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Digital Audio: Working with Royalty Free Sound Clip Collections


Locate the sound clip you want to work with

1. Launch the "Sound Effects" Vol. 1, Vol. 2, or "Music Loops" Browser. If you are on a PISD networked workstation these icons are located in the "Multimedia" or "Classroom Tools" directory from your district desktop window.

One of the benefits of using any of the sound effects or music loops from this particular FTP publishing group set, is that you may use them, "royalty free" (copyright-friendly) in your classroom-based multimedia projects, as this is part of the license agreement included with them.

After the sound clips "browser" is launched your window should look similar to this:

2. With a pair of headphones or speakers properly attached to your workstation, use the "search" feature of the sound clips browser, or navigate through the alphabetical listing, to try out the various clips.

3. When you locate a sound clip or music loop that you would like to use or work with, click the "Save" button, located in the upper right hand corner of the browser's windows. Remember, before clicking the Save button, first, give your sound clip a short file name. (So you can remember what it is later.) Do not use any spaces in the name. Second, be sure that you "navigate" to the location (drive and/or directory) that you wish to save the file to. (So you can find it later.) You may want to create a new directory, like "my audio clips" or "sound files", on your "h: drive", for saving your sound clips to. When you have selected the location you want to save to, click "Save"!

4. Your file is now ready to work with using Audacity or Sound Companion and/or ready to insert into applications like PowerPoint, HyperStudio, Premiere Elements, Flash, etc. If you want to edit or combine the sound file with another, you will want to open Audacity or Sound Companion and continue with the instructions below. Many times, the sound clips, from the FTC collection, are ready to insert directly into applications without editing. For detailed instructions on inserting sound clips into applications, see the section of this Web site, called, Inserting Clips.

Working with a selected sound clip

1. Start Sound Companion. It is a sound tool that is located in the "Multimedia" or "Classroom Tools" directory on your desktop.



After launching the program, maximize its main window by clicking on the hollow box in the upper right hand corner of the window. Your desktop should now look similar to this:

2. Go to the File menu and select "Open". Navigate to the location that the sound file was saved to. Highlight the file, and click the "Open" button. The Sound Companion window will now look similar to this:

3. You may want to change the "Sound Format" in order to save file space. In the Sound Companion main window, go to the Sound menu and select Sound Format or click on the "settings" box in the lower left hand corner of the window. Depending on the use and nature of the sound clip you are preparing, choose the settings you would like to use. To see some recommended guidelines refer to "settings" on the Intro & Terms page in this Web site. When done with the settings, click the Ok button to close the Sound Format window.

4. There are several effects and techniques that can be applied to sound clips using "Sound Companion". When you are finshed with applying any changes to the file, proceed with saving it. Remember, if you want to preserve your original, then choose "Save As" and give your edited file a different name.

Saving the File

5. Depending on the speed of the computer you are working on, and how long your sound clip is, don't be surprised if you see the "hour glass" for a few moments, while Sound Companion processes the recorded clip. When it is done you will see a screen similar to this:

6. To test (hear) your file, make sure that you have some headphones or speakers set up and plugged into the correct port (spkr out) on your computer's sound card (located at the back of the computer). You also may need to adjust the Windows "Volume" slider, by clicking once on the sound icon in the lower right corner of your desktop and adjusting. (Some headphones/speakers also have their own volume controls to adjust as well).

7. When ready to listen, click the cursor once, at the beginning of the "yellow" sound clip (wave), and then click the black triangle-shaped Play button at the lower left of the Sound Companion window.

Note: You can start the playback of a sound file, from any position along the sound wave. Just click the cursor at the point you want to start listening from. Also, you may want to here only a certain "portion" of your sound clip. Do this by highlighting the portion of the sound wave you wish to hear and then clicking the play button.

8. Your file is now ready to insert into applications like PowerPoint, HyperStudio, VideoWave, etc. For detailed instructions on inserting your sound clips into applications, see the section of this Web site, called, Inserting Clips.

This page last modified 7-11-05.

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