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Mar 2, 2008 •
Recording a presentation can be tricky. Not only do you face the challenge of capturing audience questions, you also usually have a PowerPoint presentation everyone is looking at, the hum and whir of a projector, and a mobile presenter who wants to walk around a room.
Although you can use a variety of digital recorders, the inexpensive Olympus digital recorders will sound a little scratchy, like sizzling bacon in a worst-case scenario. (To hear a sample recording with a higher-end Olympus digital recorder, listen to this.)
I haven't experimented with other recorders such as the Zoom H2 or Edirol or Marantz. I'm sure that any time you start spending upwards of $200 on a recorder, the sound quality increases.
I like the Zoom H4 because, not only is the audio quality crystal clear, it also doubles as an audio interface for your computer. In other words, you can use your Zoom H4 as a USB mic to record Camtasia or Captivate tutorials -- and the audio quality sounds excellent.
And if you're recording in-person interviews, the Zoom's built-in mics actually record better sound than many external XLR mics (that you plug into it). But you can also use an external mic to put in front of someone. This might be preferable at times. Since the Zoom's mics are so sensitive, they'll pick up every movement of your hand on the device.
In this post, I'm sharing the method I used to record my recent blogging and podcasting presentation to a local STC chapter. Also, since SLC podcamp is coming up, I want to document my audio recording techniques.
You might want to spend a couple of days getting familiar with the Zoom H4. Don't worry about any of the four-track capabilities.
Tip: I recommend buying your audio equipment from The Sound Professionals. They have a lot of custom adaptors and peripherals that you may need, and the sales people have expertise with audio in case you have questions about what to buy.
Note: The One Pixel Out Audio player also works on non-WordPress platforms, but the set up requires more labor.
These instructions apply if you're the presenter and you have Camtasia on your own laptop.
If you're not the presenter, and the presenter doesn't have Camtasia Studio, you can use Presio to sync the audio to the PowerPoint after the presentation. See http://ipresent.net for more information. This tool costs about $89 for the standard version, and you would have to rewatch the presentation, but it's about the only tool on the market that does this. (MS Producer used to have a PowerPoint plugin that allowed you to do this, but it was discontinued.)