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Stay Sane While Recording eLearning Voiceover

I recently finished a large eLearning project, the biggest I’ve done so far. It was about 5 hours of voice over recording all together. Since it was for an eLearning job, those 5 hours of audio were broken up into over 200 separate files. That may sound intimidating but, because I went into it with a plan it was painless to create all of those separate files.

There are a couple of ways I could have done this. The first way is I could have recorded each file individually, edited it and sent it to the client before moving on and beginning the next file. There’s nothing wrong with doing it that way, but it would have taken an enormous amount of time. The next way is to record a lot of files on the same track and go back later on and listen to the audio to see where it should be broken up into smaller files. That would have been fine too, but I would have had to make sure to listen closely and cut the file at the appropriate point.

The third way to do this, which is the way that I did it and in my opinion the most efficient way to do a large eLearning recording is to insert markers while recording. Let me explain. For this online course the client told me what the script was for each file, so I recorded about 25 files at once. While I was recording I inserted markers at the end of the script for a particular slide. That way I was able to keep recording and make the big file into smaller files later on.

I use Twisted Wave editing software on my computer. This is a simple and very effective way to record and edit voiceover tracks. The feature of Twisted Wave that saved me incredible amounts of time during this last project was the ability to “split by markers”. What that means is that once I have the markers in place, I can make one big file into many different files with one click of a button.

Here’s how I insert the markers while I’m recording. I clap. A clap creates a visible marker on the audio recording. You can also snap, click with your mouth or do whatever is easiest for you. At the end of the script for a particular audio file, I clap. When I’m done recording I can go back and edit the whole file together. Wherever I see a clap on the audio file I’ll insert a marker to take its place. After I’ve finished editing and inserting the markers I click “split by markers” and the file is divided wherever the markers are.

This has worked really well for me so far and I plan to use it for every eLearning project I record. What has made your long recording sessions easier to edit?

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