eLearning audio comes in three forms. You can either add music, sound effects, or include a voiceover.
• Music can be added to certain pages to help reinforce the feeling or idea of the content
• Sounds effects can add interesting elements to a course to help break up mundane tasks
• A voiceover is where content is read by a narrator to supportthe on-screen information
• This is especially helpful when the content is best explained in examples that only a person doing the job can provide
For audio to be successful, you’ll need to create a well-written and easy-to-read script, include some pre-recording activities to make sure you capture the best quality content, take your time while recording, and then allow for time to do a quality edit.
Your script should be easy to read; play around with the font size and format. Be sure to select a font that’s easily seen from multiple distances. The script should also be concisely written with fillers removed, unfamiliar terms explained, and free of spelling errors. Include formatting clues that help identify important moments within the script like bolding a particular word or phrase.
Before recording, locate a room that doesn’t have noises and distractions and where sound doesn’t bounce and create echos. You’ll also want to practice the script, so it’ll sound as natural as possible. Feel free to write all over the script with places to pause, emphasize, and change tone.
Grab a glass of water! Your mouth will most likely dry up. Having something handy to keep your voice from becoming raspy will make sure tracks can be melded together without issue. In recent studies, it’s been found that water is the best. Blowing your nose before recording will ensure your voice is not “nasally” and ensures you won’t sniffle while recording.
Right before you’re ready to record, lock the door and turn off all electronics. This way you’ll be committed and free of distractions as you record. Block off plenty of time to record, so you’re not focusing on freeing up a conference room or rushing to the next meeting. Right before you start recording, read through the script one last time to make sure you’re comfortable and ready to start.
Once you hit record, do some warm up exercises and read the first couple lines of the script. Then, take the time to check the audio for quality issues. This is the time to tweak the volume, pitch, or other variations a learner may hear. Allow for breaks so that you can stop frequently to check on the quality, speed, and tone of what you’ve recorded.
Once the audio has been recorded, move the files into your audio editing software of choice. Do a scrub through where you check the quality every so often. This will give you an idea if the audio needs to be edited overall, like normalizing, or if you need to address certain areas. While loud breaths and “umms” can seem like annoyances, they actually provide a level of humanization to the ear. Go through and remove anything that’s distracting and leave everything else in. Chunk the audio into sections and record each one; then string them all together for a final run through.