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Research Guides@Tufts

DDS Recording Room guide

Equipment for audio recording

Below is a chart that details the equipment located in the Recording Room that supports audio recording.  Additional equipment is available through our circulating media equipment service that operates from the front desk of Tisch library.

Image of Equipment Equipment Name Equipment Description

2 Røde NT1000 Studio Condenser microphones on swivel mount boom arms with pop filter

2 Røde NT1000 Studio Condenser microphones on desk stands with pop filter

Audio interface Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 audio interface
Headphones Monitor sound recording and playback, Sony MDR-7506
iMac iMac with Audacity, Adobe Creative Cloud including Audition, Premiere Pro, and Photoshop, Apple GarageBand and iMovie, and more
N/A Furniture and features in the space
  • Two-piece moveable conference table

Choosing audio recording software

Below is a chart to help you decide which software to use for your project.

  Audacity Garageband Adobe Audition

Apple, Windows, Linux

Apple Apple, Windows, Linux
Cost Free Free Free on DDS computers, requires paid subscription on personal devices
Pros Open-source Intuitive interface

Robust, supports reference videos

Can customize user interface colors.

Integrates with other Adobe products, e.g. Premiere.


When working with effects it can be harder to enable/disable effects.

When recording with two microphones, create a Stereo track even if Mono recording is desired.  Requires manually splitting the tracks.

Locked at 44.1KHz

Can't keyframe audio on individual audio clips, e.g. fading in or out.  You need to do this for the track.  If you move the clip on the track, the volume key frame doesn't follow the clip.


Interface can be overwhelming for some users.


Documentation Audacity user manual Garageband User Manual Audition user manual
Application website Learn more about Audacity Learn more about Garageband Learn more about Audition

Audio Glossary

Audio level - the strength of the audio signal, in this context it is measured in db.

Bit rate - number of possible amplitude values, or the loudness, we can record for each audio sample.  We recommend working with 24 bits.

db - a unit of measurement.  In the context of this guide we are referring specifically to dBFS which measures amplitude, or loudness.

Hz - Hz is short for Hertz.  This is the number of samples per second of a waveform to create a signal. Sometimes this is also referred to as the sample rate.  We recommend working with 4800 Hz as your sample rate. 

Phantom power - power transmitted to the microphone.  It is also sometimes referred to as 48v since this is a standard power supplied to microphones.

Record enable - when recording on multiple tracks record enable allows for you to select which tracks to record onto

Room tone - recording of the space without speaking or moving.  This captures the ambient sound of the space which can be helpful during editing.  Recording usually lasts between 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Scarlett audio interface - the audio interface is what allows the microphone to connect to the computer.  The specific audio interface we use in the Recording Room is the Scarlett 18i8 audio interface.  In order for your audio recording application to see the microphones, the Scarlett must be selected as the input device.

Audio Recording Overview

  1. Launch your audio recording application.  Create and save a new project.  If you already created a project, open it to record into it. We recommend your project settings are set to 48000Hz, 24-bit, when possible.

  2. Connect the microphones.The space come equipped with four microphones.

  3. Point microphone at sound you are recording.  If recording vocals, the microphone should be approximately 3-6 inches from your mouth. 

  4. Adjust the microphone volume on the Scarlett audio interface

  5. Check the volume level. Voice should be approximately -12 db. Sounds recorded at 0 will be distorted.

  6. Listen carefully.  If you hear a sound you don't want and you can turn it off or avoid it, do so.

  7. Check your headphone volume. If your levels look good but you still can’t hear, check your headphone volume.  This knob is located above the headphone port on the right of the Scarlett audio interface.  Always monitor your recording by wearing the provided headphones.

  8. Press the red record button. You will do this in the application, not on the microphone. If you are using multiple microphones, you may need to record enable each track individually prior to hitting the main record button, e.g. programs such as GarageBand and Audition require this.

  9. Record 30 seconds of room tone, a recording of the space without anyone speaking or moving.  This will help during editing to create smoother transitions.

  10. Playback your recordings. Always listen to your recording by wearing the provided headphones. If you hear a lot of air or background noise, you may need to bring the mic closer to your subject or increase the volume knob on the Scarlett audio interface.

Connecting the microphones

Image of instruction Instructions
Plugging microphone into Scarlett interface 1. Plug microphones into the Scarlett audio interface. Be mindful of which input the microphones are plugged into.
2. Turn on phantom power.  Press the 48v phantom power button to send power to the microphones.
Scarlett Interface

3. Adjust the volume of the microphone. Use the dial above and to the left of the microphone cable to adjust the volume.  

Microphone with pop-screen

4. Consider the placement of your microphone.You may need to adjust its proximity to your subject.



Recording in Audacity

Audacity icon

Open Audacity.  Name and Save project to personal device.


Top input selection toolbar in Audacity described in this step. Make sure the Input Device and Output Device are set
to Scarlett 18i8 USB.
  • If using one microphone select 1 (Mono Recording).  
  • If using two microphones, select 2(Stereo) Recording.  After recording you will need to Split the channel from Stereo to Mono, see instructions below.
  • If using 2+ microphones, see instructions below.
Project Settings area in Audacity described in this step Change the project settings from 4410 to 4800 in the
bottom left corner of the interface.
Start monitoring button selected To see your audio levels prior to recording, select the microphone icon above the Input/Output toolbar.  Select Start Monitoring.
Audio level meter with green signal between -18 and -12 Check your audio levels are between -18db and -12db and hit the record
Transport buttons in Audacity Press the Record button to record.  
Press the space bar to stop recording.
Audio meter displaying red signal reaching 0 Check that your levels are between -18 and -12 db.  Consistent levels higher than -12db will result in distorted audio.

