Voiceovers - General Question...

Hi,

When I started out I use the "internal-direct-to-AP09" recording facility. I then moved to creating one track and trying to get everything to synch up.

I now try and create the voiceovers as seperate tracks, and build the course around this in whatever way I can. How do YOU create YOUR voiceover, (assuming you do....), and what techniques do you use to try and get the most out of the powerful awesomeness that is Articulate and the powerful awesomeness that is your voice

Bruce

11 Replies
Rich Johnstun

Script and audio always comes first. I think people's natural inclination when they first start out is to start with the visuals and talk them through, as you would with a live presentation. If you think about it in terms of a movie, they start with a story and script and then wrap the visuals around that...same goes for e-learning. Not to say that you can't do it the other way around, I have, but the results are always better when I start with the audio first. 

My audio gets recorded in either Audacity or Adobe SoundBooth. I use Audacity for simple straight voice over recording and I use SoundBooth if I need to lay in sound effects, tweek the audio or do some filtering. 

Brian Sullivan

I agree with the story, script being the driver for a production. We do the script first, try to at least rough out the visuals in a storyboard process to see if there is a script effect because of choice of visuals.

We often do professionally voiced audio so we leave the audio recording 'til as late as possible in the process to avoid extra cost of more studio and talent time, but also follow this rigor if the voice is not professional.

I don't think we have ever recorded using Articulate tools.

Rachel Leigh

Interesting discussion.  Currently I'm working on self-paced learning modules and I consider the narration/audio/script part of the content.  For these, my production method is like Brian's.  David raises a good question about whether your production method changes when you're creating screencasts or simulations.

Does the elearning community consider screencasting, simulation and self-paced modules different learning strategies or learning environments or something else? 

Rich Johnstun

I do screencasts both ways. I see it as the difference between formal and informal learning. If I want something that is very polished then I will do them separately. If it something that we want quick turn around on and polish/formality is not a concern, then I do audio simultaneously. 

For example, right now I have one project that is a walk through for a new system that is customer facing. The audience is our customers. Because it is customer facing, I want a high degree of polish to it (not to mention that the script has be run through our legal department) In this case, I will do the screen recording and the audio recording individually. This gives me a different level of control over the project.  Conversely, I just finished a project that was for internal associates and it was how to configure a new version of a software application we sell. It was for a small audience (less than 100 people) who are highly skilled and trained in this field. It was very informal and quick (less than 5 minutes). In that case, I mic'd up the SME, did a couple of run through while recording both the audio and video and cut together the takes for the finished product. 

Matt Blackstock

I agree with both Rich and Rachel, I also follow the informal/formal methods.

I finished a project towards the end of last year that was introducing internal staff to a new learning mangement system that we were launching.  The screencast component was recorded in Camtasia and then placed within an Articulate Presenter wrapper.

It was scripted first around the features we wanted to show the staff, and then the screencast and audio were recorded simultaneously - this allowed easy synchronisation and was then dropped into Articulate as swf files.

In comparison to that, I recently completed a formalised project based around being compliant with some key legislation. This was a little more involved  because it  involved Articulate, a number of simulations developed in Captivate and a voice over. The SME's wanted the audio to be recorded professionally by an impersonator, so it involved a slightly different approach.

Firstly storyboards were created based around the script, then the voiceover was recorded externally and delivered as a single MP3 file.  Audacity was then used to edit and insert the audio into the relevent areas of the module and synchronised via the sync animations feature of Articulate.  Timing was a little tricky in some areas, but overall it came together.

It's great to see these types of discussions, because it really makes me reassess my own production workflows .  Ultimately I think the approach taken depends on the learners, content availability and the time allocated for production.

Tricia Ransom

I do a lot of software training, so I like to record them separately. Since I was a department of 1, I would have a mental script, and build the course around that. You definitely need to know what you want to say (be it via audio, visuals, scripts, etc.) and how you want to say it BEFORE you begin developing the course. 

However, if it's for a quick informal something (like to show my husband a ppt trick), I'll record both together.

Rachel Leigh

Tricia Ransom said:

I do a lot of software training, so I like to record them separately. Since I was a department of 1, I would have a mental script, and build the course around that. You definitely need to know what you want to say (be it via audio, visuals, scripts, etc.) and how you want to say it BEFORE you begin developing the course. 

However, if it's for a quick informal something (like to show my husband a ppt trick), I'll record both together.


I'm a "department of 1" too and develop self-paced eLearning, but I have a voiceover professional on contract, so I write the script and include it in Notes section in PP.  If it was me recording the narration, I'd probably have a script so as not to mess up/avoid multiple re-recordings and to also have script of the module available for people with hearing impairments.  In my modules I include a PDF of every slide and corresponding script and link as an attachment.