How to Use a Built in Microphone to Record Audio

by Toby Tate

Many digital recorders, micro-cassette recorders and computers come equipped with built-in microphones to record audio that require no hands-on set-up at all—simply hit record and start speaking or playing music and you can get it all on audio. The drawback to built-in microphones is that the sound quality is likely to be low and it is also difficult to place a built-in microphone exactly where you need it when it’s part of your computer or your digital or cassette recorder.


Download recording software such as Free Sound Recorder or Audacity for your Mac or Windows PC. These programs can record live audio directly onto your computer.


Set the recorder or computer microphone facing the source you wish to record, but not so close that the sound levels will damage the microphone.


If your recorder or computer has some type of sound level meter, try to set it before you begin recording by having the person speak or the band play.


Set the level so that the peak noise level, or decibel level, is near the red line without going into it, which will create clipping and distortion.


Try recording the source and playing it back to see whether the level is too loud or too soft, then adjust either the decibel level or the microphone’s distance from the source to compensate.

Items you will need

About the Author

Toby Tate began writing professionally in 1991. He was a newspaper reporter for five years with stories published by the AP as well as several national magazines and websites. He has published three novels and one novella, and recently signed with a New York literary agency as well as a publisher for a four-book deal. Tate holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and is a performing musician and songwriter.

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  • photo_camera hand mit recorder image by Dron from