How to screen record your medical presentation using a Mac

Let’s learn about the tech parts of recording your first online lesson. We're going to be taking a look at basic video editing techniques in ScreenFlow using a Mac computer.

Franz Wiesbauer, MD MPH
Franz Wiesbauer, MD MPH
9th Jun 2021 • 7m read

So, you want to create your own medical teaching video but you're afraid of the tech stuff you need to do, right? But guess what—it's not as hard as you think it is! In this video, we're going to be taking a look at basic video editing techniques in ScreenFlow using a Mac computer, so you can get started on recording your first online lesson. Got a PC? Check out this video instead!

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Video transcript

In this lesson, we're going to be taking a look at basic video editing techniques inside ScreenFlow. After you stop a recording, ScreenFlow will open up in a window looking something like this. So let's talk about what we see here. Right in the center is your view panel. This will display a preview of what you just recorded.

On the right hand side is your settings panel, you can navigate between different subsetting pages by clicking the icons up at the top. For example, this is the audio subpage, and this right here is the screen recording subpage. Some of these options will be grayed out if you don't have a clip selected down at the bottom in your timeline here.

As you can see, I've got an audio clip and a video clip from my recording just now. Here we can also see the red line which is your playhead. You can move that around by clicking and dragging it, or by clicking anywhere along this dark bar right here. As you can see, the preview pane updates to display what's under your playhead.

Down at the very bottom of the timeline view we have a couple of tools. So there's a zoom bar right here, and there's a drop-down menu that lets you select your tools right here. When you complete a recording, there are a couple of settings that you'll want to make on nearly every video that you record. So let's take a look at those. I'm going to begin by selecting an audio clip.

Now I'm going to navigate to the audio settings up at the top right hand corner. Okay, now let's preview my video. A room that has a window facing a source of noise. Okay, so I've got signal on both ears, that means my left and my right channel have sound on them. Some microphones record in mono, that means only one side will have audio in it.

To change this, I want to navigate to the audio mix section right here, click on the cogwheel and then select set mix to mono. ScreenFlow will then update your audio waveform, and when it's done, you'll have audio on both channels, that means your audio will be stereo. Since my audio already was stereo, that setting isn't going to do anything.

Next, let's evaluate background noise. I'll preview my video again. Close the blinds and try propping up something like a mattress in front of the window to try and dampen the noise. Okay, that actually sounds quite good, just to be sure, let me increase the volume by a little bit by using this slider here. And then let me navigate to an empty part of my recording, like this part here. Now let me preview that again.

Okay, that really is quite quiet. To be perfectly honest, on this recording, I probably wouldn't use background noise removal at all. Now in your case, that may be different, a fan may be audible in the background, or you might hear something else. To try and fix that you can use the background noise removal filter, you can activate it by clicking this checkbox right here.

Then, you can set the amount by using this slider here, or this textbox with the 80 percent in it right here. A caveat that you need to be aware of is that the higher you go with your background noise removal, the more you will introduce audio artifacts. That means your voice will begin to sound fake and robotic if the number is cranked too high.

For that reason, I recommend that you never push this setting past 60 percent. And even that is pretty high. Try and aim for something around 30 and 40 percent if you can. Now in my case, I don't think I really need this, so I'll just get rid of it now and I'll set my volume back to 100. Let's look at what else we can do.

Down here in the audio filter section, if I click the plus button, I'll get a pop-up displaying some pre-installed Apple audio filters. There's one specific one here that I'd like to highlight which is the Apple AU high pass. Let me double click on that to add it. There we go. So I'm going to set it to a number that I recommend which is something between 70 and 80 hertz.

Now what does this thing do? Well, basically it cuts off all low frequencies, all frequencies that are below 80 hertz, and everything below 80 hertz happens to be stuff that is very often background noise. For example, people walking around the flat, or construction noise that's very far away, or wind noise that's getting caught in your microphone.

So just setting up a high pass that set to 80 hertz can really help reduce some rumbling noises that are giving you issues. If the rumbling is still audible, you can increase the cutoff frequency by a little bit. But be aware that you will then be slicing into your voice, which will make your voice sound thin the higher you go, so you want to be a bit careful.

