Audio, E-Learning

Getting Started with Audio Recording

When done correctly, using audio to narrate e-learning can have a big impact on engaging learners. Are you looking to add audio narration to your next course and don’t know where to start? Here we’re going to hook you up with tips for recording high-quality voiceover.

Audio Clipped

Organize Your Recording Space

Most of us don’t have a professional recording studio, but you can set up your space to eliminate unwanted sound. Some basics:

  • Close doors and windows in your room.
  • Record in an area that will dampen sound and avoid sound “bouncing”. Carpeted rooms will cut down on echo. Place fabric or foam around your recording area to absorb sound.
  • Turn off buzzing fluorescent lights.

Use Good Equipment

While you don’t need spend thousands on audio gadgets, minor investments in equipment can make a major difference in quality.

Microphone

Spending a bit on a microphone is worth the money. Popular options to consider are the Blue Snowball and Samson Meteor. For a few dollars more, the Blue Yeti mic gets great reviews.

Pop Filter

When saying certain words (typically that start with “P’s” and “B’s”), your recording might pick up undesirable popping sounds. To avoid this, use a pop filter – a fabric screen placed between your mouth and the mic.

Audio Software

Even if your recording is good from the start, you may want to edit out long periods of silence or adjust noise levels. A good product for recording and editing audio is Audacity. The best part is that it’s free! It is a robust tool, but don’t let that scare you away. You can get the job done without knowing all of the bells and whistles.

Record Like a Pro

Before you hit the record button, we recommend a few prep steps:

  • Write a script…even if you don’t think you need one! You will significantly reduce recording and editing time.
  • Position the mic correctly. As a general guideline, the mic should be about 6 inches from your mouth.
  • Test that the mic is recording at a good level. Record a short demo first to make sure it sounds OK.

As you are recording:

  • Be upright. By standing or sitting up straight, your body will feel more activated.
  • Pause in between sections. Take a deep breath, turn pages, and refocus. You can edit silence out later.
  • If you stumble, stop and repeat the last full sentence. Again, you can edit out the bad portions.
  • Keep water nearby. Periodically sip on water to clear your throat.
  • Match your tone with the spirit of the content. People will tune out if your voice is putting them to sleep. In most cases, you’ll want to use an upbeat tone. This might feel like you are exaggerating, but keep in mind you are “performing”.
  • Listen to your recording with headphones. You’ll be better able to hear noise issues through headphones than your computer speakers.

Organizing your space, using good equipment, and following these recording tips will make for a smooth recording experience that makes your learners tune in!

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