How to Record or Convert Audio Files
for use on IVR calls

For audio files to sound good on a phone, they need to be formatted in a particular way. Below are step-by-step instructions, but please be sure to test the voice calls yourself.

Software Setup Instruction »

How to Record audio files »

How to Convert your existing audio files »

How to increase the volume of your audio files »

Free online tools to convert existing audio files and to merge, split, and increase the volume of existing mp3s »

 

Software Setup Instructions – you only have to do this once

  1. Download and install Audacity from http://web.audacityteam.org/download/
    (It’s free! Windows PC and Mac OS versions are available)
  1. Download and install LAME from http://lame.buanzo.org/
    It’s free! Windows PC and Mac OS versions are available)
  1. Download and install FFmpeg from http://lame.buanzo.org/
    (It’s free! Windows PC and Mac OS versions are available)

 

Recording Instructions: How to record mp3 files using Audacity

  1. Go to a quiet place with little to no background noise (an interview room is a good choice)
  2. Use a good headset or mic for your recordings, preferably a USB headset
  3. Launch Audacity
  4. Switch “2 (Stereo) Recording” to “1 (Mono) Recording Channel” from the dropdown in the second panel in the middle of the window.
  5. Set the microphone level to 1.0 (it’ll probably default to a little less than that)
  6. Press the Record button on the top of the window and start recording
  7. Press Stop button when you’re done recording
  8. Click on the arrow next to Audio Track in the top left section of the bar that appears on the page.
  9. Hover over Format towards the bottom of the menu and change the setting to “16-bit PCM
  10. If you need to increase the volume, follow the directions in the section below
  11. Click File on the top left of the window and select Export Audio
  12. Change the Save as Type dropdown to “MP3 Files” if it doesn’t already say that
  13. Enter a name for the mp3 file
  14. Click Options on the bottom right of the window
  15. Change the Quality dropdown to “32 kbps” and click OK
  16. Select the location where you want to save it and click the Save button
  17. Enter the mp3 file details (optional) in the new window that pops up and click OK. You’re done!
  18. To create a new recording, click File, New and Repeat the above steps.

 

How to Convert your existing audio files – Conversion Instructions

  1. Ideally your original file should be in wav format
  2. Launch Audacity
  3. Click File on the top left of the window, click on Open
  4. Find the location of your audio file (e.g. a wav file)
  5. Select your audio file.  Click Open
  6. Two bars will appear on the page with waves
  7. Click on the name of the audio file in the top left section of the bars that appeared on the page (you’ll see an arrow pointing down next to the name of the audio file – click there)
  8. Hover over Format towards the bottom of the menu and change the setting to “16-bit PCM
  1. Click on the name of the audio file again to open the above menu and this time Select “Split Stereo to Mono” towards the bottom of the menu.
  1. Click File on the top left of the window and select Export Audio
  2. Change the “Save as Type” dropdown to “MP3 Files” if it doesn’t already say that
  3. Enter a name for the mp3 file
  4. Select the location where you want to save it and click the Save button
  5. If a warning appears about the tracks being mixed to a single mono file, press OK.
  6. Enter the mp3 file details (optional) in the new window that pops up and click OK. You’re done!

 

How to increase the volume of your mp3 files

Below are the instructions for increasing volume using Audacity.

Note: If you have the mp3 files ready, you can use mp3louder.com to increase its volume.

  1. Launch Audacity
  2. Click File on the top left of the window, click on Open
  3. Find the location of your properly recorded or converted mp3 file
  4. Select your mp3 file.  Click Open
  5. Click Effect in the top middle of the window
  6. Then click Amplify
  7. Change the Amplification to “10
  8. Check the Allow Clipping box and press OK
  1. Click File on the top left of the window and select Export Audio
  2. Change the Save as Type dropdown to MP3 Files if it doesn’t already say that
  3. Enter a name for the mp3 file
  4. Click Options on the bottom right of the window
  5. Change the Quality dropdown to “32 kbps
  6. Set the Bit Rate Mode to “Average
  7. Select the location where you want to save it and click the Save button
  8. Enter the mp3 file details (optional) in the new window that pops up and click OK. You’re done!

 

Free Online Tools

There are also a number of free online tools that can help you do most of the items listed above.  While we recommend Audacity because it is one of the most powerful free tools out there, these other tools can be used directly from your browser, so no setup is required.

 

Now you’re ready to engage people using voice!

 

Have questions or need a little extra help? Get in touch via live chat or drop us a message here: