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Effective Digital Recording

Digital recording promises to be the technology which helps us to get rid of the tiresome work of recording long conversations / interviews on tapes and to no longer burdened with boxes and boxes of 90-minute tapes. Now you can record interviews right onto your computer or your laptop. We can now process our interview recordings / conversations digitally, by adding effects, mixing, and so on, plus edit to literally dozens of "generations" without any loss of quality.

One fine morning, I had to record a telephonic conversation over tape- recorder. I feel this work to be a cumbersome and I wanted to get off this brain eating problem. When I was about to connect my tape-recorder to my phone line, I was puzzled a bit and realized that the jack on the device that connects my tape recorder to the phone looked to be a perfect fit to the slot on my computer's multimedia sound card. I started connecting the unit into my sound card and it really worked and in no time and I was able to record the whole conversation digitally.

I was over-whelmed with joy that, digital recording has certainly made my job a lot easier and freed me from the burden of lots of boxes of 90-minute tapes. I bought a digital audio recorder, which would render all my works for recording.

Effective Recording with Digital Audio Recorder:
You can work on or record a long audio file up to 2GB size (for a 16 bit file). This will allow you to work on a file of 3 hours and 20 minutes duration in CD quality Stereo. When hard disk space is limited, it alerts us in advance and allows you to clear files to continue. You can load a complete CD's content into one file and edit it directly.

Digital Audio Recording overcomes the grind of conventional tape recording such as, play-type-rewind. Digitally recorded interviews are easy to transcribe and allows in slowing down the play back. Digitally recording the interviews are particularly valuable to Web journalists and other online writers. Digital recording allows the readers to hear the source for themselves. Prior to the conduct of the interview, you should ask for permission to hit the upload button to the person who appears for the interview.

To record the interviews, all you need is telephone-recording unit, a computer (PC) equipped with a sound card and an audio-editing program, such as FlexiMusic or Goldwave.

Part 1:
You connect your phone to your computer. Plug one end of the phone line into the recording control device and the other end to the telephone. Now plug the jack into your computer's sound card on the back of the computer. Your hardware is now ready to carry out your recordings.

Part 2:
Now it is the turn of installing your software program that records and saves your digital audio recording. There is a lot of editing software available in the market which fulfils all the requirements for effective recording. You can choose any program of your choice.

Presently, I use FlexiMusic Wave Editor; it is economic shareware and user- friendly software. It is free to use as a trail version. If desired, this can be purchased at an affordable price of $ 20.

After downloading and installing FlexiMusic Wave Editor you have to adjust the settings to get into your work.

To Start Up:
Once your hardware and software settings are made correct, you're ready to record the interviews. But before you start up, you'll need to create the file to save your recordings.

Run the FlexiMusic Wave Editor; Click the File menu, to choose New. On click to the New Menu, a dialog box (create new wave file) will open where you can select the sample rate, channels (stereo & mono) and the bit rate. You can choose the standard values such as sample rate (44100), channels (stereo) and bit rate (16 bit). Then click OK to set these standard values.

Now Recording:
Under the Tools menu, choose Record option or use the Record tool button (red disc), to Open the Record Audio dialogue box, this will pop up out to the FlexiMusic Wave Editor- Record Audio Window.

Recording window:
From the Recording window, select the source of your audio signal and set the volume for recording.

Windows Volume & Play Controls:
On clicking the Recording Source and Volume button, this will open up to the Windows Operating System recording control box. Here you can select the proper channel that is, the means through which you hear the audio such as Stereo mix / CD / Line in / Mixer / Aux / Microphone / Wave / or any other. Now click the Playing devices and volume button to adjust the output play volume of each channel separately.

After making sure of all settings, then back to the FlexiMusic Wave Editor- Record Audio Window, where you can find Start button to carry out recordings.

1) Now you are ready for recording, for instance, if the recording is through phone, a dial tone can be heard. Prior to an interview, it is better advisable to check the line and your recording program to make sure that everything is set right. Click the Start button on the Record Audio Window.

2) Things that are to be taken care prior to recording are, Avoiding background noise, it's all around us . . . and it can spoil your recording from the start.

Choosing the Best Sampling Settings, when we work with sound on computers, we need to change it to a digital form. I would suggest aiming at a sampling rate of 44100 Hz, because, the more samplings the computer records, the better the sound.

Adjust Volume Levels to Avoid Distortion; Keep an eye on your recording levels. You can observe the recording volume going up and down in the vertical white bars that which indicates the Recording Volume level. If you see the color in the bar constantly hitting the top, it indicates to reduce the volume if not your audio will be distorted. If you see the volume levels are too low - moving only at the bottom, then you will need to increase the volume. Simultaneously, you can watch the recording time too.

3) When your recording is completed, then again back to FlexiMusic Wave Editor- Record Audio Window, click the Stop Recording button. At any moment if you need to pause your recording, you can use "Pause" button. Once the recording is completed, click the Stop Recording button. If you are sure that your recordings are perfect, click on the "Done" button to finish the recording.

Save your Recordings:
As soon as the recording is completed, do save your recordings, for this click the File menu and choose Save. This will allow you to put the recorded file in a specific folder. Type the file name in the box against File Name. Consider using a name that which is much easier for you to figure out where the file is. Next, choose a format in which you want your recordings to be such as, Mp3, WMA, Snd, Raw, Au.

Using mp3 or WMA files is useful to save space on your hard drive while retaining reasonably good quality and for transmitting your work over the Internet. It also saves lot of time in loading, processing, and converting your audio files.

MP3 Instructions:
For opening, editing, and save as Mp3 file you will need to install a separate command line Mp3 encoder/decoder. You can use LameWin32 encoder.

WMA Instructions:
For exporting to a .WMA file you need to install a separate command line. You can use Windows Media 8 Encoding Utility (it is a WMA command line encoder).

Finally you have done! You can play back the file in FlexiMusic, or with any audio program, such as Windows Media Player or Winamp, and transliterate the recording.

A forewarning:
Make sure that the person who faces the interview is well informed that the conversations are being taped because it is offensive to tape the conversation without the knowledge of others.

About the Author: The author is a passionate internet user. He is fond of all kinds of music, more enthusiastic in learning and programming music related software. This site is one among the favorites of the author.

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