Introduction to Sound
Sound Forge
Advanced Sound Forge


Sound Forge, by Sonic Foundry, is one of many professional sound-editing programs available today. The basic version, Sound Forge XP, is available for about $50.00.

Sound editors are kind of like word processors. If youve used one, the others come pretty easily.

Sadly, sound programs are pretty platform dependent. Sound Forge works on the PC platform, but Mac users will find that most techniques translate to Mac sound editors just fine. If youre using a MAC, a good free sound editor is: Pro Tools Free, available at:


Downloading Sounds

You can use your own WAV sounds for the following exercises, but youll probably want to download the sample sounds at:web design course

Well use them later.


Using Sound Forge

There are some basics youll have to know to effectively work in Sound Forge.

Youll probably want to download sounds from:web design course


Opening a File

Sound Forge can edit WAV and AIFF files, but cannot edit or open MP3 files. To edit a MP3, youll have to first convert it to a WAV.

To open a file, just click FILE-> OPEN


The sound will open in either stereo of mono.


Controlling Playback

1.      Open a sound file.

2.      Try all of the buttons on the above graphic. Dont forget to zoom in and out!


Selecting Sounds

Its easy to select a particular sound area. Just click and drag over it. If selecting a stereo sound, drag between the left and right channel to get them both.


1.      Practice selecting areas.

2.      Adjust the selection by dragging at the point where the selection ends.

3.      Play the selection.

4.      Play the selection in a loop.

5.      Copy and paste the selection to the end of the sound

6.      Delete sections by selecting them and hitting delete on your keyboard.


You can also select in smaller segments by holding SHIFT on your keyboard and using the left or right arrow key. The more you zoom in, the smaller area youll select.



You can mark certain areas to remind yourself about editing points or to help you accurately select. An area. Adding a marker is easy.

  1. Click somewhere in your sound.
  2. On your keyboard, hit M

  1. You can rename the marker by right-clicking on its handle and choosing Edit


Moving Between Markers

You can automatically skip from marker to marker by hitting Ctrl + or on your keyboard.

You can automatically select from marker to marker by holding SHIFT + Ctrl + or on your keyboard.



Recording sounds into your computer is not too hard, but does require understanding some key points. There are many programs that you can use to record sound; your computer even comes with a free recorder. If youve used one, youve used them all, so if you pick up the key concepts, youre doing great.


Where You Record Matters

Youll want your recording space to be as free of ambient noise as possible. Even low noises like the refrigerator running can show-up in your recording as "white noise"

Close all the windows in your house. Tell the screaming kids outside to ease up a little. Move the mic as far away from the computer as possible to minimize recorded fan noise. Pros use a special "isolation room" while recording to minimize all outside noise. Some people record in the bathroom.

When making vocal recordings, position your mouth about an inch away and an inch to the side of the microphone to maximize sound absorption without breathing noise.



Level Meter


When recording or adjusting the volume of sounds, you must take special care not to make the sound vibration stronger than most speakers can handle. If you do, youll get evil speaker reverb noise. On the other hand, you want your sounds to be as loud as possible to avoid that "too quiet" sound.

To the left is a level meter. The meter tops out at "0". When recording or playing a sound, youll have to make sure that the level meter never passes zero, or youll end up in reverb land. You actually want the meters as close to zero as you can get without going over. Youll notice if the meter goes above zero. The top will turn red and meter will get very upset at you if you go "over level".

To avoid going over level when recording, you can turn down the microphone input, or simply speak more softly.


Mic Check. One, Two. One, Two.

Before you record anything, youll want to adjust the mic input level so its not recording anything before you start-making noise. Basically, the levels should be non-existent! You can adjust the microphone volume by clicking:



In a minute well use the microphone balance volume to set recording volume. Just remember that you need to adjust the mic level to start out. Some sound cards give you direct control over Mic Volume


Starting a New File

To record, a new sound youll need a new file.

  1. Click FILE-> NEW


The New Window box will open.

  1. Choose:
    Sample Rate: 44,100
    Sample Size: 16 Bit
    Channels: Mono
    Stereo sound is twice the file size of Mono. For Internet sound, youre better off going mono.

  2. Hit Ok

Recording into Sound Forge

You can record into a previously recorded file, or you can make a new one. To record into a previously created file, simply click where you want the recording to start and follow the steps below, be aware that any sounds you record will replace existing sounds.

  1. Create a new File
    Skip this step if youre recording into a previously created sound.
  2. Click the Record Button


The Record Dialogue Box should open

  1. Adjust the "Line-In" balance volume until the levels are almost non-existent.

    If you cant get the levels to go away, thats okay. Do the best you can. Well edit the sound later to get rid of any ambient noise. Well also use cool features to boost the signal to make your voice seem full and rich.
  2. Push the Record Button.
    The record button turns into a stop button
  3. Record your freakin head off.
  4. When youre done, push stop


Your new sound:


Dont worry if your sound is not as full as the above sample. Well use handy tricks in a little while to fatten it up.

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