Help

Guides and Troubleshooting

Find instructions and tips for volunteering.

Reminders

  • NEVER share your volunteer portal username and password.
  • NEVER login to someone else’s account, even if they are a spouse.
  • NEVER delete or change a file or folder in the volunteer portal. If you believe you made a mistake with your own file, email alex@aincolorado.org.
  • If you do more than 1 program, be sure you are uploading the appropriate file in the appropriate folder.

Us the navigation pane to find answers to your questions.

Guides and Troubleshooting

Things you will need

  • Decent <5 year old computer with latest software updates, adequate RAM and memory.
  • USB or studio microphone.
  • Decent internet with a minimal upload speed of 10kbps (You can test HERE)
  • A quiet space to record.
  • Recording software

Download Recording Software

Desktop (Audacity)

  1. Go to Audacity’s website to find the downloads
    • Download Audacity for Windows
    • Download Audacity for Mac
    • 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”.

Mobile (Voice Record Pro)

AINC recommends you use the recording app, Voice Record Pro. We do not provide support or training for any other software on mobile.

Setting up your space

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!

FAQ

What are the expectations of volunteers?

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. 

Recording Audio

Skip to:

Desktop Computer

How to use Audacity
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.

Mobile

How to use Voice Record Pro
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

FAQ

Can I record from a mobile device?

For audio quality issues, we prefer volunteers to use a Mac or PC. Don’t forget to use an external mic.

Can I record on a Mac?

Yes! Please use Audacity.

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.

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.

DO NOT USE a built-in laptop mic!

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.

Audacity is freezing and glitching regularly.

  • Update Audacity to the latest version (3.1.3 is the latest, you can see what version you have in Audacity by clicking “help” and then “about Audacity”)
  • Restart your computer just before your next recording sesh
  • Check if your operating system has any updates available

Submitting your mp3 file

  1. Log into to the Volunteer Portal Dashboard.
  2.  Upload your file by clicking the ” + New” (or “+” on mobile) at the top left.
    • Note: IF YOU DO MORE THAN 1 PROGRAM: You must navigate to the program’s directory on the left side (or the folder icon on mobile) and upload the appropriate files in the appropriate spot.
  3. Click “New File”
  4. Navigate to where you saved your file on your device and open. It my take a few minutes to upload.
  5. Confirm it is there by looking in that directory. You can double click the file to listen to make sure it’s correct.
  6. Don’t forget to log your hours!

FAQ

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

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.

Episode Checklist

NOTE: this is not a complete checklist, but more of a guide – check your onboarding documentation for more details. Not following AINC protocol will result in your episode not airing properly, and chronic failure to follow protocol may result in termination of your volunteer position.

✔ Name your file correctly as specified by the Volunteer Coordinator. 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. Aim for earlier incase you run into any issues. If you upload a file late, you MUST contact alex@aincolorado.org ASAP.

✔Read the intro and outro scripts.

✔ Bit-rate 192 kbps or higher.

✔ Audio in .mp3 format.

✔ Audio is the correct duration.

✔ Submit your volunteer hours.

✔ Verbally credit the authors.

Still need help?

If the documentation in this page did not help, please submit a help ticket so we can best assist you.

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