MUS 510 / CSC 510
DIGITAL AUDIO TECHNIQUES

Making .Wavs

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Making your own .wav files is a breeze, as long as you have audio recording software such as Audition.  You will also need an audio cord that will reach from your TV, DVD/VCR, CD player, cassette, turntable amp, or whatever, to your computer.  On one end of the cable you will most often need RCA plugs to plug into the sound source; the other end should have a 1/8" stereo mini phone plug to connect to the computer's Line In.  Cables of this type may be purchased at Radio Shack and other electronics stores.  If you need 1/8" mini phone plugs at both ends, or some other connection, simply use an adapter.

 

RCA plugs 1/8" stereo mini phone plug
RCA to 1/8" stereo mini phone plug adapter 1/8" stereo mini phone plug to 1/4" stereo phone plug adapter

Plug the red & white RCA plugs into the corresponding-color Line Out jacks of your sound source (TV, etc.).  Plug the 1/8" stereo mini phone plug in your computer's Line In port, which is usually blue in color.  You're all set!

You should now hear sound coming out of your computer speakers.  If not, open Volume Control (via the speaker icon) to make sure that Line In is selected, rather than some other setting.  You should also check the Recording Control window re Line In selection.

Open Audition in the Edit Waveform View (single track), or other audio recording software.  Assuming a TV or other .wav file does not need to be CD quality, you should select a lower sample rate to save computer memory.  And if stereo isn't important (since you will no doubt eventually assign the .wav to a Left/Right field in Audition's multi-track view), selecting Mono will again save computer memory.

If you know exactly when to record your sound, all the better.  But if you simply want to gamble that something good will show up "sometime" during your favorite TV show, you will need to record the entire show and later edit what you don't need.  

Once you have your clip, delete what you don't need and save the file as a .wav, .mp3 or other file type.  It is usually best to save the file as a .wav rather than as a compressed file since you may mix that file into another multi-track file that may eventually be saved in a compressed format. Compressing the file more than once may noticeably reduce its quality. 

As always, please bear in mind copyright and fair-use issues when creating sound files.

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