How to Record Lectures

At universities, conferences, and private events, lectures are often recorded either for personal use or for dissemination to the public. There are several different technologies available for recording lectures, as well as different methods of recording depending on venue and access. This guide will provide a few simple steps for determining how to record lectures, and how to do so with whatever technology might be available.

Steps

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    Ask permission of the lecturer to record his or her speech.
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    Situate yourself as close to the speaker as possible.
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    Prepare a personal recording device such as a new file or cassette on which to record the lecture.
    • For a mini disc or other digital recorders, this will mean creating a new file or clearing an old one. For a cassette recorder, either insert a new cassette or prepare to record over an old one (quality will be degraded in the latter case).
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    Place the recording device with the microphone tilted toward the speaker.
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    Test the sound.
    • First, record as you say something softly away from the recorder. Play back and listen to clarity and background noise. Next, record any opening remarks or microphone checks that take place where the lecturer will be speaking. Play these back to gauge the quality of the recording.
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    Adjust the strength and sensitivity of the recording as necessary.
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    Record the lecture and avoid moving the recorder, or doing anything that will affect the quality of the recording during the lecture.
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    Record the lecture via laptop recording by activating your computer's recording program.
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    For Apple computers, you can download a recording system called Audacity. For a PC, find the Sound Recorder program in the Start menu.
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    Position your laptop microphone in the direction of the speaker.
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    Follow Steps 6 through 8 from above.
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    Connect your laptop to a power supply to ensure that it does not run out of power in the middle of the recording.
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    Mute your laptop audio output to eliminate erroneous computer noises appearing on the final lecture recording.
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    Record the lecture, periodically checking the progress of the recording on the screen.
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    Record using a microphone.
    • Position at least one microphone as close to the speaker as possible, either on a podium, on a collar-attachment microphone, or on a microphone stand.
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    Test each microphone for volume and quality of sound.
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    Connect and activate your recording device.
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    Repeat Steps 6 through 8 from above.

Tips

  • The biggest problem with recording lectures is background noise. If at all possible, try to use microphones close to the speaker, as these will not record much audience noise. If this is not possible, remove yourself as much as possible from audience interference by moving close to the speaker, and avoid moving your recording device during the recording.

Warnings

  • Always check that your personal recording device has enough storage for the lecture. For digital recorders, familiarize yourself with how much memory a few minutes of speech takes up. For a cassette, use tapes that are long enough to accommodate the lecture, and, if necessary, switch sides of the cassette swiftly and smoothly.

Things You'll Need

  • Recording device


Article Info

Categories: Presentations