Posted in Audio

Audio Technica AT2100 USB/XLR Microphone: The Swiss Army Dynamic Mic

AT2100 USB Dynamic Mic

Ahhh, the AT2100 USB / XLR combination mic.

First off, the AT2100 is a dynamic microphone. It’s rugged. Just pick it up and feel the build quality. You could truly hurt someone with it.

The price? An incredible $69 US.

As far as dynamic mics go, it’s not going to replace my EV-RE320 anytime soon as a workhorse mic for eLearning and podcasting type applications, although the rich sound this little guy can produce is way beyond its sticker price. But its main selling point is that it can be plugged directly into a laptop via USB, or can be used with a professional recorder or audio interface via XLR connection.

My favorite use for it is in the photo above. With a simple Apple Camera Adapter, I use this mic to record directly to my iPhone when I need professional “insert” audio on the go. Sometimes a client will need a quick line of audio added to a course, and I need to replicate the sound of the RE320, so I will record to Twisted Wave on my iPhone and email myself the file. A quick post EQ and Normalization later, and I am bringing it directly into my ELearning course in minutes! The thunderbolt cable provides a better recording experience than even USB.

The other application is plugging it into my Zoom H4N via XLR, for a good street reporter microphone that eliminates background noise and holds up to a rugged pounding. If my workflow was a lot of ENG type audio work with stand up, my obvious choice would be the Electro Voice RE-50N.

With all that this guy has going for it; ruggedness, rich sound, versatility and price point, it does hand out “pops” and “plosives” with no apology. Mic placement really needs to be below your mouth, but within 3-4 inches. For that reason, I don’t have much use for the little tripod stand it comes with. You’d want to hand hold this mic in the field, or make sure you have it on a well positioned boom arm if you are going to podcast or record eLearning with it.

All in all, I could not pass up its remote versatility for only $69. If you are on a tight budget, and need a travel ready and podcast ready solution, the AT2100 may just be your mic.

Posted in Project Management

ASANA for Agile

Agile project management is a key skill in today’s development of training, software and even social media and video production. Not all agile tools are the same, however. Let me show you why I believe ASANA is the best free tool you can use for your next team collaboration.

Posted in ELearning

Articulate Storyline 2 Simulations – Show, Do and Test

In my line of work I do a lot of software training. That training often requires that we demonstrate to learners, then allow them to practice, and finally test them to perform and get feedback on where the performance gaps are from our LMS. In this tutorial, I walk you through how we use Articulate Storyline’s “Show / Do / Test” feature for simulations to create annual certification training.

Posted in Audio

Audacity Basics for Voiceover Audio

Audacity is a great free tool for creating voiceover recordings for your ELearning projects. In this video, I go over how to set up your preferences, hardware and software to make sure that you won’t be spending time fixing issues in post production.

Posted in ELearning

Storyline 2: Creating a Motivation Slider

In this brief tutorial I show you how to use layers to create a simple motivation slider in Storyline 2.

Posted in Video

How To Create a Micro Learning Studio

Have you ever wondered what it would take to create better audio and video for your You Tube channel, perhaps recording and distributing videos for your company’s on demand, ELearning initiative? Many companies today, as well as individual contributors on social media, are quickly learning that video is where it’s at for training and marketing communications.

The 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report shows Facebook video and You Tube among the hottest trends in socializing information and on demand learning. Similar social learning platforms and micro learning in corporations will soon become an “essential” component of any effective training program. In 2015, I decided to turn my home office into a micro learning recording studio where I can produce recorded or live video, voiceover narration, screencasts, podcasts and webinars; all within a relatively small area and not a large budget.

The results have been tremendous!

Don’t feel like you don’t have the ability to make it happen for you or your company’s training program.  With a little bit of cross training, and some excited associates, you can begin to start on the foundation of your own micro and social learning initiative for your employees.

Posted in Video

How Do We Define “Micro Learning”?

Micro Learning is one of the most trendy terms in learning today. However, I have found it is also one of the most misunderstood ones as well. If you are going to have a chance to successfully implement micro learning in your company or marketing program, it helps to know some key things around it. You truly need to have a well-defined knowledge of “who” the learning is for so that you can create a customizable delivery platform.

Posted in Audio

How to Create Effects Stacks in Twisted Wave

If you are like me, you use the same techniques to post process your audio files each time you record. Luckily, Twisted Wave has a cool little feature called “Effects Stacks” that allows you to save a “series” of effects as one effect that you can apply every time with a single click. There are some things you need to be aware of, so check out my video above for all the details you need to know to take advantage.

Posted in Audio

How to Export Multiple Files for eLearning Using Audacity

If you develop eLearning, or work in corporate communications and marketing, you have likely been handed a script that a stakeholder wants to have recorded to synchronize with their presentation.  If that sounds like you, and you have a copy of the freeware Audacity, then you are in luck. Audacity has a feature that allows you to tag your single audio file and export it into multiple files, all labeled and ready to insert and match to your visuals!

Posted in Project Management

Using Trello to Manage Social Media Production

For its ability to assign and control richer subtasks, ASANA has become my tool of choice, but Trello is an easy 2nd place, and has the best mobile experience in its class!