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How to set up a webcam or microphone for your computer

Sound:

With Windows open, plug the device into a USB port. You should get a message at the bottom of the screen that the device drivers are loading. Soon you should get a message that your device is ready to use.

Click on the Windows “globe” in the lower left corner of your monitor. Then click on “Control Panel.” Click on “Sound.” Click on the “Recording” tab.

Sound

There are often several choices in the “Recording” list. Click once on the item that names the manufacturer of the device you plugged in, like “Logitech C270 Webcam” or “Blue Snowflake.” The item will be highlighted.

At the right of the highlighted area, there are a series of small gray rectangles on top of each other. If you speak or make a sound, the rectangles should fill in with green depending on the loudness of the sound you are making. If the green rectangles reach near of top of the scale when you speak in a normal tone of voice, you don’t need to do anything further.

If however the green almost completely fills the scale; or if it doesn’t show much or at all, or click on the “Properties” button near the lower right of the window.

Click on the “Levels” tab in the Microphone Properties window, and slide the slider to the right to increase the microphone sensitivity, to the left to decrease it. Click OK.

Now that you’re back in the “Sound” “Recording” window, speak in a normal tone of voice again and see if the green bars stay in the middle or upper middle of the scale, you’re all set. Click OK. If the green bars go too high or low, go back and tweak the “Levels” slider, then click OK.

Levels

Picture:

If you use a desktop computer and you plug a webcam into it, you don’t have to choose which camera the computer sees. If you have a laptop, and you want to use an external  USB webcam instead of the internal camera and microphone,  you’ll have to select the webcam manufacturer’s name, like “Logitech C270 Webcam”  in the listing in the video chat system you are using, i.e. Skype, Blackboard Collaborate, Google Hangout, etc.