Getting Better Audio Quality in Your Screencasts

Many of our students ask us about getting rid of the background noise they pick up in their microphone when recording in Camtasia.

Here is a recent question:

“Is there a recommended or decent way to record audio for slides? It seems the microphone I’m using picks up quite a bit of fan noise from the computer and other noise.”

Here are some tips that will help you get a clean and better sounding recording.


  1. Unless you are using a broadcast quality headset skip the headset/mic combos. You get extra noise there, such as head movements, wire slapping against something, breathiness, ambient pickup, etc.
  2. Turn off the noisy components. When you cannot turn them off, muffle them (with pillows and quilts) as much as possible. Shut the door, turn off the phone ringers, shut off the AC, basically chase noise sources and kill them off. image
  3. Let about 4 – 5 seconds of “silence” roll after hitting the Record button. This let’s the mic pick up what’s called the “Sample Noise” (or sometimes called Ambient or Room Noise).
  4. After recording the sound track, use Audacity to improve the audio before importing it into a Camtasia. There is a pretty effective noise reducer in Audacity that samples your ambient noise, then subtracts those frequencies from the whole time line. Use a selection of this “sample noise” with the Noise Removal effect to get your “Noise Profile”.
  5. If you can afford it, purchase a Pre-Amp. A mic pre-amp performs additional processing on the sound and in the recording studio is often more important than even the mic being used. It’s a piece of gear that sits between the mic and the next component in a recording environment (mixing board, audio interface, etc… and is often built into either of those).
  6. And our final tip from my partner Lon Naylor: Make sure you listen to your audio final results on headphones or earbuds. Why? Because that’s how MANY people will be viewing your content in the near future as mobile device access of video content becomes more widespread. Not to mention “convergence” of video between your computer and wide-screen Home Theater systems…It’s also a great way to quickly pick up on issues that you might miss by listening on just your computer speakers.

I hope these suggestions help.