Lunch and Learn: Sounding Out the Classroom

Podcast Tutorial:

  • Planning:
    • Script
      • outline of main points
      • conversational tone
      • include tags for who is saying each line
      • transitions / transitional phrases
      • Make sure that everyone’s voice is equally heard throughout the podcast
    • Equipment:
      • Avoid using your computer microphone.
      •  Recording with the built-in mic on your headphones will improve audio quality.
      • Make sure your mic is below your mouth and a bit to the side.
      • Don’t speak directly into the mic.
      • Make sure you watch the audio levels as you record. You don’t want your levels to be too high (too loud) because the quality will sound bad and if they are too low, it will be too soft.
    • Environment:
      • Try to record in a quiet environment.
      • Check out the environment before you start recording and listen for any background noise such as fans, air conditioners, printers, washing machines.
      • Avoid recording in environments with hard surfaces since they can cause an echo.
      • If you can’t find a quiet place to record, you can always find a small space to record in with a blanket over your head. It sounds weird, but it works.

  • Recording:
    • Take a sample recording before you start your interview. This will allow you to check the volume, as well as make sure that everything is working/saving correctly.
    • Keep all of your files in one place and make sure that folder is backed up to something like Google Drive, TCU Box, etc.
    • Can record in-person or virtually
    • Make sure you check your files after you are done recording

Lunch and Learn: Sounding Out the Classroom

By Jackie Hoermann and Joe Schiller


For our November Lunch and Learn, we’re exploring sound in the contemporary classroom. To get started, we ask you to think about the role of new media in your classroom pedagogy and how it already affords opportunities to learn through sound.

How has sound been used in your classroom? 

Are there other ways you’d like to integrate sound?


If you haven’t already visited our audio tech pages, you’ll definitely want to spend some time exploring those pages for more information on the process, tips, tools, and resources that can support you as you use new sound technologies.


Jackie has had her students create audio essays as a revision strategy. To hear just one of those audio essays, check out the YouTube link that follows.

Using oral sounds to improve written compositions–and even written compositions to improve sound compositions–isn’t as new as new media, in many cases. Yes, the sound technologies we use are new ones, but sound as a technology for learning has been used since the ancient Greco-Roman era. Jackie recently took an in-depth look at this history through her study of the Greek progymnasmata, or “preliminary exercises” in orality, which she’ll touch on briefly in today’s meeting.
She had a chance to study these sound practices and the theory undergirding them a bit more closely at this year’s Digital Humanities Summer Institute in Victoria, British Columbia, where she took a class with Dr. John Barber, titled “Sound of :: DH.” If you’re a TCU graduate student and haven’t considered applying for one of our tuition scholarships for next year’s summer institute, read more on that opportunity by clicking here.
As the studio’s resident historian, Joe has some ambivalence about sound technologies. In today’s classroom, we can hone the endangered skill of listening carefully while thinking deeply by using sound in the absence of image. And certainly, capturing the voices of historical actors through oral histories is wonderful. But what if the actors are too distant in history to have been recorded? Can we give their documents a voice? This calls to mind documentary films or radio programs that have someone reading a historical character’s correspondence in an assumed accent, giving life to old documents for a new media. Where does the history end and the performance begin, and how does this alter the way we tell stories? We’ll explore, and hopefully assuage, some of these concerns later today.
What could you do with sound of :: in your new media classroom?

Additional Resources:

Additional Audacity Tutorials from YouTube:

Andrew Mercer’s Audacity Tutorial Playlist



Garage Band Tutorial:

For those of you who might prefer working with Mac products, we’re happy to share this video tutorial thanks to our Spring 2017 Intern Aubrey Fineout,

How to Record Audio with Garage Band:

Additional Resources:

Royalty Free Music


Music Screen

Royalty Free Sound Effects

Sound Bible

Free Sound