Individual Soundslides

This project was a soundslide presentation about alternative medicine. The two people that I talked to were users of acupuncture treatment and know a little bit about what goes into the practice of oriental medicine. It is a human interest rather than a news reporting segment that follows one particular individual that was suggested by the other person that was interviewed. The interviewees were Nick Connell and Anna Neary.

This project was definitely harder doing it all alone. From having ideas to producing interview questions and finally editing and putting everything thing together I felt that it would have been a lot better with a partner to bounce ideas off of. It was exciting to have free reign over our subject matter and how it could be presented but It was easier making those decisions when there were more than one idea on the table.  I think that if I did it over again I would interview so many more people than there are in this soundslide presentation. I would make them small segments and give it more of a diverse feel and effect.

Overall this project was fun yet difficult and it challenged me to find a subject that I was willing to talk to others about. I wish that there could be more substance to this project but with the small amount of time that I had to complete the project it is up to a standard that I am willing to live with. If I did it over I sure it would be an entirely different project together but that can be saved for another time and day.

I think that there are so many ideas and opportunities to make a soundslide presentation something unique and personal that this should a more frequent and elaborate project throughout the next semesters.

Soundslides Project Critique

The first soundslide project that I reviewed was Wyoming Cowboy Basketball: A Legacy by: Dyann Diercks and Brooke Eades. First I would like to say that I did enjoy that the two got not only a fans perspective but various player’s views and the managers. This I think gave the story more of a rounded quality allowing all of the listeners to connect with what each person had to say. The speakers for the most part were easy to hear however I felt at times the ambient noise was a bit over bearing. It was great to have the game in the background and the band as part of the piece but there were multiple times that I had to adjust the volume to either hear the speaker or tone down the background sound. I think that it would have been neat to end the soundslide presentation with a chant with the team giving it more of a unified feeling like most of the players talked about during the presentation. The pictures were helpful and interesting to view while listening. There were many action shots and the ending shot of the entire Double A Arena really drove home the feel of Wyoming Cowboy Basketball.

The second project I viewed was International Night by Tiffany Le Gal and Anna Rader. This piece was hard to listen to. I felt that the information was relevant and very useful but the entire story was chopped and quick as though there was so much information they had but not enough time to make it a more relaxed piece. I did like that international students were interviewed and were able to share their views but I also found myself just trying to get through the piece rather the really listening to what the speakers were saying. At times the background noise was so loud that I felt it was distracting rather then helpful to the presentation. However, I did like the picture presentation and felt that the photos help the presentation fill gaps that the short clips were leaving in the audio story. Next time I would suggest careful editing of the audio and less focus on filling a time frame. Edit it with no time mentality and then go back and make cuts. With that I think it will come out a lot less rushed.

The third project that I listened to was called Wrestling Profile by Brad Estes and Tom Hesse. This story was one that needed to told and I listen to it with excitement to see what the wrestling team had to say. I felt that ere was at least 4 minutes of information that could have been presented but with just 2 to catch my attention was all I needed. These two really gave a good base for what stories are to come not only from this class but from the Branding Iron and Brad and Tom themselves. I think that the background noise was great and used accordingly. The pictures could have been a little better as some were out of focus but for being the only visual for this story I felt that they were good enough to start this idea off.

Soundslides Project

http://klandreville.com/babbitt_gallo_newman/soundslider.swf?size=1&format=xml&embed_width=465&embed_height=400

This project was one that needed to incorporate sound and pictures to help tell a story about a news worthy topic. Faryn, Bailey and I wanted to tell a human interest story about married couples and the struggles they encountered as well as their best piece of marriage advice to newlyweds. We interviewed two couples, Jeff and Jahna who were married 25 years and Gary and Vi who will be married 49 years in May of 2011. These two couples shared their meeting of one another, their struggles and advice and also allowed us to take pictures from their home and some originals that we thought would be great pieces to illustrate their love for one another.

During our interviews we found that recording was such a handy way to capture their personalities. The two couples were full of compassion and life and it would have gone unknown if this were not an audio soundslide. My favorite couple to interview was Gary and Vi from here in Laramie, WY. They were down to earth and still lighthearted in their marriage that it was as though they were still kids themselves after 48 years of marriage. Their house was filled with so much history that told their story of life that capturing it and committing it to film was by far the biggest challenge.

When trying to place the sounds clips together we ran into a bit of trouble but after 3 hours of frustration and help from Dr. Landerville we finally figured it out and it was smooth sailing, at least, almost. Next we meant soundslides which after the program starts to work with you is easy to understand; before it will give you all the grief it can to get to that stage. It was hard to figure out all of the logistics but we got the project rolling and soundslides was pretty self explanatory once we were rolling.

This project to me was one that I wouldn’t change. I enjoyed what our topic was and meeting the people that we did. It was a fun human interest story that I think would make anyone who listened to it smile for a minute or two. Overall, I wish the computer would have cooperated better but that  is technology for you.

