This week’s Articulate challenge is to share how you create audio for your e-learning projects. Here are David Anderson’s questions along with my answers.
1. Tell us about your recording setup.
I use an Audio-Technica AT2020 desktop USB mic (pictured here on my desk). I either record directly into Storyline or Audacity – just depends on what I need. I used to do elaborate things to try to deaden the room or block out noise, but I stopped all of that and now I record pretty much as you see here, including the low light. I like a nice, calm atmosphere with as few lawnmowers and barking dogs as possible.
2. Show us your audio setup.
See that photo? That’s my audio setup. It’s my USB mic plugged directly into my PC or iMac. This is basically the setup I used to record this podcast; though in that case I was recording into Garage Band rather than Audacity.
3. Share your three favorite audio recording tips.
One of the first things they teach you in radio is to pre-read your copy. I started in public radio, so I learned this reading PSAs and other announcements. The key is not to read silently; you have to read aloud. Seems silly, right? Fact is, whenever I skip this step I end up doing more takes and more editing. If you invest your time up front by reading the script aloud, and with fluidity, before you record that one piece of it – you’ll save time on the back end by eliminating multiple takes and fixes.
B. LISTEN TO EVERY TAKE BEFORE YOU MOVE ON:
Normally I’m recording for individual screens in Storyline. As tempting as it is to say “Got it!” and move on to the next slide, I always stop and listen very carefully and at full volume to the take I just did. That may be the first time you hear the plane or the sneeze or the pencil drop that snuck in while you were focusing on your script.
That’s it. Just care about what you’re saying. Anyone can read a line of text, but that’s not going to lead to a compelling voiceover any more than slapping images and text into an e-learning development tool is going to lead to a compelling learning experience. Understand what you’re saying and why you’re saying it, think about who you’re talking to, and put your best energy, focus, and intention into it. It matters, and it shines through in the end result.