Recording Talks
Quick & Simple Guide

1. Download dBpowerAMP Music Converter (db). Click to Download
Click here for their DBpowerAMP - wma and other codexs are freely available from them.

Download the the LAME codecs - this is the mp3 encoding plugin for the above converter
Click to Download

3. Download a sound recording utility like Audacity Click to Download

4. Buy an audio jack to audio jack cable - plug the one end into your hi-fi set and the other end into your sound card at the back of your PC - either the line-in or microphone connector.

5. Load up the sound recorder utility, eg. Audacity or Sound Forge.

6. Place the casette tape into your hi-fi set and press play

7. Click on record on your pc, a chart should display sound levels - make sure these remain at a level between 40% and 90% for normal speech or else the sound may be too soft or too loud and become distorted.

8. When the tape reaches the end, turn it over and let the recorder carry on recording.

9. When the talk reaches the end, click stop on the recorder.

10. Go to the place in the recording where you turned over the tape, highlight the sound wave where this occurs and press delete to cut out this part.

11. Save the talk as a .wav file.

12. Run dBpowerAMP Music Converter and load the .wav file.

13. Select the file to open it, and then choose mp3 (lame) to convert the file.

14. Change bitrate to 32 kbps, for advanced options choose Constant bitrate, preset - quality = high

15. Set Channels to Mono, Frequency to 32000 Hz (Volume Normalize is optional but recommended although it increase the time needed for converting files)

16. Choose an output folder and click on Convert to proceed.

17. Name the mp3 files to include both speaker name and the complete talk title.

16. For collections, number them from 01... 02... 03... to 21... etc.
This means they will load correctly in an mp3 player.


1. Instead of Audioactive Production Studio you can also use dBpowerAMP Music Converter (db). Click to Download
Click here for their DBpowerAMP - wma and other codexs are freely available from them.

For converting a wav file to an mp3 using non-studio software, like db, you will also have to
Click to Download the LAME codecs.

3. If the sound is too soft, you will need to use a function called normalise which brings the sound waves up to maximum - this option is available with db.

4. When recording, it's best to choose mono - this is not only to save space, but balance is achieved when recordings are poor. Otherwise the right channel could be loud and the left soft, making it uncomfortable to listen to.

5. When recording, don't stop the pc recorder while changing sides. Carry on recording until the tape comes to the end. Then examine the sound waves - a large blank space appears where you changed side. Highlight this area and press delete. This will neatly join side 1 with side 2.

6. Sound levels - keep the Microphone volume on Volume Control low, and boost the incoming signal by increasing the volume on your hi-fi set. This will reduce the background noise levels. A setting between 25 and 40% is best.

7. Using the above settings shown in the diagram, results in mp3 filesizes of 6 to 12mb depending on talk length. This means you can fit about 70 talks on a single computer cd.

Click to Download LAME (Binary)
Mp3 Software Engine
0.17 mb
Click to Download dBpowerAMP Music Converter
Converts audio files to various formats
1.5 mb