RECORDING AUDIO

AudioVOC.jpg
Voice Acting is an art! The voices you hear in commercials, cartoons and video games are typically performed by talented people who spend years honing their skills.
  • DIALOGUE can be easily captured using USB (and analog) headsets and microphones. In this unit, you'll learn how to:
    • Capture the Audio cleanly and with minimal noise
    • Edit the Audio
      • to remove unwanted elements such as dead air and noise
      • to layer several different elements together

    • Save the Audio into files that can be used by other programs
  • Write out your script!
    It's VERY hard to "wing it" without making mistakes - your voiceover work will go much faster if you are reading from a script. Your classmates (the one's waiting for the headset next) will thank you for it.
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A. Recording with your MOBILE DEVICE

If you have an IOS or Android device, your may be surprised to learn how GOOD the audio that it captures can be!
  • DOWNLOAD the right APP: Look for apps that allow you to use "Superior" quality settings before you start recording:
    • ANDROID: "Audio Recorder" Audio Recorder App.png
    • IOS: "Recorder Plus" or "Voice Recoder Free" RecorderPlus-App.png

  1. Be sure your APP is set to record in HIGH QUALITY
  2. Locate where the MICROPHONE is on your device (tap around- be sure THAT's the end you speak into!
  3. Hold your device a hand's width away from your mouth - just like a microphone

B. Recording using USB HEADSET

IF you don't have your own recording device, you can borrow a headset from the teacher
NOTE: PLEASE handle the USB Headsets with care:
  • GENTLY coil and uncoil the cables to keep them neat
  • GROUND yourself before plugging them into the USB port
  • GENTLY adjust the microphone
  • The microphone goes on the LEFT ear
  1. Plug the headset into the USB plug of your computer and wait for it to load the drivers
  2. Start up Audacity and make test recording to see that it's working properly

C. Recording from WINDOWS v7

Recording sounds played through Microsoft WINDOWS
  • PREFERENCES: INTERFACE
    • Host: WIndows WASAPI
    • Recording Device: Speakers (loopback)
Anything played on a website should be recordable, including mouseclicks etc.

RECORDING PITFALLS

  1. Background Noise
    1. There's NO PERFECT WAY to remove background noise once it's recorded, so DON'T record it! Get to a quiet space like a soundroom or empty hallway
  2. Improper GAIN - The "Input Volume" of your recording device is better described as "GAIN"
    1. If it's TOO LOW, it can be too hard to hear, and be susceptible to electronic noise or hiss once amplified
    2. If it's TOO HIGH, it's WORSE as it can CLIP and distort the recording beyond repair
  3. Plosives


https://theproaudiofiles.com/plosives/
https://youtu.be/Gx-0qqov96E

RECORDING FORMATS
  • Sample Rate
  • Expressed in KHz
    • the horizontal resolution of a sound wave
    • (thousands of cycles per second) - (One Hertz is one cycle per second)
    • think of this as how many slices a recorded second has been chopped into
    • higher sample rates can accurately reproduce higher frequencies
    • Human hearing can perceive from 20 to 20,000 Hz (20Hz-20KHz)
  • Bit Depth - the vertical resolution of a sound wave
    • used to approximate the curve of an analogue wave
    • 8, 16 or 24 bit are typical
    • 24 bit rates yield the theoretical maximum signal to quantization ratio for pure sine waves
  • TYPICAL FORMATS
    • 8KHz - Telephone/Walkie Talkie - adequate for voice communication
    • 44.1KHz 16bit - CD Quality
    • 48KHz - Professional digital video quality
    • 96KHz - DVD-Audio
    • 192KHz Blu-Ray
  • 48KHz/24bit is as high as you need to go for our classroom use


1. PLUG IN THE HEADSET

NOTE: PLEASE handle the USB Headsets with care
  • GENTLY coil and uncoil the cables to keep them neat
  • GROUND yourself before plugging them into the USB port
  • GENTLY adjust the microphone
  • The microphone is on the LEFT ear
Sound_USB-Headset01.jpg
2. START and SET UP AUDACITY
  • EDIT | PREFERENCES
    • DEVICES
      • PLAYBACK and RECORDING can be set to your USB Headset
      • CHANNELS can be set to 1 (mono) for a headset
    • RECORDING
      • Check "Overdub: Play Other Tracks While Recording"
    • DIRECTORIES
      • Set the TEMPORARY FILES DIRECTORY to your D: Drive
      • Create the new folder if required
  • VIEW - Turn on "SHOW CLIPPING"

3. ADJUST YOUR LEVELS - BEWARE of CLIPPING!
  • Press the RECORD button and speak to TEST your recording levels.
    • Watch the VU meter in the top right corner of the window
    • The meter should "Peak" at about -12db
  • Adjust the Microphone slider if required:
    • MIC SET TOO LOW: Audio will sound “hissy” when amplified
    • MIC SET TOO HIGH: This creates CLIPPING resulting in unacceptable distortion.
    • IDEAL LEVELS: The waveform fills the “canvas” without “Clipping”.
  • Close any "test" tracks by clicking the X in the top left corner.

4. WHEN YOU’RE READY TO RECORD
  • Position your script so you can read it
  • RECORD YOUR DIALOGUE
  • SPEAK SLOWLY and CLEARLY
  • SPEAK EMPHATICALLY! If you don’t use an emphatic, upbeat voice, your dialogue can get lost under any video or animation, and you’ll need to re-record.
  • Record ALL your lines at once with a slight gap between them. Hit the STOP button when you’re done.



Audacity03.jpg
INTERFACE TIPS
  • CTRL-F zooms to fit the entire recording into the window
  • CTRL-E zooms to the current selection
  • CTRL-SHIFT-F Fits all tracks vertically


WHEN YOU'RE DONE RECORDING
  • Coil up your headphones
  • Restore the plugs in the back of the computer
  • Return the headphones to the classroom teacher



Using the Blue Yeti Microphone
  • Plug in the Yeti BEFORE starting Audacity!
  • Adjust the MODE for the microphone
  • Turn off unnecessary electronics
  • Place the microphone near the FRONT of the booth
  • Speak at a distance of about 8 inches from the front of the microphone