrive space and might not be formatted to the specifications of audio (MP3 players) or websites. While most MP3 players and websites accept .WMA and .MP3 format. Also be aware of the various bitrates of your audio export.

Computers
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Computers