Also, definitely use headphones when you're evaluating what this filter is doing. If you're just using cheap speakers, or even just your built in speakers, you won't be able to hear what this filter is doing at all. Okay, that completes the basic audio setup here. Now, let's navigate up to the screen recording section.

As you can see, all of the options are grayed out and I can fix that by clicking on a video clip down in my timeline. There we go. Here I've got some settings to fiddle with my mouse pointer. In my case, I know that I never use the mouse pointer in my lesson, so I'm going to make sure that it never shows up by clicking this button right here.

If I wanted to use it, I would leave this activated, and I would advise to set this slider up a little higher so that the mouse pointer is more visible. I'll get rid of it again in my case. Okay, let's get into actual editing now. I'm going to zoom in a bit on my timeline, and I'm going to move my playhead to the beginning. Let's give this a quick listen.

Hey. Hey. Okay, so this is basically just me trying to begin the lesson and not doing a very good job of it here, which is no problem, you know, retakes are an absolutely normal part of recording. Let's see when I finally get it down. Hey, welcome to the techie. Okay, that seems like it might fit. So what I'm going to do now is I'm going to click here, move my playhead to just before I begin that good take, then I'm going to push the O button, and this is going to highlight all of my clips and my space in my timeline here in blue, which means I've got it selected.

Alright, now I'm going to move the playhead to the front of the portion that I want to cut. So right here, and I'm going to push the I button. I've now selected the portion of my clips that I want to cut. And I can remove this whole section simply by pressing command and backspace. There we go, it's completely gone.

And if I move my playhead, you can now see that the clips actually end here. So there are now two separate clips. I'll continue listening. Welcome to the techie part of this course. In this lesson, we're going to be talking about how to choose a re. Okay, that seems fine so far. In the real world scenario, I would be sure to listen to this entire thing.

In this case though, let me look for a section where I can better display some video editing techniques. Okay, there's one right here. I messed up a bit on this sentence here. Let's take a listen. But, if you do have several options. Oh, okay, so I made a mistak, and then I did a retake immediately. Let's listen to that. But, if you do have several options, this lesson will.

Okay. So basically, what I want to do here is I want to cut out this section. So again, I'll zoom in a little bit more so I can see better. I'll put my playhead in front of the recording I want to use and I'll press O. Then I'll move my playhead to the front of the section that I want to cut. So right here. And then I'll push command, backspace. And now let's listen to that portion again.

The rooms to choose from, but if you do have several options. Okay, now there was actually a bit of mouth smacking. Now, this is a bit nitpicky, but I do advise actually going through your lesson like this and trying to reduce sounds like that. So let's zoom in a bit more. Okay, I'll listen to it again. But if. So, it seems like the mouth smack is just before I begin talking, and we can actually see it in the waveform right here. So let's get rid of that. I'll zoom in a little more.

Then I'll drag my playhead to the place I want it to be, right here, and I can actually move it and fine tune it a bit using my arrow keys left and right. So, it fits better here, so what I'm going to do now is I'm going to push O, and then I'm going to push I, right here. And then I'm going to delete that portion by pushing command and backspace.

All right, let me zoom out, and let's listen to that one more time. A huge selection of rooms to choose from, but if you do have several options. Okay, that's a lot better, I think we can use that. Let me zoom out again. We're not going to go through this whole recording of me. And you've already seen the final product of this specific editing run that I'm doing here.

It was the first video in this chapter. So now let's say I had completed this editing process, and I wanted to get the video out of ScreenFlow. How would I go about doing that? Well, let's move the mouse up to the top of the screen, and here we can select file, and export. Here we have a bunch of settings. In most cases, you can just type in a name, choose where you want to save it right here, and then leave the setting on automatic and normal. Set the resolution to something that fits, this will automatically be set to whatever you recorded at.

So, if you have a full HD screen like I have, this will be set to 1920 by 1080, which is perfect. So I'll just hit the export button right here. And then ScreenFlow will begin exporting the file and show me a loading bar. And after that, I'll be able to watch the video at the location that I specified, right here. And that's it. You've now learned about all the techie parts of recording your first online lesson.