| From "David E. Gola" <davideg60@...>
| Sat, 16 Sep 2006 12:10:37 -0400
| Subject: [Audacity-help] question
| My name is Dave and I was just wondering if it is possible to use a
| microphone that is plugged into a computer or lap top and record
| to the hard drive using Audacity. And if so, how is it done.
Yes Audacity can record from these basic sources
(1) external microphone plugged into the microphone port
(2) line-level external sources such as record players, minidiscs, or
electric instruments. You can also record from higher quality
microphones that need additional power so are connected through
a mixer or pre-amplifier that attaches to the computer's line-in.
They can also be connected through a USB or Firewire audio
(3) on Windows and Linux, you can record any sound the computer
is playing such as internet broadcasts
(4) you can also record from microphones that connect to the
computer via its USB port but these have drawbacks in terms of
higher latency (extra delay in the time taken to lay down the
recording on the disk), and you cannot record more than one of
these microphones at a time.
If you decide to use Audacity to record with a microphone, I
have pasted in all the steps you need below.
If you have any further questions, please tell us what operating system
you are on (e.g. Windows XP, OS X 10.4) and what version of Audacity
you are using (see Help > About in the program).
1 Click Edit > Preferences > Audio I/O tab and check that the
playback and recording devices are explicitly set to your inbuilt
sound, or if you have multiple sound devices (e.g. built-in sound
and an external USB soundcard or a USB microphone) then you
need to choose the ones you want to use in the Audio I/O tab.
2 If you want to record in stereo, change the recording channels
on the same Audio I/O tab to "2 (stereo)".
3 Now you have to set the recording source for the device you
are recording from. You can do this on Audacity's mixer toolbar
dropdown selector :
If your microphone is plugged into the microphone port on the
computer, choose "microphone" or "mic" on the dropdown
selector. If your microphone is plugged into a mixer connected
to line-in on the computer, choose "line-in". If you are using a
USB microphone, or the device your microphone is plugged into
connects via USB or Firewire, the dropdown selector is normally
greyed out whilst the USB microphone or USB/Firewire device is
chosen as recording device in the Audio I/O tab. Therefore, skip
step 3 unless you are on OS X.
If you are on OS X, note the mixer toolbar will be always be greyed
out on "default source" whatever recording device is chosen in
Audacity's Audio I/O tab. This is normal, but you need to make the
source you want to record from (e.g. microphone, line-in, USB
microphone, Firewire mixer) to be the default recording source
in Apple Sound and Midi Setup.
4 Next, set the volume level of your recording input. Right-click on
the downward pointing arrow in the right hand (red) recording
and click "monitor input". While speaking or singing into your
microphone as loud as you would for the loudest part of what
you want to record, adjust the recording level slider on the mixer
toolbar so the recording meters are almost reaching the far right
hand side (but not far enough to bring the red hold lights on).
If the recording level meters are not visible, click Edit >
Preferences > Interface > Enable Meter Toolbar.
5 Decide if you want to "monitor" your recording, that is, hear it
played back as you make it. If you do, and you are on Windows or
Linux, open the system sound mixer e.g. Sounds and Audio devices
in the Windows control panel, and unmute microphone or line-in (as
appropriate) as a playback device, and turn the volume up. If you are
on OS X, simply go back to the Audacity Audio I/O tab and enable
"hardware playthrough". If this does not work, or if the playback and
recording devices on Audio I/O tab are different, choose "software
playthrough" on the same Audio I/O tab, which works on all operating
If you do monitor your recording, we recommend using headphones
as this will prevent the playback of the recording seeping into the
recording itself, which could cause an echo, or the recording to be
6 Create a new Project by clicking File > Save Project As. Start your
recording by pressing the red record button. You can pause and
restart the recording with the blue pause button. When you have
finished recording, press the red stop button and save your recording
into the Project you started (File > Save Project). Now the data is
safe, you can edit it in Audacity if you want to (e.g. cut pieces out),
or come back to it later by re-opening the saved Project file (File >
Open). See here for explanations of basic editing processes
7 When you are happy with the recording, you need to export it as an
audio file (File > Export) that you can play on your computer. If you
export the recording as a WAV or AIFF file, you can also burn that file
to an audio CD. See:
8 If you want to export your recording to an MP3 file, you need to
add the LAME encoder to your computer. See:
Outbound message virus free.
Tested on: 9/16/2006 6:19:38 PM