How to record high quality audio for online courses plus the tools I use
I’m sure you’ll agree with me that high quality audio is crucial to a great online course. Screen recordings, presentations, video and audio downloads all rely on polished audio to get your message across.
Fortunately, you don’t have to fork out hundreds of dollars to create professional sounding audio. All you need are a few essential tools and the right technique.
TIP #1 PREPARE A SCRIPT
Writing a script beforehand can save you time and will help you to think about what you want to say. I find it helps to read my script before I do the actual recording (kinda like rehearsing), this way I get a feel for what the words sound like out loud. My goal here is not to rehearse or memorise my script…it’s more of a warm up.
Once I hit the record button, I may ad-lib here or there but I try to stick to my script as far as possible. This way I avoid umm’ing and ahh’ing in between words. Your script can be as detailed as you need it to be. I like to write out my sentences but keywords and bullet points can work just as well.
TIP # 2 USE A GOOD QUALITY MICROPHONE
When I started out creating screen recordings, I used a cheap $30 headset microphone. The audio was ok but I spent a lot of time editing out background noise.
These days I use a USB Blue Snowball Microphone, which I bought on Amazon for around $90 AUD. Seriously, when I record using the Snowball, the quality is pretty darn good. There’s minimal background noise so post editing is a breeze. The only downside is, it’s a bit heavy and bulky but perfect if you don’t need to move it around.
For on the go recording when I’m out and about, I use the Rode SmartLav Lavalier Microphone which clips onto your clothing. This is the one that tv presenters use so it’s professional and gives amazing quality. I use this for all my FB live recordings and broadcasts.
TIP # 3 CHECK YOUR BODY POSTURE AND ANGLE
Ever wondered why professionals stand when they’re doing voice overs? Try recording your audio while standing. You’ll breathe easier and your voice will sound better.
And don’t be shy of getting up close and personal with your microphone. You’ll want to get up nice and close and hold the microphone to the side of your mouth if you’re not using a lavalier mic.
TIP # 4 STAY HYDRATED
Trust me on this one, talking over and over again leads to a very dry mouth, which leads to a dry throat, which leads to croaky sounding audio. Have a water bottle handy and take small sips in between recordings.
TIP #5 ADD MARKERS TO HELP WITH POST EDITING
If you make mistakes during recordings, you have two choices. Start a fresh recording or add silence by pausing or noise markers to your audio track. To add noise, simply clap your hands which will result in a spike on your audio track.
The ability to cut out errors and pauses quickly will speed up your post-editing and save you loads of time.
TIP # 6 USE FREE EDITING SOFTWARE TO REDUCE BACKGROUND NOISE
Audacity is a free online software tool that I use for all my audio editing. You can easily cut out hissing background noise, edit your pitch or tone and fade background music. That’s about all I use it for right now.
This program does require a download but if you’re serious about producing quality audio every time, then I’d highly recommend you try it. The interface is a bit ugly looking but don’t let that turn you off!