While producing an E-learning content or web based training, a major decision making factor is whether to use audio for the benefit of the end users.
Generally, narration is used for this kind of Audio E-learning. Music and sound effects are rarely used. This article describes the technical background for producing the best quality audio for this purpose.
Preparing the Audio Recording Sessions
The first decision is always the decision which language should be recorded. Therefore the translation into this target language is most crucial. If you found a company that knows how to translate your content and send the finalized scripts perfectly you`ve already won 90 % of the game. So here are a few tips for you:
a.) Specify some pronunciations hints for the recording. Some company names are spoken differently in some languages. The more you provide audio or written pronunciation samples, the less you need to rerecord. At Mixwerk we usually dont rerecord at all, because every time we check that we have all pronunciation samples we need. Sometimes it makes sense to name a person in your company who is responsible for voice Talent text issues and who can speak the desired target language. Using terms that are unique to a field can slow down a recording. If you use medical, technical or other specialized vocabularies, communicate the pronunciation of these words and acronyms in the script to the voice actor prior to the recording. If you want the Voice Actor to read „pauses“ in the script, you can add an ellipsis like 3 dots (...) or write the word “pause” in brackets when you need that extra half-second of silence.
b.) Keep in mind that your naming of the audio files to be recorded is consistent and easy to handle. Sometimes we have sessions with 500 audio files delivered per language so your naming should be perfect. For example: EU_23_Slide4_PT.wav indicates this is the audio file you will be using in module23-slide 4 in Portuguese. Deliver the scripts in a readable form. Therefore, our scripts have two columns - a narrow one on the left and a wider one on the right. The column on the left indicates the name of the audio file; the column on the right holds the script. Also the best text format for your script would be RTF, Excel or Word Doc or compatible formats. PDF or an image like JPG or GIF is not so useful, because if the voice talent makes changes, it is better to use the writable formats.
c.) Every script has errors. It could be incorrect content or a misuse of grammar. Each error you discover during the recording session slows things down and stops the narrator’s momentum. Therefore, go over that script with a thorough eye for detail and read it aloud. Ask someone else to review it for errors too.
d.) And last but not least: Always provide the script to your chosen Voice Actor a few days before the recording session. Professionals always ask for a script ahead of time, so it makes sense to give it to your colleagues too. Not only will the recording have fewer retakes, your narrator will feel more comfortable and prepared and will ask all questions before and not during the recording.
e.) Finally, you decide if you want to listen during the recording or not. Therefore, you should have someone in your company who speaks the target language and answers any questions the voice actor might have.
About the author
Producing high-quality, professionally-recorded voice narration in more than 80 languages and dialects, Mixwerk Media Solution companies deliver compelling and impactful E-Learning audio in all Audio formats.
Whether delivering ready-to-use audio files or adding overdubs or subtitles to your original visual/video content directly, trust Mixwerk Media Solution to enhance your training materials for all teams and business silos in any language.
We have over 15 years of experience in producing audio and subtitles for E-learning content. We create top-quality audio while being very cost effective. If you want to know more, just contact us.