Audio Recording

Discussion in 'Computers & Website Forum' started by mnw, May 22, 2006.

  1. mnw

    mnw
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    This seemed the most likely forum for my question.

    We want to record sermons at church but want to move away from cassette tapes. I am looking into MP3 players and Minidisc Recorders. ANy suggestions about which would be best?

    My key word is "budget." [​IMG]
     
  2. standingfirminChrist

    standingfirminChrist
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    mnw,

    I would suggest both cassette and cd recorder. We are moving in this direction.

    We will take weekly cassettes to rest homes in the area with a cassette player so the infirm will be able to listen to sermons. Not too expensive.

    The cd recorder will also be used to record the same message so it can be streamed on the internet and taken to the radio station.

    We checked into prices and good cd recorders start at around 200 dollars and go upward in price. A great one can be found for about 600 dollars. And they do pay off in the long run.
     
  3. SpiritualMadMan

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    If you have a PC with a CD Burner you probably already have all you need...

    The CD Burner should have some Recorder Software with it. If not there are Freeware Programs that will do what you need.

    You could buy just about any HP or Compaq PC at Wal-Mart and it'd probably have what you need.

    The advantage to using a PC for your Hard Disk Recorder is that you can also do any Audio Editing you might need to do...

    Lastly, as there are some CD players that do not restart in the middle of a track (pick up where they left off) you really need Audio Editing so you can Track the CDs out and have no more than 5 minutes per Track...

    Also, with an 80Gb Hard Disk you are not likely to run out of space right away...

    SFIC, does have a point about not doing away with Cassettes completely. And, I would recommend that you record in parrallel both to the Hard Drive and the Cassette.

    A lot of older folks still haven't made the transistion to CD players yet. [​IMG]

    I also recommend recording to 44.1KHz WAV files or not less than 196KBS MP3's...

    Most burner software will allows yo to burn a CD from either format...

    SMM
    BTW:
    I do a lot of this at home on a 1.3Ghz Celeron 512MB Memory and an 80Gb Hard drive...

    I use Sound Forge XP (Came with my Sound Blaster MP3 Plus Sound Card) to do the Audio Editing...

    I also use it as my Recorder because I can preview my levels a lot easier.

    Using Roxio 6 for Burner Software... And, moved up my copy of SoundStream...
     
  4. standingfirminChrist

    standingfirminChrist
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    For my recording of mp3 or wav files, I use Audio Recorder Deluxe. Does a wonderful job.
     
  5. SpiritualMadMan

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    Looks good...

    And, the price is not bad either...

    What is the longest/largest Audio File that you have edited with it?

    I like being able to zoom down to a single cycle. Or, Normalize the over all Amplitude.

    It's amazing how much time you can 'fiddle' with this stuff. [​IMG]

    SMM
     
  6. Magnetic Poles

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  7. mnw

    mnw
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    We may be able to continue with tapes and also some kind of digital format. I am focusing on the digital format as that is what is being used at the moment. No tapes are going out but we have visitors going to the website and listening to sermons online or downloading them.

    Audacity is a great program! I have been using it for a few years and it works well. Someone adapted it and brought out something called "Audacity CleanSpeech". With one button it automatically makes it internet ready. Though, I find it reduces the quality a little too much for my liking.

    We cannot really afford a computer to set up at the computer, plus I would be concerned for its security at our premises. [​IMG]

    That is part of the reason I am looking at portable recording equipment.

    Sermonaudio.com recommend Digial Voice Recorders but they are a complete unknown to me.

    I appreciate the advice guys.

    I personally like the idea of using a PC, but it is budget and security that sways me on that one.
     
  8. Dale-c

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    Audacity is a nice little program.
    How much is you budget if I may ask?
    I am assuming it isn't as much as $500

    If it IS that much, here is a computer route to go:

    I use a Mac Mini, it is a very small and inexpensive system that can easily be taken away offsite when it is not in use, it is 6"x6"x2 (About the size of a hymnal) It has a CD burner as well as excellent recording software bundled and it will also work with Audacity if that is your preference but GarageBand that is bundled is so much better.
    I have had one for about a year and I love it. I have been doing audio, video, and much more on it (writing this on it as well)

    Here is a link about that and it is a complete out of the box solution for what you need.

    www.apple.com/macmini

    Ok for a voice recorder solution, which of course doesn't really offer any editing options:
    Are you aware that iPods can record? My iPod is an older model but most newer full size iPods do record audio either line in or with a mic.
    Are you using a line output from your PA system?
    If so here is a good set up:

    iPod :
    http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/6384001/wo/lN13tvzS8lso28KApXpDbgOJjqZ/1.0.0.19.1.0.8.7.3.5.1.1.8.1.5.1.0.5.0

    The Recording attachment:
    http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Product_Id=169368

    PLease note that when you go with an audio recorder route, you will most likely get less audio quality than you would with the computer route.

