Recording Voice Narration with Audacity

Introduction

Audacity® is free, easy-to-use, multi-track, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds. Audacity is available for Windows®, Mac®, GNU/Linux® and other operating systems.  The interface is translated into many languages. You can use Audacity to:

  • record live audio;
  • convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs;
  • edit WAV, AIFF, FLAC, MP2, MP3 or Ogg Vorbis sound files;
  • cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together;
  • change the speed or pitch of a recording;
  • and more!

Check out their Feature List, Wiki and Forum for more information.  Audacity 2.0.3 is free; available from SourceForge.net and recommended by Articulate – the leader in Rapid eLearning.  LinDion Services also recommends and leverages Audacity for packaging and publishing Rapid eLearning content.

Articulate Presenter, Engage, Quizmaker and Storyline as well as Adobe Captivate and Presenter (tools used and promoted by LinDion Services) all have the ability to record voice narration.  LinDion Services’ customers leveraging our packaging and publishing services will not have the aforementioned software and will need a tool to record voice narration, followed by submitting these .WAV files to be incorporated into the modules / content we package and publish for “them”; “them” being the content owners or subject matter experts (SMEs).  Audacity can easily be installed and used by our customers (content owners / SMEs) to record individual .WAV files to then be submitted for packaging and publishing content.

This job aid visually clarifies how Audacity is installed and used by content owners / SMEs, with a good soundcard and headset, to record .WAV files of their voice narratives.  These individual .WAV files (one per “slide”) are then submitted to LinDion Services to be imported to applicable slides to package and publish content with content owner’s / subject matter expert’s voice narration.

Installing Audacity Version 2.0.3

#1 Click here followed by selecting the download appropriate for your operating system (OS).

Installing Audacity Version 2.0.3

NOTE: If you have a previous version of Audacity, uninstall it first, before installing the latest version (2.0.3).

#2 For Windows, click Audacity 2.0.3 installer (or alternatively, Audacity 2.0.3 zip file for a smaller download – without help files).

Installing Audacity Version 2.0.3

#3 Click Run to begin the installation process or Save the installable executable file (.EXE) followed by double-clicking on it to install.

Installing Audacity Version 2.0.3

#4 Select your desired setup language followed by clicking OK.

Installing Audacity Version 2.0.3

Follow the prompts to finish installation as seen from the screenshots below (depending on your OS, these prompts or rather, screenshots will differ).

#5 Click Next.

Installing Audacity Version 2.0.3

#6 Leave the destination as is; click Next.

Installing Audacity Version 2.0.3

#7 Leave Create a desktop icon checked and select Reset Preferences as well (e.g. if you had a previous version installed); click Next.

Installing Audacity Version 2.0.3

#8 Click Install.

Installing Audacity Version 2.0.3

#9 Allow time for the files to extract.

Installing Audacity Version 2.0.3

#10 Click Next.

Installing Audacity Version 2.0.3

#11 Leave Launch Audacity checked; click Finish.

Installing Audacity Version 2.0.3

#12 If you had a previous version installed, uninstalled it prior to installing this version 2.0.3 and checked Reset Preferences in the previous step, go ahead and click Yes, to continue.

Installing Audacity Version 2.0.3

#13 Depending on your system language, you may want to adjust the user interface to a different language: > Edit > Preferences > Interface > Language.

Installing Audacity Version 2.0.3

#14 Typically, you won’t need to adjust anything else.  Often, it’s best practice to set your Input Volume at 50% (depends on your headset, soundcard, etc.).

Installing Audacity Version 2.0.3

#15 Under All Programs, you’ll find Audacity as well as a link (icon) from your Desktop.

Installing Audacity Version 2.0.3

Recording Individual .WAV Files

In addition to the below, please access and learn from “Getting Started” and “Audacity Manual Contents” (both online) from the menu bar > Help > Quick Help and Manual.

Recording Individual .WAV Files

As the content owner / subject matter expert, you will use Audacity to record your voice narration as a .WAV file (one .WAV file per slide) that you’ll send to LinDion Services for us to import into your course, quiz, presentation, learning nugget, demonstration, or application simulation.

NOTE: LinDion Services can also record voice narration for your learning products and presentations, if you prefer – we currently offer English (American), German (with a light, American accent) and Spanish (native).

Best Practices and Preparation

  • Ensure that you have a good headset and mouthpiece (microphone)
  • Find a quiet place to record for the best results
  • Refrain from “ummms” and “ughhhs” – using your pre-typed script, this shouldn’t happen
  • Keep your mouthpiece (microphone) close enough to your mouth for quality recording but far enough away to not overemphasize
  • Before you begin, you’ll want to make sure that you have a printed copy of your script to record
    • This is the text you typed up, for example, within the notes section of your PowerPoint file
    • The text you type up should be exactly what you will record – verbatim
    • This text will be “seen” in your online presentation at the same time that the training participant listens to your voice narrations (applies to PowerPoint-based content)
  • Save individual .WAV files with, for example, a short name followed by a two character number representing which slide the .WAV applies to (e.g. ‘SAPFICOApplication_01.wav’)

To start recording, click the Record button from the Toolbar, allowing 1 second to pass before speaking into your microphone.

Recording Individual .WAV Files

Click the Pause button from the Toolbar when you “run out of breath” (need a break) followed by clicking the Pause button again to continue recording.  Click the Stop button from the Toolbar when you’re finished recording your .WAV file.  Once finished, you’ll notice your audio track in the timeline window – click the Play button to listen to your recording to confirm that it’s ready to be saved.

If you’re not pleased with the recording, click the X in the top left-hand corner of the audio track (from the timeline window) to delete, followed by repeating the aforementioned process.

Recording Individual .WAV Files

NOTE: There are features to cut out and replace sections of your audio track with new recordings; it’s often easier to simply start over with a new audio track if needed.

Once you’re comfortable with the results of your recording, save the audio track (export) as a .WAV file: > File > Export.

Recording Individual .WAV Files

NOTE: Save individual .WAV files with, for example, a short name followed by a two character number representing which slide the .WAV applies to (e.g. ‘SAPFICOApplication_01.wav’).

Delivering Recorded .WAV Files to LinDion Services

Once you’re ready to send the .WAV files to LinDion Services, please refer to the instructions you have been provided with – typically, you will be provided with a link to upload your .WAV files to our SharePoint site.

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