Audio Recording Tips for E-Learning Designers 

E-Learning Challenge #45: Challenge | Recap

If you’re like many course designers, you’ve probably had to record some audio for your e-learning courses. And recording audio is one of the simplest, most straightforward tasks you’ll perform in e-learning. You press the record button and—voilà!—you’re recording.

But what if you want to record high-quality audio? That’s easy, too. Every course designer knows that the key to great audio is… microphones. Right? Wait, it’s the recording software? No… Vocal booths? Mixers? Oh come on!

The reality is this: while recording audio is simple, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to improving audio quality. That means that the most helpful audio tips are the tips that align with a user’s recording needs, experience, and environment. And that’s what this week’s challenge is all about!

Challenge of the week

This week, your challenge is to share your audio recording deets with the community. We want to know all about your audio recording: your best practices, your gear, your processes, even your quirks and tricks that give your audio that special something. Maybe you record your best audio dressed up in a chicken suit—no worries, we don’t judge how you get it done.

There are three parts to this week’s challenge:

1. Tell us about your recording setup.

What type of microphone do you use? Do you record directly into your authoring tool, or do you record with a third-party application like Audacity? Do you record in your cubicle, or do you have a specific audio recording room? 

2. Show us your e-learning audio setup.

Where do you record your e-learning audio? Try to capture what a typical session looks like. It’s okay to clean your desk before taking a picture… just keep things as real-world as possible. Yes, this part requires a photo. 

3. Share your three favorite audio recording tips.

We love tips, and rumor has it you guys have the best audio tips around. Share your favorites. No audio tip is too small. If something’s worked well for you, we want to know all about it.


You can share audio challenge using Articulate Studio, Articulate Storyline, PowerPoint, the forums, or your own blog. Since this is a slightly different challenge, you have more options for how you share your entries.


Last week’s virtual tour challenge

Before you sound off in this week’s challenge, take a virtual tour of the amazing demos your fellow community members shared in last week’s virtual tour challenge:


E-Learning Challenge #44: Virtual Tours in Online Training

More about the e-learning challenges: 

The e-learning challenges are ongoing opportunities to learn, share, and build your e-learning portfolios. You can jump into any or all of the previous challenges anytime you want. I’ll update the recap posts to include your demos.

Wishing you a safe-and-sound week, E-Learning Heroes!

Even if you’re using a trial version of Studio ’13 or Storyline, you can absolutely publish your challenge files. Just sign up for a fully functional, free 30-day trial, and have at it. And remember to post your questions and comments in the forums; we're here to help. If you have a blog, please consider writing about your challenges. We’ll link back to your posts so the great work you’re sharing gets even more exposure. If you share your demos on Twitter, try using #ELHChallenge so your tweeps can track your e-learning coolness.

David Anderson
Jeff Kortenbosch
Melissa Milloway
Paul Hilbink
Tricia Ransom
Mary Beth Faccioli

Hello all! I dusted off my old blog in order to participate in this week's challenge. I've been meaning to put something like this together for a while now, so I'm using the challenge to get that done! Thanks for the push! My blog is for those with less experience than this group, and there's a lot of overlap with what's already been shared. I don't think I noticed the following tips though: - use a pop filter when you record to reduce sound distortions - you can make your own! - get some editorial control if possible, to deal with script issues without having to go back to SMEs - think about your voice, not just software and hardware - links to resources for diction, voice exercises, etc are at the very bottom of ... Expand

Mister Learning

Hey Folks! First time taking a stab at an eLearning challenge! Here...we...go! 1. I use a Blue Yeti Microphone with a Blue pop filter attached. I mainly record in Adobe Audition, yet I use Audacity at times. 2. Dangit, Requires a photo. Well here's the deal. I alter my workspace for VO sessions. I remove a bunch of things etc. But mainly I have this extremely ugly VO booth I made for my Mic, it's eggshell and foamcore and beastly. I barely fit my head in it, but it does an OK job! (I'll make up for the lack of a picture in the future...promise) 3. Three tips? Done. 1. Get familiar with your content. Read it. Speak it. Say it to someone else if you can, even your dog. These things will help it sound like you are actually talking to someone, not like it's your job and you... Expand

Andy Parker

I use an ATR2100 USB microphone and pop-filter, Camtasia with occasional use of Audacity. The best recordings are done in my home studio (also known as home office, spare bedroom, walk in wardrobe depending on the context). I also try to avoid recording on days the gardeners are mowing or strimming. . Most of my recordings are audios for software demos, so I write scripts for both the typing and speaking part of the demo and record them separately, combining them in Camtasia I use a few simple speaking techniques - Speak as though demonstrating to a friend at your desk. - Use your normal speaking voice - Smile while speaking - Ensure your script is in spoken English (for example, use don’t rather than do not) - Avoid words which you struggle to say. A thesaurus is your friend.... Expand

Tim Danner

1. Tell us about your recording setup. At work, we have a very small room dedicated to recording audio and video. Our mic is a USB Rode Podcaster secured in a shockmount on a boom arm. I used this type of mic in a prior job and liked the high-quality sound it produced. So when I was upgrading the equipment at my current job, I bought the same setup. (I also have this at home.) I always record directly into Adobe Audition CS6. I found it works best for mixing and cleaning up audio. 2. Show us your audio setup. 3. Share your three favorite audio recording tips. I script everything. If I’m recording a how-to screencast, I create two scripts – one that storyboards all of the actions for what is happening in the video and one that has... Expand

Tim Danner
Nick Leffler
Michael Fimian

Hi All, I'm not sure if anyone's mentioned this yet, and it isn't hardware at all, but one of the best tolls I've run into for recording is a teleprompter software called Mirrorscript Pro. It's free, and easily found via Google. When running, it fills your screen with large oversize text. You can control the size and color of the text as well as the background, and the speed at which the text scrolls. You C&P text into the main field and start it running in teleprompter mode. If you need to stop and take a sip of water, pre-read the next few lines of text, or just need to catch your breath, just hit the space bar. Pressing it again starts to scroll. It's so much easier than reading text in PPT or Storyline Notes Fields, esp. if you have vision problems... Apparently there... Expand

Kevin Thorn