Historical audio recording from 1927. Thomas Edison Mary
This hands-on session provides participants with a broad introduction to using audio in their teaching practice. We share eg of sound used in teaching, the basics of recording and editing audio. You’ll explore a range of audio samples and production tools, from the smart-phones to a professional audio studio. You will practice the basics of audio editing and prepping files to be embedded in your online course.
This session offers a hands on opportunity to use tools and techniques for embedding audio in a classroom context.
Using recorded audio in the classroom is old as recorded audio itself. Educational uses of audio were predicted to be amongst the primary uses of the phonograph intended by Edison in 1878.
Recorded audio can be used in numerous academic contexts.
At SFU, audio from lectures can be easily be recorded and distributed to students. Check out this page of audio lecture services available at Simon Fraser University.
As you listen through some of the examples of educational audio below, consider ways sound could be used in your own learning space.
Sample audio – Early adopter podcast – Modeling Social Phenomena is a lecture edited for podcast from Courtney Brown, Emory University 2006
Sample audio – Storytelling: History 451 A history course in which audio was used to create ‘memoryscapes.’ Audio was also used to demonstrate the task of recording audio and includes some recording tips. Many unique SFU voices were recorded for this project like this interview with one of the facilities workers.
Sample audio – Teachers as producers – http://trusoundcamp.net/resources/products
Sample audio – SFU lecture recording. With and SFU computing ID you can access a wide range of audio recorded lectures – http://cgi.sfu.ca/~lectures/pub_html/cgi-bin/index.php
Sample audio – A soundcloud collection
Start: To complete this lesson, choose an audio recording medium. You can use one of the audio capture devices we bring to the session or, download the Soundcloud app on your mobile device (requires account) and publish to the internet from the field. For a list of devices we use and share see the EdMedia resource page.
Tools – What options do you have to record audio? What are important
Techniques – What conditions should you pay attention to while recording.
Activity: Record a short (30-60 second) reflection on audio in the classroom, tell a story about your experience listening to learning, , the workshop, or just make something up. I will add it to the “Amplify your classroom” set on soundlcoud if you forward me your audio.
Getting ready to record your audio project?
1. Script your dialogue! – Write out your dialogue in a script format and practice, practice, practice! There is always room for improvisation, but be sure to have the core of your dialogue planed out.
2. Plan out all the gear that will be needed – Are you recording with an external USB mic? Are you recording directly into your laptop microphone? Make sure you plan to have a microphone, any necessary cables, headphones, installed software, etc. Do some test recordings to make sure all your software and hardware are working properly.
3. Find a quiet location – Record somewhere where you can control the environment. Background sounds might be needed in some recording to provide context, but be sure that they dialogue is audible at all times.
4. Get close to the microphone – but not too close – keeping the microphone a 4-12 inches away ensures the recording is loud enough and that background sounds do not overpower the voice. If you are to close you’ll pick up loud unwanted plosives and proximity effect. If you want, you can use a windscreen on the microphone to prevent wind and breathes from distorting the microphone capsule.
5. Set a proper level on your recording device – Levels should be set so you see your dialogue is being recorded on the meters at -12db -10db and has absolute peaks at -6db. Make sure to take plenty of time to set proper recording levels!
6. Don’t try to capture “The One” – Make several recording and select the best recording. Give yourself plenty of options when you’re in the editing phase.
Note that Volume refers to the sound you hear in the headphones, while Gain is an actual measurement of the sound in decibels. To get a proper recording level, the Gain is adjusted, whereas if it is too loud in your headphones, adjust the Volume.
Sit about 4-12 inches from the mic. If you find that this is too far, adjust the Gain on the mic to increase the level or move in closer. Enunciate clearly and read or narrate at a consistent pace. Use your headphones when recording to make sure that you can hear how clearly your voice is being picked up. Adjust your distance away from the mic if you constantly hear your own breath blowing into the mic.
Adjust the polar pattern on the mic for the correct pick-up. The Yeti’s polar patterns are listed below. The knob for these is located at the rear of the mic.
Start: To complete this lesson, download Audacity and install it on your editing computer. Make sure you have also installed the LAME encoder to export .MP3 file format.
There are many great resources for Audacity fundamentals out there. On the Audacity website itself there is a great collection of tutorials, but also SFU’s own radio station CJSF provides editing software resources via its wiki. They occasionally host more in depth Audacity workshops so keep an eye on CJSF news!
TRU Soundcamp, Youshow – Many fascinating projects have been developed at Thompson Rivers University creating space for Faculty to experiment with audio.
John Born post -> http://etug.ca/2013/01/08/t-e-l-l-january-audio-in-education/
Keith Webster and Hayley Hewson, Best Tool for Creating Slides with Audio -> http://etug.ca/2015/01/19/t-e-l-l-january-finding-the-best-tool-for-creating-slides-with-audio/
DS106, the preeminent digital storytelling learning experience, is very comfortable with the medium of audio. One of many assignments and resources available from this community.
Adding music and/or sound effects can enhance your video or audio piece. Here are some resources for royalty-free and Creative Commons audio works.