Patty Goes Geeky

A techno odyssey

Archive for February 2011

Going digital for recording audio

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In an earlier post, I recounted my adventures in converting audiotape recordings to digital for purposes of editing and burning to CDs. Clearly it’s time to dispense with that extra step and record future audio sessions digitally in the first place.

Never hesitating to impose on a friend, I contacted a former coworker to ask what recorder seattletimes.com was handing out to reporters to use on the job. After checking, he advised that the gear was $250 and probably overkill for the modest hobby/family needs I’d described. More my speed was an Olympus WS-600S Digital Voice Recorder, available for around $60.

It records in MP3, which is eats less space and is faster to edit than the alternative WMA format. It accepts an external microphone and it has a direct USB computer connection to download the files.

Other good advice was to practice recording in a situation similar to the actual circumstances (i.e., if I was to record someone frail speaking softly while lying in a bed) to see whether a clip-on mic or an external mic mounted on a tripod was better at capturing a conversation. While a clip-on mic meant I wouldn’t have to have a mic in someone’s face, I’d want to make sure clothing didn’t rub on it and create unwanted noise. Another factor in placing a microphone: Would I want to record the questions in real time? If not, I could edit them in later but it’s extra work.

And I did get a seal of approval for using Audacity to edit audio.

Until I truly become Geekypatty, I am fortunate to have such helpful tech support.

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Written by geekypatty

February 1, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Posted in Audio, Software