Audio recording Software/ Equipment

Good Afternoon,

I am using storyline to produce a course and now adding audio.

 I have a head set and the recording facilities of studio,  however, struggling with crackling and the fine tuning of the editing. Does anyone have any recording software or equipment recommendations to reduce noise, enhance recordings?

This is also something we are looking into for producing videos which can be stand alone or added into elearning courses so all suggestions welcomed.

11 Replies
Rebecca Shamblin

Here's what I use:

Samson C03U USB Condenser Microphone

Nady MPF-6 6-Inch Clamp On Microphone Pop Filter

Samson SP01 Shockmount Spider Mount for Condenser Mics 

I just record and edit using Storyline.  I am far, far from expert, but I've been really pleased with the quality of results and so have the users, so I'm sticking with it.  No crackling issues so far.

Daniel Brigham

Hi, Rachel: One of my favorite subjects, besides my BMW 335i (manual, sport package).

The actual environment you record is crucial, so you are off to a good start.

I'd suggest starting off with Audacity. It's free and it's going to help you sound more pro. Most people just use headsets for when they are doing screen recordings--a condenser mic is the norm for voiceover. The biggest thing about a mic is to test it. A mic is very much like an instrument--one that will respond favorably or not so favorably to your voice. A decent condenser mic generally runs $175 to 300 or so. But then, if you've got access to a studio, maybe you don't even need to purchase one.

My setup:

Audio Technica 4033CL condenser mic

Pop filter

Boom stand

Presonus tubepre (preamp)

Audacity audio editing program

As techies, we tend to overvalue equipment and technology. More often than not, it's the talent of the voiceover artist that carries the performance. You might enjoy Alburger's book The Art of Voice Acting or Susan Blu's Word of Mouth. --Daniel

Rebecca Dodds

We use Audacity, and the Blue Snowball mic on the short tripod that comes with it.  We record using Audacity, and then export as .wav files.  You can do a lot of editing and clean up in Audacity, and I set the volume after importing into Articulate.

We don't have access to a studio.  So, I got a few old file/bankers boxes, and lined them with foam rubber.  We put the microphones inside the boxes, and then record sitting close to the box.  Conversations in the hall that I can hear while recording don't come through onto the track!

Bob S

Hi Rachel,

There are a couple of important decisions you are going to need to make...

1) The technology the microphone uses.

There are two choices here... a USB direct digital microphone or a tradtional microphone with a digital convertor somewhere.

  • USB mics are a great bang for the buck, super easy, and may be all you need. However, you can never use two of them at once; for two-actor dialogues for example. Also, there is a bit less variety in your choices/quality levels.
  • Traditional mics can sometimes offer better sound quality, but certainly offer more choices. And you are not limited to single mic recordings forever should your needs change. However they can be a bit more complicated/costly because you need an outboard analogue-to-digital convertor somewhere in the chain.

2) Recording Software vs recording featurs of e-learning tool

While you can record directly to the e-learning tool, I would encourage you to record through Audacity (or the like) for most situations.

  • The increased flexibility, ability to edit, and more advanced tools are well worth it.
  • Given how good programs like Audacity are, and the price, it's hard to reccommend starting anywhere else for nearly every project.
  • Should your needs grow, you can upgrade to more professional products, but most folks today do not.

3) Environment

Often the most overlooked "component" of your recordings, it is a crucial factor.

  • Of course you want low noise. PC fans, ventilation systems, radiator ticking, and all of the other everyday sounds we tune out because we are used to them, can be picked up by the mic(s). And your listeners will notice.
  • Echo... the troublesome one. Many folks try to "treat" the room with absorbant materials or stuffed chairs and the like. That can help. But another method that's often easier it to put your mic in what amounts to a padded box. There are commercial versions available or you can make your own from a printer-sized box and some foam. This helps a lot.

Hope this ramble proves helpful and good luck... sound is fun!

Bob

Rebecca Shamblin

All the advice here sounds really smart.  I just wanted to add that the main reason I record directly in Storyline is that most of my recordings are very short (a sentence or two).  When I was recording elsewhere and importing, I had to save each file with a memorable name and keep them organized in the right order and the right sections, and then import them one at a time.  I had to have Storyline open anyway for the scripts, and I was doing very little editing since my environment is very quiet, so it was just simpler to switch in the end.  Just my experience!

Bob S

Just in case I came off like an audio snob (guilty, hehe), just wanted to say the mic I use most often anymore is a Samson USB with Samson spider mount; just like Rebecca in fact. Incredible bang for the buck! Especially for most e-learning applications.

I do run it on a mic stand vs tabletop (can breathe better), and I use a PortaBooth around it, and record through Audacity most often so I can tweak a bit.

But all in all, that little Samson with it's mount are pretty amazing... especially given the price and ease of use.

Candice H

For audio recording I've used Audacity (FREE - the best price!) and Gold Wave (not free but not expensive either) and I use Adobe Audition (formerly Soundbooth) for editing.  I have used Articulate and Captivate's audio editors before but I find that Adobe Audition has some nice options that can clean up the audio sound.

I hope this helps!

Darla Woodworth

Excellent comments!  We use the Samson USB mic also.  The one thing that has really helped is the $20 pop filter we put in front of the mic.  It has cut out most of the breathy, poppy sounds and sliva smacks!   I would recommend one that fits around the mic instead of the one we bought (which screws onto the table top).