Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Recording the Kalimba:
After You Install Audacity,
You Need a Microphone

Just as there are many software packages you can get to manage your recording, there are many ways you can get the signal into your computer. Today, I'll go for simple - which, of course, is not the best, but it is the cheapest and the fastest - once you've caught the bug and there's no stopping you, THAT'S the time to spend money and get complicated. But today, all you need to do is get a microphone with a 1/8 inch or 1/4 inch plug.

If you are a musician, you likely have a microphone with a 1/4 inch jack (like a Sure SM58 or SM57 mic). If you do, go to Radio Shack and spend $5 on a 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch converter, because your computer has a 1/8 inch jack. If you don't have a microphone, you can spend $10 - $30 on a computer mic with a 1/8 inch plug.

Plug the mic into your computer's mic jack (it is probably the same size as the headphone or external speaker jack, so make sure you have the correct input). Start up Audacity, and click on the "record button," speaking into the mic. Do you get anything?

If the recoding level is too low, go into the computer's Start Menu, select "Control Panel," select "sounds and audio," select "audio," and go to "recording volume" and adjust it accordingly.

If you don't get ANYTHING recorded, you may have to change the sound recording device.

Have Fun!