Creating Basic Audio & Video Recordings

First off, I’m a complete newbie when it comes to audio recording software. But, I’m in network marketing and have an extremely large organization, and team calls, YouTube videos, etc are a BIG part of my training I offer.

I purchased a Audio Technica AT2020USB & have it installed. I also downloaded Audacity.

I simply want to be able to create audio voice recordings, and possibly have an “intro” and “exit” tune added.

Also, I would like to record video for YouTube, but I’m uncertain how I can do that and include this software and my camcorder. How can I record video with my camcorder, link up my mic, & use this software at the same time.

Any help & guidance is greatly appreciated. I’ve always heard about Audacity & I’m excited to get this started.


How can I record video with my camcorder, link up my mic, & use this software at the same time.

That’s where you get good with your video editor software. Audacity isn’t going to help a bit there. We don’t do video.

You shoot your video with your camcorder and separate, high quality sound with your sound recorder and talent microphone—assuming your camcorder doesn’t have a place to plug an external microphone. Some do. When you finish, you load your video and separate sound track and music clips into your video editor and cut your brains out (so to speak). You will probably find that the sound track isn’t going to match exactly the camcorder footage so you will need to shrink or stretch slightly. That’s not unusual. You can use the existing ratty camcorder sound track as the guide for matching up the high quality one.

Please note that hauling a computer, cables, power supply, microphones, etc around with you in addition to the camera and tripod is going to get old in a hurry, so the solution is a small, self-contained sound recorder. Not the computer with Audacity. The talent can put it in their pocket.

This is a lavalier microphone. (ignore the adapter cable on top)

That’s a Radio Shack, believe it or not. A 3013 tie tack microphone (from memory).

A different but similar microphone.


Full stop. That’s assuming your camcorder has no provision to plug in a separate microphone. If it does, then the separate sound recorder can go away.

There’s no such thing as a “Zoom” microphone. The only way to get good sound is to put the microphone close to it. If you don’t, and you shoot in a room with bare floors and walls, it will sound like a kid recording in their kitchen.

Or worse, in a noisy machine room where nobody will be able to hear the talent at all.

No, we can’t fix that in post production.

You can see these microphones on any TV news show and even some of the video podcasts.


Full stop again. If you have a dead quiet room with no bare walls or ceilings (a “studio”), then you can go with any old camcorder. No special sound considerations needed.

DO NOT promise a finished product until you try all this stuff out once or twice. There’s many surprises.


…Koz beats me again!

See [u]Your First Recording[/u].

The AT2020USB is a reasonably good mic, so your next challenge will be to set-up a quiet “studio” with sound-absorbing acoustics.

Audacity doesn’t do video, but you can edit your audio independently from the video and re-join the audio & video with your video editing software. I use Corel Video Studio, which is a consumer video editing application. I sometimes extract the audio from the video (which you can usually do by simply opening the video file in Audacity). I’m careful not to do any cutting & splicing or anything with the audio only that can mess-up the timing so I don’t loose audio/video sync.

Most video editors can also do some audio editing.

…I assume you have a digital camcorder so you can load the audio/video file from the camera onto your computer.

See [u]Can I play a track while recording a new one on top of it?[/u]

Here is some information on [u]mixing[/u] which is one way to add an intro/exit without altering the A/V sync.

How can I record video with my camcorder, link up my mic, & use this software at the same time.

You can try recording with the USB mic while recording with a camcorder. The traditional way to sync audio & video is with a [u]clapperboard[/u] which you can simulate by clapping your hands in view of the camera before starting the shoot.

Your video editor may have some features if you want to “narrate” during post-production.

Audio Technica AT2020USB

Missed that.
That means you’re pretty much forced to announce from a desk and hope your computer doesn’t make very much noise. USB microphones are limited to one USB cable separation between the microphone and noisy computer. Some AudioBook people find that the extra computer noise makes it difficult to publish high quality audio.

But most of that still stands. In this case I would configure Audacity for 48000, 16 bit, Stereo (instead of 44100, Audacity default) because 48000 is generally the video sound standard.

Move the finished video and audio to your video editor and marry them.


So to bring this home, all of these variations are done in a video editor. If you elect not to do it that way, pick a nice, quiet, well behaved room with no echoes and use the camcorder built-in microphone. I had a storage closet at work I used to use for this. lots of cardboard boxes and no echoes.

It wasn’t air conditioned and so had no blower rumble. We couldn’t shoot an hour show without coming out occasionally to gasp for air.


…Koz beats me again!

I bet I can type faster than you can.