Sound Slide Story Ideas

The ideas that I have for possible sound slide projects would be:

  1. Veterans: Who they became after the war. It could be a piece on how war affects your life. A story about people and the things they did after they served their country and where they were when war broke out. Possible sources could be friends, family; co-workers who had family go to war and leave them behind.
  2. The rise and fall of freshman year: A look at what it takes to succeed in college. It would be a human interest story that would highlight the reasons why people make choices when they get out of their parent’s homes and into the dorms. Possible sources are current freshman at UW. Resident advisors that live day to day with freshman or even professors who lived in the dorms and their reactions to freshman today.
  3. Life in the fast lane: children before you have had a legal drink. A human interest story about young mothers, their children and the struggles that are brought on by have kids at such a young age. More serious then teen mom but the same type of concept. Possible sources would be Emily Johnson who had her child at 19, Jamie Cook who became a mother at 16 or Rosie Knell who gave birth to her little girl the day of her high school graduation at age 18.

Audio Profile Critique

 I reviewed three different Audio Profiles. Faryn’s interview with Jamie, Jamie’s interview with Faryn and Brooke’s interview with Dyann. All three of the interviews are different and great to listen to. Listening to all three you get a great sense of the personality of the interview. What the atmosphere was like.

With all three interviews I really liked the background noise that is going on. It is isn’t completely silent and I think that it adds a lot to what the person is talking about. With Faryn’s interview with Jamie I enjoyed her anecdotes about finding a job and really explaining herself throughout the entire interview. It was easy to follow her story without knowing what questions she was being asked. Jaime’s interview with Faryn was great because it was the only one that I listened to that had the actual dialogue between the interviewer and interviewee. It was a different approach hat what most people did and it added an element of conversation and interpersonal interaction that you become part of when you are listening. Also, with Brooke’s interview with Dyann I loved that she mostly talked about her goals and aspirations in relation to her raising. It was deep and wonderful to hear such an inspirational reason behind her own goals. It is not often that you meet someone who has based their entire life off of what their father did out of love for his family and not out of economic need.

The audio profiles were overall great to listen to so the only real suggestions that I would have is to make sure that they are loud and clear. To make sure that the recording is not muffled or quiet even when playing on the computer.

When doing this assignment I learned the importance to get every bit of information you can in a 5 minute interview because you need all the transitions you can get when you are trying to edit it into a fluent 2 minute recording. That was by far my hardest problem to overcome. When I interviewed Bailey she gave me a ton of information but I couldn’t use the parts that were not pre-introduced by Bailey herself. It was a fun project and a great skill to learn but If I could redo my project I know I would have changes to how the questions were asked and what I would have her elaborate on for a better interview.

Overall, this project was great and I enjoyed doing it as a class project.

Audio Editing

 Breaking down 5 minutes of audio into a 2 minute profile was difficult to do when there were so many comments made by Bailey that made her interview so much fun. I felt that her college experience was the most interesting part of her interview. She was colorful and open about her feeling towards education and the one that she has received while attending the University of Wyoming.

While doing the editing of the profile I learned how easy it is to take from different sections of the interview and interweave them into more active statements. Overall, it was an easy process that made it fun to mess around with the editing process. I had a little trouble uploading the mp3 file at first but after that there were no real issues.

What surprised me the most was when you are talking to someone how they don’t repeat the question you asked them making it difficult for the listener to understand what the interviewee is talking about. That would have been the number one thing that I changed during my interview with Bailey and during the time that I was the interviewee. That would have helped that process of editing be smoother. I also wish that I would have asked more personal questions about Bailey’s life making it more of an informal experience instead of a standard interview. She was amazing at making it interesting yet I think that she has so much more to offer about life rather than college.

I think that this is a project that all communication majors should be doing at least once during the college career. It help people understand how to talk to people in a manner where they are answering the questions you are asking in ways that can be quoted and giving you moments that can be recreated.

Edited Interview by Alexandria Newman

Raw Audio Profile

Alex interviwing Bailey Original by Alexandria Newman
For this project I interviewed Bailey Gallo a friend of mine and classmate. Having to first interview her and second using a recorder were two new concepts. The first being funny because I already know quite a bit about Bailey and the second being awkward that we are talking to one another like we knew nothing about one another while recording it for “the record.”

This experience as a interviewer was so different from projects that I have done. Being able to sit and listen and ask questions as opposed to being preoccupied with taking notes was a fresh take on reporting and I think made it more of a meeting experience that a Audio Profile should be. As the other half of this project I was the interviewee for Bailey and she asked me about my life and my accomplishments. At first I thought that it was going to be really easy to answer questions thinking that it will resemble a job interview. However, throughout the process of being questioned I found myself blanking, having nothing to say and I attribute that to not being prepared at all. I should always know the answers to personal questions but when I have spent my entire interviewing life in front of panels and FFA judges when it came down to just “me” I didn’t know what I was going to say. If Bailey could interview me again I would say yes in a heartbeat. I think the second time I would have more constructive responses.

