Audio can come in one of two forms, analog or digital. Recording audio at this point in time is generally done using digital technology. If you would like to make an original audio recording, you can use digital audio recorders which are available to record onto memory cards that can be immediately read by a computer. An example of a digital audio recorder is this Zoom H1 recorder. It sells for about $100 and is shaped kind of like a handheld microphone. It records audio to a micro-SD card. You can then connect via USB cable to transfer your audio recordings to your computer.
You can also record directly to a digital file on your computer by using a microphone connected to the computer’s audio input port or by using a USB headset microphone. These can be purchased for around $50 or less. We recommend one from Sennheiser – the PC 151 Binaural Headset with Noise-Canceling Microphone. Logitech makes some nice, inexpensive headset microphones like the H390 model.
Other microphones have what is known as a mini-plug (1/8″ or 3.5 mm connector). They are either stereo or mono. Stereo microphones are obviously preferred because they record to both left and right audio channels. The mini-plug gets connected into the audio port in the appropriately labeled jack.
While the name of this section is Audio Recording, for some people, the process of creating digital audio comes from digitizing existing recordings. They don’t have to record anything because the audio already exists – usually in an analog form like an audio tape, or phonograph record. The audio may also exist in a digital form, like an audio CD, but before we can do anything with it, we need to transfer the audio from the CD to the computer. More on that in the Audio Digitizing section.