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My wife is a voice over artist and is completely non-technical. She needs to be able to record herself, but most software I have seen is very complex as they are full studio editing suites. Audacity, Audition, Sound Booth - all too complicated, really.

I need to find a program that's really, really simple. Like, 'press record' and it starts. Press 'stop' and it stops recording. It needs to record an ASIO source directly to WAV, 32 bit, 44.1K or 48K, into a pre-defined directory.

This is for Windows 7, 64 bit. Any suggestions?

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My wife is doing voice overs and simply records a track which is then processed afterwards. No need for more than 1 track, no need for backing vocals, just a straight-forward linear recording which is later edited. Lengthy podcasts, book narration, museum exhibit reads, IVR's - that kind of thing. –  user1908675 Nov 8 '13 at 18:13
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3 Answers

Have you considered just using a dedicated recorder device? It sounds like you want a recorder rather than a DAW. Something like a Zoom H4n might work well for your purposes as you can simply plug in a mic and hit the record button. No computer needed. This would also allow her to record anywhere rather than being constrained to working at the computer.

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That could be an interesting solution - how difficult is it to get the recordings on to a PC afterwards? The designated folder is a Dropbox folder. Also, can such a device record from a Rode NT1-A microphone? –  user1908675 Nov 9 '13 at 12:24
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@user1908675 - the Zoom H4n has a phantom power providing XLR jack (two actually) so it should work fine with any professional mic. It records to an SD card, so you either pull out the SD card and pop it in the computer or simply plug the device in via USB and copy it off. It has a lot of great complex options you can configure but is designed to be super easy to use in the field. It also supports 24 bit 96khz recording. I personally use one for off camera audio recording and frequently use it in very similar situations to yours (with a phantom power using condenser.) –  AJ Henderson Nov 9 '13 at 15:46
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It's never that easy because you have bypassed some very basic requirements in your question. For a start you need to be able to "link" the recorded vocal audio to the backing track - you need to be able to play the backing track and hear what your good lady has sung without suffering timing differences that can make it sound like a mess.

At the very minimum you need a two track playback device - track A is the backing and track B is the wife.

But why would a designer of such a simple product stop at this point? They'd make it capable of shed-loads of tracks - they compete in the market and if someone brings out a product capable of three tracks they are dead in the water.

You actually need more than two tracks anyway. Consider this - the good lady wife records a vocal track but verse 2 could be better - what to do? Record the whole thing again or have a third track that would be used for the parts in the 2nd track that needed redoing?

The 2nd track could have facilities for muting the vocal where track 3 takes over - you play it back and it sounds seemless because both vocal tracks together give you the result you want.

Already this is more complicated than your original question and justifiably so. How is she going to apply subtle harmonies in places without having at least 8 tracks? Original backing is 1, then main vocal (plus muted area) is 2 then 3 is fixes for verse 2 etc., then 4 and 5 might be left and right vocal harmonies with 6 and 7 making it a 3-part. OK maybe 8 isn't needed!

What about eqing her voice - I don't know anyone who sounds good straight out of the mic without eq and a little bit of reverb. You need to be able tro trial eq and reverb (plus any other fx) so things are a bit more complex and you are heading towards a DAW.

Get used to it - you think you know what you want but you don't.

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Thanks for the answer - please see my clarification of the requirement above. Also, any editing is done later in Audition by myself or a third party; this is simply about making the single track, linear, lengthy recording as easy as possible. –  user1908675 Nov 8 '13 at 18:14
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Windows 7 has an extremely simple audio recorder called Sound Recorder. You can just search for it from the start menu. But its really simple.

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Start>all programs>Accessories>sound recorder –  horatio Jan 8 at 22:41
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