David Whitfield – Accessibility – Audio Book – Editing Audio

Creating the audio book within Adobe Audition is something that I have wanted to do since considering alternative output options a few weeks ago.

As I was able to use a powered microphone and sound mixer, the audio had more depth to it, rather than cheaper microphones I have used in the past.

In Audition, I was able to add bass and treble, amplify the volume, and ensure the audio file is as tight as possible, without losing any of the recording.

I have recorded a video to show the process I completed for this task.

YouTube Video

David Whitfield – Accessibility – Audio Book

Creating subtitles for my video pitch, which will subsequently be used in the full documentary allows me to cater for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.  After considering this, I also looked at ways in which I can engage other sections of society that may not be able access fully, either the video or magazine spread.

By using a microphone and sound desk within University, I will be able to create an audio file of the text from the magazine spread.

I will read the magazine text, and record that into Adobe Audition.  From there, I will be able to adjust the volume of the recording, add extra bass and treble to it, and filter out any outside ambient noise, to ensure that a clear and sharp recording will be recorded.

Using that audio file, I import it into Audioboom, so that visually impaired users will be able to access the document.  Another advantage of an audio recording is that people who want to access the content on the move, regardless of their visual status will be able to download it, and listen along, whatever they are doing.

 

AudioBoom

AudioBoom

The audio file is available to download from AudioBoom, via this link

Audio – David Whitfield

When filming my video, I relied on the microphone built into my camera for my audio.

I imported the raw video/audio into Premiere Pro, and reviewed the files, and found that the audio from the piece to camera files was of a very poor quality, and unsuitable to use in the final product.

On reflection, that was being very ambitious, given that I am recording in November, a month usually wet and windy, and the built-in microphone is particularly susceptible to wind noise.

I will be re-recording the piece to camera shots, together with an external microphone and recorder.  By matching the audio from the recorder to the video from the camera in Premiere Pro, I will ensure that the lip sync is absolutely spot on.

A lesson learnt regarding audio/video recording especially when outdoors.

Audio Editing in Adobe Audition

Having used Audacity for a number of months, it has taken me a little longer to get to grips with Adobe Audition than it should have.

However, once I have seen the full functionality of the product, I felt that it was necessary to learn more about it, as it, along with Cool Edit Pro, is an industry standard and will look good on the CV.

There will be further posts to this blog, looking at what can be done with voice and music files, using Audition to create better sounding files to export.

Sound Assignment – Practice Recording and Producing

After deciding on the bed to be used on the podcast, I felt that I was able to go ahead and practice recording a few voice links and adding some music to the interim podcast.

Using a USB Microphone and a Pop Filter, I recorded some vocal links to sit within the podcast.

 

When recording the voice links and then playing them back, I realised that the USB microphone did not have the level of bass, treble and pickup that the more expensive externally powered microphones offered.  To get around this for the practice, I added extra treble and bass to the recording, normalised the track, and also increased the decibel level of the recorded track.  This offered a work around, however, compared to the powered microphones, there was still something missing from the recording.  The best way I can describe it, is that the recording sounded tinny and hollow.

By recording voice links, I had to fade the bed to a level where it could still be heard, but didn’t drown out the sound of my voice.  I did this by fading the bed to a level where it was suitably audible to be heard, but didn’t drown out the vocal.

JingleandIntro

Jingle and Intro

 

The image above shows in the final export a 23 second intro, which fades to the vocal introduction section of the podcast.  By using the Fade Out option, this makes for a smooth transition from full volume bed, to a combination of reduced volume bed and vocal intro.

By using a combination of Bed, Vocal Link, and Outside Recording/Music Track, the interim podcast is complete, and it sounds very good, apart from the vocal quality of my microphone, but that can be overcome by using a powered mixer and a better condensing microphone.

BedVocalMusic

 

Sound Assignment – Beds for Podcast

As mentioned elsewhere in the blog, I’ve used Audacity previously to create music shows for an online radio station, so using that experience, I thought it would be a good idea to try to put together a smaller podcast in order to see what information I had retained.

The music clips were taken from bands, up and coming, and also established, and because this podcast will not be published, I did not request talent release.  I will represent the podcast visually so that I can demonstrate what I have done to create the work.

Initially, I researched royalty-free beds, so that there was music in the background of the podcast.  I found a track that I thought was suitable from FreeSFX.  I selected a track called “After Dusk“, which was described as a funky dance loop.  However, the music file was only 31.53 seconds in length, so had to be altered to ensure that there was enough of it to make the bed long enough to cover the podcast.

Podcast Loop

Podcast Loop

As the music track is designed to be a loop, it was fairly easy to ensure a smooth transition between the end of the track, and the beginning of the second instance of it.  There was a very small duration of silence at either end of the track, which required removal.  The examples below shows the start and end of the track with the silence.  Once the silence had been removed, then it was easier to make the match with another instance.


By removing the silences at either end of the file, I was able to replicate the track numerous times so that it became a longer track.  I made the track longer than the 10 minutes duration of the podcast, so that I was able to fade out the end at the 10 minute stage.

 

AfterDusk-11minute

AfterDusk 11minute

 

 

Reflection – Sound lesson – Older Recording Technology

I looked at the progress in recording techniques over the last 50 years or so.

From portable reel to reel equipment, through to today’s hard drive/flash drive recording devices, the principles are still the same. Microphone, a connection to the recording equipment, and then something to store the sound on.

The lesson started with the Kudelski NAGRA, which was first developed in the 1950’s. The name NAGRA comes from the Polish word for “record”, Polish being the native language of Stefan Kudelski, the inventor.  The NAGRA features reel-to-reel technology, and were the machines used in audio recording for films and television from being introduced in the 1950/60s, through to the 1990s.

The NAGRA IV-S shown below was introduced in 1971.

nagra-iv-s

Kudelski NAGRA IV-S

 

From the NAGRA, the next technological advance discussed was the DAT, or Digital Audio Tape. DAT, was developed by Sony, introduced in 1987 and discontinued at the end of 2005.  These tapes were small in size, smaller even than standard audio cassettes, but unlike cassettes, could only be played in one direction.  The data encoded onto the tape is digital, as the name suggests, which allowed for greater flexibility, and more data to be stored.

Digital Audio Tape

Digital Audio Tape

The next format discussed was the Minidisc.  I’m fortunate enough to not only know what a minidisc is, but I have a minidisc recorder at home.  Sony again pioneered the use of minidiscs, targetting the home audio cassette market.  They had success in Japan, but less so around the world, and were eventually overtaken by the Compact Disc, firstly in terms of music being released on the format, and then, as computer technology improved, the home CDR/CDRW market exploded, with prices falling, making the minidisc uneconomical to continue.

SONY DSC

Memorex Minidisc