Sunday, January 19, 2014

Blogger or WordPress - Wired For Sound

by Bert Carson
As near as I can figure, I spent between four and five hours Friday evening, from ten until the third single-digit hour rolled around in the central time zone, adding sound to my blog.

It shouldn't have taken that long and it wouldn't have if I hadn't taken three wrong turns in the black forest, and being a guy, I spent a lot of time hiking the full length of all three of them, just to make sure I wasn't going to pop out on secluded Mexican beach and find Russell Blake sitting under a thatched roof, waiting for me with a co-author book agreement and my virgin pina colada.

I blog on Blogger, and have, since the learning curve on my WordPress site became so sharp I stayed off road more than on.  I'm a simple guy and Blogger was built for me...with one exception.  When I started getting into voice over, I wanted to share samples of what I was learning, and I discovered there was no easy way to do it.  Now there is, and after searching most of Mexico last night, I found the way to wire my site for sound, and I'm about to share it with you - and it works on WordPress too.

Unlike my good buddy, Caleb Pirtle, I do not compute with a Mac.  So this first bit doesn't apply to Mac users (their recording settings are all probably preset to give them more time to look down their noses at PC people).

1.  PC People - right click on the speaker icon on the right end of your task bar - select recording devices - if "Stereo Mix" shows, select it - if it doesn't show, right click inside the box where it didn't show and select both "show disabled devices" and "show disconnected devices." Now Stereo Mix should appear.  Select it (note-it didn't appear for me because in a fit of dumbness a few months ago I removed my Realtec sound drivers). So last night, when I should have been on the beach with Russell, I was re-downloading and re-installing them.

2. WordPress and Blogger Users - You need recording software that will record anything you play over your computer speakers.  I'm sure there are a lot of free choices out there - the first one I found worked fine and I recommend it to you - Audacity - click the link and download it.

3.  With Audacity installed you're ready to record, but there is a catch - Audacity doesn't give you the option to save your files as MP3.  Not to worry.  Download Lame MP3 Encoder - also free does, and it will work seamlessly with Audacity.

4.  Record a sound file - For the purpose of this post, I chose to give my friend Stephen Woodfin, some unpaid for, at this time, advertising.  I opened Audacity, hit monitor, pause, then record, then I opened the Last One Chosen Audio File on Amazon and started the sample recording - then, with truly amazing, breathtaking speed, I opened Audacity before Stephen managed to say a single word - hit record and waited for the sample to finish playing - hit stop - then file - "save project" and saved the clip in my new blog file called "Wired for Sound."

Note - I learned how to do all that in an hour or so, and it all worked perfectly.  However, that's not the real issue.  The issue is, at that point I had an audio file but no way to put it on my blog post.  That's where my extensive wandering in the black forest began.  You, however, DO NOT have to go to the black forest, because I've been there for you.  You only need to go to the next step.

5.  SoundCloud - go to https://www.soundcloud.com and sign up for your free account.  Then upload the test recording you made earlier and saved to the blog post file.  When you save it to your SoundCloud page, you'll have the opportunity to add artwork and track info - now people can visit your SoundCloud page, listen to the clips you've saved there and YOU CAN GET THE CODE THAT YOU NEED TO EMBED THEM IN YOUR BLOGGER OR WORDPRESS POSTS - and they'll look just like this and work just like this - and you, and everyone who clicks the file on your blog post will think it is really cool and well worth the time Bert spent tramping through the forest last night and early this morning, mostly for you (guilt is a useful tool - at least my mother thought so).



Note - This is my first "how to" Blogger (WordPress) post.  Let me know if it worked for you (or not) - then buy Stephen's book, both the Kindle and the whispersync version, and maybe then he'll pay for this, until now, free advertising, and I can send the money to Russell so he will have maps to his house printed and send one to me, then I can spend less time in the forest and more time on the beach.

Have a great weekend.