    But let me know what you think, I am sure I can help you get something that will work for you.
     
  9. mnw

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    Oh, Macs... [​IMG] In a couple of years I may be in a position to get in a computer to record sermons. But they are a little over budget at the moment.

    Today I purchased a Minidisc recorder. It seems to record at very good quality. It is a technology on its way out, but it is better than the experiances I have had with MP3 recorders. But then, the MP3 recorders I have used have not been quite ipod standard. [​IMG]

    After this Sunday I'll let you know what the sound quality is like (no telling what the sermon quality will be...). [​IMG]

    P.S. I'm preaching so I get to say things like that...
     
  10. SpiritualMadMan

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    I have little RCA Digital Voice Recorder that I recorded my 'Stir Up The Gift" sermon then played it into the computer to make the MP3's...

    It came with a small lapel mic and I left the Recorder in my shirt pocket.

    SMM
     
  11. kubel

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    Goldwave + LAME on a cheap desktop or laptop works great.
     
  12. mnw

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    Spiritual, did your voice recorder get hooked up to a mic or did it use a built in mic?

    BTW Dale, I am becoming more inclined to Macs, so maybe I'll try it out on the next computer.

    Kubel, I'm downloading Goldwave now so I'll see how I get on with it. Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  13. SpiritualMadMan

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    The RCA package included a Lapel Mic with a clip and Mini-Phone Jack...

    The internal mic is OK for dictation. Like sermon ideas while driving to/from work...

    To go to the computer I used a male miniphone to a male mini-phone on the Input to the computer.

    To use a standard 'stage' mic you'd need an adapter to a male mini-phone jack. And, then the cable would probably weigh more than the recorder... [​IMG]

    SMM
     
  14. Dale-c

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    Hey, it is getting easier now that you can dual boot with windows
    macmall.com even has preinstalled system with with Windows XP and Mac OS X.
    I have never had a virus and I don't even use virus software.

    The built in audio vidia and photo apps are great!

    I actually use Pro Tools for audio but that is a $400 system and I use it for multitrack music and for radio production.

    Probaby out of a lot of budgets
     
  15. mnw

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    Sorry spiritual, I saw you said about the mic and yet still asked the question. I must have been tired or something... [​IMG]

    OS X and XP together... definitely days of comprimise and apostacy... [​IMG]
     
  16. standingfirminChrist

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    With Audio Recorder Deluxe, I have recorded 47 minute teaching sessions with no distortion or volume loss.

    Works great.
     
  17. Phillip

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    Having been a broadcast engineer for many years, I would say that this is the best bet. Do NOT try to record directly to a digital medium unless you can afford a digital tape recorder. CD's can crash too easily. Always go to the hard drive and as said above, I would use a fairly large drive and possibly even use a seperate drive.

    SoundForge is GREAT, but somewhat expensive. There is a free version called "Audacity". It is open source and although I don't like its look and feel quite as much will do the same thing.

    Another hint would be to use a "Sound Blaster" card. Although there are much more expensive cards in our lab tests the Sound Blasters beat every card on both distortion and noise level and noise level becomes important when you have a computer with a lot of clocking noise with a low-level audio input.

    There is an alternative to all of this. We have a church that records its services for our Christian station and uses a sound compressor coming out of the churches sound board and then from the compressor into the cassette machine. Because the compressor keeps the level constant then there is no tape noise that can be heard when it is dubbed to digital later in the week. You must keep your tape heads clean and use high-quality tape, but you will be amazed at how close the quality actually is to digital.

    Just a few thoughts to ponder, depending mostly on your pocketbook.
     
  18. Dale-c

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    I guess I would like Audacity if I hadn't been using Pro Tools for so long.
    There used to be a free version of Pro Tools but it only works with Win 98/Me and Mac OS 9 so I usually suggest Audacity to PC users or older Macs.
    Garagebands editing features are actually close to Pro Tools, and for the price you can't beat it.
     
  19. mnw

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    The Goldwave program mentioned above, is a little harder to get used to, but using it today I have found it a superior program to Audacity. I never thought I'd find myself saying that.

    Using the noise removal feature and reducing it to 16kb mono left it with a much better sound quality than the equivilent with Audacity.

    Thanks for recommending it!
     
  20. Dale-c

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    There are a lot of programs better than Audacity actually. It is just that they cost money normally.

    I haven't used GOldWave but I am familiar with it. Well, I guess I did isntall it once for a project at work because of a codec it has for phone menus. Then I found I could do it all in Pro Tools and QuickTIme so I never tried it after that.
     

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