Audio Sync - Recording Quality and Volume

Audio Sync - Recording Quality and Volume
The AristoCAT audio sync program uses the hardware built into your computer to record
testimony. It uses Microsoft Windows commands (ie: START, STOP, RECORD, PAUSE) to
cause the hardware to do the desired function. The sound file that is created is a standard Wave
file that can be played using other software such as Windows Media Player or controlled with
other hardware such as foot pedals. How well the sound is recorded depends on your hardware
and not the AristoCAT software. Among the variables that determine the sound quality are:
The quality of the sound card in your computer
The quality of the microphone
The quality of the sound recording desired (ie: mono or stereo, etc)
The only aspect that the AristoCAT audio sync program controls is the sound quality (ie: good,
better or best). The higher the sound quality, generally the better the sound. There are three
aspects that control the sound quality, the number of data bits (8 or 16), mono or stereo and the
frequency. AristoCAT uses 8 data bits, mono and gives you a frequency choice of 11,050hz
(Good), 22,100hz (Better) and 44,000Hz (Best). The sound quality not only determines how good
the sound will sound but also how big the .WAV file will be. The better the quality, the bigger the
.WAV file will be. Let's look at the three factors that control the quality (remember the sound is
digital which means numbers are used to represent the sound):
Data bits - this determines the highs and lows of the sound (think treble and base). An 8bit data sample has a maximum value of -128 to 127 while a 16-bit data sample has a
maximum value of -32768 to 32767. Therefore a 16 bit data sample can 'hear" a higher
high and a lower low. However a 16-bit data sample is twice as big as an 8-bit data
sample and the resulting sound file will be twice as big.
Monaural or Stereo
Setting the Record Volume
Note: The following dialog boxes were captured on a computer running Windows XP. The
dialog boxes on your computer may be different, even if you are also running Windows XP.
To set the recording volume, click on the Start Menu, click Control Panel, then click "Sounds and
Audio Devices" (Depending on your Control Panel setup, you may have to click "Sounds, Speech
and Audio Devices" and then click "Sounds and Audio Devices".) Now click the Audio tab. You
should see the following dialog box:
Now click the Volume button under Sound Recording. Make sure the Microphone Volume slide
control is at the top and the Microphone Select button is checked. See the dialog box below:
If there is not an Advanced button under the Microphone, click the Options Menu, then click the
Advanced Controls menu item (note that some computers may not have this option).
If you have an Advanced button, click it now. See below:
You should now see the following dialog box. If there is a MIC Boost check box, make sure it is
checked (note that some computers may have additional boxes. Refer to your computer manual
for information about these additional boxes.)
Now close out all of the boxes and check the recording.
Checking the Sound
The best way to check the sound volume and recording is to set up a practice real-time session.
You can record the TV or radio in the background. To do a quick test, you can use the
AristoCAT’s AVSync program or Microsoft’s Sound Recorder program.
AristoCAT’s AVSync program can be found by double-clicking the Shortcut to AristoCAT, doubleclicking the ACAT Menu icon, left-click the Job Production menu item, left-click the Translation
menu item and then left-click the Audio Sync menu item.
Microsoft’s Sound Recorder program can be found by left-clicking the Start Menu, left-click
Program, left-click Accessories, left-click Entertainment, then left-click Sound Recorder.
Once you have started the AVSync or Sound Recorder program, left-click the Record button, talk
for about 20 seconds, then left-click the Stop button and left-click the Play button.
If you want to record a second or subsequent session, you need to left-click the File menu item,
then left-click the New menu item to start a new recording. Now follow the steps above to do a
new recording.
Depending on whether you are happy with the sound, you may need to adjust the playback
volume, the record volume and in some rare cases, you may have to uncheck the MIC Boost box.
Important Note: If you do the test with the Microsoft Sound Recorder, you may find that the
sound is better than when recording with either the real-time or AVSync program. This is due to
the fact that the Sound Recorder program default recording is 16-bit stereo (CD quality sound)
while AristoCAT uses 8-bit monaural (telephone quality sound) in order to keep the sound files as
small as possible.
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