Computer sound Recorder

October 2, 2016
Others

Recording Sound into a Computer

Modern digital recorders are designed to interface with a computer, and permit easy transfer of information from recorder memory to computer memory. In practical application, it is expected that a practitioner will use a computer for sound file storage, analysis of raw files and possible enhancement.

It is possible to clip a segment of a longer sound track to preserve just the phenomenal utterance in EVP and perhaps the experimenter's voice asking a question. The clip can be easily saved to the hard drive, and later, saved to a CD for archiving and easy retrieval. It is recommended that archival files be saved as *.wav files, but it is also possible to convert the clip into a smaller mp3 audio file for sharing with others via the Internet. Probably the most important use of a computer for EVP is the ability to more easily find the utterance on a sound track, and if necessary, amplify it and/or remove background noise to make the utterance more easily understood.

Newer recorders permit direct transfer of files via a USB interface, or by inserting a recorder memory card into the computer. However, older recorders did not have this capability and it was necessary to transferring sound into a computer by "playing" the recorded sound file and using the computer as an audio recorder. There are a few setup issues that must be resolved the first time you transfer audio using this method, but after that, the process should be routine.

There are two types of connection between a recorder and a computer: USB port and ear plug output.

If Connecting a Recorder via USB Port

  1. If your audio recorder has a USB port for connecting to a computer, then that is the optimum method to use. You should be able to connect your recorder following the instructions that came with the device, and see a folder representing your recorder's memory on the computer desktop.
  2. For all connection methods, create a folder in My Documents and title it something like "EVP Sessions." Open that folder and open a new folder within it titled in a way that uniquely identifies the sound files to be transferred from the recorder. As an example, if the recordings are the first attempt to reach a loved one under controlled conditions, then title the folder with that information and the date:
  3. Open the folder representing the audio recorder, select and "slide" the files representing the recordings into the new folder. We recommend that each file be given a name that will help you see at a glance where the file was recorded, or in some way, a unique identifier. This will be important when you go looking for a particular recording years later.
  4. At this point you should be able to open the audio file with either the general purpose audio editor or with the one provided by the recorder manufacturer. We recommend that you save audio files as a Windows PCM (*.wav) file format. If the recorder does not save in this format, and if you cannot use the supplied audio editor program to convert the files to this format, then we recommend that you use the audio cable procedure described for recorders not equipped with a USB port.

If Connecting a audio recorder via an audio cable

If your audio recorder does not have a USB port for connecting to a computer, then it is necessary to connect the recorder to a computer via a patch cord between the earphone jack of the recorder and the microphone input jack of the computer.

First, make sure the computer is "looking" at the right input jack, usually Line In (may be Sound In). On a PC desktop, click on: START > SETTINGS > CONTROL PANEL > SOUND MANAGEMENT. Select the Audio tab and then select Volume under SOUND RECORDING. (See Figure 1) You will see volume controls and you will want to select LINE IN. Set the level control to about 50% to begin. (See Figure 2)

Access the playback Volume Control by clicking on the Sound Playback Volume button as shown in Figure 3. This control can also be accessed by double clicking on the speaker icon that is usually in the lower right corner of the desktop in the "tray, " or by using OPTIONS > WINDOWS MIXER in Audition. This control is accessible in Audacity in the upper-right of the screen.

Figure 1: Sound and Multimedia Properties in the Control Panel

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