Help

Recording from home

Use this page to find instructions and videos on how to volunteer remotely for AINC successfully, and find helpful resources for troubleshooting any issues. Navigate to instructions relevant to you by using the navigation buttons below. Please follow all instructions carefully and always follow AINC protocol to ensure your program gets aired correctly and best serves our listeners.

Notices

Notice for volunteers who regularly do more than 1 weekly program

If you do more than 1 regular program, your Volunteer Portal accounts will list your programs on the left side of the portal when you log in. You must upload the appropriate audio file in the appropriate folder by clicking the program name on the left and uploading each one individually within it’s folder.

Volunteer Portal
This is an example of what it would look like if you did Arapahoe County News and Weekend Entertainment Review (On a computer)
  • On a phone, the folders can be found be clicking the folder icon on the top left.
  • If you do not see your customized folders on the left OR you are a volunteer that regularly does only 1 weekly program, continue uploading as usual.

Notice for volunteers who previously used Studio Recorder (Regarding conflicts with Audacity)

Some people are experiencing issues when both Studio Recorder AND Audacity are installed on their computer. You may need to uninstall Studio Recorder to prevent issues with Audacity. To do this, right click on Studio Recorder and click “uninstall”.

Instructions and guides

Desktop Computer Guides

Remote Volunteer Reading on a Computer (PC or Mac)

AINC recommends you use the recording software, Audacity. We do not provide support or training for any other software on PC or Mac. Click the steps below to see step-by-step guides and videos.

1. Getting Started: How to Download Audacity

  1. Go to Audacity’s website to find the downloads

NOTICE: There may be ads on the web page with prominent “download” buttons. If they are not Audacity download button, do not click.

2. Click the version you want to install (either “Audacity Windows Installer” or “Audacity macOS DMG”). The download will save to your computer.

3. Run the installer to begin using Audacity

NOTE FOR THOSE WHO PREVIOUSLY USED STUDIO RECORDER: Some people are experiencing issues when both Studio Recorder AND Audacity are installed on their computer. You may need to uninstall Studio Recorder to prevent issues with Audacity. To do this, right click on Studio Recorder and click “uninstall”.

2. Recording: How to use Audacity

3. Exporting with the correct bitrate

Export with a 192 kbps bit-rate. This can be done in the export settings when you save your file.

Breakdown of Steps in Audacity:

  1. Record as usual
  2. Click “File”
  3. Click “Export”
  4. Click “Export as mp3”
  5. Near the bottom of the pop-up window, where it says “quality”, set to 192 kbps. (It will remember these settings for your future recordings.)
    • Doesn’t give you the 192 option? Click “Constant” and then 192 will appear as a drop down option.
  6. Save and submit to portal as usual.

4. Submitting: Using the AINC Volunteer Portal

A critical step is actually turning in your audio.

  1. After your audio is recorded and exported with all of the correct audio settings, go to the Volunteer Portal Dashboard.
  2. Log into your account
  3.  Upload your file by clicking the ” + New” at the top left. IF YOU DO MORE THAN 1 PROGRAM: You must navigate to the program’s directory (left side of the screen) and upload the appropriate files in the appropriate spot.
  4. Click “New File”
  5. Navigate to where you saved your file on your computer and open. It my take a few minutes to upload.
  6. Confirm it is there by looking in that directory. You can double click the file to listen to make sure it’s correct.

Mobile Device Guides

Remote Volunteer Reading on a Mobile Device

AINC recommends you use the recording app, Voice Record Pro. We do not provide support or training for any other software on mobile. Click the steps below to see step-by-step guides and videos.

1. Getting Started: Download Voice Record Pro

2. Recording with the correct bit-rate

Export with a 192 kbps bit-rate. This can be done in the recording settings before you begin recording.

Breakdown of Steps in Voice Record Pro:

  1. Click  the red “REC” button once
  2. Click “Advanced”
  3. Set Bit Rate to 192 (3 options down) by clicking the “-” and “+” buttons as necessary. (It will remember these settings for your future recordings.)
  4. Record and submit to portal as usual

3. Recording: How to use Voice Record Pro

Click the video for instructions and demonstration.

4. Submitting: Using the AINC Volunteer Portal

A critical step is actually turning in your audio.

  1. After your audio is recorded and exported with all of the correct audio settings, go to the Volunteer Portal Dashboard.
  2. Log into your account
  3.  Upload your file by clicking the ” + ” at the top left. IF YOU DO MORE THAN 1 PROGRAM: You must navigate to the program’s directory (the folder icon on the top left) and upload the appropriate files in the appropriate spot.
  4. Click “New File”
  5. Navigate to where you saved your file on your device and open. It my take a few minutes to upload.
  6. Confirm it is there by looking in that directory. You can double click the file to listen to make sure it’s correct.

Tips and Tricks

Creating a studio at home

Quick tips for home recording

  • Record in a closet! (Or somewhere that has minimal hard surfaces to reduce echo).
  • Warm up your voice before recording.
  • Clear your workspace to minimize accidental bumping and rubbing of objects during recording. Ensure you do not touch the mic nor the mic stand while recording.
  • Listen closely – Avoid recording in an area with seemingly small noises such as a refrigerator or fan.
  • Talk slower than you’d think!
  • Listen to your audio files before uploading to ensure they sound good!
More Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Recording

Can I record from a mobile device?

For audio quality issues, we prefer volunteers to use a Mac or PC.

You MUST use an external mic.

What audio settings do I need to use?

