Troubleshooting Microphone Setup for Audio Commenting

Troubleshooting Microphone Setup
for Audio Commenting in
MyCompLab and MyLiteratureLab
October 7, 2010
Copyright © 2010 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of the contents of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in
any form or by any means without the written permission of the publisher.
MyCompLab is a registered trademark and MyLiteratureLab is a trademark of Pearson
Education.
Windows Vista and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
All other brand and product names are trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of
their respective holders.
Published in the United States of America.
Contents
Overview of Microphone Setup for Audio Commenting ......................................... 1
Built-in Microphones and Feedback ................................................................ 1
Troubleshooting Microphones........................................................................... 2
Troubleshooting on a Windows System ........................................................... 2
Additional Guidelines .....................................................................................10
Overview of Microphone Setup for Audio Commenting
The My Audio Comment feature works with a built-in microphone, headset, or other
speaker/microphone combination that is compatible with a PC or Mac for general
use.
If you are new to microphones, you might want to do a bit of research before
purchasing one. There is a wealth of information online, and another source of
information is your favorite electronics store. Some considerations when buying a
microphone are:

Most microphones can be used for audio commenting. There are microphones
that are also well suited for internet voice chat, speech recognition, gaming,
and so on. So if you are planning on using the microphone for more than just
audio commenting, include that feature in your research.

