Unit 3: Audio Tutorials

We have gone over two tutorials together in class:

Tutorial 1

In the first tutorial, we recorded ourselves saying the numbers 1-10 out of order (e.g., 4, 2, 6, 5, 1, 8, 7, 9, 3, 10).

Using Adobe Audition, use the “selection tool” located in the top toolbar to highlight individual numbers and cut and paste them back in order in the multitrack editing window (this post will be updated with screenshots soon).

Music Bed

Next, we will add a “music bed” underneath our counting. First, drag a music file into an unused track in Audition’s multi-track view. Select a track you think would work well underneath talking (you can use the example file “ascona” as well). Once this music file is in a new track, you’ll want to crop it so it is about 10 second longer than the time it takes you to count from 1-10. Select the audio from the “counting” track using the “move tool” and drag it so it is centered in between the music file. That is, there should be about 5 seconds of music before you start counting, and 5 seconds of music after you finish counting.

Next, you’ll want to move your mouse using the select tool to the yellow “envelope” line about 3/4s of the way up on the music track. When you hover your mouse over the envelope line, you should see the word “Volume” appear. Next, click on the yellow line about 1 second before you start counting. This will create a volume automation point on the music file. Click the yellow line again about 1 second after you have started counting. Drag the second volume automation point you created down to lower the volume of the music underneath your voice. You can start at a level of -8dB. Now, try playing the volume level adjustments to get the music volume sounding appropriate underneath your count. The music should fade to the background. It should be audible, but not loud enough to distract from hearing the numbers clearly.

Repeat this process at the end of your count. About one second before you finish counting create a volume automation point and a second point about a second after you finish counting. Drag the second point up to 0dB, so the music is again playing at full volume.

We’re almost done! When you have your music track selected, you should see a small square to the top left and top right of the track. When you click on the square in the top left and drag to the right, it will automatically create a “fade in” effect. That is, the music will start silently, then come up to 0dB. Repeat this process for the square in the top right, dragging the square to the left. This creates a “fade out” at the end of the music track.

Now, your final tutorial should have music that fades up to full volume, then fades below your counting in order from 1-10. Next, the music should come back to full volume after you finish counting, then fade out at the end.

Once you have finished this audio tutorial, export the file by going to File->Export->Multitrack Mixdown->Entire Track. This will create a flat .WAV or .MP3 file in the location you specified.

Tutorial 2
Editing an Interview

Now, using the tools you learned from above, download the audio track of Ira Glass  speaking about storytelling. This is a 17 minute interview where Mr. Glass talks at length about creating a compelling audio narrative. Your task is to cut this interview down to 2 minutes. You want to edit the interview so Mr. Glass gives a complete thought, that is, it should not feel like it starts abruptly or ends abruptly. Be sure to eliminate any extraneous words or phrases such as “like.” “um” or long pauses. The goal of this edit should be for it to sound smooth and unedited, but more concise and efficient in its use of time. One you have your edit to between 1:50-2:10, export the track.

Upload your tracks to Soundcloud

Create an account at soundcloud.com. Once you have logged in and verified your account, you should be able to click on the “Upload & Share” button on the top. Next click “Choose Files” and find your exported Tutorial 1. Be sure to make the file “public.” Once your file is uploaded, click on “Share” in the top left of the audio file and then click ont he “WordPress” button. You will then see a block of code that you can copy and paste into the body of your WordPress blog. Repeat this process for your exported Tutorial 2. Once you publish your blog post, you should be able to click the play button on either audio file and hear the final product, much like a “YouTube” for audio.

Please post the audio from your tutorials by 5pm on Monday, Oct. 17.

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