The instructions in this section are applicable to both Windows and Mac computers.
Besides your computer, you will need an inexpensive headset with microphone. This will allow you to record and monitor your audio recording. The photo below shows a single-sided headset with microphone.
Most headsets with microphones jacks (the part which connects to the computer) are colour coded. The microphone jack is usually red, and the headphone (speaker) jack is usually green.
Connect headset with microphone to computer
Most desktop computers come with colour coded sound cards, so that you know where to plug in the audio jacks.
If your computer does not have colour coded connectors, look out for the symbols. In the example above, the microphone connector has an obvious microphone icon. The earphones/headphones icon is not so obvious, but you have colour to guide you in that case.
Macs use slightly different symbols, as shown below.
As you can see, the earphone/headphones connector is indicated by the headphones icon. The other connector has to be for the microphone!
Configure Audacity preferences
- Launch Audacity.
- Windows: Go to Edit > Preferences (Ctrl+P).
- Mac: Go to Audacity > Preferences (Cmd+,).
- Go to File Formats tab. You will see MP3 Export Setup, as shown below.
- If MP3 Library Version is not installed, click Find Library and browse to the specified file. (If this also does not work, please reinstall the LAME encoder, according to the instructions for Windows or Mac, then try again.)
- If you see LAME (version number), you can select the bit rate.
- 128 kbps is the default, which is the usual bit rate for music mp3s. Since you are recording voice, it need not be so high. You can choose a lower bit rate (experiment with 48 kbps), which will result in a smaller file size.
- Click OK.
Next: Recording audio