Module 2 – Audio Design II – Podcast (Production and Post)

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Reading/Writing

“7 Secrete for Getting Pro-Sounding Vocals on Home Recordings” by Filippo Gaetani

The article “7 Secretes for Getting Pro-Sounding Vocals on Home Recordings” by Filippo Gaetani, shares seven good tips on how to make your recordings from home sound more professional but still natural. The first tip is to get in the zone of recording. You don’t want to be super stressed out or not focused when you are recording or your vocals will be less ideal from the start. The next few tips are related to how to do certain things at home to get better recording sounds. Ensure that you are recording in a room with minimal reflections and reverberated sounds and can do this by making a small vocal booth out of blankets, curtains and other things (as shown in the picture from this article). You’ll also want to manipulate your microphone a bit and try to make a pop filter to use to tame some certain sounds from audio.

Once you’ve made some of these alterations, the author states it’s important to do several takes and be sure to label everything to ensure they are easy to find and use later. The author also states it is important to take breaks as well. Don’t over stress yourself if you are not pleased how things are going in the moment. Take a break and try again later or the next day. Editing should also be done carefully as you don’t want to over edit your vocals and make them sound less natural. The author states that leaving audio in bigger portions will keep the audio sounding natural rather than trying to edit a bunch of little pieces together. The author also gives some tips on certain effects plugins that could be useful and some ideas on what kind of edits to use for different types of music audio. It’s important to try different effects until you find something that fits.

“Sound Advice: Editing Audio for Video” by Hal Robertson

The article “Sound Advice: Editing Audio for Video” by Hal Robertson is an article that states the importance of audio in projects and some tips on editing that audio. The author states that sometimes audio takes the back seat to the images on the screen, but this can be a big mistake as the audio can really make or break your production. The author’s biggest tip is to really edit the audio first to make it how you want it and then change the video afterwards. He states it is easier to fix the video after the fact than it is to alter the audio.

The first tip is to get all of you’re A-roll footage first. The A-roll footage is the “must have” elements of the project. If you don’t get all of you’re a-roll footage, then what you didn’t record, that part of the story will not end up in the project. Next is to get B-roll footage. B-roll footage is any supplemental/filler pieces, such as video clips of traffic movement, the cityscape, and any other footage related to the main A-roll footage. This footage will be important for transitioning as well as covering up any unnatural switches between clips in order to keep the audio smooth.

The author suggests that when you are editing the audio to not look at the video per say. As you edit, there will most likely be some unnatural jump cuts and scene breaks but this can all be fixed later with different transition effects or overlapping other footage. The author shares some tips on how to snip video clips and scrub the ends in order to allow for adjustments when you are overlaying clips together in order to get the audio transitions just right. Background music can also be used to hide any rough edges of the audio that you are unable to fix.

After you are happy with the audio, you can then focus on making the video match and transition more smoothly by using some transitional effects or overlaying with B-roll footage. Some effects are effective in distracting the viewer so they cannot see the difference in the clips, but the author states to be careful with some of these edits and not to use them too often as they can get distracting and old very quickly. After video is edited to your liking, you can post-process your audio to add any other audio effects to make it sound better. Such as compression, limiting, and equalization.

Research and Inform

https://ew.com/recap/greys-anatomy-season-15-episode-19/

This clip is from an episode of Grey’s Anatomy that I thought was super powerful and used a lot of different techniques with audio and video. To give some content, the patient in this scene was sexually assault and just completed a rape kit (which was also a very awesome piece audio wise as well). Due to the trauma, every man she saw, she saw with her rapists face and did not want to be brought to the OR in fear of seeing men in the hospital. What the staff did next is bring as many women staff as possible to line the hallway to the elevator to the OR to support this woman and show her she is not alone. So this video and how they did the audio and its effects help make this scene so much more powerful. The beginning there’s almost no background noise with the characters speaking which makes the scene so anticipatory. Then you hear just small sounds in the back ground of the women lining up and then when they focus on the woman in the hospital bed, and she sees what the women are doing, the music begins and just makes this moment so moving. While walking down the hallway the music is the loudest thing heard, but you are still able to hear some back ground sounds; like when the patient lets out her breath while trying to hold back her tears. Going back and forth from a general view of the scene to a first person perspective from the patient adds to the emotions of this piece and you are really able to put yourself where she is and just feel the emotions being felt in this clip.

“To This Day” by Shane Koyczan

This video is a spoken word poem by Shane Koyczan called “To This Day.” This is a very powerful piece I came across sometime last year that really stuck with me and thought would be good inspiration for my podcast this week. Even though this video is animated, I believe the audio really brings it to life, making it so powerful. The piece itself is about bullying and just how much words can actually impact a person throughout their life. After the beginning of this piece and the narrator shares his story, there is background music throughout the poem that goes through stages of starting out low and slow, and slowly increasing in intensity and tempo until there is a moment of silence. And in this moment of silence, there is typically a powerful statement made during this time. What is amazing in this piece is how the narration also increases and decreases in intensity with the music and just makes the piece so moving.

https://youtu.be/LSHWzOXJDSs

Not only this clip, but throughout the TV show, The Office, they do a good job of putting in ambient sounds to make it feel like you really are in an office building. You can hear phones ringing in the background and papers moving. The cameras also help to make it more personal I suppose, the camera angles are changing so often and the viewer feels as if they actually are part of the camera crew filming the employees in their office. I enjoyed this scene because of its joke about Pavlov’s classical conditioning, but re-watching it again for this section this week, I was able to really listen to the ambient sounds and other audio of the clip rather than just watching the clip like normal. You could really hear the container of Altoids and the paper within the container moving without the actors being obvious trying to make noise with the object. I would imagine they had microphones nearby in order to capture those sounds rather than just from the cameras they are shooting with.

Create

In this podcast, I felt it was important to share this story to help viewers understand that their decisions ultimately affect their children more than themselves. When parents choose to not vaccinate their children, they base those decisions on the idea that vaccinations can cause bodily harm to their children. They also believe that their children won’t get sick from certain disease because they survived their childhood with the chickenpox and other illnesses. What people don’t understand is that these diseases are unpredictable and react different in one person to the next and can and do cause death across the country and the world every year. This story is to help listeners think about how their children will feel and what they have to go through because of your decision not to vaccinate them.

Some challenges I faced were finding appropriate music and sound effects that would fit into the piece without taking away from the seriousness and message of the piece. I used the Audacity app to edit my podcast and used the microphone on my Macbook computer for recording the audio.

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