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Making Sound Recordings of your Skits

By Luann Keller of Wee Worship

Summary

This page provides instructions about how to record your skits for future performances.

I use puppets in my program all the time but I would not consider using one that I had not recorded ahead of time.  I have been to several puppetry workshops and they always recommend recording it ahead of time also if possible.

Introduction

I like using pre-recorded skits for the following reasons:

  1. Your puppeteers can focus on making realistic animation without distraction. 
  2. You simplify the problem of amplification - it will come from one source without the possibility of feedback or tapping or puffing. 
  3. As you record the skit, you can focus on good acting and well placed emphasis since you are not trying to manipulate a puppet at the same time. 
  4. A last minute puppeteer switch is NO Problem. 
  5. Your skit will be clear for the audience: not too fast, not too soft, etc.
  6. Practicing skits is easier because the timing is always the same.  Your puppeteers can even practice their part(s) by themselves.
  7. It's easy to add sound effects and music that will always come in at the appropriate times.

How to Record Your Skits

  1. Use the best possible recording situation: professional microphones in a studio is great but you can still get good results with an ordinary tape recorder or even a dictaphone. 
  2. Digitize: Most people have the ability to record sound into WAV sound file format using the standard Windows Sound Recorder (comes with Windows - usually under accessories).  Just run a line from your tape recorder to the "line-in" microphone jack that is on most computer sound cards. 
  3. Once the sound is digitized into a WAV sound file you can burn it on to a CD and create a whole library of skits for your use.
  4. In order to pass the sound file over the Internet, it is best to compress it - MP3 format works great and is a universal standard.  There are lots of MP3 players and recorders available for free download - www.musicmatch.com is a great one to use (it also can help with the recording or digitizing steps).  Recent versions of MS-Windows Media players can also play MP3 files.
  5. If you download an MP3 file there is software which will expand it into a WAV file again so that you can put it on a CD but you will lose quality since you are uncompressing.

Special note - when uploading MP3 files to Puppet Resources it's best to use a compression rate of 64kps or less for most skits - that keeps the file size down for both the uploading and downloading process.

Finally

And there you have it!  A fantastic script recorded in digital format that you can upload to Puppet Resources to share with others around the world, and/or record onto CD to create a whole library of pre-recorded skits that can be used over and over again.

If you have any feedback about these instructions, please contact Luann Keller.

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