Record your audio and export in formats such as.mp3,.aac (m4a),.wma &.wav Make a voice over your videos by adjusting the volume of your video and record a custome voice over your video as appropriate. Voice Over & Recorder is handy to customize your voice recordings and videos. We are always listening, send us your feedback and the feature. Aug 27, 2019 This free recording software for Mac will meet all of your common recording needs. It gives you a wide array of options that allows you to record demo CDs with absolute ease. Other brilliant features that it has include non-destructive editing, ability to edit audio files without changing their original quality, and lock-less real time audio.
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If you want to comment on some scenes in your video, you may go three ways. Add subtitles to your clip, overlay captions over video or record your voice and sound for the movie. In our previous posts we reviewed text options, today we’ll focus on voice recording for video production.
What You Will Need
Depending on the soundtrack quality you want to get, you’ll need the following hardware and software equipment:
- A microphone. It can be a microphone in your PC headset, an inbuilt laptop microphone, a smartphone, a tablet, a standalone microphone for karaoke.
- A voice recorder. It may be a voice recording app, professional software, or a digital voice recorder hardware.
- [OPTIONAL] An audio editor. It can be a feature of a voice recording program or a separate audio tool.
- A video editor, special video production software that helps you to join audio and video tracks into one unit.
Step 1: Voice Recording
To record your speech, singing or background sounds, you’ll need a PC with a microphone or iPhone, iPad or Android device. Make sure that the microphone works properly and your voice sounds natural. Try to call someone and check if your partner can hear you well and there are no crunches, creaks, or any other artificial noises. If you use your PC headset, make sure that audio speakers are turned on and the cord is OK. Set audio volume to high level.
If you use a Windows PC, you can tweak your microphone settings here: Windows/Start > Control Panel> Hardware & Sounds> Sounds.
Sometimes you might need to update audio drivers or change settings for your existing audio driver. Here’s an example of a Realtek audio driver manager. You can find your audio driver settings by typing “audio” into Windows search box or re-pluging your microphone.
- Often, cheap and simple microphones for Windows computers don’t have great noise reduction. So you’d better record your speech in silence. Otherwise, everyone can hear your cat screaming at the background or mouse clicks.
- If you use your mobile device, make sure that microphone area isn’t covered with case or mud. Make sure that volume is high. Keep your mobile gadget closer to your mouth while recording for best results.
- Unlike desktop microphones modern smartphones like iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy 5 are equipped with smart noise cancellation thanks to inbuilt high-pass filter and additional microphones. So even outside at a noisy place, your phone is likely to record your voice instead of wind or passersby. But if you own an old Nokia, it will record all surrounding noises.
- Obviously, if you have a professional karaoke microphone, the quality of your soundtrack will be much better.
- If you purchase a digital audio recorder like one of Sony ICD family, no extra microphones are required.
Free Voice Over Recording Software
Before you jump to our list of best free voice recorders for all platforms, you have to know several things about audio recording. First of all, it all depends on the level of professional performance you want to set for your video production. Below we are going to describe consumer voice recorders that try to limit noise, but they are surely inappropriate for Hollywood movies. In addition to top-notch voice recording software, if you don’t have a Hi-Fi microphone, your recordings will be of poor quality. Especially, if you plan to record an instrumental track, an average home-use microphone will fail to record all nuances of your playing.
List of Best Voice Recorders for Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android, Linux
Here’s the list of free and proven video recorders for all operational systems. Find yours below!
Windows: Microsoft Voice Recorder
Actually, Microsoft provides us with default free voice recorder which is already installed on your PC. It’s simple as it can be. There are almost no advanced settings, but you don’t have to deal with any audio editors, because Microsoft Voice Recorder has an audio cutter inside.
Pros: no installation required, inbuilt audio cut option.
Cons: records all noises such as mouse clicks, only one output format.
To use Microsoft Voice Recorder follow these steps:
- Open Start and type Voice Recorder in the search box.
- Click on the search result. Voice Recorder will launch in a new window.
- To begin the process click on the blue microphone sign and speak into your microphone.
- To finish the tape click on the microphone sign again. Your creation will be automatically saved as M4A file in Documents > Sound Recordings.
- You can listen to your recording right from the software interface.
- [Optional] Then you can cut your recorded audio track, if you click the Edit sign (see the screenshot).
