Information re Audacity please

Hi. I have just joined the forum so please bear with me if my questions seem basic. I am a volunteer reader with the Talking Newspaper organisation.
To be more specific, I record onto memory sticks WAV & MP3, books etc for people who are visually impaired to listen to. I have to go to a small studio to record and the system there is ADOBE.
At home I operate on Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit. Can I down load Audacity and will I be able to use it in the same way as Adobe? Also if this is possible, what other equipment,i.e. microphone, headsets etc, will I need?
Thank you.

Yes, but the restriction is normally not the microphone. Recording in a normal home room quickly fails to the sound of the cat ripping up the sofa and the 15 year old refrigerator pump kicking in. Then there’s that Metrobus and traffic noise outside the window. Noises and echoes kill more home performances than anything else and it’s rough to fix.

What equipment does the formal studio have?

I record performance tracks in Audacity all the time. That’s not a problem. It’s not as talented as Audition, but you generally don’t need much to make a simple recording.


Hi kozikowski. Thank you for your superspeed and informative response. Take your point about exterior noises affecting recording. Especially the one about the CAT!!!
The studio is also in a house but the room has been extremely well soundproofed. The equipment is merely a normal PC (Dell) that you wouild have at home. It uses ADOBE Reader, and all in all works very well. I am not thinking to replace the system i.e. save myself time by not having to travel to the studio, but more to use it to rehearse, and put some of my own work on flash drives.
Best wishes

The studio is also in a house but the room has been extremely well soundproofed.

So they knew what they were doing. I have a third bedroom that has been soundproofed by the drummer who lived here before me.

What is your budget? I use the very well behaved Line-In on my Mac and a Peavey PV6 sound mixer and I have an AKG 414. I know people who use an Electrovoice RE20.

And one vocal recordist that is using a Rode NT-1. He’s the one with a closet filled with quilts to get rid of the room noise.


Have you considered getting a digital sound recorder device and doing the recordings on that. They usually support both WAV and MP3 file types and can be connected to your PC as a USB storage device after recording in order to transfer the WAV/MP3 file into the computer. There are many different makes and types out there, ranging in price from about 100GBP to over 1000GBP. (Sorry I cannot give you prices in US dollars, I’m UK-based). If you went down this route, all of Koz’s comments about unwanted household noises would still apply.

Sony, Tascam, Marrantz.

The Zoom recorders are very well thought of. There tends to be a lack of used machines on the market because they’re never out of work. H1, H2, I think they’re up to H4 now.


The Zoom’s started at H4 and have come steadily down: H2 to H1.

A great big vote of thanks to everyone for replying to my call for info. You have certainly given a lot to think about! I am in the UK so I would appreciate the names/makes/suppliers of digital recording equipment.

I’m UK based, too. Just Google for “digital sound recorder” and you’ll get loads of hits. I’ve heard nothing but good first-hand reports on all the Zoom models (made by Samson) and the Edirol product range. Some folks are happy with the offerings from Olympus and Sony; others have been unhappy with results from some of their offerings. Anything from Tascam should be good as they are a big player in the semi-pro and pro arena. I’ve just had a quick Google and found items priced from £17 upwards. However, remember the truism: you get what you pay for!

Good hunting!

Thank you PGA.

Dear Tanny

I have got exactly the same problem! I am also working in NGO creating Audioguides and Audiobooks for blined and visualy impaired. Now we got fundings to recored a series of audio books. But I will need to do it in the schools so no studio rather silent rooms and recorder probably Zoom H4n with extermal micro. If you got a good solution for youre problem can you give me some advices. ( Leo KEKC (at) GMX. NET )