  • Bit rate: at least 192 kbps
  • File type: mp3

You can alter these in the options settings of your recording program, or in the export settings.

Can I record on a Mac?

Yes! Please use Audacity.

What recording software can I use?

We require AINC volunteers to use Audacity (PC/MAC). We have instructional videos available in the volunteer portal, along with helpful tips. Audacity is free professional-level software, exceptional editing controls, great sound quality.  Click here to see a video to begin using Audacity.

If you already are a professional voice-over artist, have your own professional studio, equipment, and software you are familiar with you may use your own software as long as you submit files in .mp3, and 192kbps format

We will no longer support these previously supported programs:

    1. IOD (Recording though telephone)
    2. APH Studio Recorder
    3. Wireready Quick Record
    4. AudioVoiceRecorder.com

Remember, recording is just 1 step of the process. It is critical you submit your completed file to us via the portal!

Where do I find my content to read?

When you were assigned your program you were given the URL and log-in information to content for your program. If you were assigned to an e-edition please read from it instead of the website edition.  Because we read online content from 3RD PARTY COMPANIES – we have no control over their ads, pop-ups, or other problems with their website.

What microphone should I use?

You MUST use an external mic. You don’t need a fancy microphone unless you are setting up a permanent studio. A gaming mic or simple USB microphone will be adequate. Here are some microphones we have worked with or have been suggested. You can find these at your local Best Buy or on Amazon.

Must I read the full intro and outro script for each program?

Yes, please read the script as written. The intro at the beginning, and the outro at the end. We will always have the most up-to-date on available on the Volunteer Portal.

How do I record and read from the same screen?

You may need 2 screens. If you are tech savvy, you can do split screen on your PC, record from one and read from the other at the same time.  Or, use your mobile device to read from and your computer to record on.

If you are using another recording software, you can usually have it recording behind the scenes as you navigate your articles online.  Be sure to test this before recording a long file.

What is the optimal audio level I should be submitting at?

Aim for an average level of -12.0 dB.

Submitting

Can I stack, or submit multiple episodes, at once?

If, for example, you are going out of town next week so you wish to submit 2 weeks worth of your program, you must name your files accordingly. The one you wish to play next will be your normal naming convention – that is, with no numbers.

The one you wish to play soonest will be went.mp3

The one you wish to play next week you will need to name went2.mp3

The one you wish to play the week after next week you will need to name went3.mp3.. etc.

I submitted my file late. What do I do?

If you submit or anticipate you will submit your file after the “first air” day and time, it is critical you contact aflynn@aincolorado.org. Not doing so can confuse the system and your weekly cycle could be off, meaning, the system won’t automatically air it until another 7 day cycle passes.

My program is airing last week's episode!

All of AINC’s publishing platforms  (podcast, broadcast, stream, and telephone access) run on very specific weekly schedules. Each program has a “first air” day and then will repeat the same episode for a 7 day cycle. When you submit your program does not affect when it is published as long as it is before the “first air” day and time. Contact aflynn@aincolorado.org to inquire about what this time is for your program. If you are still concerned that it is publishing the wrong episode, please contact aflynn@aincolorado.org

Portal

It's taking forever to upload a file, or is timing out!

Our Volunteer Portal is optimized to make uploading your audio file as fast as possible, but depending on your home environment (Such as your internet speed, Wi-Fi, or device capabilities) the upload speed can sometimes be inconveniently slow or time-out before the upload completes. You should expect uploads to take anywhere between 1 and 20 minutes. If uploading takes longer than that, here are some tips to increasing your upload speed:

  • Close any extraneous tabs on your browser, or extraneous programs that are running on your computer.
  • Disconnect other devices from your internet. Your internet speed may be getting throttled by internet related activities on other devices such as mobile phones, other computers, and online gaming on a console.
  • Upload during “off hours” when less people in your household are using the internet.
  • If you use Wi-Fi, use a wired connection using an Ethernet cable to connect your upload device directly to your internet.
  • Clear your cache and cookies in your browser.
  • Consider changing your broadband provider. Different providers perform better in certain areas of the country, and it could be worth switching.

When I log into the Reader Portal, it says "Invalid Username"

Please double check the email sent from AINC to ensure you are entering your correct username. If you do this and it still doesn’t work, contact aflynn@aincolorado.org.

When I log into the Reader Portal, it says "Invalid password"

Please double check the email sent from AINC to ensure you are entering your correct password. If you do this and it still doesn’t work, contact aflynn@aincolorado.org.

Protocol Checklist

Use this checklist to ensure you are following AINC protocol. This is just a general guide – there may be more protocols in addition to this list that are provided in your training materials. Not following protocol will likely lead to your program not airing correctly, or even at all.

✔ Name your file correctly and consistently as your program code. DO NOT include dates, capital letters, or spaces in the file name. Only include numbers if you are stacking programs to air for a future date (not common).

✔ Submit your file by the deadline. Your file MUST be turned in by the time indicated to you by the volunteer coordinator. Aim for earlier incase you run into any issues upon upload. If you upload a file late, you MUST contact an AINC staff person ASAP.

✔Read the intro and outro scripts as-is on every audio file.

✔ Bit-rate MUST be 192 kbps or higher.

✔ Audio MUST be in .mp3 format.

✔ Audio MUST be the correct duration.

✔ Submit your volunteer hours regularly.

✔ Always verbally credit the authors of articles.

Volunteer Expectations

We want you to have a happy and successful volunteer experience. Your willingness to comply with the expectations set forth provides greater assurance that your  experience (and ours) will be a gratifying one. Review our onboarding document. 

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