How to Record Audio on your Computer or Phone

You may find that there's not normally a reason for you to record some sort of audio, but it can be really useful, whether for the purposes of updating the IVR recording on your Entity communications system, taking notes during a meeting or a little voice memo reminding you of something you need to do...

...because it may not be something you do every day, it's likely not an everyday skill for you. 

This article is intended to be a reference for you to remind you how to make recordings on a range of devices.

macOS on your Mac

If you have an Apple MacBook, an iMac or a Mac Mini, you can create a recording easily using a built-in app that comes with Mac OS X, without having to download any third-party utilities. QuickTime, which you may only have used for watching movies and videos is able to record video, screen, and audio too!

You can record any audio from a microphone using this method, whether from a built-in microphone or an external microphone.

  • Open QuickTime Player, found in the Applications folder by:
    • Clicking on your Desktop so that the word "Finder" appears in the top left corner next to the  Apple logo and go to Applications;
    • Click on your Desktop as above and go to the Go menu and select Applications; or
    • Click on the Finder icon on your dock and then press the following keys in order: ⌘-SHIFT-A.
  • Open the “File” menu and choose “New Audio Recording”
  • Click the red Record button to start recording audio from the default microphone source.
  • When you have completed your recording, click the same red button to stop recording sound.
  • Open the “File” menu and choose “Save”, name the file and choose to save it somewhere that is convenient to you (usually the Downloads or Desktop folder).

The file you just created will be an m4a file, a high-quality compressed audio format that is widely recognized, allowing it to be played on just about anything, whether it’s a Mac, iTunes, Windows PC, iPhone and iPad, or even an Android phone.

Another good option to record sound on a Mac is to use Garageband, which has many more audio editing features, but it can get complicated very quickly if you simply want to record a quick sound bite or a conversation. Additionally, while Garageband is bundled free on some Macs, it is a paid program for others.

iOS on your iPhone or iPad

Similar to your Mac, you have a choice of built-in apps, including GarageBand. The benefit of the iOS version of GarageBand is that it's significantly simpler to use than it's big brother on the Mac. In this article, we'll cover Voice Memos.

Using Voice Memos

  • Open Voice Memos by tapping its app icon:
  • Tap the "Record" button. It's a red circle at the bottom of the screen. Doing so prompts Voice Memos to begin recording.
  • Expand the recording menu. Tap the grey, horizontal bar at the top of the recording menu, which is about halfway up the screen, to do so. You should see the menu pop up and display a sound wave in the middle of the screen.
  • Record your sound bite. The iPhone's microphones are located both at the top of the phone and at the bottom of the phone, so point one end of your iPhone toward the audio source that you want to record.
  • Pause and resume recording as needed. If you need to pause your audio for a moment, tap the red "Pause" icon at the bottom of the screen. You can then tap RESUME at the bottom of the screen to resume the recording.
  • Re-record a segment of audio. If you want to record over a section that you already recorded, do the following:
    • Pause the recording by tapping the red "Pause" button at the bottom of the screen.
    • Tap and drag from left to right across the sound wave in the middle of the screen to navigate to the section you want to replace.
    • Tap REPLACE at the bottom of the screen, then record the audio you want to use.
  • Tap the "Pause" icon if necessary. If Voice Memos is currently recording, you'll need to tap the red "Pause" button at the bottom of the screen before proceeding.
  • Tap Done. It's in the bottom-right corner of the screen. Doing so will stop the recording and save it to the Voice Memos page.
  • Change the recording's name. If you want to edit the recording's name (which, by default, will be "Home", "Home 1", "Home 2", etc.), do the following:
    • Tap the recording's name to expand it.
    • Tap ⋯ in the bottom-left corner of the recording's name.
    • Tap Edit Recording.
    • Tap the recording's current name, then delete it.
    • Type in the name you want to use.
    • Tap return in the keyboard, then tap Done in the bottom-right corner.
  • Record and save audio quickly. If you need to record something in a hurry, you can open the Voice Memos app and do the following to record without the ability to pause and resume:
    • Tap the red, circular "Record" button to begin recording audio.
    • Record your audio as necessary.
    • Tap the red, square "Stop" button to stop the recording and save the audio.

Android on your Samsung phone or tablet

Unfortunately, the design of Android's ecosystem means that different Android devices can have totally different methods of doing the same thing. On a Samsung device, however, you can have a pretty standard method of recording sound bites:

  • From your Samsung Home screen, navigate: Apps  > Memo.
  • Tap the Add icon + (located in the lower-right).
  • Tap Voice (located at the top).
  • Tap the Record icon (red dot located below memo) to begin recording.
  • When finished, tap the Stop icon (square icon) to discontinue recording.
  • From the Enter title field, enter a title for the recording then tap SAVE (located in the upper-right).
  • Tap the appropriate memo then tap the Play icon (triangle).
    • If necessary, press the Volume buttons up or down to adjust the volume.
    • To delete a sound file:
      • Touch and hold the file name.
      • Tap DELETE.
      • Tap DELETE to confirm.

Windows 10 on your Laptop or Desktop Computer

Your Windows 10 installation will likely have Voice Recorder already installed. If you don't have it, you can install it with these steps:

  • Open the Windows menu by opening the Start Menu (or pressing ).
  • Open the Microsoft Store and search for Windows Voice Recorder.
  • Click on the Get button.
  • Once you complete these steps, you can launch the app to start recording audio on your desktop, laptop, or tablet.

Once you have Voice Recorder installed on your computer, make sure the microphone is connected (if applicable), and use these steps:

  • Open the Windows menu by opening the Start Menu (or pressing ).
  • Search for Video Recorder, and open the app.
  • Click the Record button.
  • Click the Stop button to terminate the voice recording session.

After you complete these steps, the audio will save automatically using a .m4a file format in the "Sound recordings" folder inside your "Documents" folder.

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