Mac, Linux: Vocaroo Online Voice Recorder
Website vocaroo.com is the best place for everyone who don’t want to mess with software downloads. Open your browser at vocaroo.com and grant access to your microphone for this tiny app.
Pros: no installation required, vast choice of output formats, including Lossless audio, audio embed option.
Cons: records all noises, no audio editing features.
How to use Vocaroo Online Voice Recorder:
- Open vocaroo.com in your browser.
- Hit the Click to Record button and say something in your microphone.
- When you’re done, hit the Click to Stop button and preview your track.
- If you like it, follow the Click here to save link. You’ll be able to save file in MP3, OGG, FLAC, or WAV format.
- [Optional] You can embed an audio recording by copy-pasting the ready code on your site or blog. Also, you may delete the recording from Vocaroo server.
Android: Default Voice Recorder
Android phones come with an inbuilt voice recorder. Thanks to it, you don’t have to install any third-party Android voice recorders. Search for “voice” on your Android, and the app will pop up.
Pros: no installation required, simple interface, not much noise, suitable for use on the go.
Cons: no audio editing features, only one output format (in my case AMR).
How to use a voice recording app on Android:
- Look for a voice recorder app on your Android phone.
- Click the red Record button and speak into your microphone.
- When you’re done, hit the Stop button and preview your track.
- If you like it, you can save the file on SD card or in your phone memory and then export it onto your PC.
To change AMR audio recording to a more common format, please use Audio Converter for Windows. Add the file, choose a new format and press “Convert”. That’s all!
iPhone: Voice Memos Recorder
Like Android, Apple gadgets also offer their own audio recording app which is called Voice Memos. On the one hand, it intuitively removes all noise from records and your voice sounds crisp. But on the other hand, you can’t record wind or some quiet background sounds.
Pros: clear natural voice recordings, includes an audio editor.
Cons: small choice of output formats, iTunes sync required.
How to use Apple Voice Memos app on iPhone:
- Look for a Voice Memos app on your iPhone.
- Click the red Record button and pronounce something.
- When you’re done, hit the same button, then preview your track and save it.
- If you like it, you can sync your iPhone and desktop iTunes libraries to export your recording.
- [Optional] You can trim your audio track. There is such option, see the screenshot.
OPTIONAL STEP 1: Preview Audio in Video
To see whether your audio matches the video, use a free VLC player. Not only it is a good multimedia player but also a well-known free video editor. This software won’t let your merge audio with video. You can only check if the sound requires editing before the final merge. Let’s see how you can do it:
- Install and run VLC on your PC or Mac.
- Click Media and select the Open Multiple Files option.
- Then click the Add button and select your video.
- Now select Show more options, then Play another media synchronously.
- Click on the Browse button and then click on Add.
- Select an audio track (your recording) and click on the Select button.
- Now click Play.
If your video comes with an original audio track, go to the Audio tab, then Audio track and select your recording.
In case, there are moments that you need to delete or edit, proceed to the next step.
Step 2: AUDIO EDITING
As you can see, not all voice recorders include the audio trimming feature. But sometimes you need to make your track shorter. For instance, you might want to get rid of Start/Stop mouse clicks. To do it, you should take advantage of an audio editing software. We reviewed earlier 5 excellent tools that help you to cut an audio file. So check our guide and select any program.
Tip! Watch this video Audacity tutorial to learn how to trim audio:
Step 3: Adding Voice Recording to Video
What you need to do next is to combine video and audio tracks. If your video file previously contained an audio path, you’d better remove audio from video. There are free video tools that can help you to achieve your goals like Freemake Video Converter. But you have to be sure that your audio and video tracks are of the same length.
Freemake Video Converter
Freemake Video Converter lets you add audio to video easily. It’s free software for Windows. Plus, it allows you to encode your creation into a number of popular video formats such as WMV, MP4, AVI, MPEG, DVD. Learn here how to burn DVD & try embedding a video onto a web page.
What you need to do is:
- Get Freemake Video Converter installer and launch it.
- Add the video.
- Click on the audio info of the clip and choose the audio you created.
- To finish your creation, choose an output format and press the Convert button.
Today we’ve described step by step how to add a soundtrack to a video. Please share this guide on Twitter and Facebook and help us amplify video production knowledge!
If you make videos — especially how-to and explainer videos — you will need to record voice overs. In fact, depending on how many videos you create, you may have to do a lot of voice over work.
Some might think that the audio portion of a video takes a backseat to the visual portions, but that’s not true.
Most video watchers note that they are more likely to stop watching a video with bad audio vs. lower-quality video. In fact, a recent TechSmith study of video viewing habits showed that more than 25% of video viewers watched a video all the way through because the audio was good — more than those who said professional video style was most important.
So great audio isn’t just important. It’s necessary to keep an audience interested and engaged.
But how do you record voice overs that grab and keep your audience’s attention? Relax! It’s easier than you think!
What is voice over?
Voice over is a person heard but not seen during a video describing or providing additional context to what a viewer sees. For that reason, it’s often confused (or equated) with narration.
While similar to voice over, narration, on the other hand, typically refers to an audio track that describes all of on-screen action, often telling a story based on what’s happening.
Voice overs are more common with instructional, informational, and educational videos, while narration is more commonly used for entertainment.
Regardless of whether you’re doing voice over or true narration, this guide will help you do it better.
On super-professional videos, most voice over work is done by professional talent. However, using the tips in this guide, you’ll discover that most videos don’t need professional voice over. You can do it yourself!
So, how can you record your voice over a video?
It helps to know what good voice over is.
What makes a good voice over?
When most of us think of great video voice overs, we probably think of great actors like Morgan Freeman or James Earl Jones. We tend to associate voice over with having a really great voice. And, while that can help, it’s not necessary.
Great video voice audio over comprises several elements:
- Audio clarity and volume
- Vocal tone and inflection
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Audio clarity and volume
The clarity of your voice and a comfortable volume may be the most essential parts of great audio. If your voice over recording is fuzzy or muddy sounding, it will be difficult for people to understand. Audiences likely will be distracted and unable to absorb the information or may simply move on. Either way, they miss your message and you miss an opportunity to share what your knowledge.
Similarly, if your audio’s volume is too low, it may be difficult for people to hear. Too loud and you risk annoying distortion. Luckily, there’s a pretty solid sweet spot for volume. See the section on recording your voice over for more information on audio levels.
Ever talk with someone who has a really exciting story to tell, but they’re so excited about it that they rush through it and when they’re done you can’t even remember what they were talking about? Or, someone who drones on and on with no end in sight, threatening to put you to sleep?
This is pacing. Too fast and your audience won’t know what hit them. To slow and they’re likely to get bored. The best voice overs have a natural and deliberate pace. Start with a script and practice it before you record to help you speak at a more natural pace.
And remember, pacing also includes things like pausing occasionally for effect or just to give them listener a break to process important information.
Vocal tone and inflection
Like pacing, vocal tone and inflection refer to ensuring you speak in a natural and pleasant manner. You want to be friendly and engaging, but not so much that you sound fake.
No one wants to sound like a game show host. But, you also want to avoid monotone robot voice which, like pacing that’s too slow, can be boring and off-putting for listeners.
Pronunciation and enunciation
Part of great voice over work is ensuring that you pronounce each word correctly and that you speak clearly enough to be understood. Avoid mumbling but don’t shout or over-enunciate, either.
Don’t worry, though. No one expects you to sound like a professional voice actor. The best thing you can do is speak naturally and clearly and the rest will follow in time.
How can I make my voice sound better on voice overs?
This is the number-one issue most people bring up when they discover they have to do voice over work for their video.
Let’s face it. Most of us rarely have to hear our own voices in audio recordings. We’re used to the rich, warm sound of our own voices in our own ears. There’s no way around the fact that you sound different on recording that you do to yourself.
So how do you stop hating the sound of your own voice? The answer, unfortunately, is that you just have to get used to it.
Think of it this way: Your voice on recordings is how you actually sound to everyone around you. When you speak to others, that’s what they hear. So, there’s really nothing to be embarrassed about, is there?
In all seriousness, though, everyone who does voice work has to overcome this hurdle. Luckily, like most things, it gets easier the more you do it. Do enough voice over work and soon your voice on recordings will sound almost as natural to you as the one you hear in your ears.
If you simply can’t get over it, though. You can always enlist the help of another person. You can grab a friend or colleague, or you can even hire a professional to do the work for you.
Preparing to record
Not all videos need a ton of preparation. Quick one-off screencasts or a fast demonstration of a new user interface for a colleague probably can be done mostly on the fly. But, for videos where you want a more polish, a bit of preparation goes a long way.