Which simple video editor do you like?


Got one. This is from a New York Times video. Note that little black thing in his cleavage (scroll down)? That’s his lavalier microphone. That doctor is narrating the whole front half of the video with that thing.

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 18.06.28.png

Ok, you guys are awesome. So I’ve come to the conclusion that for me, I should stick to podcast/audio ONLY with my Audio-Technica microphone. That can be my “conference call/podcast” type where I can train that way.

Next, I just need to get a lavalier microphone so I can use THAT with my camcorder to create some basic videos that have better sound vs the built in microphone.

I guess my biggest thing in video and a mic was getting BETTER sound. It can still be a basic video, as I am not really in the need to being studio quality. I’d like to think ONE DAY I could get that big haha. Probably not though…

Also: My computer is a Toshiba laptop & it’s extremely quiet. The Audio-Technica mic can be adjusted, so there will be zero background noise in my office (as long as my 2 year old son doesn’t barge in…).

My Sony HDR digital camcorder is perfect. It doesn’t have a plug in jack for an external mic though, SO, I will have to splice the video & audio together if I want to use the sound from my Audio-Technica mic. I guess it will seem kind of weird being on camera with a big huge microphone though…Didn’t think about that.

My only option with Video is to use the Video camera and use the microphone that’s built in to it, OR, wing it with the ATechnica mic and see how it goes.

it will seem kind of weird being on camera with a big huge microphone

That doesn’t bother me as much as getting a good sound track.

and see how it goes.

And see how it goes melding them together in your video editor. Did you figure out how you were going to do that yet? Given that your whole USB microphone/computer thing works, that should give you a terrific quality sound track at 48000, 16-bit, Mono. Some microphones don’t like to split Mono/Stereo. The microphone itself is one single item, but sometimes it can be made to create a stereo track with your voice on both blue waves, or sometimes it will refuse to do anything unless Audacity is set for Mono. Experiment.

While you were typing that, I gathered up a long overdue lavalier microphone test. This is that Radio Shack 3013 microphone (still available) and a tiny, stand-alone Olympus WS-823 recorder. Also still available. It creates a perfect quality WAV sound track, but the sound file won’t fit on the forum like that, so I made a high quality MP3. The whole live sound system, without exaggeration will fit in my pocket.

No matter how you go, having a quiet room is very important. Right at the end of my recording, I had a truck go by the house and I left it in.


I am not really in the need to being studio quality

The phrase is “professional quality.”

I don’t need professional audio. I just need clear sound at good volume and no distortion or noise.


Using free software, e.g AVIdemux, it is possible to extract the audio from a video , tweak the audio in Audacity , then replace original audio on the video with the tweaked version , without transcoding the video, (which damages video quality ).

We know from posters that the sampling rates of different recorders can vary from each other enough to create lip-sync problems on medium or long shows. I know you can easily fix that in Audacity, but how do you know when you succeed? A video editor will allow you to see the error and fix it in semi-real time — or generate an error value that you can apply in Audacity.

There may be no error, but I’m not betting very much on that.


I was suggesting a method of optimising the audio on the video, (which retains synchronisation) , rather than transplanting audio recorded on another device, which is possible , but as you say, transplanted sound can slip out-of-sync with the video, ( particularly on long video ).

But other than that, there’s nothing preventing you from sliding your own good quality track in there just see if it works?

Couldn’t you put the old track and the new one on the timeline one above the other and compare the lengths?

Wow, no kidding? I will probably need a couple weeks to figure that one out ha!

I’m lost. Putting a track in to see if I can tweak the original audio?

I’m lost. Putting a track in to see if I can tweak the original audio?

No, the original idea was carefully split the video sound away from the show and open it in Audacity, so you can patch, filter, help or manage it. The track is guaranteed to match the video because that’s where it came from. After you fix it, push it back into the video with the video software.

Full Stop.

I said why don’t you do that, but then also open your new, clean, wonderful, clear track. They will appear one above the other and play at the same time. Then compare them so make sure they match (or fix them so they do) and then export the fresh new track by itself and push that into the picture.

This is assuming the fresh, new track is a lot better than the old one.

Compare the EchoSample (scroll down) to this clip I shot with the lavalier in a quiet room (attached).

Typically, you can’t fix camcorder sound. Once it picks up room reverb, echo, and noises, you’re stuck. Audacity doesn’t do echoes.

This will always sound like a kid in the kitchen.

So if you have a close, good quality microphone recording (no matter how you got it), that is almost guaranteed to be better quality than the camcorder sound.