How to Record on a PC With a Microphone

by Lisa Rusczyk ; Updated September 22, 2017

You can record sound on your PC with a microphone easily with a free audio program that you can download off the Internet. All you need to know are a few basic steps in setting up your system and running the audio program. After you record on your PC, you can save the file as a WAV or an MP3 and listen to it any time you are at your computer. These files also burn to CD.

Setup

Plug your microphone into your computer. If you are using a USB microphone, plug it into a USB port. If you are using a computer microphone, plug it into your computer's microphone jack.

Download a free audio program from the Internet. Audacity is one that is easy to use. Install the program.

Open your sound control panel on your computer by going to the Start menu, then selecting "Sounds and Audio Devices." In this menu, go to the "Audio" tab and make sure the Audio Playback is set to your speakers or headphone, whichever you wish to use. Select your microphone for Audio Recording. Now your computer will recognize the microphone you are using if it hasn't done so already.

Recording in the Audio Program

Open your audio program. There are many different views, but you only need the Track view and the Mixer view. In the Mixer view, you will see a sound mixer on the screen. Select the input on a track, usually at the top, and set it to your microphone.

Go to the Track view. This is a screen with all the tracks laid out so that you can see the waveforms when you record. Record enable on the track that you changed the input for. This means you are turning the track on so that it will record when you hit "Record." The record enable button usually has a circle or an R on it.

Press "Record" on the transport. The transport is the window with the buttons for "Play," "Stop" and "Record" on it. These look like the buttons on a tape deck or CD player.

Make the desired sound you wish to record. You may need to stay close to the microphone. When you are finished, press "Stop" on the transport.

Play back your recording by pressing "Play."

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