Getting the most out of sound in educational media production

Part of series: Workshops & Seminars

How can we guarantee optimal sound quality in educational media? Most of our community members working with audiovisual content would agree that sound quality takes precedence over visuals. This online event was dedicated to uncovering the secrets behind achieving exceptional audio in educational content.


Reducing Noise in Educational Media

Nick Vandenberg, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA

Key takeaways: 

TIP #1: Signal to Noise Ratio 

The greater the distance between the signal and noise when recording, the cleaner the mastered audio can be without unwanted artifacts. 

Microphone choice can dramatically change the signal to noise ratio. 

TIP #2: Use the Null 

By pointing the polar pattern’s null toward unwanted sounds, you can drastically reduce its level in the recording. 


Monitor at the Same Level Always, Please! 

By working in a consistent environment (headphones, speakers) and always monitoring at the same level, you will intuitively know when some is too loud, too quiet, too noisy, or already perfect. 

Book recommendation – Mastering Audio by Bob Katz

Presentation can be found here.

Audio is not a ‘second best’!​

Lucy Kendra & Conrado Silva de Farias, Heriot-Watt Online, UK

Key takeways:

  • Well-designed audio maximises the potential for connection (in the learner experience) through sound.​
  • Poorly-designed audio creates unnecessary friction (barriers) to learning, and is therefore less accessible.​
    And finally….​
  • Audio resources are not a ‘second best’ – and are better in many contexts.​

Presentation can be found here.

Presentation summary can be found here.


This session was moderated by Mathy Vanbuel, ATiT, Belgium

Links shared in the chat:

  1. Cities and Memory: A sound project discussed during the chat.
  2. Mixcloud Radio Show by Dominic Pates, related to Cities and Memory.
  3. Purpose of Media Tool in Education Tool that helps to (re)think and reflect on choice of media.
  4. Teaching Here and There by Dominic Pates,  Ivan Sikora, James Rutherford (City, University of London, UK)

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.