Audio recordings

The simplest form of recording a content input, a lecture or other explanations is audio recording. It can be created even without much previous knowledge and is also an important learning medium for students. The recording team will help you with the preparation as well as the equipment or recording places for audio productions.

Various forms of audio recordings

There are different possibilities to produce audio recordings.

The simplest form is audio-only recording in a compressed form (MP3 format). Furthermore, programs like Adobe Reader or PowerPoint offer integrated recording features that, instead of a screencast (recording of your screen with audio), allows you to simply add audio commentary to an already existing script.

Conceivable for …

  • teaching inputs/ presentations where presentational media is not used or where it does not have to be shown (for example in philosophy).
  • supplementary input that, for example, extends an already existing script or that quickly answers questions that have arisen for students during an online phase.
  • greetings/ introductions/ summaries at the start or the end of online teaching phases.
  • interviews with experts to further enhance already existing learning material to make it more interesting (podcasts).
  • student podcasts, for example, when students are supposed to prepare and present a subject in a podcast to their classmates.
  • feedback, for instance, as an alternative to written feedback for submitted work.
  • the production of audio guides Example: Audio guide of the University and State Library Darmstadt (in German).

Tool recommendation: Free software Audacity

  • Suitable for an already existing script to be selectively enriched by additional inputs
  • Adobe Reader allows you to create audio commentary with the tool “Commentary/ Audio recording” at various points of the document
  • PowerPoint slides can be annotated with audio commentary
  • Disadvantage: MAC users may not be able to play the files – refer to the note

Note: Export your recordings in an MP4 format. This is a universally accessible video format that can be accessed on all operating systems by various video players

Instructions for the voice-over of PowerPoint slides from the Justus-Liebig University Gießen (in German)

Recommended technical equipment

  • USB headset (for example Logitech H340) or USB microphone (for example Blue Yeti Studio Blackout or Audiotechnica AT 2020 USB)

Do not use the integrated microphone of your laptop or tablet. Their audio quality is usually not good enough. Exceptions are Apple devices or high-quality smartphones.

Borrow USB microphones from the e-learning group

Tips to achieve a good audio quality:

  • Room with little reverb and as little noise interference as possible (construction noise, loud hallways, traffic noise and so on…)
  • Levelling your microphone. (Quieter recordings can be increased during the post-production. However, overdrive cannot be corrected!) – Make a test recording and listen to it!
  • Take pauses when speaking, especially after short slips of the tongue. Wait a short moment and then continue speaking. This makes editing easier afterwards.
  • Try to speak as clearly as possible with a varied tone (no monotone reading or bored speaking along) – If in doubt, get another person to talk to them!