Audiostory Draft

For Unit 3’s Audiostory project, I wanted to touch base on the move toward natural labeling that we are seeing in the food/flavor industry. I touched on this topic in Unit 2’s Logo project regarding vanilla, so I figured it would be a good idea to delve into the topic with more depth for Unit 3.

I planned to interview my coworker, Mary Svoboda, senior flavor chemist at Synergy Flavors, Inc., knowing she would have a plethora of information regarding the topic, as she has been in the industry for years and ranks as senior among the other chemists. Before getting together with Mary, I wrote down a few questions to help guide the conversation, making sure we would touch on the topics I wanted us to discuss.

I chose the location for us to have the interview based on how recordings sounded on my phone.  I tested 3 different rooms to see which would have minimal background noise. After choosing the location, I positioned my phone in the middle of Mary and I, to pick up both of our voices. Upon reviewing the interview, I found my voice did not carry well through my phone’s recording, so I would need to add narration, or a voice-over, to help move the story along.  This ended up being for the best, however, as our interview contained a significant amount of scientific jargon that listeners would not necessarily need to understand the segment.

After logging key moments in the interview, I then edited the clip to remove the soundbites I wanted to highlight using the razor tool.  I then wrote and recorded the narration to help separate the beginning from the middle and from the end of the story.  Once my narration was recorded, I had to adjust the volume levels, as my recordings were louder than Mary’s interview parts. Using the yellow volume bar, I lowered the decibel for my voice, and raised it for Mary’s to give our voices an even leveling.

I wanted the beginning and end of the audiostory to have a sort of “breaking news” sound to open and close the clip.  I searched on Freesound.org for a clip that would suffice and found “Breaking Bars – Breaking News” and cut out the first 2-3 seconds of it to use for my piece. Once this was added, I had some trimming I needed to do, as I was about 11 seconds over the three minute mark.  To do this, I zoomed in on the track that had each of the individual parts together as a single unit, and removed any stuttering, unnecessary pauses between words, and other word vomit that could be omitted easily. I also moved and overlapped some of the soundbites to give it a more natural flow, as if the conversation was happening as the track is played.  This also helped blend the leveling of our voices, too.

Once completed, I exported the file and uploaded it to SoundCloud. Moving forward, I am considering adding some light background music under our voices during the interview, though I am afraid that it will take away the “newsroom” feel I was going for.

I am looking forward to hearing some feedback! Thanks for listening!

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5 thoughts on “Audiostory Draft

  1. Hi K.C.

    This is a hot topic for you! Very relevant and peaks your interest for your theme! Almost a controversy between supply and demand in our food market and your work as a food scientist!

    I like the digital “tune in” effect of your intro. sound. I would love to hear it a bit longer (in time) while it fades behind your intro. (Same with the exit sound). In the draft it is almost separate to the fast-paced voice introduction. The same sound, or something similar, could be used as a punctuation between thoughts of your guest.

    The tempo of your questions are fine. Maybe bring up the volume or use an equalizer to clarify your voice. At that speed, mixed with the lower tones, I had a hard time understanding your remarks and questions, forcing me to think about that rather than the topic content.

    Well on your way. Look forward to hearing the Final!

    Like

  2. Wow KC! As a classmate and a consumer, your interview is an enlightening and very informative piece! I use vanilla quite a bit and could not imagine not having it in my seasoning cabinet. As such, to hear your interview with Mary is not only interesting, but also encouraging. The flow from your intro to the actual interview was seamless and only one of the many strong points of your audio story draft. In addition, the content was on point and relative to your blog. I have to ask if you have done this before because your piece sounds like a podcast and an indicator of your editing skills. I know you stated in your narrative that you might embed additional sounds but I don’t think it’s needed. The sound you use at the beginning and replicate for the end is perfect in my opinion. As you work on finalizing your draft, one suggestion might be to use key points to bring up Mary’s voice a little. I thoroughly enjoyed this interview…great job!

    Lea Sutherlin

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  3. Hi K.C. – I think your introduction is really strong. I like the introduction effect as it adds a unique element to the audio story. This could be your signature introduction for a series moving forward. I also think you do a great job of introducing the topic and its importance by giving the audience a preview of what you are going to be telling them, or, what they will be hearing.
    I think your introduction of Mary is also well done and how you qualify her as an expert on the topic. I definitely get the sense of the newsroom feel you write about in the blog, but I think it is a little difficult to differentiate between when you are talking and then when she is talking. Maybe somehow incorporating some background music as you wrote about in your blog would help with this separation.

    Another suggestion for differentiating this could be to increase the volume on your voice so that it stands out a bit more and then having her voice stay at a similar level. Between 0:20 – 0:38, you are on quite a roll with your introduction. I’m not sure if adding in a subtle pause between sentences would help the clip flow more naturally or not. I struggled with this in my clip as I kept thinking it was going just a bit too fast. Otherwise, great job and it was very clear what you were talking about and how the story developed.

    Overall, great job!

    Best,
    Andrew

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  4. Hello K. C
    The flow of your story is quite good and I like it.. I like the opening sound of the glasses but it is a little loud to the ears. It sets a very good alerting pace that something is got to happen and people become keen to listen. The way you have put it at the beginning and the end is ok with me .
    Just a suggestion or two
    1. fade in the opening sound to make it a little lower and friendly to the ears and believe me , you are good to go.
    2. As you have suggested, the light music you intend to add would be a nice ideabut do not do away with the opening and the closing sounds. It is enticing.
    otherwise good job.
    Joyce

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  5. Thanks for the feedback, all. I have a lot of content I wanted to cover, and trimming down from a half hour interview was difficult, so the flow of my piece is rather quick. Moving forward, I am going to see if I can edit or if need be re-record over the narration pieces I added to give the interview some space.

    I like the beginning sound piece, but as some of you mentioned it’s a little harsh. I am going to try to soften it up a bit so it’s a little easier on the ears. I’m not sure if I want to add background sound, yet. As there is a lot of words being spoken, I feel adding music may be more distracting than helpful. We shall see! Thanks again!

    Like

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