Real English: Speak!

Recording Support

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Exercise 2 in Lesson 1

Part I - Generalities


This is called the NanoGong. This is a picture only. You can experiment with it in the lessons!
Many thanks to its Open Source creators! It works with Windows, Mac, and Linux. Windows support below. For problems with the Mac, or Linux, see this page!

The FIRST time you use the NanoGong Recorder, you will see a "Warning - Security message. Click on "Run" and "Always trust...":

Click on RUN


Nanogong main featuresClick on the red button once (1x) to begin recording.

Click on the stop button stop button when you are finished recording.

Click on the arrow to listen to yourself.

(If you want to save your voice file to your hard disk, click on the save button stop button.)

Go back to the video or the teacher sound file stop button and listen again. Record again. Compare.

Part II - Support

Windows Support

1 - Install Java if it is not already installed on your computer. Check here to see if Java is installed on your computer.

Java test


If you see this message "Your browser should be able to run NanoGong...", you are OK.
Java is installed on your computer. In case your computer does not have Java, you can install it from


2 - Requirements:

- Java
- Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP, Unix based OS, or Macintosh
- Internet Explorer 5 or above, Netscape 4.7 or above, Firefox 2 or above.

- Sound system with speakers and microphone, or a headset (microphone and headphones).


3 - If you are not in the habit of using your computer for speaking (if you do not use Skype, for example), first make sure you can record:
Open up your sound recorder (Start -> Accessories -> Entertainment
-> Sound recorder.
Record your voice and listen. If you do not hear anything, check your connections and sound levels


4 - If it is working fine BUT you can not hear yourself, here are the main reasons the Gong creators have encountered when users have this problem:

· Your computer is playing the audio, but at an extremely low level. You need to increase the volume level. For Windows, you can do this by selecting Start>All Programs>Accessories>Entertainment>Volume Control, select Options>Properties, select 'Playback' and press OK. Then you can increase the levels of the relevant sliders such as the 'Volume Control' and 'Wave' sliders. Also, make sure those two sliders do not have the 'Mute' or 'Mute all' box selected.

· The recording may have been made with a broken microphone, or with the microphone not plugged in, and so no sound was recorded, only silence. Gong will warn you when a silent recording is made, but perhaps the person who made the recording ignored the warning.

· There is a volume control inside Gong (a kind of multicolour vertical slider on the right hand side of the GUI). Perhaps this has been moved too low. Try pushing it higher. · If you are using loudspeakers, perhaps they are not plugged in to the computer, or they are not turned up loud enough.

If you have made a voice recording in the system but when you play it back it contains horrible noise.

Here are some of the more common reasons we have encountered: · You made your voice recording under a noisy environment, or you have a bad microphone. If this is the situation then you will need to move to a less noisy environment, or change your microphone. · You are 'eating' the microphone. Most microphones are not designed to work when they are placed right next to the mouth. Try having a bit of space between your mouth and the microphone. Also, don't put the microphone directly in front of your mouth. Instead, put the microphone to the left or right of the mouth. · We have found that it is very common for extra noise to be added by a laptop when sound is recorded and the laptop is plugged in to the power supply. We have experienced this happening on several different makes and models of laptop. The 'noise' is then picked up by any audio recording software - the problem is not related to Gong in itself. However, there is no problem when the laptop is running from the battery. Therefore, one solution is to simply unplug the laptop power cable before making the recording.

I get 'Audio Device Busy' or 'Audio Unavailable' when I try to use Gong. Why? This means that another program on your computer is already using the audio capabilities of your machine and doesn't want to share them with Gong (or any other audio software). The solution is to stop the program which is using the audio system, and then come back to Gong. Possibly, you need to re-start Gong. Can a Windows/ Mac/ Linux machine run Gong? (From the user's point of view) Just about any computer can run the Gong applet. People use it with Windows, Mac and Linux machines (although we develop it on Windows). It only needs the Java environment to be installed on your machine. You can check whether your machine can run Gong using this web page. For the Gong application version, at the moment we have only developed an installer for Windows.

Other problems? Write mike at

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