Copying bird calls

Subject: Copying bird calls
From: Andrew Taylor <>
Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2001 20:29:58 +1000 (EST)
On Sun, 26 Aug 2001, Robert Read wrote:
> I attempted to copy a few bird calls from the Simpson and Day CD to a =
> portable cassete recorder, for personal use in the field . 
> I tried what seemed to me the logical method of connecting a cable from =
> the speaker outlet on the computer to the microphone inlet on the =
> recorder.  The result was the bird calls plus a howling noise in the =
> background.

The best way to do this is to connect the "line-out" output of your
computer's sound card to the "line-in" input of your cassette recorder.

At least part of your problem is the voltages, the speaker output of
your computer sound card may produce ~10V but the mic input of your
cassette recorder is expecting perhaps 0.01V.  The  "line-out" output
will produce roughly 1V which, is what  the "line-in" input of your
cassette recorder expects.

Mic inputs on cheaper cassette recorders (and many computer sound cards)
are best avoided if possible.

The "howling sound" might also indicate a grounding problem, one
cause of which might be a faulty cable.

And to add some bird content - I was swooped by a Magpie ion a run
through Redfern on Friday - its primaries flicking my ear coincided
with an impressive bill snap.  Not as notable as Keith Brandwood's
first Sydney Sharp-tailed Sandpipers of the season but also I guess
a sign of spring's imminence.
Andrew Taylor

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The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU