Last month we introduced themed content, discussion, and events and the feedback was so positive, so we are continuing on this trend and kicking off an entire month of Audio/Visual content for you.
Here’s what you can expect this month:
Leave your Audio/Visual questions below, so we can better tailor the discussions & resources we deliver to you throughout the month.
Good audio is so important.
An underrated thing for instructors to learn and get good at, in my opinion. It's a skill.
- How do you prepare your room for good sound before you start recording?
- How do you remove echo from a video that has already been recorded?
- How do you remove background noise such as dogs, cars and babies?
- How do you ensure all of your videos have about the same level of audio and it doesn't fluctuate from being too quiet in one video and too loud in the next?
- What tools do instructors use around audio?
- Do I need an expensive microphone?
- Should I "edit out" mistakes? If I say the wrong thing, or a demonstration doesn't work the way I planned? How important is that?
- What about ums, uhs, ahs, and long pauses in the audio? What to do about that, if anything?
Best practices for green screen filming (without a dedicated studio) are always welcome! I still struggle with even lighting on the screen and avoiding color bleed.It's so hard to get right, I just try to film against real physical backgrounds instead whenever possible. But I'd love to learn how to do it better.
Since teaching on Udemy, I became an audiophile...worse when I got studio grade headphones and listened to my older videos *shudder*. I recorded this video (as part of my own video diary) to show how I try to get clean audio, without butchering the audio post-recording or trying to sound-proof the room (which didn't sit well with the wife).
@ScottDuffy I took a stab at your questions. I hope my responses and experiences can help someone.
- How do you prepare your room for good sound before you start recording? Very tricky, because I use my bedroom, with bare concrete walls and a lot of reflection. If I close the door, I get echoes and if I open it, kitchen and TV noises bleed into the audio. My best best bet is to close the door and try to talk as closely to the mic as possible...
- How do you remove echo from a video that has already been recorded?I used to try doing this and stopped, there are so many other factors and frequencies in the audio that I ran the risk of butchering my voice. I used to like Adobe Premiere's reverb reducing features until I listened with proper headphones...I re-recorded that course...
I hate Camtasia's audio editing settings...rubbish in my book.
Understanding how noise gates and equalizers work is good. These help you to isolate certain frequencies and decibels in your audio and remove them. So the first 2 bands on an equalizer helps you to eliminate distant sounds, as well as low hums like ACs or even mouse and keyboard sounds. Audacity has good tools for that, or Reaper. A noise gate will set a minimum decibel level and eliminate any sound that is lower than that level
- How do you ensure all of your videos have about the same level of audio and it doesn't fluctuate from being too quiet in one video and too loud in the next?I try to keep my audio settings consistent. The same gain on the mic, same audio settings in my recording software and same mic positioning. This can be harder to gauge though, because there can be other factors that cause variations, but consistency helps to make the differences negligible.
- What tools do instructors use around audio?I used to record in Camtasia, edit in Premiere and then export. This takes way too much time. I hate Camtasia's audio settings, I don't have time to export audio to Audacity and edit, and Premiere bloated the video file x10. So I started using a virtual mic through a DAW and do audio pre-processing, so the end result sounds "perfect" and very little editing is needed afterwards.
- Do I need an expensive microphone?Expensive microphones do have a place in this world...but if you have the right tools, you don't need one. I have gone from a Logitech headset mic, to Fifine USB...to Scarlett and now Shure MV7. Ultimately, my current setup could have given me decent audio with any of these mics. That being said though, a good investment will always pay off. Always look to improve your quality.
- Should I "edit out" mistakes? If I say the wrong thing, or a demonstration doesn't work the way I planned? How important is that?This can be gauged. Don't spend 5 minutes silent while you are trying to debug what went wrong. I tend to leave the initial instance of the error, pause and figure out the solution and then continue the recording with my genius moment explaining what went wrong and the solution. But the student doesn't need to see that you were actually stumped for 5 minutes. Even if you recorded it, edit it out and make it flow like a teachable moment.
I used to sit for hours editing out every um..uh and ahm. I have since gotten better at speaking and they are now less frequent, but I don't worry about every single one. If I say uh...I leave it. However, if I feel like I took too long and the flow of the explanation was broken, my technique is to leave a long pause before I pick up again. This way, when I am editing the video, I can look at the audio in the editing software and see the long moments of silence and know I need to target there for an edit. I use this technique for general mistakes as well. It saves lots of time.
Filmora actually has a very useful Silence Detection feature too. This allows you to set a silence threshold (lets say minimum 1 second) and then it will automatically ripple delete those sections and give your video a contiguous format, less all those silent moments.
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