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Computer Audio Recording and Editing

Tom Krauska

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There seem to be two good products that will do the editing for you at reasonable prices for IBM type computers.

One is Cool Edit at http://www.syntrillium.com/

Another option is Sound Forge at http://www.sonicfoundry.com/shopping/catalog.asp This product was suggested by a couple of speakers.

Both Cool Edit and Sound Forge have demos to try out and they both have inexpensive and more expensive solutions.

Here are a couple of different solutions to actually getting your speech onto the computer.


  1. Record to a DAT or Mini-Disc, then transfer the speech to the computer and edit.
  2. Record directly to your computer using your "Mic In" outlet on your sound card.
  3. Record using a wireless microphone directly to your DAT or computer.


All suggestions emphasized using a good quality microphone and cable.


When you do record, try and record at CD quality. 44,100 Mono 16 bit.


I still have trouble with background hiss and noise that is picked up while recording. It's not noticeable when I'm actually speaking, but in between it is a little bit annoying. The software takes care of this by deleting the noise, but it's a time consuming process. Consider keeping files as small as possible to minimize processing time.

-- Rick Ott

I record my audio programs in my own "studio," which consists of a DAT recorder and a Macintosh computer. Details: Mic quality will make a big difference. I bought an Electrovoice 857B (around $350). (I come from the radio industry, where Electrovoice mics are the staple, so I wanted no less myself.) Be advised that a $39 Radio Shack mic may do the job, but it's not an EV.

I initially record onto the DAT, with the computer off. This eliminates the loud computer noise (the hard drive can be noisy). Then I transfer from the DAT into the computer, using Macromedia's SoundEdit 16 v2.0 program. With this program I edit, and add music where desired (see next point).

I bought a bunch of royalty-free music from Sound Ideas in Toronto. (http://www.sound-ideas.com) Cost hundreds of $$$, but it's a one-time expense. Can use it the rest of my life, with no fees to pay.

Finally, I transfer the finished piece from computer back onto DAT. The DAT is now the master. I send it to the duplicators and get regular analog cassettes back.

I hope this helps to get you started. It may not totally replace the recording studio, but it's amazing what you can now do in the comfort of your own office.

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