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Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Sound Recorder

Windows comes with a generous assortment of sound files you can use as error beeps. But no error beep is as delightful as one you’ve made yourself—of your 2-year-old saying, “Nope!” for example, or your own voice saying, “Dang it!”

Using Sound Recorder (Figure 11-9) requires a sound card, speakers, and a microphone. If your PC is appropriately equipped, you can use this little program to record various snippets of your life, which can serve a number of purposes, including becoming error beeps.

Recording a New Sound

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open Sound Recorder.

    For example, on the Start screen, start typing sound until Sound Recorder pops up in the results list. Select it. The window shown in Figure 11-9 appears.

  2. Click Start Recording. Make the sound, and then click Stop Recording as soon as possible thereafter.

    If you see the green animated bar dance in the Sound Recorder window, great; that’s your VU (sound level) meter. It tells you that the PC is hearing you. If you don’t see this graphic, however, then the sound isn’t getting through. Most likely, the problem is that your PC control panel isn’t set to record the appropriate sound source. Visit the Control Panel and open the Sound panel to investigate.

    As soon as you click Stop Recording, the Save As box appears.

  3. Type a name for your sound file in the “File name” text box, choose a folder for it, and then click the Save button.

    You’ve just created a .wma file, a standard kind of Windows sound file.

What to Do with Sounds

When ...

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