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Recording Audio Using Windows Sound Recorder

Recording: The Windows "Sound Recorder" may be listed in your "Entertainment" folder, which could be listed separately or as part of "Accessories," depending on which version of Windows you may have.  In Windows Millennium, for example, when I click on the button, I slide the mouse pointer "Programs" and to "Accessories," down to "Entertainment," and over to "Sound Recorder."  Click and this thing opens--

Trial and Error: If your eyes are good and the back of your computer is well labelled and accessible, plug your microphone into the hole with the picture of the microphone next to it.  If not, it will take some tries to figure out which hole is the right one.  If the green line doesn't change shape, you're not recording.  Try a different hole of the three on your sound card, or adjust your volume controls (maybe both).

To start recording, click the red circle, pause a second, and start talking.  It will take some tries to get the sound level right (the volume control pop up might be in your task bar (click the yellow speaker icon), or you can go back where you found "Sound Recorder" and click "Volume Control" there to open a panel of slides.  Drag a slide to adjust the "Volume Control" on the far left and the "Microphone" balance, making sure neither is muted (with a check mark in the checkbox).* 

Writing a Script:  Your review of one of the readings in our textbook should include considerations of the guidelines for that genre from chapter 3 of Responding to Literature, 4th edition.  For example, if you choose to review

  • a short story, e.g. "The Red Convertible," respond to some of the guidelines for "short fiction" on pages 61-62
  • a poem, e.g. Robert Frost's "Acquainted with the Night" or "Desert Places" or Seamus Haney's "Mid-Term Break" or Gwendolyn Brooks "To the Young Who Want to Die," reply to some of the guidelines for poetry on pages 66-67
  • a play, e.g. K2 or Antigone, figure out some answers to some of the guidelines on pages 73-74
  • an essay, e.g. Maya Angelou's "Graduation in Stamps" or Barbara Huttmann's "A Crime of Compassion" or J. Q. Rhoads' "Nurses in Vietnam," then reply to some of the guidelines on pages 78-79.

Preparing Your Script for Reading: Pick your best ideas and support, boil it down to about 200 - 250 words (one page), using complete sentences no longer than 40 words each maximum.  (Average first-year sentences are about 20-25 words each, so less than 40 should sound more natural, while more than 30 may sound scholarly--or just confusing.)  Practice reading your script, marking the phrases you want to emphasize (e.g. underlining or using bold); the faster you read, the harder it will be to prevent monotone.

Rehearsing and Recording: Read your script through--with the emphases you marked--at least five times.  If you wish, you can record each of these five readings and pick the best one or just use them as rehearsals.

When you read, don't talk directly into the microphone but instead talk across it.  Keeping the microphone at a 90-degree angle instead of right in front of you will prevent most spitting noises on "p" and "t" and "d" sounds.  Use your normal speaking voice instead of trying to sound like an announcer, so that you can make your reading as conversational as possible.  If possible, if you are using a printout, put the paper in front of you, raised so that you can see it easily.  Whether printed or on screen, use type that is large enough for you to see easily, such as 12 or even 14-point typeface.

Examples of Readings:  Though these examples are not reviews, you can hear your teacher reading using the guidelines just above by clicking the earphones on pages 1 through 9 of the Oedipus the Wreck website in the Litonline webs.  Hibbison is reading the content of the page, so the page is the script and you can follow along.

* That is, click "Start" -- "Programs" -- "Accessories" -- probably "Entertainment" -- "Volume Control" to see the entire volume controller (shown below) to see if any of the bottom check boxes are checked; each of these is marked "Mute" and "Microphone" or "Line in" might be muted by the manufacturer so that when you play music there's no interference.  "Microphone" volume is for when you talk to make an audio file through a microphone; "line in" is for recording from your stereo or other sound box by putting one end of a wire into the speaker output and the other end into your computer's microphone receiver? line in receptacle?

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