How to Sing a Song Into the Computer to Record Voice & Find Notes

By Sam Jones
Recording what you sing onto a computer is easy if you have the right software.

Thanks to digital technology, it is possible to record a song onto your computer — and to decipher the notes you’re singing as well to help you write down the melody. Using nothing more than your computer, a simple microphone, some free software and a guitar tuner, you now can easily figure out how to play along with yourself while singing your favorite tune; then send the finished product to your friends or even post them to your blog. The entire process is quite simple.

Connect the microphone. In order to sing a song that the computer can hear, there needs to be a mechanism for giving the computer the capability to hear what is being sung; the microphone fills that roll. The microphone plugs either into the input port on the sound card on the back of a desktop computer or into a USB port.

Run the song recording software. If you don’t have any sound recording software installed on your computer, download Audacity, which is free to use (see "References"). Once downloaded and installed, run the program to record yourself singing your song.

Click the round red “Record” button on the top of the screen and move the microphone to a place in front of your mouth. Start singing. The Audacity program will record your voice until you click on the small brown “Stop” button.

To hear what you’ve recorded, click the green triangular “Play” button. If your song failed to record, click “Edit” on the main menu, then “Preferences.” Click on the “Devices” menu choice and then on the recording option, make sure that the type of microphone you are using is selected. If not, click the drop-down arrow and choose the one that is closest to yours.

Save the song onto the computer. To save your song, click the “Export” menu choice from the main menu under “File.” Use the file management part of the program to change to the folder on your computer that you wish to use for storing your song file. Click on the drop-down arrow next to the menu choice that says “Save as type:” Choose which format you want to save your song in, then click the “Save” button.

Find Notes to the Song

Print or write down the lyrics to the song. Leave plenty of room between lines for making notes with a pencil.

Quite often people wish to know what notes are being sung when a song is playing; this is usually so that they can play the song as accompaniment on an instrument such as a guitar. To find out what the notes are to the song you’ve recorded, you’ll use a guitar tuner that is capable of recognizing notes and displaying what they are on an LED panel. To remember which notes go with which word, the notes will be written on the paper that holds the lyrics right above each word.

Load your software and song. Open whichever type of program you use to listen to your song, then load the song you recorded and start playing it.

Turn on the guitar tuner and put it right next to the speaker that is connected to your player.

Watch the notes that are displayed on the tuner as the song progresses and write them down above the words on the piece of paper.

Tip

Audacity can be used to play background music (MP3 format only) while you are singing and recording your voice. The song can then be saved as a combined piece of music.

To get all the notes that are sung in a song will require a lot of time and patience with the guitar tuner. The process will have to be repeated over and over till you get all the notes.

Warning

If you use a backing track for recording a song, it is illegal to sell the song you create unless you secure rights to the music.