Month: November 2014

Soundslides Project: Small Business Saturday

For this project, I was teamed with Nick Robinson.  The purpose of this project was to combine audio with visual and create a Soundslides project.  After collaborating for a while, we decided that we would cover an upcoming event called Small Business Saturday.  We interviewed Trey Sherwood of the Laramie Main Street Alliance and Audrey Jansen of Sweets Cakes and Pastry.  Both are people who are involved in the setup of Small Business Saturday here in Laramie.  We got about five minutes of audio from each interview, and took pictures of various businesses and attractions downtown.  Some businesses had already rolled out their Small Business Saturday “swag,” so it was good getting shots of businesses promoting the event.

Working with Nick made things a bit easier.   It can be a bit overwhelming trying to edit audio and capture pictures and put everything together all by yourself.  Having him piece together the pictures and determine what pictures go with what cuts made things quite a bit easier.

I think I speak for both of us when I say that working with Soundslides was at first a hassle.  The program was a bit complex at times.  Uploading the photos and audio was simple, as was rearranging the photos.  The harder part was trying to add captions to the pictures.  We found the tab where you can add captions and did so.  After we added the captions, we wanted to make sure they would show up.  The biggest issue was not being able to see a finished product.  We wanted to make sure everything looked good, but we couldn’t find an option to view a final product.  We just had to cross our fingers and hope everything turned out okay.

The biggest issue we had involved gathering audio.  Our audio recorder malfunctioned during an interview with Stephanie Carter of The Knothole.  We didn’t get any sound, but managed to get pictures from there.  Also, when I interviewed Trey Sherwood, I recorded with my audio recorder and my iPhone, just in case something got left out.  As I figured, the audio recorder malfunctioned.  I was thankful I had a backup plan in case something didn’t work.

I don’t know if I would change anything about the project.  If anything, I would go back and interview more people to get a varied array of thoughts about the event.  I’d also try and get more photos.  You can never have enough!  However, I like the fact that we only have two people speaking.  You can identify each person’s story instead of it getting lost in several different cuts.  All in all, it was a fun project!

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Edited: A Nick Robinson Interview

For this assignment, I took the five minute interview from the last assignment and scaled it down to about two minutes.  We used an audio-editing software called Audacity.  My initial reaction was that it was difficult to use.  There were a lot of buttons and functions that I really had no idea how to use.  However, after a brief training session, I found it to be relatively easy.  Once I uploaded the file into Audacity, I ran through the full clip and marked where I wanted to make initial cuts.  I then used the cut tool to take these parts out.  This took out a lot of material I felt was unneeded.  This included long pauses and parts that didn’t really flow well.  As time went on, I became more precise with my edits, and got everything narrowed down to two minutes after nearly two hours of work.

I had some issues trying to cut out portions of sentences that dragged on.  There was one instance where I was trying to get just a portion of what he said out and condense the sentence.  It was hard to find the exact part I wanted to cut out, and when I combined the split sections, you could tell that it was edited.  I didn’t really enjoy having to go back four or five times to redo the edit because it didn’t turn out right.  However, I enjoyed the editing process overall.  It’s a very meticulous process, and it takes time.  You can’t rush perfection!

Nothing really surprised me about the editing process.  The one thing I wish could have gone a bit more smoothly was the cutting process.  I wanted there to be a way to stretch out the audio over a smaller time range so that you could select a more precise audio portion.  I also wish that the splitting and piecing together of various audio portions was a bit easier.  Like I said earlier, it’s a meticulous process.  I enjoyed the process overall, however.