Digital Media Lab

This guide will show you what technology is available in the Digital Media Lab and will provide you with resources for creating digital media project

Audio Recording Studio

The recording studio in the Digital Media Lab allows for up to 4 students to record audio using a multitrack interface. This means that each microphone is recorded individually, allowing for volume adjustments during and after recording as well as individually editing what was recorded by each microphone.

Individuals and groups can use the recording studio to record an episode of a podcast, an interview, an oral history or any other audio project. This setup could also be used to record voice over for a slide or video presentation.

The recording studio set up uses a 4-channel sound mixer that is plugged into the iMac computer. Recording can be done using the programs Adobe Audition and Garage Band. 


Instructions

Directions for setting up a multitrack recording session using the program Adobe Audition can be found below.

  1. Log on to the iMac using your network log in

The microphones are designed to work with the iMac computer. The microphones are not connected to the Windows PC.

  1. Open Adobe Audition

You will find the Adobe Audition software by clicking on the Launchpad icon. This icon is grey with a black rocket matching the image below.

MAC TIP: All applications will be found using Launchpad. When you click on Launchpad a window will open that contains icons for applications as well as folders containing groups of applications. There can be multiple pages in Launchpad. If the program you are looking for is not available on the initial window you can scroll to the next window by click and dragging the screen with the mouse OR clicking on the white dots at the bottom of the window.


The Adobe Audition application uses an icon that is a teal blue square with the letters Au. Look for the icon that resembles the image below.
  

Please Note when opening Adobe Audition: If you get a pop-up message that asks for access to the microphones click on YES.
  1. Check System Settings

Once Adobe Audition is open you will need to check your system settings to make sure the program will recognize the microphones. Follow these simple steps to check you system settings.

Click on the Adobe Auditions CC menu option at the top of the screen. Then click on Preferences, then Audio Hardware... (See the screenshot below)

(click on image to enlarge)

shows steps outlined in text above

With the Audio Hardware Preferences menu open, click on the drop-down option for Default Input: then Default Output: and select Steinberg UR44 for both. (See the screen shot below)

(click on image to enlarge)

image showing settings outlined in text above

Once you have selected the Steinberg UR44 as the default audio source you can close the Preferences menu. 

  1. Start a new project

Click on File at the top of the screen. Then click on New, then Multitrack Session... (See screenshot for further help)

(click on image to enlarge)

shows the instructions outlined in text above

Name your file and select where you want it to save to. Click on Browse to select a specific folder or location.

WARNING: Files saved on the desktop may be deleted after you log off the computer. Chose a more stable location to save your work, such as a flash drive, OneDrive or another cloud-based service.

  1. Select "Multitrack" and enable multitrack recording

Find this option in the upper left of the window. Note that Multitrack may already be selected when you open a new project.

When selected the word Multitrack and the icon will be a teal blue color as seen in the screenshot below.

(click on image to enlarge)
shows the instructions outlined in text above

  1. Select input device for each track that will be recorded

The following instructions will allow each microphone to record in individual tracks. The microphones and the sound mixer are labeled as Microphone 1, Microphone 2 and so on. In Adobe Audition these microphones are labeled as [01M], [02M] and so on. In other words, when you see [01M] on the computer that corresponds with the microphone labeled as Microphone 1.

In Adobe Audition, find where it says Track 1 in the column that runs down the middle of the screen. There's a green horizontal bar next to where it says Track 1. Underneath this title there's an arrow pointing to the right and text that says "Default Stereo Input". Click on this text, then click on Mono then click on [01M] (See the screenshot below). This step will connect track 1 with Microphone 1.

(click on image to enlarge)
shows steps outlined in text above


Repeat these steps for all microphones that will be used by selecting [02M] for track 2, and so forth.

  1. Select the R button on each track that will be used

For each of the tracks you will find small letters M S R I. These are next to the track number. Click on the R. When selected, the R will turn red (See screenshot below). This turns the microphone on. 

(click on image to enlarge)
showing the steps outlined in the text above

  1. Check levels

Put on the headphones and check the sound levels of the microphones by speaking into the microphones. Adjust on the mixer for quiet or loud talkers.

The mixer is the gray and black box on the right corner of the computer desk, just to the right of the iMac. The brand name is Steinberg. The knob for Channel 1 controls the microphone labeled Microphone 1. Turn the Channel 1 knob to the right to make it louder and to the left to reduce the volume. The power for the mixer should be on.
The mixer has power when the white light next to the word POWER is glowing. 
The volume of your recording will probably come out a bit quieter then you anticipate. It is suggested that you keep the volume turned up on the mixer while recording even if it seems loud when you are checking the levels.
  1. Push the RECORD button to begin recording

The record button is the red circle near the bottom of the screen (see Screenshot)

play, stop, record buttons

  1. Record audio

Record your audio by speaking clearly into the microphones.

TIP: You can start and stop your recordings as much as needed within the Adobe Audition program. Each time you hit stop your audio recording will split into an individual segment. Editing audio in Adobe Audition may be difficult if you have never done it before. If editing is needed look for tutorials on YouTube or ask a librarian to see if anyone would be able to help.
  1. Push the STOP button to end recording

The stop button is the grey square near the bottom of the screen in the same row as the record button. The stop button is on the far left of these controls (see Screenshot)

play, stop, record buttons

  1. Save audio file

When finished recording, click on the File menu option at the top of the screen. Select Export, then Mixdown. (See Screenshot). Save to an appropriate location, such as a flash drive, OneDrive or other cloud-based service

(click on image to enlarge)

shopwing steps outlined in text

It is suggested that you save your file as one of the following file types:

.wav
.mp3
.aiff

Audio files can be played using most media players, such as iTunes or Windows Media Player. You can also import your audio into video editing software, attach it into Canvas or upload the audio to an online streaming audio website such as SoundCloud. If you will be uploading your audio file to a specific application, Canvas or other website be sure to first check which file types are supported.

Audio Editing Software

Audio Editing Software Available

adobe audition logo

Adobe Audition

Garage band logo

Garage Band