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Intro to audio editing Feb. 21, 2013. Audio stories: JJJ pleads guilty Jesse Jackson Jr. pleads guilty to federal charges Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson.

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Presentation on theme: "Intro to audio editing Feb. 21, 2013. Audio stories: JJJ pleads guilty Jesse Jackson Jr. pleads guilty to federal charges Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson."— Presentation transcript:

1 Intro to audio editing Feb. 21, 2013

2 Audio stories: JJJ pleads guilty Jesse Jackson Jr. pleads guilty to federal charges Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Junior and his wife, Sandi, are both pleading guilty to federal criminal charges Wednesday. As IPRs Alex Keefe reports, the government also released new details in the case. When listening to this story, pay attention to: - How is this story organized? - What sources are used? - How does it differ from print stories?

3 Audio stories: Mitch Express While listening to this story: - Take notes on story organization - How does the reporter lead into soundbytes? Out of soundbytes? - Why is this a good audio story?

4 Audio stories Average radio story is between 90 seconds and 3 minutes long Average rate of speech: 3 words per second

5 Audio stories Be conversational. Communicate information directly. (similar to your captions) Sentences which follow the subject + verb formula are easier to understand than those beginning with prepositional phrases or other clauses Titles should come before the individuals name - On Wednesday, Mark Kirk, a U.S. Senator, climbed the stairs of the Capitol. - U.S. Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois climbed the Capitols stairs on Wednesday. No tongue twisters! Avoid repetition. Use a thesaurus.

6 Audio stories Be concise. You dont have much time to communicate information. Be selective. Listeners appreciate variety. Use soundbytes to break up a monotonous story. Lead into them, but dont repeat what the source says. Use the present tense. U.S. Cellular President Cheryl Herbert joined the company 15 years ago, as the cell phone market started to boom. She says technology is advancing so quickly that even she struggles to keep pace with the latest gadgets. I try out a new phone every week, but by Thursday or Friday, even I feel like Im using outdated technology.

7 Audio stories Tony Blair has said remarkable progress is being made in Afghanistan - and Britain is committed to supporting the country. He was talking after meeting the Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, in the capital, Kabul. Blair said the people of Afghanistan deserved to live in a proper democratic state. Audio insert NAME: AFGHAN BLAIR IN WORDS: Our commitment... OUT WORDS:...challenges with you. DURATION: 0'11'' The Iraqi government has rejected claims from an international human rights group that the trial of Saddam Hussein was unfair. Human Rights Watch said, among other things, key evidence hadn't been disclosed to the defense in advance….

8 Audio stories … Health unions have criticized proposals for NHS hospitals to be able to advertise for patients. The Department of Health has warned trusts not to spend too much on marketing their services. Doctor Laurence Buckman, from the British Medical Association, rejected the idea. Audio insert NAME: NHS BUCKMAN IN WORDS: Patients want... OUT for patients. DURATION: 0'09'' Environmental protesters are blockading a big Shell petrol station in Birmingham. They say they're angry that the impact of the oil giant's work on the environment - and also the way they believe it treats people in third world countries.

9 Creating your story Identify a topic. Consider some of the factors of newsworthiness: - Timeliness - Novelty - Prominence - Significance/Number of people affected/Impact - Conflict - Compelling - Human Interest/Emotional

10 Creating your story Summarize your story in one or two sentences. The Illinois Senate today approved a bill which would legalize gay marriage. But the plan still needs the approval of lawmakers in the House. The tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds announced in February its plan to build a multi-million dollar cigarette factory in Uptown. Residents are angry that the company wants to locate in Chicago.

11 Creating your story Once youve identified a potential story, think about sources. What do you know? What do you know you do not know? Where will you go to gather information? Who will you interview? How? Brainstorm numerous sources and the information you anticipate they will be able to provide. Then, contact those sources and set up your interviews.

12 Creating your story The interview: - Come prepared with a schedule of questions - Seek to leave the interview with facts you will work into your story AND a couple of good soundbytes/actualities Good soundbytes express emotion and color, not merely facts. Weak: That new barn is 100 feet tall. Strong: That new barn is as tall as four elephants stacked on top of each other. - Tip: While recording, keep notes of the time at which the interviewee makes interesting statements which you may want to use for soundbytes

13 Creating your story Once youve conducted your interviews, begin mapping out your story. Once you have a skeleton or outline, select and edit your soundbytes for length. Then develop the rest of your story around those soundbytes. Time (or record) your read-through of the script to measure length, and adjust as needed.

