In Class Audio Exercise

Step 1: Recording

1. Get your partner from photo exercise. Go to a quiet place.

2. Turn on your recorder. Figure out how it works. Record. Stop. Play.

3. Test it. Record 30 seconds of room tone. Then play it back and listen to it. Note the sounds you hear. If they are too loud, find a quieter place.

4. Take turns interviewing each other. Ask the following questions:

  • What is your name? How old are you? What’s your year and major at Rowan? And where did you grow up?
  • Tell me about your earliest memory of feeling proud about an accomplishment. Describe the memory. When did it happen? What took place? What do you remember feeling at the time? What was challenging at the time? Why did you feel proud of yourself? How did that moment shape your future? When you look back on it now, does it play any role in your present life?

5. Repeat the interview with the other person.

6. Come back to the room. Get your two audio file to your computer. If you are using a cell phone, email it to yourself or use Google Drive. Then save them to your desktop. If you are using a digital recorder, plug in your USB and find the files. Drag them to your desktop. Save them somewhere you can find them next time. We will edit them next class.

Step 2: Editing

1. If you are new to Audacity, take 5 to 10 minutes and teach yourself the basic techniques of sound editing.

2. Import your interview file.

File > Import > Audio

Optional: If your file will not import into Audacity, you may have to convert it.

Convert your files using Switch
Open Switch. (Go>Applications>Switch)
• Drag your files into the workspace.
• Set the output to .wav
• Check the box marked “Output to the same folder as source files.”
• Click “Convert” button.
• Look on your desktop. You now have duplicates of all of your files, but it will say .wav at the end. These are the files you want to use.

3. Listen to your audio interview. Listen for the best soundbites. Try to find the following:

    • Exposition – the person says who she is, where she’s from, and a bit about the place she grew up.
    • Anecdote – the person tells a brief story or memory.
    • Moment of Reflection – the person explains the “why” of their anecdote. Why they were proud of themselves. Why they feel like it was a formative moment. Etc.

4. Using techniques like selecting, splitting, deleting, duplicating and moving, edit your interview to approximately 60-90 seconds. Cut out any questions or sounds of interviewer’s voice.

5. When you are done, create a second track and import your room tone audio. Duplicate and edit until it is the same length as you interview.

6. Adjust the volume of the room tone so it fills in the gaps in your edit, but sounds natural.

7. When it sounds good, create an .mp3 of your file.

When you are done, flag me down and I’ll come listen to it.

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About Nick DiUlio

My name is Nick DiUlio, a freelance writer and editor from New Jersey. I have been passionate about the craft of writing since I was old enough to spell, and this love has led to a successful career in journalism and creative nonfiction. As a freelancer, I have covered a wide range of topics and personalities, as my published work has focused on everything from profiles of artists and important political figures to hard-news stories with both national and local appeal; from restaurant and beverage reviews to tips on fashion and finance; from health and wellness pieces to celebrity Q&A’s. My work has appeared in several local, regional and national publications—both in print and online—including Philadelphia Magazine, Slate.com, Miller-McCune, New Jersey Monthly, Eating Well, and Delaware Today. Additionally, I am the South Jersey Bureau Chief for New Jersey Monthly and an adjunct journalism professor at Rowan University. To be sure, the broadness of my body of work seems only to be matched by my boundless interest in almost every subject imaginable (except Warren Zevon). Check out some of my most recently published work here.
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12 Responses to In Class Audio Exercise

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