Synching video and studio narration

I am creating online software training using a professional narrator. This is the first lesson that I am creating using screencasts. I am looking for the best way to synch the screencast with the audio. The method I have developed so far is more of a workaround than anything else.

What I am doing is this:

  1. Open the audio file in Windows Media Player
  2. Open Storyline
  3. Select Record screen in Storyline
  4. Click the record button
  5. Click the play button as fast as I can.
  6. Mute the video
  7. Insert the audio file
  8. shift the audio file ~1 second to account for the delay between clicking the two buttons.

Please let me know if you have a smarter way of doing this!!!

6 Replies
Christine Hendrickson

Hi Alison,

I'm sure others will chime in with some suggestions, but I wanted to pop in an share an idea that I think may help you out. Do you have access to Replay?

If so, you could insert both the video and the audio or record the audio in Replay and create a single video file. 

If you don't have Replay, you can learn more about it from the Replay product page.

Best of luck on the project!

Nancy Tropea

I have a similar question.  I've recorded a screencast using Storyline 2 and created a separate audio file using Audacity.  I've imported the audio file into my storyline project.  How can I use the audio editor to cut/silence parts of the audio file to synch up with the actions in the video?  This is a system tutorial.  Can the video not play while working with the audio editor?

Walt Hamilton

I can't imagine having Audacity and wanting to edit audio in anything else. :)

I would edit the video in Microsoft MovieMaker, and add parts of the audio that I edited in Audacity. Then save it for computer and import it as a video into SL. Both Audacity and MovieMaker will give you control to .01 sec, and you can get exactly what you want. SL is great at what it does, but editing video and audio is similar to trimming your fingernails with an ax; you can try it if you want to.

Alison Martin

Once your audio file is inserted in the slide, you can just double click the audio from the timeline and the audio editor opens.

Basically, you use trial and error until everything syncs up. Which is why I used the method above to synch the screencast to the audio (rather than synching the audio to the video). Either way, it is pretty darn sloppy!

Ray Cole

I have faced this same problem. I think we collectively need to rethink the way we record these screencasts. In many instances, it is not desirable to record the audio live at the time you record the video of the screen operations. But if you don't record the audio live, then you face this horrible problem of synchronizing the video of the screen to your separately-recorded professionally narrated audio.

We need tools to synch video of the screen to our audio files, but I am not aware of any such tools. That means there is an opportunity for Articulate to create one, though! It would fill a need that no one else is filling, and for at least a while, Articulate could corner the market as there is no competing product.

What I usually do instead is take screen captures--tons of them: one for every hover and every click. And then synch their entrances and exits to my master audio track on the timeline. It's labor intensive and time consuming, but the end result is really seamless and slick. I highlight each screen element by hand with a no-fill shape that has a wheel animation attached to it, so as the voice describes each step, the screen element being discussed gets "circled".

Again, this approach is rather "boutique," but it does allow you to script out your narration in advance, and even edit or alter it at the 11th hour (which is sometimes necessary) without having to rerecord the whole screencast. And you can put any annotations, animations, highlights, or outlines over the screen at any time, so it has a lot of flexibility. This approach also has advantages when you need to "scrub" the screens of any actual employee names or identifying information, because it is much easier to take screen captures into Photoshop to edit these out than it is to try to scrub the video in a tool like Premiere. I have also found it useful when I am creating training about enterprise software systems that have complex databases at their back ends. Sometimes in such systems, if you rehearse an operation, you change the state of the underlying data, and can now no longer repeat the operation you just rehearsed because the data is in a new state. If you've taken screen captures, you can fake the screens in Photoshop if necessary, and no one will know when you put them back onto your Storyline timeline.

But this method is laborious and time consuming. I really would welcome a tool targeted at specifically addressing these kinds of issues.