Learn how to do a screen capture and record your computer’s desktop on a Mac, with freely* available software! We’ll also look at how to clean up our audio to produce professional quality sound.
No Camtasia required
Camtasia is great software, however in my opinion, it is quite expensive. After looking around the internet, I could not find any free, high quality and powerful software to record my screen, record audio and highlight areas of the screen.
This approach only works for a Mac as we take advantage of bundled software. My 2012 Macbook Pro came with iMovie installed for free, however nowadays you need to buy it for ~$14.99. Personally I think 14.99 is a steal as iMovie is great software. I have speedily produced hours of great looking videos for my various YouTube channels in iMovie.
Screen Capture Steps
QuickTime allows us to record our Audio and to record our Screen. I start by recording my Audio, then my screen.
As we are recording audio and video separately, we will need to synchronize them up at a later point. I verbally say “1, 2, 3, 4, 5” and at the same time I type the numbers on my keyboard. Later we will just replay our video, and shift the audio track left or right to sync up with the video. Easy!
Audacity is a free to download software and is my tool of choice for sound engineering which is the process of improving our audio. Audacity is used in this workflow to remove background hiss, boosting levels, equalizing sound and so on.
After importing the audio into Audacity, we run the Noise Removal tool.
First look for the silent areas of our recording. Highlight the section and click the “Get Noise Profile” button. Then click the track anywhere to remove your selection and go back to the Noise removal tool. Click the OK button in the bottom right hand corner to apply the processing to the whole track.
Click Normalize, leaving the default settings intact. On their website they describe Normalize as
Use the Normalize effect to set the peak amplitude of a single track, make multiple tracks have the same peak amplitude and equalize the balance of left and right channels of stereo tracks.
In short – your audio sounds way better after running this.
Finally I use the compressor. Audacity describes the process as:
The Compressor effect reduces the dynamic range of audio. One of the main purposes of reducing dynamic range is to permit the audio to be amplified further (without clipping) than would be otherwise possible.
After our audio has been upgraded via those 3 simple steps, iMovie is used to make the actual video. We drag and drop our audio and video into the timeline and sync them as per the instructions above. I.e. we shift the audio left or right to make sure the commentary aligns with what is going on screen.
* Depending on when you bought your Mac, you may need to buy iMovie to follow this technique.