Editing a digital voice recording: Overview

June 1, 2008

The two articles following this one detail how I created my first digital voice recording and edited it using Audacity. As I didn’t know how to use the hardware or the software, there was some learning involved. To save me time in the future—and to help you out in case you ever have to do something similar—I’ve documented my ‘newbie’ steps.

Please note: DO NOT edit your original file—make at least one copy and edit the copy. That way you can always go back to the source file if you make any serious mistakes.


Earlier this year I purchased a cheap ‘no name’ digital voice recorder (DVR). I spent a little time figuring out how it worked (the instructions were really bad) and tested it by recording small snippets. My goal was to record my conference presentation at the WritersUA Conference in March, convert it to MP3, and make it available as a download from my website.

However, in addition to the bad instructions, the DVR recorded a lot of background noise if I didn’t have it close to my mouth. Even then, the sound quality was acceptable, but only just. This was not going to be good for a conference presentation as I had hoped to put the DVR on the lecturn or in my pocket. I figured that I needed a clip-on ‘radio mike’ (there was an outlet for an external microphone on the DVR), so when I was in the US I purchased one from Radio Shack and tested it out.

I successfully recorded my presentation (WAV file) and downloaded it to my computer. I also downloaded and installed Audacity and the LAME MP3 converter (both free).

When I tried to open the DVR WAV file in Audacity, I got an error message that the file format was not recognised. It seems some DVRs record a ‘WAV’ file, but it’s not a true WAV file.

Continue to Part 1: Converting the DVR WAV file and Part 2: Editing in Audacity.

One comment

  1. […] official newsletter/blog of CyberText Consulting – technical communication specialists « Editing a digital voice recording: Overview Editing a digital voice recording: 1: Converting the WAV file June 1, 2008 Audacity […]

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