Audio and video equipment

vmccabe2388 Community Member Posts: 3
If I were to purchase Lectora what is the best microphone for audio recording and do I need to purchase a camera for video? If so what is the best camera for recording videos that will be uploaded into the modules?


  • jvalley4735
    jvalley4735 Community Member Posts: 1,357
    Hey Vanessa!  Thanks for posting.  Here's my two cents....

    I personally prefer the brand Blue for microphones because I've had experience using the Snowball and Yeti models.  The Snowball is a small USB model that's ideal for storage and travel.  It's a great starter option since it only runs $50 and it produces better sound quality than your computers built in microphone or a standard headset.  The Yeti is a great stand style that can capture audio in different modes, is USB based, and even tilts for more control on placement. It runs $130.  Both do great at recording clear and crisp audio for courses.

    The one thing I would recommend is that you scout out a recording area early on.  If you're able to find a small closet or unused office that has little reverberation than you can dedicate your whole budget on purchasing a microphone.  If you don't, than I would adjust your total spending on a microphone to also include the price of some sound proofing.  You can easily get your hands on some by purchasing it off Amazon and it'll make a world of a difference. We even went as far as creating a movable "wall" of the material to take around the building when the ideal recording area wasn't available.  I would also look into a pop filter. We all naturally make extra noises when speaking and the pop filter makes sure they're neutralized. They're usually inexpensive running around $10.,k:pop+filter

    If you want to record anything other than your webcam or desktop applications I would suggest investing in a camera.  I was lucky enough to be able to use production quality material in the past because we shared the equipment with other departments.  If your contemplating getting one I would first test out your cell phone. With the advances in technology some people are surprised with the quality that's now available.  Some of the top phones that offer good video quality include the Iphone 6/6s Plus, Google Nexus 6P, and the Samsung Galaxy S6.  An accessory kit including a tripod, grip, remote and other options is usually $20-50 depending on what all is included.  As long as your not doing complex shots like zooms and pans then you should have quite a bit of luck recording with one. I watched a really interesting Lynda video last year called "Shooting with the iPhone 5s" that's worth a watch if you have a membership. He talked about how versatile you can be since it's so portable. With the right accessories (and in some cases a lens attachment), perfecting your knowledge of the settings available, and perfecting your technique you can actually create comparable production quality videos. This options give you more play in your budget to buy other things like light boxes or a light ring since business lights are usually harsh and filming in front of a window isn't consistent.
  • vmccabe2388
    vmccabe2388 Community Member Posts: 3
    Thank you Jennifer for your reply. I work from home so if I am recording in my office with no one around do I still need to go into a closet to record audio?

    Which Yeti model would you recommend?

    Do you feel that the shockmount is a necessary accessory?
  • jvalley4735
    jvalley4735 Community Member Posts: 1,357
    Again all my opinion lol

    You don't necessarily have to dedicate a space or temporarily use a closet.  It depends on the room configuration and setup.  Here's some of the deal breakers that would push me into the closet (literally).
    • If you have non carpeted floors or empty walls: Rugs, picture frames, and shelves help but it's always going to be another surface for noise to bounce off from.
    • Noisy windows: If your room is near a noisy road, in the path of an airplane or train, or you have a lot of people travel you'll catch an inconsistent background or it'll cause constant interruptions in your recording.  You could also invest in thicker curtains like the ones used for light cancellation or toss a spare blanket up for a quick fix.
    • Square rooms:  They tend to bounce noises back and forth which will show up in the recording as an echo. You'll want something that's more rectangular or contains a lot of edges (you could even open additional door ways like a closet or bathroom) so the noise has to travel farther before it comes back (which naturally diffuses it) or bounce off in different direction which causes the noise to deflect.
    I would install the equipment and do a couple test runs.  Grab your favorite book and read a paragraph then adjust the volume to see what your minimum and maximum recording volume should be.  Noise canceling headphones are really helpful because you'll be so in tuned with the noises that you'll hear more. It's always a good idea to leave some noise in since dead silence is often referred to as eerie or unnatural. To find the right base line you'd look at the EQ (Equalizer) levels and shoot for an average. I was told to go for 20 decibels which is more than a pin drop and less than a whisper.  Some people use a base line that takes the average decibels of the recording and then reduces that number by 25%.

    I'd go for the Yeti if you have the budget.  The modes will come in handy to create specific sounds to diversify your recordings and you'll be less likely to "grow out" of it's capabilities. You'll find that you have to do less work to the audio file which is a definite bonus.  The snowball is still a good option if your on a tight budget.

    We had the shockmount but I wouldn't necessarily say it did any good as far as audio clips for elearning. It's suppose to stabilize the mic better but we just always used the best practice of not hitting the table, mic, or stand and if we did accidentally we just re record.  It was nice for other teams to have (marketing) when they had to capture audio clips on site or set up in not so idealistic locations. If you wanted to maybe podcast or live stream in the future then it probably wouldn't be a bad idea. But since most of the recording is going to be done in the same location I would say skip it.
  • alockwood6897
    alockwood6897 Community Member Posts: 113 ♪ Opening Act ♪
    Just as an alternate (not too different in pricing though) I use a Zoom H4N for all of my audio recording and then clean up the audio and cut it in Camtasia. What I like about the Zoom as opposed to other options on the market is that I don't have to drag my computer or anything else with me. It's completely free-roaming. Want to record your audio in a small closet? What about up in a tree? Not that you're actually going to record audio in crazy places, but you can. I have done a lot of recordings while driving, just by setting the mic up on the dashboard. The Zoom is self-sufficient: recording, monitors, mic, etc. are all built into a machine that will fit into a large pocket. I carry it, along with a tripod, headphones and pop filter in a small camera bag. Then I edit my audio when I am back at my station.

    Camtasia has great, simple audio tools that don't intimidate like Audacity or ProTools can. I am capable in other software, but fine Camtasia does a good enough job that I don't have to - and the time I save is a huge factor in that.

    If you are looking for cost cuts to dampen sound in a room, hang up some blankets - especially fuzzy ones. But don't skimp on a pop-filter. They're relatively cheap already and they make a world of difference when you start recording audio.