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Create Your Course

Audio/Video Quality

Do you know what high quality means? Discover what good and bad audio/video quality looks like and learn how to identify specific problems in your work so you can diagnose and improve your course quality.

We’ve created some great resources to get you started. We’ve provided you with two different ways to learn – a video course, or a written overview. (Feel free to do both!)

Option 1: Enroll in this Official Udemy Insights Course: Video Quality on Udemy

In this official, Udemy-produced course you’ll learn the skills and language you’ll need to make sure your course is the best it can be. Whether you’re an experienced videographer or a video newbie, this course will ensure that you understand how videos on Udemy should look and sound.

 

Option 2: Continue Reading
Follow the steps below and learn how to set up the foundation for your course. We’ve provided information, resources, and practice activities to get you going.

WHY IS AUDIO/VIDEO (AV) PRODUCTION SUCH AN IMPORTANT TOPIC?

It’s foundational for student learning. The most common student pain point is poor or inconsistent AV quality. 25% of student complaints reference problems with AV clarity. We see this problem across all courses, not just the lowest performing ones. Since audio and video are the hardest things to fix later on, we recommend spending some time to get it right at the start of your course creation journey.

Your video doesn’t have to be produced in a professional studio, but students do need to be able to

  • See you clearly
  • Hear you clearly
  • Move through the course without distractions

WHAT’S GOOD AUDIO QUALITY?

Here are a few different types of audio issues you may experience:

  • Bad Recording Environment
  • Technical Issues
  • User Error

ENVIRONMENT:

ECHO: The most common audio problem our instructors have is ECHO. Echo’s make the audio sound really far away, like you’re recording in an open space.

Recording in an empty room with no walls and no carpet is one of the most common ways our instructors end up with bad audio. Dampen your recording room to help absorb some of that sound. We added sound proofing acoustic panels to our recording room, but also put up blankets, cushions, and couches to help avoid picking up any echo in our recordings.

Background noise: You might NOT be aware of the background noise while you’re recording, but suddenly you notice it while listening to your recording afterwards. You might here things like traffic, air conditioning, phones ringing, or people talking in the background.

Pause and listen to your recordings frequently to ensure you’re not picking up other sounds.

TECHNICAL ISSUES:

Distortion: You might hear an electrical static sound in your recording. Typically this issue is caused by having the gain turned too high causing this electrical sound, making the audio extremely distracting.

Background Hiss: You might also have a background hiss similar to distortion. This will sound like a raspy noise within your audio track. It generally comes from having a poor quality microphone, like the one built into your camera or computer.

Left Speaker: Another issue you may encounter is sound only coming out of the left speaker. This happens when the audio output settings are set to stereo instead of mono.

Pro Tip: When starting your course, try out the equipment you have at home before buying anything. But, one thing we strongly want you to avoid is recording audio directly from your camera or computer without an external microphone.

USER ERROR:

Low Volume: If the volume on your recording is really low, your microphone may be too far away. Make sure to speak loudly and clearly and speak directly into the microphone.

Muffled Sound: You can also run into the opposite problem if you are speaking too close to the mic. This will pick up too much information and your audio will sound muffled. We suggest being about six to twelve inches (15 cm to 30 cm) away from the mic.

Pops: Another common problem is “pops” in your audio. This popping sound is especially common in words with “p”s and “t”s. If you have this issue, there will be unnatural spikes in your audio, which can be distracting for your students. Try moving just a little further from the microphone or drinking water before you talk (this can actually help with clarity). You can also look into buying a pop filter, which is a great way to ensure you don’t have this issue at all.

Pro Tip: Avoid re-recording by checking your audio early on and frequently. That way you can make sure you have good audio quality throughout your course.


Checklist: Good Audio

WHAT’S GOOD VIDEO QUALITY? 

There are two things to consider when you want to film a good video:

  1. Make sure you have the right recording and export settings
  2. You want to set up your home studio correctly

RECORDING & EXPORT SETTINGS:

Video Resolution: Video resolution is usually expressed as width × height, with the value given in pixels. There are two types of video resolution:

  • Standard Definition
  • High Definition (HD)

Video’s for Udemy should be high definition (HD), at 720p or higher

Aspect Ratio: 

  • Make sure your video fills the whole frame of the video player
  • Aspect ratio is determined by your export settings on your camera

At Udemy, we accept aspect ratios of 16:9 and 4:3

RECORDING STUDIO SET UP: 

Lighting: 

  • The main subject of your video should be clearly visible and well lit (It’s better to have too much light than too little)
  • Avoid shadows in the background or on your face

Camera Placement & Movement: 

  • The subject should be in the middle of the shot, or on the sides using the rule of thirds
  • Don’t be too far away from the camera or too close
  • Don’t put the camera too high over your head or too far below your face
    • Imagine you’re having a face to face conversation with your students
  • Make sure your camera is steady
    • Use a tripod or put your camera on a steady surface
    • Don’t try and hold the camera yourself

Background: 

  • Don’t let anything pull attention from what you’re trying to teach
  • Clean up any clutter, make your background professional, and appropriate
  • When recording screencasts, make sure your desktop and tabs are clean and free of non-course related content
    • Close any tabs you don’t need
  • Whether you’re screen-casting or adding bullet points to a headshot video, make sure all text in your course is legible
    • Remember, 30% of students watch Udemy courses on their mobile devices
    • Be sure all text is easy to read – think about the size, font, and color of words

Checklist: Good Video

Congratulations! Now you know what good audio and video sounds like.

It’s time to set up your recording studio