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Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Panther Edition by David Pogue

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Recording Sound

If you hope to record new sounds, you’ll need a microphone. Your microphone situation depends on the kind of Mac you have:

  • iMac, eMac, PowerBook, white iBook. You have a built-in microphone, usually a tiny hole near the screen. This microphone couldn’t be more convenient: it’s always with you, and always turned on.

  • Original iBook, Cube, recent Power Macs. You can plug in an external USB microphone (the Apple Products Guide at http://www.guide.apple.com offers a list) or use an adapter (such as the iMic, http://www.grifflntechnology.com ) that accommodates a standard microphone.

  • Older Power Macs. These models came with a gray, half-cone-shaped microphone called the PlainTalk microphone. You’ll flnd a corresponding miniplug jack for it on the back. Note, however, that the PlainTalk mike’s pin is slightly longer than a standard miniplug. Standard microphones don’t work in a Mac without an adapter like the NE Mic from http://www.grifflntechnology.com

Tip

No matter what model you have, an Apple iSight videoconferencing camera works great as a microphone.

Top: To summon the Record Voice controls, click the Audio button. If your microphone is correctly hooked up, the Record Voice button (indicated here by the cursor) is available. (Otherwise, it’s dimmed.) Just beside the button is a live “VU” level meter. Test your setup by speaking into the microphone. If this meter twitches in response, you’re ready to record. Bottom: Your recording takes the form of a colored bar labeled Voice at the bottom of the screen. (Click the clock icon tab if you don’t see it.)

Figure 14-2. Top: To summon the Record Voice controls, click the Audio button. If your microphone is correctly hooked up, the Record Voice button (indicated here by the cursor) is available. (Otherwise, it’s dimmed.) Just beside the button is a live “VU” level meter. Test your setup by speaking into the microphone. If ...

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