A friend of mine emailed me the following question.
Claude, what device do you use to make a digital audio recording? How do you transfer the digital recording to your computer?
I had mentioned to him the recording I recently made for an Enhanced Standard version, i.e., not so easy I could pass it blindfolded, of the State of Ill-Annoy Police Qualification Course. I made the recording for dryfire practice but I could use it for livefire, too.
One of the few apps I have on my phone is an audio recorder called Mini Recorder Free. I have a Windows phone but the app is also available for Android. It’s very easy to use and records the input as MP3 files.
First, I look at a course of fire and write a script for the recording. When I’m happy with the script, I record the narration of the course of fire, usually as one file. Where the beeps are supposed to go, I say ‘beep beep’ as a place marker.
Then I record the beeps from my CED 6000 timer by putting the microphone next to the timer. Each of the different times is recorded as a single set of beeps. I can insert each beep file multiple times into the narrative, where that’s appropriate.
I connect my phone to my computer and copy the narrative and beep files to the computer. Finally, I edit them together with Wavepad Sound Editor, which I downloaded from the Internet. Undesirable noises get edited out and I standardize the spacing between the stages so there’s enough time to re-holster, change hands, or do other preparatory work for each string.
Since I don’t have a 15 yard range in my apartment, I create reduced scale targets to use for dryfire. I create the targets by scaling them with Excel.
A reduced scale target also allows me to conceal my target when I’m not dryfiring, which is something I believe in very strongly. The 12 shot drill is on the back of my wall hanging.
On some of my recordings, I substitute a gunshot sound for the start beep. It just depends on how involved I want to make the recording. For my dryfire recording of the LAPD Bonus Course, I downloaded an audio file of the actual course being shot on the LAPD range. I had to clean that one up a lot but it’s fun to dryfire to because there’s all the range noise, LAPD Rangemaster commands (which sound like a subway conductor), sounds of empty magazines hitting the ground, and gunfire in the background. That’s as close as I can get to an actual range experience in my living room dryfire practice area.
A few of the recordings stay on my phone to use when I’m traveling. I also keep a PDF of the target on my phone so I can print it if I forget to take one along. It fits on one page so it’s easy to print in a motel business center. ISP 7 foot target
At this year’s Rangemaster Tactical Conference, someone mentioned wrapping a zip tie with a piece of colored duct tape on it as a safety insert. It’s a great idea and I’m using that now along with the Rogers Tap-Rack-Trainer. A round can’t be chambered with the tie in place. No disassembly of the gun necessary to put it in and it’s easy to take out, too. A bag of 8 inch ties costs about $2. The zip tie isn’t a snap cap, though, so keep that in mind.
The audio recording of the ISP Course I created is available as a download for 99 cents on my CDBaby store if you don’t feel like doing all that. There are a number of other recordings of interest, too.