How to quickly edit audio for online lessons II. Editing essentials

Audacity desktop (source: audacityteam.org)

This is the second part of the Beginner Audio Editing for Teachers series. To read the first post go to How to….. and part3 .

Editing essentials: You’re going to find these in every audio editor. If you’ve never worked with audio editing before, you should use learn how to use these first.

Add a new track: Open a new audio session or mix your audio with sound and music. /”Track” or “File-import” tabs.

Fade in/out: To avoid starting and finishing the audio abruptly, use the fade in/fade out features.

Cut: Remove the parts you don’t need. /”Edit” tab.

Insert silence: You can insert silence at cuts or at parts where you want to add music later. /”Generate” tab.

Compressor: One of the most important features is to level out differences in volume. /”Effect” tab.

Save track: If you just want to save the Audacity project to work on it later, use the “Save Project As”. /”File” tab.

Export audio: To export the finished audio go to “Export audio” at “File”.

In my next post, I’ll talk about where to find background music and other sounds for your audio lesson.

How to quickly edit audio for online lessons I.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

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.