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Making Great WAVs with Stuff You Find Around The House

By Ribby

You've spent an hour trying to find the sound you need. It's not in anyone else's Kami, and you don't know where to look. Do you have a microphone attached to your computer? Well, open up a sound recorder and you're ready to go! If you don't have a microphone, you can buy one. Mine came with my computer, so I don't know how much it would cost seperately, but I think they'd go for around $30 or so, maybe less.

For example, I had to find a sound of a waterfall for HH2. I didn't know where to find a waterfall sound that didn't sound like gurgling water, so I made it myself. What I did was that I took my mini cassette recorder (cost $50 and was a gift from my parents for a history project I was doing) and recorded the sound of water running in my bathroom sink. Then, I played it back as I recorded the sound on the microphone. The result wasn't *quite* what I had in mind, but it was good.

For the galloping of horses, I drummed my fingers on the rubber wrist rest of my computer. I just took the microphone and laid it on the rubber, then drummed my fingers like I was typing. It sounded just like a horse running on a track! For HH6 (forthcoming) I needed a clock ticking. I took two glass marbles and hit them against each other, and recorded the clicking.

Another good source for sounds are TV shows and anime. For example, I recorded some sounds from Slayers, Nurse Angel Ririka and MKR. (I don't know if I'm gonna use them, though.) I played the tape and held the recorder up to the TV speaker, then transferred it onto the computer as usual. I got some very good WAVs of sound effects, Japanese Lina speaking in English and Umi freaking out in MKR!

When you do get that perfect WAV, start the editing. On the Microsoft Sound Recorder, you have an option to delete before and after a current position. Watch carefully as the bar moves across the line and try to figure out where it starts playing your sound. Stop the sound when you feel as if it's in the right place, and delete before. Then let the sound play, stop, and delete after. Voila! If it's not loud enough, then try increasing the volume. If you want some extra effects, add an echo, or if you wanna have some fun, increase the speed. (I wanna do that with the sound of Umi freaking out...)

And finally, if you've made the perfect WAV, share the wealth! People might want to use your WAV...just as long as they acknowledge it first. Remember, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," and NO ONE likes it when people plagarize! Don't forget to give ample credit, unless the person says it's OK.

Correction: In Ribby's article, she mentions computer microphones costing around $30. That's actually the higher end of the price scale. A simple microphone for the computer can cost $10, which is how much the one I have costs. If you're just making simple sounds, that's just fine, though better microphones cost more. --Thanks to Rebo for the Corrections

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