Find a quiet place to work
I’m sure you’ve seen what a typical recording studio looks like. Professional voice over artists typically have a room somewhere with walls covered in sound-absorbing foam, a fancy microphone setup with a pop screen and a computer workstation that looks like it could be straight out of NASA’s Mission Control.
Luckily, you don’t to go that far to achieve great results.
Most importantly, you want a space free of distracting noises and where you aren’t likely to be interrupted. Most decent microphones pick up even faint ambient sounds, and those sounds will ultimately make it into your recording. If your space is at work, avoid areas where you can hear your coworkers conversing, etc.
Be mindful of the sounds of your heating and cooling system (this goes for a home recording studio, as well). If you can’t find a spot where you can’t hear air rushing through your ducts, you may want to shut down your furnace or AC for the duration of your recording. If your recording space is near a window, listen for sounds of traffic — especially loud trucks. They will definitely show up in your recording.
No place is totally silent, so find the best place you can — even if that means thinking outside the box. I have a friend who regularly records his podcast in his car. He lives in a small house with dogs and kids, so there really isn’t anywhere else quiet enough. He takes his laptop and mic out to his driveway, shuts himself in the car and records. The results are surprisingly good!
Choosing a microphone
Next, you need a decent microphone. I won’t go too in-depth with this, but my colleague Matt Pierce did an amazing post on choosing a good mic.
That said, if at all possible, try not to record your voice over using your laptop microphone. While built-in mics are fine for Skype meetings and the like, you will get much better results with even a low-cost external microphone. Even your smart phone’s earbuds will give you a better sound than just your computer’s built-in mic.
You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars, either. You can get a very nice USB microphone for between $60-$100. If you will be doing a lot of voice over work, it’s well worth the investment.
If you intend to use an external mic, I also recommend investing in a pop filter. They’re cheap and they help minimize the distracting sounds caused by hard consonants such as “p” and “b.”
Choosing audio software
There’s no shortage of audio recording software on the market and most of them do relatively the same things.
Camtasia has an audio recorder built in that will allow you to record your voice over as you record your screen when appropriate. You can even edit your audio right in the Camtasia editor.
Stand-alone audio software may offer more functions, though, and might be a good choice depending on what you need.
There are some decent free recording options out there. My favorite is Audacity, an open-source software that’s easy to use and produces solid audio.
You can record and edit voice overs right in Camtasia, Audacity, etc., and seasoned audio editors will have no problem with that. Even those who are new to it will get the hang of it pretty quickly.
But there’s an even better option for recording voice overs: TechSmith Audiate.
Audiate takes voiceover recording and editing to an entirely different level by transcribing your voice in real time — as you record. Then, you can literally edit your audio just like you would edit text in a document.
So, rather than staring at a wave form and trying to figure out exactly what you said and where, you can see it right on your screen.
Audiate even automatically flags all your “ums,” “uhs,” and other hesitations so you can easily find and delete them. You can even delete them all at once.
Already have a voice over recorded? Import it into Audiate and it will transcribe it for you.
When you’re done, save audio file and import it into Camtasia. You can even export the edited text as a transcript or as an SRT file for captions.
I’ve been doing video and audio recording work for years and I’m quite comfortable using professional audio recording software like Adobe Audition, but if I’m doing voice over work, you can bet I’m using Audiate because it’s the best and easiest way to record voice overs.
Start with a script
Having a script is probably the single most important thing you can do to ensure your voice over sounds professional. Nothing ruins good narration faster than a lot of hemming and hawing or 23 umms in a row as you try to remember what you wanted to say next.
The best scripts will include word-for-word everything you intend to say. Taking the time to write this out before recording helps ensure that you will cover everything you want to without the danger of meandering off into topics that aren’t related. Even a bulleted list is better than trying to do it all from memory.
A good script also gives you a chance to practice. Read it aloud several times before you record. As you do, be mindful of words or phrases that may feel awkward or difficult to say. A script often sounds different when read aloud vs. in your head.
This great blog post will give you more information on writing your script.
Do a test recording
Now that all the essential tools are in place, it’s time to record your voice over!
Before you get down to the nitty-gritty, though, I recommend doing a test recording to ensure your equipment works properly and your audio levels are strong. You don’t need to record the entire script, but a few paragraphs will give you enough to ensure that the audio is clear, at an appropriate level, and doesn’t include any stray or ambient noises.
