How to Use an MP3 Recorder to Create Recordings

You can upload your own recordings on the "Edit Song" page of any entry in the Zemirot Database.

In order to create a recording, you will need a recording program and a computer with a microphone. Audacity is a free MP3 recorder that works well and is available for both Mac OS and Windows. There are other good free recorders avaiable on the internet, including Sound Studio, which is free for the first 20 uses. Follow these steps to download and use Audacity:

  1. Go to if you are running Windows XP or earlier, if you are running Windows Vista or later, or if you are using a Mac.
  2. Download the Audacity installer as well as the LAME MP3 encoder. (This is what the screen looks like for Windows; the Mac screen looks similar.) Save the folder for the LAME MP3 encoder to an easily-accessible place on your computer.
  3. Use the Audacity installer to install Audacity.
  4. Once you have installed Audacity, you will need to tell it where to find the LAME MP3 encoder file.

    For Audacity 1.2 (Mac, Windows XP or earlier):
    Go to the "Audacity" menu if you have a Mac, or the "Edit" menu if you are running Windows. Then go to Preferences --> File Formats --> MP3 Export Setup, and click on "Find Library." Now continue to the next step. Here's what the menu looks like on a Mac:

    For Audacity 1.3 (Windows Vista or later):
    Go to the "Edit" menu. Then go to Preferences -> Libraries. Click on the "Locate..." button next to "MP3 Export Library." Click on the "Browse" button in the "Locate Lame" window that pops up. Here is what the menu looks like:
  5. Use the file browser to locate the LAME file. The Windows file, lame_enc.dll, is located at the top level of the libmp3lame folder. As of the last update of this page, the Mac file, libmp3lame.dylib, was buried in the libmp3lame-osx-universal folder. Ignore the rest of the contents of the folder and go to package/usr/local/lib to find it.
  6. You are now ready to record and export MP3s. Press the red button at the top of the window to record.
  7. For Audacity 1.2 (Mac, Windows XP or earlier):
    To save, go to File --> Export as MP3. The Export as MP3 option and the record button are circled:

    For Audacity 1.3 (Windows Vista or later):
    To save, go to File --> Export. Then choose "MP3 Files" from the "Save as type" menu.
  8. You can now upload the recording on the "Edit Song" page of the corresponding entry in the Zemirot Database.
  9. Exporting Smaller File Sizes: The default size for an Audacity MP3 files is rather big. If you find you are having difficulty uploading files, consider compressing your files more.

    For Audacity 1.2 (Mac, Windows XP or earlier):
    Go to the Audacity Preferences pane (under the "Audacity" menu on a Mac and the "Edit" menu on Windows). Then go to File Formats --> MP3 Export setup (the same place you went to in step 4). Pull down the "Bit Rate" menu to select a smaller bit rate. 24 kbps should be about the right size. You can go down to 16 kbps if you need to.

    For Audacity 1.3 (Windows Vista or later):
    When you save the file (go to File --> Export), click on the "Options" button under the "Save" and "Cancel" buttons on the "Export File" screen. Then change the "Quality" menu to 24 kbps. Click on "OK." Now click on "Save."
  10. You can contact Mendy (see the form on the contact page) if you have more questions about using Audacity or recording MP3s.