Recording screen and audio tips

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  • Updated 4 years ago
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I wanted to get some tips from other users on best practice when recording a screen and tieing audio in with it.

I need to record a training video which involves recording a screen and going through lots of processes on screen. The video also needs audio direction too, but will need to be recorded separately from the screen recording.

Having produced a training video before that needed a ton of editing afterwards, I wanted to get some tips from other users how they do it to speed the process up. My initial thought is to record the audio script first, then record the screen whilst listening to the pre-recorded audio (if this is possible in Camtasia?)

I am using Camtasia Studio 8.

Thanks,
Laura
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Laura

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Posted 4 years ago

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Timbre4, Champion

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Hello,

I have found for producing short form (1-5 min) tutorial clips this is the way to go. If you get the narration right (relaxed, good pace, not rushed or amateurish) beforehand, everything else falls into place. Here's my approach:

1. Outline the main points needed to convey; make that conversational in script form

2. I record the audio with a good mic setup into SoundForge (Audacity, etc) and edit it down to a clean final take.

3. Launch Camtasia v8.x in the right monitor; click Record the Screen, set to 1280 x 720 (towards YouTube delivery) and get my screen set to those coordinates.

4. Launch SoundForge in the left screen with the narration file; add a 7 second pre-roll of silence to match the Camtasia 3-2-1 countdown.

5. With everything in place I then a) start the narration, b) start Camtasia Record the Screen and they match up.

When I'm satisfied I have the take I need, then it's just a matter of closing the narration (w/o saving the 7 sec preroll) and then importing the audio clip into the project along with the screen track. The opening and closing slides are created in advance and added from the clip bin.

How much further you add transitions and effects is up to you.

EDIT: Have a good assets folder plan to keep everything organized as there always seem to program updates lurking where the clips need to be updated as well!

(Edited)
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Rick Stone

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Just a few of my own observations and suggestions.

1. If the process is long, break it up into smaller byte sized chunks. It will be much easier to both record as well as edit.

2. There will often be periods where one has to wait on the computer to do something. This adds a delay into your video. When those happen during recording, be patient and don't say anything you want the audience to hear and try not to move your mouse. You will want to cut those sections and either simply discard the wait or speed it up quite a lot. Either way, you don't want to have to deal with narration the user needs to hear as well as introduce the magickal teleporting mouse.

3. I'm presently working on a video where I narrate a bit at first giving background information before actually showing a screen recording. I've recorded the narration, but will treat the screen recording separately and splice it in. For me, it seems to work best to narrate as I operate. For the part where I'm basically verbally conveying information, I do NOT want the user to stare at a blank or non-moving screen. So I'm assembling different visual assets that coincide with what I'm talking about. For example, one section is discussing what the Administrator does. So I have an image of a person sitting at a computer and I've mocked up the screen with what it might look like for them. It's a static image, but I'll be using a "Ken Burns" style of effect to slowly and gradually zoom in on the screen.

4. When you stumble (not if, but when) pause briefly, then repeat.

Hopefully others will chime in with their own suggestions!

Cheers... Rick :)
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Timbre4, Champion

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Not only do I stumble (!), sometimes I record multiple instances of a sentence(cadence, emphasis, etc.) and then select the one I like best during the "tighten up" later. Letting these sit overnight is helpful with fresh ears the next day.
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Rick Stone

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There is one other tip I forgot to mention. I saw this on a video a while back. You might consider visiting a pet store and obtaining an inexpensive dog training clicker device. I think I paid about two bucks for it. I keep in in my recording area.

When you make a mistake, as you pause and regroup, click the clicker. This will introduce a large and very visible spike where you need to make the edit and cut.

I was advising a dear friend of my "discovery". He has worked in broadcasting for years. He smiled at me and said: you know you don't have to spend any money. What we used to do back in the day was just clap our hands to introduce the spike. Admittedly, I felt a bit foolish after hearing that, thinking he was right.

But since that time, I've again changed my view and I find it to be a valuable tool. Here's why. Often you are recording audio while driving the mouse. So sure, if you were simply narrating and had both hands free, it would be simple to clap. But it's way easy to have my mic positioned, drive the mouse with my right hand and have my left finger on the clicker waiting for those moments.

Cheers... Rick :)
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Timbre4, Champion

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That's a good tip! I've relied on simply cursing for too long. ;)
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Laura

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Some great tips again. Thank you both!
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Laura

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Thanks so much Timbre4 and Rick for your suggestions. They're really helpful!
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dan

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As Rick mentioned, the pause after a mistake will allow you to see a non existent sound wavelength, which will make it easy for you to locate and cut out. Don't focus on timing the video perfectly, you can always extend or reduce a video to match the sound. Video editing is like taking an open book exam. In that you have all the tools to make it perfect. The hardest part is sitting down and taking the exam.