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Recording Formats


Your sound card normally has two input connections, one labeled "Line", one labeled "Mic". It also has one output connector, for a line level or headphone output. Unfortunately, all of these jacks look exactly the same, but they are often labeled (you may have to look closely). You want to find the Line In (or just Line) jack for the best sound. If it's not labeled, you can consult your system documentation or just work by trial and error - when you see how to monitor input levels in the mixer, you'll easily be able to tell whether you're plugged into the right input or not.

The input jacks for sound cards are typically stereo 1/8" mini-phone plugs.

Then choose a sound source. This can be a cassette player, a CD player, or a stereo component. Receivers and mixers are good sources to tap, as a single connection gives your computer access to several devices.

If your sound source has a Line Out jack, use it to connect to the sound card's input. If your sound source has only a headphone jack, it will do (Line Out jacks generally have higher sound quality, and an optimum level. The level coming out the headphone jacks is affected by the headphone volume control; Line Outs are independent of this volume control).

The source may have a single stereo 1/8" mini-phone jack like the sound card, or it may have a pair of RCA jacks or other connectors.


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