Thursday, June 14, 2007

How to record audio of your sermons using your computer.

Churches today are almost expected to have audio recordings of all services. Yet, not every pastor has the know how or the equipment or the time to do so. I thought I'd setup a little, simple guide to help any pastor setup in recording the audio.

With Sound Equipment/Sound Board
Computer OS - Windows

Recommended Recording programs
- Mp3 My Mp3 Recorder 2
I've used this program on several occasions and have found it to work the best for me when I needed to record audio from one of our church services.

Recommended Audio Editor programs
- Audacity
Audacity is a popular audio editor and it is quite simple to use. It offers several effects that will allow you to amplify, remove noise, change speed, pitch, etc. of your audio file. You can also export it into the mp3 format.

Recommended CD creator program - Windows Media Player
You've most likely already have it on your computer, so it's the simple choice when it comes to burner your CDs. There are other alternatives, but for simplicity's sake will stay with Windows Media Player.

Setup instructions:
Begin by connecting your desktop computer or laptop to your soundboard. Usually, you will need a cable (like this one) to connect your computer to your soundboard. Our church's soundboard has a audio out that uses RCA jacks. With the cable mentioned before, I use these connections and plug the other end into my computer's Mic input. At this point, I open Mp3 My Mp3 and make sure the input is set to Mic input. Start recording and let the services begin!
Afterwards, you can open the file that you just made with Mp3 My Mp3 with Audacity and edit out dead spots, remove announcements, etc. to help make a more professional production. Once you are done you can export the file to the mp3 format and you can save it to be burned onto a CD disk later after you've recorded enough messages for one disk.
Use Windows Media Player to burn your CD as you probably already have it on your computer. It would probably help to create a playlist before your burn as your can easily set the order of your messages.

I don't have a sound board what should I do?
Try finding a digital voice recorder. I have used my Palm Lifedrive and an attachment for my iPod called TuneTalk from Belkin. Both have worked effectively enough for me when I travel and speak out. They are not perfect options, but again you don't have a sound system.

I have a Mac computer what programs would I use?
While I have not personally tested this method, I will be soon. I recommend downloading Audio Recorder 3.1 which is a simple audio recording program that I have found. If simple is not for you, you can use GarageBand to record your service and with this program you can add special sound effects and what not to create a professional recording.

When you have completed your recording, you can use iTunes to burn it to a CD. Once again, I recommend building a playlist for your CD.

So that's about it for this tip. If you have any suggestions or better ways, then please do share. I have found this method for Windows to work well for me. As for the Mac, it will be tested and I am sure soon. Enjoy!


K. Woods OKC said...

Thank you so much, you have no idea how much you just helped me! As a member of the youth ministry, I extend full appreciation to you for assisting me. Thank you.