How to Get a Computer Microphone to Work

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Computer microphones either plug into the red microphone port or into the USB connection, and by opening a recording device, one is able to test the microphone's capability to register sound. Get a computer microphone to work, adjusting the levels to create the best sound amplification, with IT help from a software developer in this free video on computers.

Part of the Video Series: Computers & Laptops
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Dave Andrews. Today I'm going to show you how to get a computer microphone to work. There's several different types of computer microphones you can buy. There's either going to be ones that use an 1/8th of an inch connector, which is just like this one that I'm holding up, right here. Basically, if you can see, if you measured this out it would be 1/8th of an inch. Basically this will plug into the front of your computer in most computers, in most cases. There's going to be a little picture of a microphone. It could also be a red port. That's how they color-code the microphone import, is red. You just basically pop that in there and your microphone is connected and then we'll go onto the second step. There's also a different type of microphone which is a USB microphone. And you would just take it and plug it into your USB connection. Now, once your microphone is plugged in, what we're going to do is go down here at the very bottom to our little sound/volume mixer here, and we're going to right-click on it, and it'll say recording devices. This pulls up a list of the recording devices that are on your computer. I have a microphone here and as you can see, as I snap my fingers or as I talk, clap, this little mixer right here on the side is going to register a sound, and that's basically letting you know that your microphone is working. Now once you know that you're getting data through this mixer right here, you're probably going to want to modify the levels that you're recording. To do so, just right click on microphone. Let's go to properties, and then we want to select levels. Now this will decide, basically, how amplified the data that's coming in from your microphone should be when you're doing your computer recording. By default it's going to be 100. I suggest you bring it down to around 85 or 90, and that might reduce a lot of the gain levels that you'll get when you're recording. My name is Dave Andrews, and I've just showed you how to get a computer microphone to work.

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