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Home theatre systems, computer audio, how to record audio, home entertainment systems.
The Audio page and the Video page work together, so you may find related topics on either page.
Recording Audio On Your Computer
If you have a reasonable quality sound card in your computer, get a small switch box from Radio Shack or similar retailer. These usually come with an average of four inputs. Connect the output of the switch box to the line in of your sound card.
Then connect your audio devices that you want to record from to the inputs on this switch box. For example, a cassette player can be connected to input #1, a dvd player to #2 and so on. Any normal audio input you choose can be connected easily.
Then when it comes time to use your favourite program for audio recording, just select the source by pushing the button on the switch box. The sound cards on screen volume controls will still control levels to the various programs you decide to use. If you are making VCDs or DVDs, this allows you to get sound from a cassette, mic, or whatever at the push of a button without switching a bunch of cables.
Note: Do not use the switch box for switching inputs while recording or you will record a loud pop noise. If you need to change inputs during the recording process use a mixer as mentioned below.
One important note: Use good quality cables (the thick kind). They are more expensive, but you will end up with less hassles from interference and hums that normal cables often create.
Get A Mixer
If you do a lot of movie making, or dub a lot of old cassettes or albums to digital format, get a small audio mixer. Yes these are the same kind that DJs use for dances and such. Plug your cassette decks, turntables and mics into the mixer. The mixer output is directly connected to the sound card line in.
Or if you want the flexability that the switch box above uses, you could connect the mixer output to one of the switch box's inputs and select the mixer that way.
Using a mixer gives you crossfade capability, cue circuits, level meters and much more, depending on the model of mixer you buy. I have used this setup for some time and it works very well for most home video/audio projects.
USB Turntable - USB truntables are becoming readily available at various prices. This seems like a simple and good idea, but if you check other web sites on the topic there are negative issues. For example, on many of them you cannot hear the sound while you are recording. I would always want to monitor the sound I am recording.
I have not used one, preferring the control and quality of the above mentioned components. Many of us already have turntables and cassette decks we have used in the past. Why not put them to good use?
* Is 6.1 better than 5.1
When I first upgraded, my new system had a connection for a rear centre speaker. My previous unit did not. When I went through the configuration and setup, it would always say center speaker off. That bugged me. Would a center speaker even be noticable? After several weeks I broke down and purchased a matching center speaker for the rear and set it up according to instructions.
Is it noticable, is it worth it? The answer is a definite yes. Not all programs have information that can be fed to the rear center channel, but those that do are awesome. Most Dolby and DTS programs have center rear information. It is most effective when in a club or restaurant setting, where you can hear people chatting all around you. Or in scenes where traffic is passing behind you and you hear the vehicles go through the entire sound field. Also when there is a sound that goes diagonal from left front to right rear or left rear to right front.
In summary, 6.1 puts you in the center of the sound field and the experience is very real.