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Computer Audio Recording and Editing
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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.
- Record to a DAT or Mini-Disc, then transfer the speech to the computer and edit.
- Record directly to your computer using your "Mic In" outlet on your sound card.
- Record using a wireless microphone directly to your DAT or computer.
EQUIPMENTAll suggestions emphasized using a good quality microphone and cable.
CD QUALITYWhen you do record, try and record at CD quality. 44,100 Mono 16 bit.
NOISEI 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.