Creating an audio recording

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Some assignments will ask of you to create an audio recording. For example a recording of a conversation, interview or podcast. 

Beware! Are you recording audio in which besides yourself, another person is speaking as well? Then you have to make sure to get this person's permission to record the audio. You can't just record someone without their consent. 

In this article we provide you with some suggestions to help you make a good audio recording.

1. Prepare your recording


Before you start recording audio, it helps to prepare yourself. Think about what you would like to say during the recording beforehand, and choose whether you want to make a spontaneous recording or a scripted one. In a script you write down everything you would like to say, and also think about the structure of the recording (start, core, ending). Writing a script takes some time, but it does help you create a well-structured story, and ensures that you don't forget anything. In case you are preparing for an interview, you write down a couple of questions you would like to ask during the interview.

The next step is deciding where you want to record the audio. Do you prefer to do this at home, at school, or do you go to a location that is relevant to the subject of the recording?

Also decide what you are going to record the audio with. You could of course use your mobile phone, there are several apps that you can use to make an audio recording, such as Voice Memos. You could also use a professional microphone.


2. Make the recording


Before you start recording, you comfort your possible conversational partner. Have a short chat before you start the recording.

Once you are ready to make the audio recording, it's useful to make a test recording first. Listen to the test recording and determine whether you (and your possible conversational partner) can be heard clearly enough. For example, make sure your microphone isn't placed too far away, speak loud enough and not too fast. Speak your words clearly and ask your partner to do the same. In addition, check whether no disturbing background noises can be heard.

Once the test recordings have been successful, it's time to make the actual recordings. Check from time to time if the recording is still going well. If things are not going smoothly, you can decide to make a (partially) new recording. In this case, just let the recording run through and mention you are starting over. You can edit this out later.

Are you done? Listen to the recording immediately to check if everything went well. For example, check whether both the start and ending of the recording are on tape. 


3. Edit your recording (optional)


Does your recording sound good? Nice job! You can now optionally edit your recording in an editing program such as Adobe Audition or Audacity (free). In such programs you can for example cut parts out of your recording, adjust the volume and pace, and possibly reduce background noises. 

Save the recording as an .mp3 or .wav file. Usually this is done automatically, and otherwise you can convert the file online. Also make sure the recording isn't larger than 100MB. Finally, submit the file.


Do you want to print this article? Read here how to do that.

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