Draft Audio Story

For this course so far, I’ve been focusing on clean energy. That is because promoting energy-saving is one aspect of outreach which is my topic for this course. I wanted to pivot the focus for this project on the actual topic of outreach. I’ve been employed in this type of work for over four years now and wanted to draw attention to the great efforts education outreach brings to an organization.

I definitely wanted to interview my colleagues here at the State of Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. There’s a few other education specialists for their respective division (as I am for the Division of Consumer Advocacy). So, I decided on creating an explanatory story segment by way of an edited interview, discussing outreach – the good, the bad, the future.

I listened to a couple of audio shows on Radiolab that drew inspiration on how to go about editing the audio interview. The tough part was actually cutting it down to 1-3 minutes. Most of these podcasts are about 20 minutes. Creating something with a beginning, middle, and end under three minutes was pretty difficult especially when I felt I got some great audio content with my interview I wanted to share but had to cut.

The original interview was about seven minutes long. It’s of my colleague in the Insurance Division, Chanel Honda. That is whom you hear in my draft audio story. As mentioned before, it was a challenge to cut it down without having it sound cut off. I used my iPhone voice memo app to do the recording which was great since it’s lightweight, I could carry and move it between the both of us easily.

I brought the recording file into Adobe Audition and started breaking up the interview into question and answer blocks using the razor tool. I knew I wanted to take myself out of the interview because I’ll be narrating in between Chanel’s answers. Even with cutting down to just her answers, the edit was pretty long. I ended up cutting out an extra question I ad-libbed during the interview.

Next, I had to record myself for the narration portion of the story. Again, I used my iPhone for the recording. I did about 4 takes of each line so I wouldn’t have to re-record and upload to Audition repeatedly. After choosing the best take to bring in to the multitrack, I wanted to make sure the flow between my narration and the interview was not “choppy.”

I went researching for some sounds to use in the background just like you would here on NPR, This American Life or Radiolab. While I’m not savvy enough like those podcasts to add in many sound effects, I attempted to with one piano recording I found on ccmixter. I only added it in during my narration so the focus is solely on the content of the interviewee.

I’m open to adding in more background or foley sounds but I’m not sure how to mix them in that would match the content. In any case, I hope the story segment was engaging enough for any listener.

SoundCloud link to draft audio story:

Audio credit:
Put the Needle Down by Admiral Bob (c) copyright 2010 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/admiralbob77/27962


3 thoughts on “Draft Audio Story

  1. Hello Jessica,

    I think your topic selection is great. You seem to know what your challenges are that you face with outreach and are working on fixing that. You got across that your department promotes your services, but are struggling sometimes with your outreach as people don’t always respond to things you hand out to them and are working to find new ways.

    I think that with this interview your sound between the clips is great. Your volume of speaking matches that of your colleague you interviewed. Also you had great transitions.

    Some suggestions on what you could maybe change or work on. I would work on making your music a little softer. In the beginning I was more drawn into listening to the music. I had to re listen to the beginning of the interview to understand what the interview was about. This may just be me too, and getting distracted by music.

    Also, you could add in your colleagues credentials to the beginning of the interview instead of at the end. I know you did mention some of them at the beginning, but I feel that it would be good to put the ones at the end in the beginning as well. I do like though how you wrap up by thanking your colleague.

    Over all I think you have a good audio story and really hit what you what you were trying to accomplish.

    -Jessica Beck

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very nice!

    I thought your use of the piano was a nice touch and served as a solid transition. You wrote that you were open to adding more foley sounds as background, but I don’t think it’s necessary and could even be distracting.

    At the intro, you might set more context so I know exactly what your organization does and why outreach is important to it. (I listened to the audio before reading your supplementary text). Similarly, you began the audio piece by saying you’re with “DCCA,” but I’m unfamiliar with that acronym, so explaining what it stands for would be helpful.

    I noticed some slight distortion with the S’s, but I’m not exactly sure what to do technologically to address it.

    A slight critique: your interview subject says about data that “I keep harping on it,” but that’s the first mention she had made of it. It may be worth cutting that portion of her answer out, so she’s not referring to something unsaid in the piece.

    Well done

    Liked by 1 person

  3. After listening to my draft audio story over the break as well as comments from my group members and Professor Cooney, I think the main task I need to do is to clean up the story even more.

    First thing is I will need to re-record the beginning and the ending of my narration. One suggestion was to bring up Chanel’s credentials at the beginning of the interview instead of at the end. I’ll have to think of a new script to end with since I’ll move most of it to the beginning.

    Another comment was to define what “DCCA” is. I actually hadn’t even thought about that when I did it. It’s a fair point and will definitely say the department name through.

    I also got a note to bring the level down of the piano music in the music as it can be a bit distracting. I can see how it could be that way and can easily bring down the volume (or maybe fade it in better – I’ll play around with it).

    Chanel’s sections will also need to clean up. Hopefully, it won’t sound too choppy by taking out some “ums” in there but I’m willing to give a shot.


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