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Audio

The following sections on audio will cover:

  • Choose an appropriate audio quality
  • Be consistent with microphone distance

Choose an Appropriate Audio Quality

We have a similar quality versus file size tradeoff with audio that we do with video. If you are simply narrating a screencast with your voice, then there is absolutely no benefit to recording a stereo stream at a high bit rate. Instead, record in mono with a relatively low (but not too low) bit rate.

By contrast, if you are recording a musical instrument lesson, then we clearly need a stereo audio stream recorded at a relatively high bit rate. Here are my own preferred audio recording settings, forged on the anvil of experience:

  • For voice narration: 44.100 kHz, 16-bit, mono, 86KB/sec
  • For high quality audio:44.100 kHz, 16-bit, stereo, 172KB/sec (see Figure 5)
Figure 5

Figure 5 Audio config settings in Camtasia Studio 7

Remember the mezzanine approach, friends! When in doubt, record at the highest possible settings and gracefully degrade those settings in post-production. If we record our audio with initially low settings, then we are out of luck as far as increasing quality in post-production is concerned.

Be Consistent with Microphone Distance

Regardless of the microphone you use to record your screencast, be sure to maintain a consistent distance from said microphone. We want to avoid large volume fluctuations throughout the duration of your recording.

If your mouth is too close to the microphone, then plosives will make the audio track pop annoyingly. A too-close mic distance also contributes to the enhancement of vocal “noise” like breathing, ums, ahs, et cetera.

Rather than give you specific instructions here, I recommend you chat with audio pros in your life or perform a good Google search for tips on microphone placement.

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