Udemy Instructor Toolbox: Audio & Video

Our instructor community is a tremendous source of information and expertise. Individuals from around the world come together in the Udemy Studio to exchange knowledge, tips, and best practices, and to connect with one another as professionals and online colleagues. We asked instructors to share their favorite tools and resources for video recording and editing, and we’ve curated their posts to create this Udemy Instructor Toolbox.

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 9.02.54 AM

ScreenFlow
  • Uses: Screen recording program for Mac only
  • Tip: “You can record your screen, choose microphone options, add a hovering webcam shot over your screen cap, and the best part – editing. After recording, your screen cap will show up in ScreenFlow’s editing interface which is honestly very good. You can add text, tweak your audio recording to make it sound perfect, and much more!”
Camtasia
  • Uses: Screen recording and video editing
  • Tip: Udemy offers a 50% discount! Fill out the form here to request a discount code.
MovieMaker
  • Uses: Windows Movie Maker comes installed on new windows installs, and you can download it for free for previous Windows versions. Movie Maker is great for clipping videos and simple video editing.
  • Tip: It can be used together with Audacity (free) to enhance your audio and merge it back with video. It also functions as a video converter, allowing you to add most kind of videos, then save them as an MP4.
  • Bonus Tip: This video from instructor Brad Jensen will show you how to convert your video lecture to the Udemy standard using Movie Maker. You will create custom settings for saving your video in one of the two formats, 10 fps or 30 fps, and 1280 by 720 pixels with 3000 kbps data rate.
Adobe After Effects
  • Uses: Video editing for more advanced users.
  • Tip: “I am able to record myself on talking head, record the slides after that (I play back the talking head and play the slides in sync, and record that), and then mash the two together in After Effects. I put some music at the beginning and end, fade between full screen talking head and full screen slide, a fade out at the end. The videos take longer to make, but in the end might be more interesting to students.” Here’s an example of the output from instructor Scott Duffy.
Movavi
  • Uses: Screen recording.
  • Tip: Record in HD at 30fps.
Sony Vegas Pro
  • Uses: Video editing
  • Tip: This is a somewhat pricey software for more advanced users.
Handbrake
  • Uses: Open source video transcoder. Input a large mp4 file (other formats also supported), change some settings, and have it output a smaller file size.
  • Tip: “I find it useful because Camtasia (and other editors) output 1GB size files for a few minutes of video. Running it through handbrake outputs a 35mb file with no discernible loss of quality. This is essential when uploading videos to Udemy over a connection that isn’t great.” – Robin Slee
FilmicPro
  • Uses: An app that allows you to film talking head videos from an iPhone.
  • Tip: The app allows you to fiddle with lighting and color (among other things) which a lot of phones don’t tend to have. You can even change the resolution and framerate all on your phone!

 

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Blue Snowball Mic
  • Uses: Audio recording for screencast and presentation style lectures.
  • Tip: A Udemy Studio favorite!
JK Mic-J 044 Lapel
  • Uses: Audio recording for live action and talking head lectures
  • Tip: “Best $30 I’ve spent in awhile! Keep in mind it records only the left channel, so you’ll need to create the right channel as a duplicate of the left, which takes 20 seconds or less in Audacity.” Here’s a demonstration of the mic from instructor Andy Morris.
Samson Go Mic
  • Uses: Affordable, portable mic.
  • Tip: “It gives me great sound quality and is so easy to take wherever I go. It also works perfectly with a Mac or a PC. Great value for your money, especially if you are on a budget or are just starting out.” – Kristen Palana
Audacity
  • Uses: Audacity is a free, dynamite audio editing tool.
  • Tip: Import the audio from almost any kind of video, enhance it with the effects menu (normalize and noise reduction are instructor favorites). Save it as a M4A audio file, and merge it back to your video with free Movie Maker. Instructor Brad Jensen uses this every day.
Noise Gate
  • Uses: Mutes audio input when it drops below a certain volume.
  • Tip: “It saves me a step during editing but it’s important to point out that if you are interested in using something similar to this or as a software plug-in, keep in mind a noise gate is not the same thing as Noise Reduction. A gate does not ‘remove’ noise, it only mutes the input when your audio volume drops below a certain volume.” – Kenn Crawford
DYI Sound Booth
  • Uses: Reduce background noise in your audio recording track.
  • Tip: Create a DYI sound booth by placing a blanket on a clothes rack behind your recording area. Or take a regular paper towel and fold it in half. Wrap it around your microphone with a couple of inches protruding out past the end of the microphone and attach it with tape. Then point the end of the microphone at your mouth from the usual distance. For reducing echo, this is a lot simpler than hanging blankets everywhere or building a noise box.

 

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