Voiceovers for screencasting: 5 secrets (brief outline)

Here’s a quick outline of a presentation I gave to the Orange County chapter of the Society for Technical Communication in June, 2017.

The Promise

  • Audio is the easiest way to succeed or fail at screencasting and video.
  • Anyone can quickly produce pro-level audio without going broke.
  • Matt will show you tips for equipment, recording, and editing your voiceover.
  • He’ll even do a live recording to show you that you don’t need a foam-lined torture chamber to get quality results!

5 Secrets to Great
Screencasting Voiceovers

  1. Audio should be either clipped or “gated” to avoid big spikes, and the resulting audio should be adjusted to -3dB,
  2. Removing gaps makes you sound “smarter”
  3. There’s no “rush” when recording. Gaps and gaffes will come out easily
  4. Position to microphone is more important than the microphone
  5. It’s easier to adjust screen actions to audio, than to adjust audio to match screen actions

Entry level equipment

Microphone

  • Any microphone will do, and is better than the mic on your laptop
  • USB microphone ($70)
  • External mic for cell phone ($20-70)
  • Headset with mic ($35)

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DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)

Audacity (free)

Garage Band (Macintosh) or Windows software

My equipment (closer to ‘pro’ equipment than ‘entry level’)

USB Audio Interface

FocusRite 2i2

I think this is the “sweet spot” in the Focusrite product line. It has enough inputs and controls for voiceover or even midlevel podcasting needs, without paying for features you might never use.

Microphone

Heil PR-40 mic

If you’re able to spend over $300 for a mic, this one is at or near the top of all the “Best of” lists. Easy to work with, lots of accessories (pop filters, mounts, booms) available, and it looks cool, too!

DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)

Audition (part of Adobe CC, not Adobe Technical Communication Suite) is elegant to work with, and there are plenty of YouTube tutorials to help you to figure out specific functions.

Digging deeper

This topic (including demos, exercises, and swipe files) is a small part of my Screencasting course, and you can get more information on that course by clicking on Online Courses above, or visiting the list of Tech Comm Tools  Upcoming Courses.

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