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Old 10-08-2001, 08:44 AM
rmoss rmoss is offline
VT Support and Training
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: VisualTour Corporate Office
Posts: 739
Default Sound/Voice Not Recording Properly

Since a picture is not always enough to convey the best features of a property, the VisualTour software allows you to record voice annotations for each scene.  If you find that the voice you record is not playing back or just playing far too softly, this memo should be able to identify the source of the problem.

Run the Windows Sound Recorder Program to Conduct the Following Tests.
Click START | PROGRAMS | ACCESSORIES | MULTIMEDIA | SOUND RECORDER (Win95) or START | PROGRAMS | ACCESSORIES | ENTERTAINMENT | SOUND RECORDER (Win98/ME) or by choosing START | RUN and typing C:\WINDOWS\SNDREC32.EXE.   If Sound Recorder is not installed, Click START | SETTINGS | CONTROL PANEL | ADD/REMOVE PROGRAMS, then on the Windows Setup tab, double click MULTIMEDIA to add Sound Recorder.

Test Number 1: Opening and Playing a Sound (WAV) File
  1. Click the File menu in Sound Recorder, and choose Open.

  2. Locate any WAV file on your computer.  You will probably find several on the C drive under Windows and then a subdirectory called Media.

  3. Click the Play button.  If the play button is grayed out, then the problem is that the system is missing some or all of its sound card drivers.  If this is the case, consult the documentation that came with the computer or sound card and install the drivers.

  4. If  you hear sound, then your sound card and speakers are fine.  Proceed to test 2, recording a sound file.  If not, continue with the rest of this test.

  5. If the play button functions, but no sound is heard, then the problem is probably one of the following:
    Speakers not plugged in
    Speaker volume set too low
    Playback volume in Windows is set too low

  6. Check the connections and volume settings.  If they are all set up correctly, then the problem is one of the following:
    Sound card drivers not properly configured
    Broken speakers
    Broken sound card

  7. Try reinstalling the drivers or plugging the speakers into a portable radio or cassette player to determine the actual source of the problem.  There is no need to run the remaining tests because you are unable to hear sound on your computer.

Test Number 2: Recording a Sound
  1. Click on the record button in the sound recorder program and speak into the microphone.  While recording, the green line should dance wildly.  If it does, then play back the recorded sound to ensure that all is well.  Then restart Windows and try to record in VisualTour.  If it still does not work, contact VisualTour Technical Support.

  2. If the green line does not dance (or if it just vibrates a little), then check to ensure that the microphone is plugged into the correct place.  If the microphone is plugged in properly, then the problem is that the microphone signal is not being transferred into the computer properly.  There are three reasons why this situation can occur.
    Microphone or sound card is physically broken
    Recording volume is set too low
    The type of microphone or plug is not ideal

  3. Test the microphone by SHOUTING into it while trying to record.  If shouting does not work, then either the sound card or microphone is broken.  If shouting does work, then the sound card is fine.  The problem is either the recording volume set too low or the type of microphone or connection.  Both of these possibilities are discussed below.

Test 3: Adjusting the Recording Balance
  1. On the Windows taskbar, double click the speaker icon.  If the speaker icon is not there, click START | PROGRAMS | ACCESSORIES | MULTIMEDIA (Win95) or ENTERTAINMENT (Win98) | VOLUME CONTROL.  Either way, when the Volume Control program opens, it will show several sliders, but not the one you need.

  2. Click the Options menu, and choose Properties.

  3. Change from the Playback option to the Recording option, and make sure Microphone is checked at the bottom.

  4. Click OK to return to a new set of volume control sliders.

  5. Move the Microphone slider to the top.  If the control has a "Select" option at the bottom, check it.   If it has a "Mute" option at the bottom, uncheck it.
  6. Try recording in Sound Recorder again.  If the green line starts dancing wildly, you are fixed.  If not, the problem could be the type of microphone.

Test 4: Checking the Type of Microphone

If the problem is not the recording volume being set too low, then the next step is to examine the type of connection used.  Does the microphone use a mono or stereo plug?   A mono plug has one plastic (usually black) stripe or band on it, whereas a stereo plug has two.   Some sound cards only work properly with one type or the other.  At TRF Systems, we have experienced far greater success on most of our own systems by using stereo plugs.  Try borrowing a microphone with a different type of plug.  If that works, buy one.

If you have raised the recording balance and tried different types of microphones but you still cannot record even though WAV files play just fine, then it is time to call the manufacturer of your computer or its sound card for additional assistance.

Last edited by rmoss; 05-27-2008 at 07:49 AM. Reason: updating
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