Using FREE Audacity, record, edit and distribute digital audio recordings
Audacity is a program for recording and editing digitial audio files. It can record and save as
wave file, or convert to MP3 using the optional LAME MP3 encoder plugin (linked from Audacity site).
To use audacity for recording ensure that all inputs are muted except the microphone or line input on
your computer's sound control panel (otherwise you may get windows sounds such as alerts and clicks
in your recording). Then adjust the volume to avoid peaking (distortion) while recording.
If your input is a cassette tape, or microphone you can use the filtering tool after recording to remove electronic noise from the recording.
Sample a section of the audio file which has silence (save your project first). Select the section of your recording and use the Effect>Noise
Removal tool to remove noise. Verify the effect. If you didn't select a good noise sample,
you'll ruin the voice quality.
Usually a lecture or sermon can be saved at 16Khz 16-bit mono for good sound quality and smaller file size for distribution.
Experiment before you go into production. There are a number of things that must be learned by experience.