To share your project, go the top menu bar File > Export > Export asWe recommend exporting as a WAV file.  To export files individually go to File > Export > Export as multiple.

Splitting Stereo to Mono

If recording with two microphones in Audacity, the application typically creates a Stereo track by default.  The recording room is setup with two individual mono, not stereo microphones.  To separate the channels, click the triangle on the track header to reveal a drop down menu.  Select Split Stereo to Mono.  This will create to separate mono tracks that you can edit individually.

Tracker header in Audacity with Split Stereo to Mono selected.

Recording with multiple microphones

1. When opening Audacity, make sure the Project Rate (Hz) in the bottom left corner is set to 48000.

2. In the Device toolbar, set your input to the Scarlett 18i8, select the number of microphones you will record with simultaneously and finally, choose select the Scarlett 18i8 again to listen back on the headphones provided.

Note: if the Scarlett does not show up in the drop-down menu, go to the top menu bar: Transport>Rescan Audio Devices, it should now show up in the drop down menu. If not, check the connections on the back of the computer.

2. Test all microphones individually to get proper levels. You can monitor the levels by selecting the the monitor button in the menu pictured above (the microphone icon).

3. Pressing the red, record button will automatically set up a new track for each microphone. 

4. If you stop recording and then want to continue recording on the same tracks, SHIFT + Select all tracks and hit the record button. 


Recording in Garageband

New Project Window Open Garage Band and choose Empty Project

Make sure the Input Device and Output device are set to Scarlett 18i8 USB. 

Click Choose.

The next window assigns the microphone to a specific track.  Choose the Microphone

under Audio and under Input select Input 1.  Click Create. To add an additional track for

the second microphone, navigate to Track>New Track and change the Input to Input 2.

File > Save your project to your personal device.

Levels Check your levels (green - yellow).
Transport navigations Click the record button to record.  Tap the space bar to stop.
Levels are peaking at red

Check that your levels are between green/yellow.

Consistent levels in the red will result in distorted audio.

Export window

To export your track, navigate to Share > Export Song to Disk and select

Uncompressed 24-bit WAV.  Save to your personal drive.

For original recordings navigate in the Finder to your Project File, right-click

Show Package Contents, and open Media > Audio Files. 

Copy paste these files to your personal drive. 

Do not remove them if you plan to continue editing in Garageband!



Recording with multiple microphones

Preferences window in Garageband

Navigate to Preferences > Audio MIDI and select

Scarlett 18i8as your Input Device and Output Device.

Tracker menu

In the Garageband Toolbar, navigate to Track > Configure Track Header. 

Make sure Record Enable is checked.  This will place a small red

button in the left track header to enable the tracks you want to


Input Selection under Recording Settings

Select a track.  To assign a microphone, select an input under Record Settings

in the Smart Controls on the bottom of the interface. 

Repeat for each mic. Each track should be assigned one microphone. 

This allows for easier editing of individual tracks after recording.


Recording in Audition

1. Open Adobe Audition and sign-in with your Adobe account.

Select Multitrack in the top left corner of the interface.

Multitrack session settings

2. Set the sample Rate to 4800 Hz and the Master to Mono. 

Name the Multitrack Session and save the project to your personal device.

Input Settingss

3. Set the Input of the first track to Mono > [01M] Scarlett 18i8 USB: Input 1.

To add a second microphone set the Input of the second track to
Mono > [ 02M]Scarlett...Input 2

Recording levels example

4. Check that your levels are between -18 and -12 db. 

Consistent levels higher than -12db will result in distorted audio.

Record enable button selected in track header 5. Select the Record button on the track to enable recording.
6. Check your levels and click the record button at the bottom of the interface
Export window with suggested settings

7. To export your tracks as individual files, select your individua files and

navigate to File > Export > Multitrack Mixdown > Selected Clips.  
Name the file, save to your personal device. 

Select the following settings for a High Quality Export.

  •     Format: Wave PCM
  •     Sample Type: Same as Source


Recording with multiple microphones

Multitrack button

1. Once Audition is opened, select "Multitrack" in the top left corner.

In this menu, name your session, select the file location and configure to the settings:

  • 48000 Hz, 24 bits and Stereo mix. Press okay.
Multitrack Menu

2. Delete unnecessary tracks by going to the top menu bar

Multitrack>Tracks>Delete Selected Tracks.

Audio Hardware menu in the Preferences

3. Configure Audacity so the default input and output are the Scarlett18i8.  

To do this, navigate to Adobe Audition > Preferences > Audio Hardware.

Press Okay.

Track header input

4. To map each microphone to the desired track, click "Default Stereo Input" and

press Mono>[01M] Scarlett 18i8 USB... and repeat this for the other

channel selecting the other microphone.  Map Input 1 to Track 1, Input 2 to Track 2, etc.

Track Header Recording enabled

5. Press the R button on each track to start monitoring audio.

Transport window

6. When ready to record, press the red record button on the bottom middle of the multitrack session.