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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Saturday, October 29th, 2005, 10:07 AM
Church Media Regular

 
 Join Date: Aug 2005 
 Last Online: Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 
Ways to Record Sermons

The CD-Recorder that we were using to record my pastors sermons was taken away and we are looking to purchase a new device. My question is what are the different ways to record sermons to a digital format?

Are CD-Records the best way to go?
Are there inexpensive MP3 recorders?

Thanks,
I know you guys will pull me through.
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Old Saturday, October 29th, 2005, 11:39 AM
Gene's Avatar
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Recording to MP3 would probably be OK for sermons, but if you ever decide to expand the recordings to include music, like for special events, MP3 recordings aren't the best idea because MP3 is a lossy format (i.e., audio information is discarded). The audio equivalent of JPEG images.

There are several ways to record digitally:
- record direct to CD with dedicated recorder
- record to computer with EZTracker
- record to a dedicated HDD, mini-disc or solid-state digital recorder

What is the final format of the recordings? CDs? If so, a CD recorder may be the best bet because you've immediately (well, after the track info is finalized) got a master CD to make copies from. However, they can be relatively expensive for a church on a limited budget.

If you've got a computer in the sound booth, EZTracker is a great way to record things through the sound card. Then you can burn a CD from that computer (and copies, too) after the service. EZTracker was written by Mark Rouse, who is a CMN member. And it's free! (Though Mark will happily accept donations I think). The software can be downloaded here: http://www.aletheia.tv/aletheia/page8.html
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Old Saturday, October 29th, 2005, 11:58 AM
adamdiehl's Avatar
The Big Diehl

 
 Join Date: Sep 2004 
 Last Online: Wednesday, June 9th, 2010 
We record our sermons digitally. We run a line into a computer (NOT THE SAME COMPUTER THAT IS OPERATING THE PROJECTION SOFTWARE!), and we record the waveform with recording software. We use Adobe Audition 1.5, but there are many other programs that do the same like Sony Soundforge, Steinberg Wavelab, and Audacity (Audacity is a free program and my recommendation to any church with a small budget). Once we have recorded the waveform onto the computer, we can either:

1) Immediately save it and burn it to a disc (I only do this for emergency things that need to be done very quickly, like we record a baby dedication and I want to give the disc to the parents before they leave church that day).

2) Edit it. We provide our sermon recordings 1 week delayed. We go in and edit the file. We edit out the base layer of hiss from the devices. We edit out things that wouldn't make sense in an audio-only setting, such as a video clip. If we have time, we'll even get in there and edit out coughs, throat clears, etc, that just make the speaker sound great! We will also edit it so we have a nice intro and outro for the tracks... with music fading out as the speaker begins talking. (to hear an example of what we do... go to www.newhope.in and check out the recordings... mp3s are available for download there.)

When you record to a computer you have several benefits:
1. You can make a CD immediately.
2. You can wait and edit it for content/time/quality.
3. You have at your fingertips the ability to change file formats to send an audio file for something else... such as uploading to the MXC, uploading to a website, or sending the file to a friend.
4. You have it already on a computer, so it would make taking a recorded voiceover over to a video making program much easier!

I think I have made my opinion obvious enough.
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Old Saturday, October 29th, 2005, 12:37 PM
Gene's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamdiehl
I think I have made my opinion obvious enough.
Yep, it's pretty clear you're a big fan of Edison wax recording cylinders
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Old Saturday, October 29th, 2005, 01:34 PM
Aaron Foster's Avatar
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Check out the Alesis Masterlink. It is a Hard Drive/CD recorder. It does an awsome job. We have used it to record sermons and music. There are many DSP options like compression, normailzing and so on. It has balanced inputs and will record 52 hours of CD quality audio.
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Old Saturday, October 29th, 2005, 02:34 PM
sheldon's Avatar
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As stated above, stand alone CD recorders are rather expensive to get a good one. We use the HHB Burn It Plus and record the message only and not the whole service. At the same time, we are making a DVD of the full service. Both are recorded to a disc so we can duplicate them immediatly after the service in our CD/DVD duplicating tower.

If we ever have a problem with the audio CD, I can rip a track from the DVD. If we loose the DVD, oh well...

We are soon going to start placing the messages on our web site in MP3 format. It only takes a few minutes to rip the CD. If we were to start recording to HD at the same time, we would need a new computer and a body to run it. So for now we plan on staying with the above.
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Old Saturday, October 29th, 2005, 06:25 PM
Mark Finley's Avatar
Groovin' for Heaven

 
 Join Date: Apr 2004 
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I actualy video the sermon, and pull the audio track off after I have captured it.
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Old Sunday, October 30th, 2005, 11:38 AM
TrinityHarbor's Avatar
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We also record directly to a PC. I use Roxio to record and then edit it at home using Audacity. This works pretty well. The only down side is that the volume level difference between the music and the preaching is fairly large so I usually have to adjust the volume level in the software on the fly. I know there is a better way to handle this but so far it is not worth the hassle. But I digress, this method works very well. Also as Adam said do NOT do this on your projection machine! My PC is dedicated to recording and playing music, changing EQ settings, and browsing the web when bored - oops did I say that?

As to the comment that MP3s are lossy that is totally true and we do have the raw capture formats saved (for a while) but if you save them as 128 bit MP3s it is close enough (uncompressed would be 320 bit) that almost no one can tell, esp on a live recording. But if you are a purest you can save them in raw, edit them, and then burn them in CDA format. Since I edit them at home I take them as 128 bit MP3 which are about 90Mb a service as opposed to something like 400Mb in raw. Guess I need a bigger thumb drive.
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Old Sunday, October 30th, 2005, 01:08 PM
Don C.'s Avatar
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We record the sermon with the projection machine, with no problems. Of course a dedicated machine, if you decide to do computer recording, is best.
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Old Sunday, October 30th, 2005, 08:20 PM
vinefollower's Avatar
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Cross High Tech For Jesus

Since I had the opportunity to put together a system from the ground up before moving into a new worship facility, I went with a dedicated Mac G5 dual processor box, a 20" display, and running Pro Tools LE to record our sermons and other messages (which average about 40 minutes in length). A year and a half later, I'm still discovering cool things you can do in Pro Tools, but it is not for the faint of heart (or the small of budget), and some of the aforementioned solutions will work just fine for most churches. However, we find our system is perfect for fine-tuning a recorded message to perfection and for use in our upcoming program of producing sermons for a radio show. I was only able to buy all the equipment for our digital recording system because of a kind (and wealthy) benefactor in our congregation who absolutely HAD to have CD's of the sermon. It has been a real blessing and has worked really well for us. We then duplicate the CD's on a Primera Bravo Pro burner/printer.
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Old Sunday, October 30th, 2005, 09:00 PM
mrouse55's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene
EZTracker was written by Mark Rouse, who is a CMN member. And it's free! (Though Mark will happily accept donations I think). The software can be downloaded here: http://www.aletheia.tv/aletheia/page8.html
The /page8.html link is obsolete - we're redoing the web site - You will always be able to download EZTracker from:

http://www.aletheia.tv/eztracker.html

BTW - Version two is almost ready for release!
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Old Sunday, October 30th, 2005, 09:01 PM
Church Media Regular

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don C.
We record the sermon with the projection machine, with no problems. Of course a dedicated machine, if you decide to do computer recording, is best.
It is nice to see that someone does projector stuff and audio recording on the same computer. Hehehe... this was one of the first things I was going to try.
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