Recording sound and video separately - Preferred Order

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  • Updated 4 years ago
I'm using Camtasia to make computer tutorials.  I've found that I get better results when I record sound and video separately due to the keyboard and other noise being picked up, plus I stay on script better if I write a script then read it instead of ad libbing as I go.  

If anyone else does that, what order do you do it in?  Do your read your script then add video to that, or record the steps then add narration to that?  Any tips on what works well?  Do you write out a script or just have notes to discuss?

I've been starting with the sound then trying to add video to that, but it's tedious to get it matched up.  I wonder if it would work better to start with the video.  However, I think I want to read a script rather than just watch the video and talk.

Either way, I should expect to need to extend the video in some places and split/move the sound, correct?

I'm using Camtasia Studio 8.  I may be switching to Camtasia for Mac.  (When I record sound I've just been using Sound Recorder which came with my Windows 7 machine.)
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laura

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Posted 4 years ago

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Timbre4, Champion

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Hello,
As verified by Camtasia boot camps with the guru Daniel Park, the best overall workflow is getting the narration written and recorded first. It is so much easier to cruise through the screens miming to the audio track, rather than trying to cram narration into video segments that are too short to fit or stretched unnaturally. In general, creating scripted text comes off better than just adlibbing.

The software I have to create instructional clips for is subject to screen changes with some regularity so it's in my best interest to wait and record that screen at the last possible moment.

I record with a good quality mic into Sound Forge; all the audio and video clips are numbered by topic so it's easy to find them and get each project together. This also makes updates easier as some assets are re-used.

Getting things is synced is not a big deal; I insert a temporary 7 second silence (pre-roll) in the audio file. I start than and then start the Camtasia Record the Screen function. The countdown matches the pre-roll silence and that handles it for me. Close the audio file without saving the 7 seconds and it's ready.

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laura

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Timbre4, thank you, this is great advice.  Including the lead up time for the audio to get Camtasia screen record going!
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Nataša Holy

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Interesting solution - 7 second silence. I have problems each time I start to record the video part, and my solution was to cut the video each time. And was allways nervous when sinchronizing sound and recording. Thanks for a great tip!
regards, Natasa
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scott

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I also produce software tutorials where I am explaining the navigation through the software.

I do this differently and I am very happy with the results:
1) I write the script
2) I record the screencast
3) I edit out any pauses or mistakes in my screencast
4) I set the clip speed for that entire screencast to 200%
5) I record the audio narration into Audacity
6) I edit the narration in Audacity and increase the tempo by 10%
7) I import the narration into Camtasia and set it above the screencast clip
8) I add extended frames to the screencast clip to make the screencast and the narration line up.

Advantages:
1) smoother, more stream-lined look to the cursor movements and navigation.
2) More energy in the tutorial with the narration tempo increased by 10%.
3) Perfect sync between narration and navigation on screen.

Just my 1.5 cents' worth
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Nataša Holy

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Will try tommorow for sure! Thanks!
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Harrell-Amy

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I basically follow this production model as well.  Script first, then record video in Camtasia, then record voiceover in Audacity (making any audio adjustments), import audio & extend frames as needed to match.

I've never made any changes to clip speed or audio temp settings, but it might be worth checking out as we develop our next set of tutorial videos.  Thanks for the tip.

What I like about using Audacity is that I can adjust audio using the Noise Reduction, Equalization, Amplify, and Change Pitch features.   Boosting the bass and lowering the pitch can really make a difference if you have a high voice.  I was a novice at Audacity but I learned quite a bit just watching a few Youtube videos on voiceover sound quality using Audacity.

 

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laura

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Thanks Scott -- more great advice.  That is interesting about increasing the tempo of the sound.  My audio often sounds too bland, but when I try to increase the energy myself by how I speak, I sound like I think I'm talking to kindergarten children!  Someone once told me I sounded like the fish Dory played by Ellen DeGeneres in Finding Nimo: "And look! over here! we have a button!"

I'll have to check out Audacity.
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scott

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Laura -- Audacity is so great!  Especially when you consider that it's free.  I do a host of things to my original audio track, but another one that might interest you is lowering the pitch by just 1%.  That combined with increasing the tempo by 10% helps to increase the energy and flow without getting that "And look! over here! we have a button!" feel that you describe.
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Harrell-Amy

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The cool thing about the pitch lowering is that you can preview what it sounds like and tweak it before you  make the change.   I believe I lower mine 10%--depends on what your voice is like to start with. 
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scott

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Which works great until you meet one of your clients in person.  Then you have to walk around with your chin on your chest, talking in a low voice like the anchorman Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore show.  haha
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laura

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Oh my gosh, I downloaded Audacity and played with the tempo and pitch.  So easy (once I figured out to select the sound first)  That is so cool.  Thank you all very much!
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Prof Tom

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I create a screen cap video of the software demo and record the narration using a headset mic. Then I go in and chop out the flubs, mid-clicks during the demo and tighten up the tutorial. Then I re-record the audio based on a script that streamlines the narrative of the tightened up video. Then I also can edit hotspots, call outs, visual effects, transitions. The true power of CS / Snart Player technology is adding hotspot links to additional resources like PDFs for people who learn better reading. Demo videos of the software being demo'd. IMHO

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