How to Edit Sound Files

Learn how to easily edit sounds on your computer.
Published: Jan 23, 2006
Author: Michael E, Callahan
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This question submitted by Bob Donovan, Ellen Wilder, Marina Stephenopolous, Jack Burton, Brad Allen and numerous others.

Windows comes with a fair number of sounds that alert you of various things such as Windows startup, Windows shutdown, critical errors and more. From the e-mail I've received I've gathered that many of you feel that these default sounds are boring. Well, without spending a dime you can easily edit the default sounds and make them your own.

Windows comes with a relatively simple program called Sound Recorder. No, you can't mix your band's latest song with it, but it serves well for basic recording and editing and it's already on your computer. How do you find it? Click:

Start -- Programs -- Accessories -- Entertainment

Double-click on Sound Recorder and it'll open for you. Now it's time to edit your first sound file. Click on the File menu and select Open. You can find the default sounds that came with Windows in this directory:


Open and select a sound file to edit. Now, let's try a few things. Try picking from the Effects menu and pick Add Echo. Now listen to the sound. Using the reverse effect gives you a pretty strange sound as well. Another option is to increase or decrease the volume of the sound. Another interesting effect can be found by either increasing or decreasing the speed of the sound.

Okay, let's say you've been making changes and you just aren't happy with the end result. You'd like to start over? Easy. Just click File and Revert. A dialog will come up and ask you if you want to lose all of the changes. Just answer yes and your sound file is back to the way it was originally. You can start over. Once you get to the point where you like your editing job, save it. You can do this by clicking File -- Save, or Save As. If you want to keep the original sound select Save As and give the sound file a unique name.

I will admit, that even with a good imagination you can only do so many things with the Sound Recorder that comes with Windows. So, for those of you who want to take it up a notch, here are just a few of the many sound editing programs you can find here on Tucows.

Try Sound Recorder, one of the programs listed above, or do your own search here on Tucows. You can have a lot of fun working with and editing sounds. There are also tons of sounds you can find all over the Internet in addition to recording your own.

I'd like to thank Bob Donovan, Ellen Wilder, Marina Stephenopolous, Jack Burton, Brad Allen and numerous others for asking this question.

If you have a question on how to do something on the computer you can submit it via e-mail by clicking HERE. You will not receive a reply, but all topics will be considered.


About Michael E, Callahan

Michael E. Callahan, known around the world by the trademarked name Dr. File Finder, is regarded as the world's leading expert on shareware. Dr. File Finder works with software programs and developers full-time, and in the average year he evaluates 10,000 programs. Since 1982 he has evaluated over 250,000 software and hardware products. Mr. Callahan began evaluating software online in 1982 and no one has been at it longer. He currently works doing online PR and marketing for software companies, and is the Senior Content Producer for Butterscotch.Com.

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