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Creating Audio Projects

The guide to recording and editing an audio project.

Borrow Cameras, Mics & More!

Library Makerspace Take & Make

The Cal Poly Humboldt Library has equipment for you to check out, free of charge. You can borrow anything for three days and can grab multiple items, including DSLR cameras, camcorders, GoPro cameras, tripods, digital audio recorders, microphones and more. You can ask for any of these items at the Checkout desk on the first floor.

If you have any questions about equipment, or other aspects of a digital project, we are happy to help! Contact us (the Makerspace) at makerspace@humboldt.edu.

RĂ˜DE VideoMic

Line drawing of Rode VideoMic shotgun mic, showing cold shoe mount, 3.5mm jack, and battery compartment.

This mic mounts directly to our DSLR cameras (Canon T6i and Nikon D3200). The RØDE VideoMic is a vast improvement over the DSLR built-in mics and is a directional mic that includes a high-pass filter to remove unwanted background noise. 

Can I check one out now?

What you need to get started

The mic itself is very simple but there are a few things you need to get going:

  • A 9V battery (included). DSLRs require powered mics, so make sure you have a backup for long projects.
  • The mic has a standard shoe mount to attach directly to the camera but also can be threaded onto a boom pole.
  • Turn on the high-pass filter to avoid picking up low-end noise like car traffic or air ducts.

How do I use this thing?!

AT875R Boom Mic

Line drawing of boom mic with foam and fuzzy wind screens.

Need to capture high-quality sound for your video project? Looking to record nature sounds for your audio PSA project? The Audio-Technica A875R shotgun mic will do the trick.

Can I check one out now?

What you need to get started

The mic itself is very simple (there isn't even an on/off switch!) but there are a few things you need to get going:

  • An XLR cable- the cylindrical connectors with the three prongs.
  • The mic will need a stand or a boom pole- both can be checked out from the library.
  • If you are recording to a digital device (like a smartphone, laptop or computer), you'll need the iRig Pre interface as well. Check out the iRig Pre Setup and Review video (8 mins) to learn how to use the AT875R with the iRig Pre.

How do I use this thing?!

Samson Meteor Podcast Kit

The Samson Meteor USB mic is great for recording your voice for a podcast or a Zoom session. The included cables allow you to plug this into almost any phone or tablet (Apple lightning, USB-C, mciro USB-B, and standard USB-A). Setting it up is extremely easy- simply plug it into the computer and go! This mic is digital and is powered by the USB.

Can I check one out now?

What you need to get started

The mic itself is very simple and is set up for digital recording, so there isn't a whole lot to do. Plug it in with the appropriate USB cable, open the stand and position it to face you (or the source). The cardioid mic will pick up whatever is in front of it. Plug in the headphones into the 3.5mm input to monitor your sound. The headphone volume and mute button are the only controls.

  • Connect the mic to a computer using the USB cable and it works! Doesn't require driver downloads.
    • Use the included iPhone/iPad lightning adapter cable to connect to an iOS device.
  • You may want to adjust settings or troubleshoot any issues through your computer's audio settings:

How do I use this thing?!

Blue Yeti Mic

Line drawing of Blue Yeti mic and USB cable

The Blue Yeti USB condenser mic is a great multi-purpose mic. Recording a podcast? Narrating a video? Conducting an interview? Need good quality sound for Zoom? With switchable pattern selecting, the Blue Yeti Condenser Mic is a very easy-to-use plug & play mic for a variety of projects.

Can I check one out now?

What you need to get started

The mic itself is very simple (there isn't even an on/off switch!) and is set up for digital recording, so there isn't a whole lot to do:

  • Connect the mic to a computer using the USB cable and it works! Doesn't require driver downloads.
  • You may want to adjust settings or troubleshoot any issues through your computer's audio settings:

How do I use this thing?!

Blue Snowball Mic

Line drawing of blue snowball with usb cable.

The Snowball USB mic is great for the desktop- recording your voice for a podcast or capturing a group for a Skype session. Setting it up is extremely easy- simply plug it into the computer and go! This mic is digital and is powered by the USB.

Can I check one out now?

What you need to get started

The mic itself is very simple (there isn't even an on/off switch!) and is set up for digital recording, so there isn't a whole lot to do:

  • Connect the mic to a computer using the USB cable and it works! Doesn't require driver downloads.
  • You may want to adjust settings or troubleshoot any issues through your computer's audio settings:

How do I use this thing?!

Movo PM-10 Lavalier Mic

Line drawing of lav mic with fuzzy wind screen and 3.5mm jack.

This lavalier microphone works with smartphones and tablets and will help you capture high quality audio for interviews. The mic is setup to work with smartphones- just plug it in and start talking. This mic will NOT work with the cameras or digital recorders.

Can I check one out now?

What you need to get started

This mic is simple- plug it into your phone or tablet and start using it. It will NOT work with other types of devices.

How do I use this thing?!

Lavalier mics are fairly simple but placement can be very important. This short video covers the topic well:

 

Zoom H4n Pro Digital Recorder

Line drawing of H4n recorder showing playback controls, headphone jack, built-in stereo mics, LCD display and USB jack.

