Working with Sound

Exercise One: Getting Started

For this exercise and the practicum, you are going to need to record yourself reading a text, the idea being that it is something you can record yourself saying more than once. I recommend a poem, a paragraph from a novel, part of a speech, song lyrics, whatever you want. For example, I chose Wallace Stevens' poem “The Snowman” when designing the workshop and it took me about forty seconds to read out loud.

Now you are going to do a quick recording of you reading your text. The following video will take you through the process. (Also, see the technical notes below.) 

Technical Notes

Input/Output Settings
For either Mac or PC, if you have a mic that plugs in via USB choose it from the input dropdown. If you have a specific output system, select it from the output dropdown. 

Mac: If you are recording using your computer mic or a mic that plugs into the computer's audio jack use  “Built-in Microphone.” For output, use  “Built-in Output” if you are using your computer speakers or headphones. 

Windows: Audacity suggests the following for setting up the inputs and outputs: Where on a Mac it says, "Core Audio," select "MME." If using a built-in mic, select "Microsoft Sound Mapper - Input" and "Microsoft Sound Mapper - Output" for the mic input and playback output (read more).

Microphone Issues
If, when setting up Audacity, you have plugged in a mic that does not appear, restart the application. Mics that are plugged in after the app is launched won’t show in the dropdown menu.

For now, put your recording aside. We’ll get back to that later. Let’s think more about sound...

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