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Sound Recorder\windows\system32\sndrec32.exe

Record and play sound (.wav) files.

To Open

Start Programs Accessories Entertainment Sound Recorder

Command Prompt sndrec32


sndrec32 [play] [/close] [filename.wav]


Sound Recorder is used to record simple sound clips and play them back. It supports standard sound (.wav) files used in Control Panel [Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices] Sounds and Audio Devices and hundreds of other applications (see Figure 4-82).

Figure 4-82. Use Sound Recorder to create short audio clips (.wav files)

Its controls are just like those you'd find on a VCR or tape deck, including the standard rewind, fast forward, play, stop, and record. The slider lets you set the position the "playback head" anywhere within the sound file. Both the total length of the sound clip in seconds and your position in the file are shown above. A waveform display gives a visual readout of the sound as it plays.

When running Sound Recorder from the command line, you can use the following options:


The name of the sound file to load.


Plays the specified sound file immediately. Without this option, the file will be loaded but not played.


Closes Sound Recorder when finished playing the sound clip; otherwise, the Sound Recorder window remains open.

Go to File New to create a new, blank sound file (.wav). If your computer has a microphone or auxiliary input, you can use these blank files to record your own audio. Here are some of the limited features available with Sound Recorder:

  • The Effects Increase Volume and Effects Decrease Volume options work by increasing or decreasing the amplitude of the recorded sound wave data. When you decrease the volume level of the recorded wave, you risk losing signal clarity, thus giving less audio detail and creating distortion. Increasing the volume of an ordinary speech file shouldn't affect the quality, but music files are less forgiving due to their wider dynamic range.

  • The Effects Increase Speed and Effects Decrease Speed options are similar to the volume options, except that you deal with the speed in which the sound is being played rather than the volume at which it's being played.

  • The Effects Reverse option reverses the order in which the .wav samples contained in the file are played.

  • The Effects Add Echo is fun to use, but the only way to remove the echo is to select Revert before you save the file.

  • To mix sound files, move the slider to the place you want to overlay the second sound file, use Edit Mix With File, and select the .wav file you want to mix.


  • Really big .wav files take a long time to open in Sound Recorder because it must read the whole file before playing it. The preferred sound player is the Windows Media Player, discussed later in this chapter.

  • You can only modify an uncompressed .wav file. If you don't see a green line in the waveform area of the window, the file is compressed and you can't change it.

See Also

Windows Media Player

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