Audio gathering recap

This post was written for an internal blog that I have been keeping for my work:

Here is a recap of our first multimedia training session, which focused on audio gathering and editing:

  • Though video is important, it is not the revenue generating magic bullet that many made it out to be a few years ago. Also, we only have one video camera as compared to three audio recorders and four cameras. That said, whenever possible, we will be deciding what media to use based on what best suits the story being told.
  • Audio gathering tips
    • Control is key. You want as much control over the conditions in which you gather audio as possible. Good sound in = good sound out.
    • Be aware of surrounding noise when conducting interviews. Alter your location or move if it is too noisy.
    • Do not be afraid to
      • Turn off computers
      • Unplug refrigerators
      • Turn off lights, especially large banks of fluorescent lights
      • MOVE
    • When outdoors, consider shielding yourself from the wind by:
      • Hiding between buildings
      • going into your car
      • using your body to block the wind
      • going inside
  • Audio gathering is more than just conducting an interview
    • You want your audio piece to be strong enough to stand on its own without any visuals or print accompaniment.
    • Gather interviews, ambient sound and detail sounds
      • Interviews – Watch your levels and hold the mic approx. 4 inches from subject. Yes, that is close, but subjects will understand that you are doing your job and trying to make them sound as good as possible. Have your subject say the question in the answer and avoid yes or no questions.
      • Ambient – Turn recorder on at location and record 30 seconds to one minute of sound from the environment. This will serve as the base for your audio project.
      • Detail sounds – Often overlooked, these include things like typing on a keyboard, a coach yelling, shoes squeaking, etc.
  • Learn by doing
    • The best way to learn how to both gather and edit audio is to do it. Luckily for you, two of your coworkers were nice enough to gather sample audio and images today in order to practice editing in Final Cut Express. These files, and other sample files, will be available online in the next day for you to experiment with.

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