Recently I have done a lot of thinking about audio recording, so I thought I’d share what I’ve done. However, I am not an expert at this nor do I claim to be one and welcome any and all feedback.
When doing audio, you basically need only a couple essentials: (1.) Microphone and (2.) Audio Editing Software. Among microphones, most people agree that there are two or three best choices. First, among the headsets, Plantronics is probably the best choice which is highly recommended by Articulate (here <-best and here and here). Second, among the desktops, the Snowball is probably the best choice with high recommendations from all over with the best price and quality mix. Anything “better” just increases exponentially in price though there are some cheaper good solutions, such as Samson, recommended by Articulate. There is also the little cousin of the Snowball called the Snowflake.
But which one should I choose: headset or desktop? Articulate has a great blog on this (here). Simply put, headsets are good for single “authors” while desktops are good for multiple “authors.” We as a company have purchased both the Plantronics, which I’ve seen priced as low as $30, and Snowball, which I’ve seen priced as low as $70.
Now that you have the microphone, you need a sound editing software. There are two basic options: (1) Free and (2) Priced. Among the free choices, the best options appear to be WavePad (which has a fully featured version available) and Audacity. Personally, I have struggled with both each creating what I call computer noise after I normalize and noise reduce. So I have begun to look into the fully featured ones from Adobe (Audition and Soundbooth). But apparently, none of these compare to GarageBand for the Mac though they are improving.
Besides these, there are other steps to make one’s eLearning course exceptional. More on these later.