ABP Microstudio

The Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning has built a Microstudio with video recording, podcast recording and screencasting capabilities.

This section contains information about the Microstudio and guides on how to use the equipment. Keep an eye out, as the content is revised regularly.

  • Why should I consider using the ABP Microstudio?

    In recent years, the use of digital technologies and multimedia has become more popular and been increasingly integrated in teaching and learning. Within the faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, the ability to visually communicate information further highlights the relevance of multimedia in the built environments education. One of the main barriers to the use of media in teaching and learning is the resources and skills generally required to produce high-quality content.

    BEL+T seeks to bridge the gap and allow academic staff members to efficiently produce teaching and learning material by giving them access to a purpose-built space and professional equipment, as well as templates and guides.

  • How do I get started?

    Recording content can be quite daunting as it often requires engaging performances from the person creating the content, as well as technical skills to use the equipment and post-produce the final product. The guides in this section aim at making this process simpler, even if you are a complete novice at producing multimedia. Three main recording categories will be covered:

    • Podcasting
    • Screencasting (screen recording, possibly combined with a talking head)
    • Video recording

    Each recording category will generally have the following sections:

    • Examples
    • Planning
    • Description and explanation of the different types of equipment available
    • Instruction guides on how to use the equipment effectively
    • Instruction guides on how to edit and export the final products.

    Technical knowledge about the equipment is not essential but can help you  set up your recording environment and workflow to optimise the capabilities of the equipment. Depending on your technical skills you could skip some (or all) of the sections, but complete novices, with the help of the guides, should still be able to quickly and easily use the Microstudio to produce engaging and innovative content.

  • Glossary of terms

    Some technical terms will be used repeatedly throughout these sections. A glossary of terms has been put together to ensure the proper understanding of these terms in the context of the microstudio.

    ABP microstudio: a recording studio inside the Glyn Davis Building that has the capacity to do video filming, podcasting and screencasting.

    Audio clipping: this happens when the audio level picked up by a microphone is higher than what can be recorded by the recorded device. A clipped audio file is characterised by a very distinctive popping or crackling sound and cannot usually be recovered in post-production.

    Audio level: the amplitude at which an audio file has been recorded. This should not be confused with the playback volume of an audio file.

    Colour temperature: how warm or cold an image/video looks (i.e. how yellow or blue an image/video is)

    Compositing: a post production technique where several images or video footage are layered on top of each other. This can include a keyed out person composited on a new background, titles and graphics composited on a video etc.

    Footage: Media used as a part of a project. Eg if several videos are are combined together into a single final video project, all the individual videos are collectively referred to as footage. While footage is usually a term associated with videos, if static images and audio files are used as part of a video project, they can also be referred to as footage.

    Highlights/shadows: respectively refer to the brightest and darkest of an image/video.

    Hue: colour properties of an image/video

    Keying: a post production method that involves compositing two or more full frame images or video footage together. The term is used mostly during green screen recording, where the expression 'to key the green screen out' means to delete the green background in post-production. Most editing software use the term 'keying' when referring to functions used to replace green backgrounds.

    Post-production: also shortened to 'post' or 'editing' is the process of taking the raw recorded footage (video, audio, images) into an editing program (eg Photoshop for static images, Premiere or After Effects for videos, Audition or Audacity for audio) to correct parts of the footage, remove or add sections and combine various media together.

    Production: Strictly speaking, production refers to the stage where footage is captured and recorded, i.e. when a talent is standing in front of a camera or recording audio (hence why post-production is the process where the production footage is then assembled). However, the term is now used more generally and can also involve storyboarding, scripting, scheduling, distribution, and nowadays often refers to the entire process from start to finish.

    Raw footage: uncompressed footage that has not yet been edited. Raw footage is usually quite large in size, usually looks quite bland and cannot sometimes be read by regular consumer programs/devices, but contains a larger amount of data will allow a more effective post production workflow. All recorded footage (audio, video or photo) should be recorded with the least amount of compression to preserve as much information as possible.

    Recording, filming, shooting: Recording is a general term referring to the process of capturing media (audio or video) and storing it on a storage device (usually an SD card or a hard drive). Within this section of the website, most of the instances of the term 'recording' will refer to audio recording, but will also be used as a more general term on occasions. The terms 'filming' and 'shooting' can be used interchangeably and refer specifically to video recording.

    Talent: person being recorded, standing in front of a camera. Talent is a term mostly associated with videos.

    Treated surface: In the context of recording, a treated surface is a surface that has an acoustically absorptive surface attached to it. The acoustic treatment will reduce the amount of reverberation, resulting in a cleaner sound. The level of treatment of a space will determine the type of recording equipment that can be used. The ABP microstudio is treated, but is not fully sound proof or anechoic.

  • There is too much information here. What do I really need to know?

    There is a lot of technical information on section and it is easy to get overwhelmed. If you want to jump straight into recording, the relevant sections for each of podcast, screencast and video are the planning sections and the recording/filming sections.

    If you already have experience with recording and already have an established workflow, you can skip to the recording/filming sections directly, just to make sure you use the equipment correctly.