You are here: Home Manual Chapter 7: Recording Sounds Setting recording channels

Setting recording channels


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Click the Recording tab. Here you can control important recording parameters including recording mode for each channel, trigger parameters, and recording output.
Mode: here you can quickly set recording modes of each channel. Your changes only takes effect after stopping and restarting the recorder.
Trigger parameters:
These parameters apply to all channels and it is very important to set those right. The pre-threshold control will allow you to record soft sounds prior to the trigger event. The post threshold has a similar function and we recommend to have it no less than 1000ms. Mximal recording duration is there to avoid continuous recording of a very long file into your hard disk, and the save threshold can be used to avoid recording of very short sound events.
Gain: these sliders control the recording gain -- we recommend that you keep them at 1 and use your hardware amplifier controls instead.
Recording output: For each recording channel you must set two folders -- one for temporary storage of 'real time' sounds and another for the recorder output, which we call 'stage 1'. In most cases, you will want to use the accompanied Sound Live module to analyze those stage 1 recording and make a final decision what to save.

Calibrating threshold to background noise level: in general, you should set the detection of a sound event (triggering) to a level only slightly higher then that of the background noise level. Remove the animal from the training box, start the SA+ Recorder. Make sure that the oscilloscopic view turned on.

Click the Recording tab

Change options and check the monitor only checkbox (both Active and Monitor only should be checked).

Click ok, and then change the peaks value (top of the Recording window) to 1, and the occurred within value to 0.

Now go to the main window and click Record.

Locate the Thresh slider just below the oscilloscopic view and turn it all the way to the left -- a green light should turn on above the oscilloscopic view.

Now move the slider slowly to the right until the green light turns off, and remains off (make sure that no sound enters the training box). Repeat for all boxes. This is the correct threshold level (you can go a bit above it, but not too much).

Set the mode of each channel back to Recording, and turn back the recording setting to normal (do not leave the occurred within level at zero!). Place the animal in the box, and as long as the animal stays quiet, you should see that SA+ records nothing.

Any sound produced by the animal (including cage noise) will trigger a recording session, indicated by the green light.

Note: that if you decide to change gain, you must recalibrate the threshold level, so it is recommended to first set the gain to convenient levels and keep it unchanged thereafter.