Digital Storytelling Lab

The purpose of this course (ETK 604) is to introduce you to the essentials of educational audio. Get your hands e-dirty with audio production: recording, editing, mixing, and publishing. We start by identifying the set of presentations you want to create, then move through the scripting, recording, editing, and mixing processes.

The course begins on January 18, 2020. The course follows the same schedule as regular courses that meet on Teaching Weekends. The difference is that a learning module begins on a Saturday of a Teaching Weekend and ends on the Friday before the next Teaching Weekend. This means the last module ends on May 15. Of course you can complete your course work before the 15th if you want.


This 7 minute video introduces you to key facets of the course.

Three Phases

This 4 minute video describes the three major phases of learning you will experience.

What do I need?

You want a good microphone and a to record audio. In a pinch you can use your phone: but only if done carefully and just right. Otherwise you want to use real gear (preamplifier, microphone, and more) to record you audio.


Phones are not great recording devices, but they can be used well if you are careful and use the right gear. We will use phones at the beginning of the course. You can continue using your phone if you supplement it with good gear.


We will use regular recording gear as the course moves on: dedicated microphones and preamps (and cables and stands). The gear will be shared between 2 people. In some cases you'll be able to use alternatives to the official "shared gear."


Recording software is only the beginning. You will also need ways to edit, repair, clean, and mix your audio. You will use free software, or low cost software, for recording and editing. You'll use professional software for the repair, clean, and mixing processes.

Learning Modules

Each of 9 modules for the course are briefly described below. The Read More button will take you to the relevant module learning materials. You will only be able to access specific module pages if you are already registered for the course.

1 Scripts

Jan 18 to 24
You will learn the basics of writing a good script. One that can be read easily. One that reads like you talk. You'll learn about the powerful 150 words = 1 minute equation. And more.

2 Stories

Jan 25 to Feb 7
You will listen to a few stories, but you will also learn about key storytelling elements that might help you create your own set of audio presentations.

3 Gear

Feb 8 to 21
An overview of audio gear including preamps, microphones, recorders and much more. This is your opportunity to play around with the shared gear I will let students borrow to create quality recordings.

4 Record

Feb 22 to March 6
You will begin recording your presentation scripts using quality recording equipment in this module. You will learn how to avoid pesky recording problems. This module begins your serious audio presentation creation process.

5 Repair

March 7 to 20
You will learn about key audio problems in the recording process: some of which can be fixed afterwards. This includes fixing mouth clicks, breathing in too much, removing hum from electrical devices in the room, and much more.

6 Edit

March 21 to April 3
You don't need to have a perfect recording. You want to have a good recording where some of the problem bits can be edited out. This is where audio software becomes very useful.

7 Mix

April 4 to 24
Mixing is all about combining sounds. This could be a speaker's voice with nature sounds in the background, or music in the background.There are many ways that audio mixing is used to enhance podcasting: you'll learn the basics in this module.

8 EQ & Effects

April 25 to May 1
EQ or equalization is all about making your voice sound as good as possible. Want to add a bit more bass to your voice? Or make it sound more energetic? EQ provides a way to do that and much more.

9 Publish

May 2 to 15
This module looks at the variety of ways you can publish and share your audio work with others. Whether via an LMS, a sharing service such as SoundCloud, or other options you'll get the lowdown on making your work available to others.

© 2020 Mathew Mitchell Contact Me