Recording the Audio From a Sermon

The first part of posting sermons online is to record them. You can of course bring in a digital recorder and record it that way. However, that would lead to very bad sound quality. The best way to get good audio is to have your pastor use a microphone, and record the sermon off the sound system. Your pastor can use a stage microphone, a lapel microphone, or a neat little wireless headset. Use your sound system to catch the audio, because it is made to produce good quality sound. The sound board should have output port. Most have a dedicated one for the specific purpose of recording things, but in a pinch, you can use the headphone jack. The port will probably be for a 1/4 audio jack. Most things that will record your audio will need a 1/8 audio jack, so you’ll have to drive to Radio Shack to buy a converter.



Once you have your sound board hooked up, you’ll need to record it to something. I have heard of people recording to an MP3 player, but I prefer to record to a computer. With a computer you can verify that the sermon is being recorded from within the program, and it is easy to make a backup copy on the same computer. Most churches use a computer for projecting songs on a screen, so there is usually one already available. You do not have to worry about the recording taking too much of your computer’s resources. Recording audio is surprisingly not that computer intensive. Just start the recording program and minimize it and do whatever else you have to do with the computer.

Take the 1/8 audio jack and plug it into your computer’s audio-in or microphone port. The blue one is the audio-in port, and the pink one is the microphone port. The audio-in will output whatever it hears to the speakers, while the microphone will not. So if you want to have headphones plugged into the computer, and hear what it is recording, plug into the audio-in. If you want to play other music or sounds off the computer, use the microphone port.

The program I like to use to record sermons is Audacity. It can be downloaded for free here. When you have the program open, click edit-> preferences. Make sure your recording device is set correctly. If you’re not sure which one it is, just do some trial and error until it works correctly.

Have someone speak into a microphone and press the record button. If you see a waveform, you are recording.  Once done, click the stop button.

I like to save the project to a flash drive so I can edit it at home. It takes a long time to clean up the audio recording. Go to “file->save project as” and save the project to your flash drive. There should be a .aup file and a folder with the same name as your project, in your flash drive. You need both to edit your sermon recording.

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