How to Record Voice Audio in Windows Media Player

by Lori Spencer

While it is not possible to record vocal tracks directly into Windows Media Player, you can import the files into your library after they have been recorded with a different audio software program. (Popular choices for audio recording are Audacity, WavePad and Adobe Audition--or you can just use the Sound Recorder that came pre-installed with Windows.)

Once you've selected the audio recording program of your choice, you're ready to start cutting voice tracks.

1

Purchase an external microphone. (It is not recommended that you use your PC's built-in microphone; these produce poor sound quality). You can find decent microphones at your local electronics store ranging in price from $20 to $100.

2

Invest in a pair of snug-fitting headphones; you won't want the sound leaking out from loose headphones into your microphone. Make sure your headphones have plenty of gain so that you won't need to turn the volume up too loud or else you'll be dealing with feedback.

3

Locate the microphone jack on your computer; the jack should either say "Mic" or have a symbol that looks like a microphone next to it. Plug in your microphone and test it to ensure you are getting signal.

4

Click the "Start" menu, then "All Programs," then "Accessories," and select "Sound Recorder." Alternatively, you may open a sound-editing program such as Audacity, WavePad or Adobe Audition; these will also allow you to record directly from your microphone input to your PC.

5

Perform a test recording in which you will test your recording levels; watch the VU meter to make sure you're not too close to the microphone or speaking too loudly; this will cause distortion. Adjust your level until it is as "hot" as possible without going into the "red."

6

Experiment with microphone placement to get the optimum sound. Ideally, your mouth should be about 6 inches to 8 inches from the microphone.

7

Press the "Record" button to start recording and speak clearly in a relaxed, normal tone of voice.

8

Press "Stop" when you are finished recording.

9

Save the file in WAV or WMA format. Be sure to store it in a folder that will be easy to find later.

10

Open Windows Media Player. Add the file to your library by using the "Add to Library by Searching Computer" dialog box in the program.

11

Play back your voice track in Windows Media Player. If all sounds good, you can now convert the file to MP3 for uploading to the Web or burn it to a CD.

Tips

  • If you want to add special effects (such as echo, reverb, pitch modulation, etc.) to your voice track, you'll need to open the file in an audio editing program such as WavePad, Audacity,or Adobe Audition. See the download links below in the Resources section.
  • You can also use audio editing software programs to edit out mistakes, delete breathing, and even mix your voice over a music track for narration or playing DJ.
  • Be sure to pick a quiet area for voice recording; you don't want the microphone to pick up background noise from the street, other people talking, electrical appliances or plumbing.

Warnings

  • Keep an eye on your levels while recording; you may get so excited during the recording that your volume level naturally increases and causes distortion. You may need to tweak levels as you go along, but do so gently--you don't want obvious-sounding audio drops on your finished track.
  • It's also recommended that you use a microphone stand instead of holding the microphone in your hands; it is likely to pick up the sound of your hands, creating "shuffling" and "popping" noises. This also leaves your hands free to hold a script, adjust levels or do other things while recording is in progress.

Items you will need

About the Author

Lori Spencer has written professionally since 1986. She is the author of three nonfiction books, is writing her fourth and provides content for eHow and LIVESTRONG.COM. She also produces and hosts a weekly radio show. Her subjects of expertise include history, media, music, film and the performing arts.

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