14 Audio production ethics The Radio Television Digital News Associations Ethics Code includes: - Do not reconstitute the truth. (Dont add sounds that werent there. Dont combine old audio files in a way that misleads the public. If you do combine audio files or incorporate new sounds, make sure it is in a way that is readily apparent to the listener.) - Use editing special effects sparingly and carefully. (Changing the pitch or rate of speed of a soundbyte can drastically affect the meaning of it. Removing ums or uhs in between sentences, or heavy sighs, are acceptable if it doesnt alter the information conveyed. But why risk it?)

15 Audio production ethics General rule: Edit only for time and clarity.

16 Audacity Available in Mac or PC version, free: Tutorials available:

17 Audacity html You can import audio (aka open it in Audacity) several ways: -File>Open - File>Import>Audio - Drag and drop - File>Recent Files/Open Recent, if working off an existing project Strongly recommended: Save a copy of your original audio track before opening and editing it in Audacity. Audacity projects are saved in a format unique to the program (.AUP) until they are exported.

18 The important logistics Before you can export a file in Audacity, you need to download the LAME encoder. This is.mp3 encoding software which allows you to transform your project into a commonly used format – mp3. To do this, you must go to – the LAME encoder website – and download the software.

19 The important logistics Select the version you need. For Macs with a recent or current version of OSX, its the top choice: v3.98.2

20 The important logistics Download the.dmg file Double click on the file in your finder or download window.

21 The important logistics Then, to save your final project into an.mp3 File > Export >

22 The important logistics If you get stuck…

23 Mono vs. Stereo Tracks are audio files. They can be Mono or Stereo: Stereo tracks: Audio files with two different channels (Right and Left) Mono tracks: A single track audio, with sound distributed to both channels For most news broadcasts and for our purposes: Use Mono. Most interviews are done with a mono microphone You can select mono on eachAnd can convert stereo recordings track when recording:to mono by highlighting the file, then Tracks>Stereo Track to Mono

24 Effects: Amplify & Normalize Amplify: All audio tracks selected will be amplified by the dB specified - Peaks and low points will be preserved; everything will be louder - Audacity will automatically calculate the amplification it thinks is required Normalize: Evens out multiple audio tracks or channels to the same level. So, if you have a two track recording, but sound is strong in only one of them, the normalize effect will help even out that discrepancy. You probably wont need to use this in your project because youll be using mono files.

25 Effects: Compressor Compressor: Softens the loudest sections of your track and then amplifies. If executed well, the resulting file is louder and more dynamic but with fewer harsh/loud points. (Hint: Try this before employing amplify.) - The compressor begins working when the recordings volume exceeds this given volume level. The higher a threshold, the less frequently the compressor will go into effect. - RatioA:B Where A is the dB increase at the input and B is the increase in output So a 2:1 compression means that a 2dB input increase in a passage of the original audio recording becomes a 1 dB increase in the output Higher ratios increase the effect of the compression – a more drastic change from the original recording.

26 Effect: Noise Removal Noise removal: Allows you to remove pesky background noises (such as air conditioners or electronic machine humming) from an audio file. The tool works by using a recording of the white/background noise to identify what sound to remove. To accomplish this, you need to have a brief clip (aim for 10 seconds) of the ambient white noise you wish to eliminate. Tip: Make a habit to grab this audio at the start of every recording, just in case. Use the cursor to highlight this white noise section. Then: Effect>Noise Removal> Capture Noise Profile Then, highlight (or click and drag) the entire track (or section) where you wish to remove white noise. Then: Effect>Noise Removal … hit OK

27 Other useful tools Fade in/Fade out: Eases your ear into or out of a sound. Silence: Use this to write over a heavy inhale or exhale in your recording. Highlight the part of the track where you want to generate audio nothingness, and then select Generate > Silence. You can modify the selected period of silence manually, if you are not satisfied with the length of time you highlighted.

28 Audacity Download a Gov. Quinn press conference here (.mp3): - Trim the recording to a couple minutes - On a separate/copy of that trimmed recording, isolate a soundbyte - On a copied track of the shortened audio, use the Compressor, Amplify and Normalize effects; compare the sound quality of each to the original - Practice using the fade in/out tools - Practice combining tracks

29 Ambient sound Ambience, defined: The character and atmosphere of a location Ambient sound: Audio which helps capture the atmosphere of a location. – organ music in the slideshow about the nun – squeals and chatter of children in the NPR slideshow about Chinese gymnasts Used in the Mitch Express story Most frequently used at the start of news stories or to transition between soundbytes Use the envelope tool to fade ambient sound tracks in/out, or to fade them under your voice/recording.

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