Suggestions for recording -- these should work on Windows, Macs or Linux. We start by assuming that you have a microphone or other sound source connected. In most cases, you can use these same techniques to make a digital recording of streaming audio found online.

  1. Download and install Audacity
  2. Access File>>Preferences
    1. Under the Audio I/O tab, set "Channels" to "1 (Mono)".
    2. Under the Quality tab, set "Default Sample Format" to "16-bit"
    3. The other default settings should be OK, so click OK to dismiss the Preferences window.
  3. In the lower left corner of the main window, click on the "Project rate: 44100" and change it to 11025 (or 22050 if you want more bandwidth and have plenty of memory and disk space).
  4. In the upper right corner of the main window, select "Microphone" or "Stereo Mix" from the menu, depending on what source you want to record from.
  5. Click on the red circle "record" icon in the top left area of the main window to start recording.
  6. Click on the "stop" icon to stop (or the "pause" icon to pause, hitting "record" to continue")
  7. Verify that you have a good recording level -- not too high (which will cause clipping of the signal) and not too low.
  8. If you've recorded a single track, save it using File>>Export as WAV. If you've recorded multiple tracks (by stopping and starting again), and you want to keep them all, save them using File>>Export Multiple

Experiment with this program before trying it "live" for something you care about.

You can also record using WaveSurfer. In that case:

  1. Under File>>Preferences>>Sound I/O,
    1. set "New sound rate/encoding/channels" to "11025 Lin16 1"
    2. set "Record time limit:" to "3600 s" (i.e. one hour)
  2. Click "OK" to dismiss the preferences panel
  3. Use the "record", "pause", "stop" icons in the obvious way.
  4. Verify your recording level.
  5. When you have recorded what you want, use File>>Save As to save it.

I don't recommend using Praat as a sound recorder, other than for brief sounds.

Depending on your computer and operating system, there may be some "control panel" or other settings that are required. In most cases, however, Audacity and WaveSurfer will access and set these parameters correctly. If things don't work, ask for help from your local ITA or from us.