In Engage’09, it’s easy to add audio files and narration to your interactions. Adding sound can really boost the effectiveness and interactivity of your content. You can add sound to any part of your interaction—individual tabs, segments, steps, glossary entries—even your introduction or summary, if your interaction includes them. Here we'll take a look at two simple ways to add audio.
Option #1: Record the Narration Yourself
Engage has an easy-to-use recording tool that allows you to record your own narration. Here's how to use it:
- Get a good microphone and connect it to your PC.
- Choose as quiet an environment as possible. Of course a sound studio would be ideal, but you might find that a carpeted, enclosed office or conference room works pretty well too. Your goal is to minimize background noises and echoes, so that your audio is as clean as it can be.
- Open your interaction in Engage. Go to the place in your interaction where you'd like to add sound.
Find the audio control panel—it'll be on the right-hand side of your window. It's spotlighted here in this Glossary interaction:
- Hold on—don't start recording yet! It pays to take a minute first to plan out what you'll say. It's a great idea to have a script or outline in front of you while you record. Just click the script icon on the audio panel to open the narration script window. Then type, edit, or paste away. You can keep this window open the whole time you're recording.
- Click the red button on the audio panel to start recording. Engage records till you click the stop button.
- Now click the play button to hear how things sound. If you like it, great—you're done! If not, just click the record button again for a re-do. Engage erases your previous try and replaces it with the new recording.
- If you had the narration script window open during recording, you can close it when you're finished. Engage saves the text automatically when you close.
Option #2: Import an Existing Sound File
If you've already got some audio on hand that you want to use in your Engage interaction, it's easy to import it. Here are a few important things to consider:
- What's the best file format? You'll get the best results with WAV files. Specifically, Articulate recommends 16-bit 44Khz PCM WAV files.
- What about MP3s? Many MP3s will work, but you might end up with klugey audio quality when you publish your presentation. This is because during publishing, the files are converted from a lossy (MP3) format, to a lossless (WAV) format, and then back to a lossy format. If you do use MP3s, be sure they're Flash-supported—otherwise when you publish, your audio might seem too fast or too slow.
- What if all I have are non-supported MP3s? Don't worry—you can convert them to WAV for free.
- Organize your files: Put your audio files in a local folder (not on a network, since importing from a network drive can sometimes be problematic). Also, avoid using folder names or paths with spaces or non-Western characters. These sometimes bungle the import process.
When you're ready to import, here's what to do:
- Open your interaction in Engage. Go to the place in your interaction where you'd like to import a sound file.
- Click the import icon on the audio control panel.
- Find the file you want to use and click Open.
Need to Delete Some Audio?
If you change your mind and need to remove audio you've previously applied, just go back to the place in your interaction where you added it, and click the red X on the audio panel.