One of the difficulties that teachers face in the online platform is that while it’s easier to share ideas and materials it’s harder to produce them in quality and in the time frame that is available. Most teachers are not sound designers or engineers and only consume music and audio and before online and distant learning became prevalent they rarely had needed to produce their own audio learning materials. With podcasts and Youtube being popular sources of audio as well, it had been less likely that one would have wanted to record their own audio for a lesson.
However, the pandemic slightly changed the landscape for that issue as well. More and more teachers feel the need to tailor materials they can find on the internet to their own teaching and to their students’ needs or to pre-record audio learning materials. In the following posts, I’ll give you a few tips on how to start quickly producing and editing your own audio, and these tips are aimed at novices and those with little or no experience in sound editing.
Equipment: Any relatively good quality microphones are OK. Since you’re mostly going to record talking and not singing you don’t really need top-notch studio microphones.
Space: It’s more important to record in a quiet space. Make sure you keep the microphone away from the computer as it can record the humming coming from it. Always record speaking and music/background separately.
Volume: Speak (more) loudly and articulate. Things you think can be heard just fine will most likely turn out too quiet. Try to talk like you would be talking in a big auditorium or theatre hall. Try to talk evenly and don’t suddenly shout or laugh loudly as it is going to be hard for the listener to adjust the volume when they happen on a recording. Later during editing, you should use the compressor feature to level out any differences in volume.
Software: The easiest and cheapest is to use Audacity, a free and open source audio editor and recorder. It has only a short learning curve and it has tons of add-ons and support that come with it.
In my next post, I’ll explain what editing steps you should take to produce an audio lesson. and where to find background music for your lessons here.