Important: Use headphones to check the audio quality of your test recording. Your computer speakers will not be good enough for this. Headphones allow you to listen closely to ensure clear audio. Obviously, you want the audio to sound good on even the cheapest speaker, but you will be much happier if you use headphones.
Remember, a good portion of your video viewers will listen this way, so you want to be sure they’ll have an optimal experience.
Good audio levels
Finding the proper recording level for your audio ensures that it’s easily heard and not distorted. While you can adjust levels as necessary when you edit your audio, starting with the best possible audio level is always your best bet.
The folks over at Premium Beat have a great post on recommended audio levels setting, but here are a few basics.
Audio levels are measured in decibels (db). The higher the number, the higher the audio level or volume. It’s a bit of an odd system, though, when you first encounter it. In audio editing, 0db is actually the maximum you want to achieve. Weird, eh?
For the most part, your ideal audio level is between -10db to -20db. Your audio should peak around -6db at the most. Never go above 0db, as your audio may begin to distort or “clip.”
Most audio recording software (including Audacity and Audition mentioned above) will have red indicators that let you know when your audio is in the danger zone.
The image above shows the Adobe Audition interface with the waveform (your audio recording) and the level indicator. The indicator shows that the audio peaked at just over -6db and is well within the acceptable levels.
You also want to take a moment to consider where to place your microphone. Too close to the person speaking and it will be subject to all kinds of weird mouth noises. Too far away and it may sound lost in a large room. Ideally, place the microphone about 6-8 inches from the person’s mouth, and slightly below their chin.
Record your audio
Once you’re satisfied with your audio test, you’re ready to record for real! Seriously! Do it!
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Remember to speak slowly and clearly. Enunciate each word, but don’t concentrate on it so much you sound like a robot.
- Consider your tone: You want to sound pleasant, but not overjoyed or overly excited. Pro tip: Recording while smiling can help you sound happier.
- Don’t stop if you mess up. You can always fix it when you edit. Just go back a sentence or two in your script and start again. Pro tip: If you clap loudly at a spot where you make a mistake, you’ll be able to find it easier in the audio editor when you go back to fix it.
- If you make a lot of mistakes or it just gets too hard to keep going, pause your recording and take a break. A frustrated or tired voice over artist rarely makes for great audio.
Editing your audio
When you finish recording your audio, it’s time to edit. Even if you made no mistakes at all, there are likely a few things to edit out.
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Again, I won’t go into a ton of detail on how to edit audio. Each audio editing application will be slightly different. However, the basics of editing audio are quite simple and have a very short learning curve. More advanced editing takes more time to learn.
First, I like to listen to the entire voice over recording from start to finish. I may make notes here and there to remind myself of something I want to go back and edit, but this time through I really just want to concentrate on the overall pacing and tone of the recording. Does it sound like I hoped? Did I rush or speak too slowly? Did I flub any words, mumble, or misspeak? Are there weird silences or unknown sounds?
Next, go back to the beginning and start editing out your mistakes. I also like to edit out any abnormally long silences between sentences or statements and any weird sounds that don’t belong. Remember, though, that pauses are ok (and even necessary) to help break up the audio and make it feel more natural and conversational, so don’t go hog wild with it.
The image above shows the Adobe Audition interface with a part of the audio selected for deletion. The green spiky part of the image is called the waveform, which is just a fancy way of saying what the audio looks like on your screen.
You may also use the editing software to create periods of true silence to remove any strange hissing or other audio anomalies that will be more noticeable when you’re not speaking. To learn more about this, check out this cool post on reducing audio noise in your recordings.
Import your audio into your video editor
If you recorded your audio in a standalone audio editor, you’ll need to save it and import it into your video editor. In Camtasia, importing and working with audio is as simple as a couple of clicks. For more information, check out this post on syncing audio and video in Camtasia.
That’s it! You’ve successfully recorded your voice over!
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How’s it feel to be a pro?
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Recording voice overs like a pro isn’t that difficult when you know how to do it. You may have noticed that the actual recording part plays little part when compared to the preparation. T
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aking the proper steps before you hit the record button and then taking the time to edit your audio appropriately will go a long way to ensuring your voice overs sound professional and engaging.
And remember, practice makes perfect! The more you do it, the more natural it will become.
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Note: This post was updated in June 2020 to include new information.