Did you ever wish you could record a sound on your computer, but didn't have a microphone? Well, provided that you have headphones, your woes may not be over entirely, but they have lessened! A while ago, I got to thinking that if sound waves impacted upon a speaker, some electricity would be produced. It turns out that on analouge (read: normal,) headphones, the signal that most computers read as input and the signal produced by speaking or otherwise making noise near them is compatible. This means that you can plug a set of headphones into your microphone jack and use them to record sound. Be cautioned, however, that I have only tried this on 3 pairs of headphones and the resulting sound quality ranged from barely acceptable to shit and you have to talk really close to the headphone. I seemed to get the best results with those tiny "earbud" ones.

Back in my early adolescence, when I first learned to play the guitar and write songs, I didn't have the money to buy a microphone, or the guts to explain to my mom why I would want one (though that seems silly in retrospect, I was a rather strange teenager; I'm still somewhat strange, but that's beside the point). So, I took my mother's good headphones and plugged them into the mic input. I had discovered this technique by accident not long before I started playing.

I still have the tapes. They consist of me not so much singing as screaming so that I could be heard above the guitar, which was closer to the "microphone" than my mouth was. The sound quality isn't too bad, but that probably depends on the quality of the headphones to begin with.

The songs are pretty decent for a thirteen-year-old. Not good, but decent.

On a somewhat related note, the same applies to a few microphones I've had. Not neccesarily the newer ones, which I've been afraid to fry as they're so damn costly when you work minimum wage, but the older little economy ones from the 1970s that bear a resemblance to some retro-sci-fi vibrator. I accidentally plugged one of these into my computer once, and for a week could not figure out why my sound system sounded so weird. Turns out the thing was actually generating sound. Tinny, and horrible quality, but this device, designed for recording sound, was in fact, playing sound. Very weird, indeed.

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