Recording Stories : A How-To Guide

Here is how to record anything (podcast, stories, poems, lectures) using your computer at home.

Get ready to record

You need four things to record at home:

  1. Install Audacity. You will use this software to record stories on your computer. You must have a stable Internet connection to download and install the Audacity software. Note that you can use any software to record. We recommend Audacity as it is free and opensource.
  2. Choose a set of headphones with a microphone. For best results you should use a set of headphones with an attached microphone. This ensures that the quality of your recording is very good.
  3. A quiet room.

The steps are all explained in detail here.

Installing Audacity

Note: These instructions are for a Windows computer. 

  1. You first need to download Audacity. Audacity is free software that can be used to record and edit audio file on your computer. Audacity can be downloaded from the website –
  2. If you have a fast Internet connection, we suggest you download the .exe file or else download the .zip file.
  3. If you have downloaded the .exe file, just double click the file and follow the on screen instructions to install Audacity. If you have downloaded the .zip file, then extract the files to a folder and double click the file Audacity.exe (it has the  icon). This will launch the Audacity program.
  4. Double click the audacity.exe file or if you have installed the application, click Start > Audacity to launch the application. You should see the following screen.

Great, you’re almost there!

Get a Good Set of Headphones with aqui Microphone

You need to invest (Rs. 600 to 800) in a headphone with microphone. We record most of our stories using the Logitech USB headphone. It gives good audio clarity and cuts out the background noise. The Philips headset range is also good. You can view the range on here.

Note: Always buy a noise cancelling headset.

Recording Stories Using Audacity

Watch this 5 minute video on how to record stories using the Audacity software. Note: You can Export your recording to a .wav file by default using Audacity. If you want to output to .mp3, please see the note on installing LAME below.

Downloading and Installing the LAME encoder – If you want to output your files to .mp3 format

When you record any audio using Audacity, the program saves the files in an Audacity Project or .aup format. To be able to play back the audio file using a media player we need to export the file to an .mp3 file format. The .mp3 format is readable by almost all media players and devices. All stories in The Kahani Project are also recorded and stored in .mp3 file format. The LAME encoder allows Audacity to export files in .mp3 file format.

Here is how to install the LAME encoder:

  1. Click the following link – This will take you to the LAME download page. Click the link For FFMpeg/LAME on Windows: Lame_v3.99.3_for_Windows.exe to download the LAME encoder in an .exe file format.
  1. Double-click “Lame v3.99.3 for Windows.exe” to launch it (you can safely ignore any warnings that the “publisher could not be verified”). Note: It is a best practice to close Audacity and other audio applications while installing the LAME software.
  2. Follow the “Setup” instructions to install LAME for Audacity. Do not change the offered destination location of “C:Program Files\Lame for Audacity”.
  3. The first time you use the “Export as MP3” command, Audacity will ask for the location of “lame_enc.dll”. Navigate to “C:Program FilesLame for Audacity”, select “lame_enc.dll”, then click “Open” and “OK”.
  4. If you prefer the Zip option for the LAME download, save the zip file to anywhere on your computer, extract “lame_enc.dll” to any location, then show Audacity where to find it as in Step 5 above.

Happy Storytelling!