Make sure the microphone is compatible with your system (PC or Mac) and
operating system.
Built-in Microphones and Feedback
One warning about built-in microphones on laptops: On a laptop, the built-in
microphone and speaker are usually close to one another, which often results in
feedback. Feedback is caused when sound from the speaker is picked up by the
microphone, amplified, and passed out of the speaker again as you are recording.
Feedback can cause significantly undesirable noise and distortion.
If you are using a built-in microphone and having problems with feedback, the best
solution is to get a headset where the microphone and speaker are farther apart
from one another.
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Troubleshooting Microphones
The fact that a microphone works with other applications is not a guarantee that the
microphone will work the same way with your MyLab. This is because some
applications perform their own microphone and speaker tuning but do not propagate
those settings to the system settings.
Troubleshooting on a Windows System
Use the following procedure to help diagnose and correct basic microphone setup
problems for audio commenting on a Windows® XP. For a Windows Vista® system,
see page 5.
To troubleshoot basic microphone problems on a Windows XP system:
1. Click the Start menu button, then choose Control Panel –Sounds and
Audio Devices.
The Sounds and Audio Devices Properties dialog box is displayed.
2. Click the Voice tab.
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3. Make sure the correct device is selected for Voice recording.
If you have configured multiple sound-input devices, they are listed in the
Default device drop-down list.
4. If necessary, select another device from the Default device drop-down list
and then click the Apply button.
5. Click the Test hardware button to open the Test Wizard.
6. Click the Next button.
The wizard starts the hardware testing of your sound-input device.
At the completion of the test, the Microphone Test dialog box is displayed.
7. If you are using an external microphone, make sure it is connected to your
system and activated before you proceed to the next step.
8. Speak into the microphone.
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If the green bars are barely showing, invisible, or fluctuate only a little, then
the microphone may be recording, but at a very low volume. This can cause
the MyLab's audio commenting recorder to record a very low volume or spotty
comment. (Because the recorder's counter increments only when it detects
sound, a low-volume recording can result in a spotty comment.)
9. Click the Volume button under Recording.
The Recording Control dialog shows all your system's audio inputs.
10. Determine which input represents your microphone. (For a laptop
microphone, Digital Mic is a likely possibility.)
11. Speak into the microphone.
If the microphone is functioning properly, the volume control in this dialog
box moves in concert with the volume control in the Microphone Text dialog
box as Windows attempts to auto-tune the microphone volume.
If the volume is turned off or too low, go on to the next step to adjust it.
12. Click the microphone's Advanced button.
Note: If the Advanced button is not displayed, do the following:
a. Check the microphone's Select check box.
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b. Choose the Options – Advanced Controls menu command.
13. Check the Microphone Boost check box.
If Microphone Boost was not already selected, selecting it should make the
microphone more sensitive. Try speaking into the microphone again to see if
the (green) bar in the Recording Control dialog box has a better range of
movement.
If you still have a problem, try selecting a different microphone control in the Sound
and Audio Devices dialog or the Recording Control dialog box. For additional
guidelines, see page 10.
To troubleshoot basic microphone problems on a Windows Vista system:
Before you begin, if you are working on a desktop system, make sure that the
microphone is plugged in to the correct port. If that is not the problem, try the
following steps to make sure the microphone is enabled and that the volume is high
enough.
1. Click the Start menu button and click Control Panel.
2. Double-click Sound in the Control Panel (Classic View).
The Sound dialog box is displayed.
3. Click the Recording tab.
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4. If the displayed microphone is not the one you are using for audio
commenting, do the following:
a. Right-click in the empty/blank area of the tab and choose Show
Disabled Devices.
6
The Recording tab now displays the full list of recording devices
configured for your system.
b. Right-click the sound-input device that you are using for audio
commenting and make sure that Enabled is selected.
5. Speak into the microphone and you should see the sound detection (green)
moving up and down.
If the green bars are barely showing, invisible, or fluctuate only a little, then
the microphone may be recording, but at a very low volume. This can cause
the MyLab's audio commenting recorder to record a very low or spotty
comment. (Because the recorder's counter increments only when it detects
sound, the end result can be a spotty comment.)
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To adjust the volume level, go on to the next step. Or, to test the volume,
skip to the last step in this procedure.
6. Click the Properties button.
The Microphone Properties dialog box is displayed.
7. Click the Levels tab.
8. Drag the Microphone slider to the right. (Depending on your version of
Vista, this may be referred to as the Front Mic slider.)
9. Drag the Microphone Boost slider to the right.
8
10. Keep both the Sound dialog box, on the Recording tab, and the Microphone
Properties dialog box open, and speak into the microphone again.
As you speak, the green bars on the Recording tab show the difference in the
recording volume. You can continue adjusting the Level sliders until you reach
the desired recording level.
11. (Optional) Click the Enhancements tab (if available) to select options to
reduce the outside or room sounds often picked up by microphones. Then
click the Apply button.
12. (Optional) Do the following to create a recording to test the volume settings.
a. Click the Start menu button.
b. Type sound in the Start Search text box.
c. Click Sound under Programs.
The Sound Recorder is displayed.
d. Click Start Recording and speak into the microphone.
e. Click Stop Recording to end the recording.
f.
Save the recording.
g. Click the Start menu button.
h. Select the recording from the Recent Items list.
Still have a problem? Try selecting a different microphone on the Recording tab in
the Sound dialog box. Also check to see if you need to update your sound card
drivers. This can be the case when you are using a microphone that is plugged in to
your system.
For additional guidelines, see page 10.
9
Additional Guidelines

Check your cable connections. Make sure the microphone is properly
connected to your system. For example, on some systems microphones have
to be connected to the sound card. If your system has two microphone jacks,
make sure the one you are using is not muted.

USB connections. For a headset with a USB connection, check that the USB
port that you are connected to is operating.

Macs. For a built-in microphone, in the system preferences, check that the
sound input setting is Internal/microphone/built-in and that the input is
set to maximum. For further information or details on an external microphone
or headset, refer to the Apple Support website
(http://www.apple.com/support/) and the microphone manufacturer's
website.

Volume is off or set too low. Check the volume settings for your system's
speakers. You may need to enable or adjust the volume settings. Also make
sure that external speakers are turned on, and you may need to turn up their
volume.

Refer to the website of the operating system or microphone
manufacturer. These websites typically have information on connecting
microphones to systems and troubleshooting guidelines.
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