The Zoom H4n Pro digital recorder allows you to capture quality audio easily but also has some advanced features that go well beyond the H1n. Two XLR/14" inputs allow you to plug in microphones and instruments. The included lavalier mics (one cardioid, one omnidirectional) can be great for interviews and other situations where you want to pickup more than one person at a time without sacrificing quality. The H4n Pro provides phantom power and a preamp, allowing you to use with a variety of microphones and will produce a better quality recording than plugging in a mic directly to most cameras. Some features are particularly useful to musicians. Built-in guitar amp models and effects allow you to use this a headphone amp that can also make recordings. The H4n Pro can also be used as an audio interface to use with a computer and digital audio workstation (DAW).

Can I check one out now?

Real-time availability info is not available yet- please email us (dml@humboldt.edu) or drop by the Checkout Desk to learn more.

What you need to get started

The H4n Pro is great for a wide range of audio recordings, including interviews, music, and video projects. As with it's more compact cousin the H1n, you can mount the H4n Pro to a tripod using the threaded mount on the back of the recorder. Unlike the H1n, however, the H4n Pro can record up to four tracks (four different mics/sources) simultaneously using the built in X-Y stereo mics and the two combo (XLR and 1/4") inputs at the base of the recorder. To power on, slide the switch on the right-hand side down and hold for 2-3 seconds. For simple recordings, hit the record button to stop/start recording (the light will turn on while recording). Use the buttons below the LCD screen to control playback.

For Musicians

The H4n Pro also can be used as a 2-input/2-output USB audio interface for PC or Mac. Recording multi-track to a DAW requires a more advanced technical setup, but the H4n Pro operation manual has helpful step-by-step instructions (p 31).

The Pre Amp module also has amp models for guitar and bass (both can be plugged directly into the H4n Pro). There are a wide range of amp models to choose from (instructions start on p 84; amp options listed on p 141).

It's also easy to export your audio tracks. Simply connect via the included USB cable or eject the Micro SD card. Instructions for using the USB cable to export recordings: 

  1. Connect the cable to your computer.
  2. Connect the cable to the recorder.
  3. On the recorder, select the ‘Card reader’ option.
  4. On your computer, look for the SD card drive. Within the card, the recordings are stored in the STEREO folder.

The included SD card (32GB) should provide enough storage for any recording project. You may want a backup SD card and/or batteries (2 x AA) if you have a very long project.

How do I use this thing?!

User Manuals & Guides

Videos to get you started

Zoom H1n Digital Recorder

Line drawing of H1n recorder including playback controls, 3.5mm input jack, and built in stereo mics.

The Zoom H1n digital recorder allows you to capture quality audio easily. If you don’t have a smartphone (or any room to add apps or files!) this is a great way to record. You can use the included USB cable to connect it to a computer or iOS device to use it as a microphone with any audio or video editing/recording software. Overdubbing capabilities make this a great option for recording music!

Can I check one out now?

What you need to get started

The recorder is great for interviews or for capturing high quality audio for your video projects. You can mount the recorder to a tripod using the threaded mount on the back of the recorder. To power on, slide the switch on the right-hand side down and hold for 2-3 seconds. Hit the record button to stop/start recording (the light will turn on while recording). Use the buttons below the LCD screen to control playback.

It's also easy to export your audio tracks. Simply connect via the included USB cable or eject the Micro SD card. Instructions for using the USB cable to export recordings: 

  1. Connect the cable to your computer.
  2. Connect the cable to the recorder.
  3. On the recorder, select the ‘Card reader’ option.
  4. On your computer, look for the SD card drive. Within the card, the recordings are stored in the STEREO folder.

The included Micro SD card (2GB minimum) should provide at least 2-3 hours of recording. You may want a backup SD card and/or batteries (2 x AAA) if you have a very long project.

How do I use this thing?!

User Manuals & Guides

  • Zoom H1n Downloads - includes PDF and ePUB files for various instructions, including getting started.

Videos to get you started

For a quick demonstration, including an example of the difference in sound quality compared with a phone, this video featuring Tina Guo, shows how to do a simple recording.

Zoom H1 Digital Recorder

Line drawing of H1 recorder with stereo mics, record button, inputs and LCD display.

This digital recorder is a great option for capturing high quality audio. The quality x-y stereo microphones are great for capturing interviews as well as a variety of sounds. Your projects are instantly saved to the removable SD card and can be downloaded via the included USB cable or by inserting the SD card into your device.

Can I check one out now?

What you need to get started

The recorder is great for interviews or for capturing high quality audio for your video projects. You can mount the recorder to a tripod using the threaded mount. To power on, slide the switch on the right-hand side down and hold for 2-3 seconds. Hit the record button to stop/start recording and use the buttons on the right side to control playback.

It's also easy to export your audio tracks. Simply connect via the included USB cable or eject the Micro SD card.

The included Micro SD card (2GB minimum) should provide at least 2-3 hours of recording. Get a backup battery (AA) if you want to ensure your recording is uninterrupted.

How do I use this thing?!

User Manuals & Guides

  • Zoom H1 Downloads - includes PDF files for various instructions, including getting started.

Videos to get you started

How can I check out and return items at the Library?

Learn!

Online SkillShops

If you are looking for more in-depth tutorials on creating projects, we have some Online SkillShops that cover the complete process. You will also earn a badge for each SkillShop you complete!

Contact Us

Tell us your ideas! We'd love to learn how we can help you with your next project. If you have purchase suggestions, tutorial or workshop requests, need a space or want to meet up with others to share ideas: let us know!