Overall, it is always good to have a project or experience that sheds light on your strengths and weaknesses. This project was one for me that will help me prepare mentally what my answers are when it comes to college and accomplishments that are ones to share. I have gotten many jobs and opportunities because of interviews but for some reason this interview, being an audio profile, made it hard to express my life and goals or aspirations to their fullest. The only thing that would change would be my confidence while talking to her.

As for my interview with Bailey, she did a great job answering my questions before I asked them. She was fun to work with and easy to follow in her answers. I think that as a interviewer it was a pleasant experience and a project that I enjoyed doing.

Audio Editing Practice

For this project I experimented with Audacity which is an audio editing program. I counted out of order 1-10 and then cut the audio to place the numbers back in the correct order. The first thing I had to do was record the numbers which needed to be as scattered from original order as possible. Next, I had to use the editing program to reorder them. The last step to this project was to upload them to sound cloud and embed them on to my blog.

The purpose of this is to learn how to use audio editing tools as well as learn the process of cutting audio and reformatting it into a script that it preferred. It is a baby step into the next project that we will have with will encompass more of the editing that can be done for a final project of an audio profile of another student.

This was the first time I had ever used any program that dealt with audio editing. However, for a  project one year I did have to help with the editing process of our Gillette Fusion Pro Glide Radio Commercial. While at the radio station I got to watch the editing process and the recording after recording that takes place while putting together a quality radio commercial. With this project it was fun to be behind the project editing my sound and placing it in order from 1-10. This was a great way to be introduced to this process because it was a small task that combined all the elements of audio editing. We had to record then upload, edit and finally repost for it to be previewed. This project was fun and a great way to learn as well as an opportunity to use programs that I have never even thought to use before.

Here are my original and my edited counting audio scripts.

Counting Original by Alexandria Newman
Counting Edited by Alexandria Newman

Ambient Noise

There are 6 clips that can be listened to that are all of Ambient Noise. Ambient Noise can be found in the background setting of any story.

The first clip is of a clip blowing in the wind. It could be used to express noisey annoances of the wind in Laramie, Wy. The author could use it as an example of just some of the sounds that can be found on a windy evening. It was recorded at 1109 Bradley Street, Laramie, WY while passing by a clipp loosely connected to a boat cover on a windy day.
Ambient Noise- Clip Blowing in the wind by Alexandria Newman

The second clip is called Busy streets. the clip starts as a car is screetching to start and ends witht he rustling sounds of cars driving by and emergency alarms sounding. It could be used in a MADD story discussing the hazards when drinking and driving. It was recorded Oct. 17th in Laramie, WY.
Ambient Noise- Busy Streets by Alexandria Newman

Stirring Hot Chocolate is the third clip and could be used as a backdrop for a story dicussing holiday baking. It would also go well with a story talking about the cold weather changes and preparing for winter in a fun holiday way. It was recorded inside my own home while I was making myself a nice cup of coco.
Ambient Noise- Stirring Hot Chocolate by Alexandria Newman

The fourth clip is titled, Car Alarm. That is exactly what it is making it a perfect clip for a story about a car hijack or a safety story discussing the value of personal alarms. It was recored walking through Walmart Parking Lot.
Ambient Noise- Car Alarm by Alexandria Newman

Water Running is the fifth clip and it works for a multitude of audio stories. Anything from a story talking about water conservation to a tropical getaway to hideway Hawaiian falls. It was recorded in my bathroom.
Ambient Noise-Water Running by Alexandria Newman

The sixth and final clip is entitled typing. It is a audio clip that can be used when covering a finance story on wallstreet, or a classroom story on students and work load. It was recorded in my office while working on  my MaryKay business.
Ambient Noise- Typing by Alexandria Newman

Audio Stories

 

Here are three audio stories that I thought were good examples of how an audio story should be presented.

The first story comes from The New York Times’ One In 8 Million. The story if about a woman named Amy Rapkiewicz: Pathologist. She is a Middle Village; Queens’s native and currently lives near the Brooklyn Navy Yard. As a member of a family that is obsessed with death (as she would say), Amy works as the director of pathology and autopsies at Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan. She comments on her work and the constant diagnosis that she does daily walking to and from work. Amy is an avid wearer of St. Jude who was first believed to be a curse in her family when her grandmother passed away. The statue was placed in her hospital room where a day later she had passed and the family blamed St. Jude. Now, the woman of Amy’s family see that even though her grandmother passed in t he present of St. Jude, they themselves have become protected by the crest and are all avid believers. Overall, this story was interesting and encouraging. She was so poised and delightful to listen to even though her occupation is less then appealing. The noise in the background was of people shuffling and the rustling of her family and where she works. The author of this story was chose a unique way to present Amy’s story. I enjoyed the personal anecdote about her grandmother. The key characteristics of a person are the

“Society gets bent out of shape because we like to spank each other..,” said Lolita Wolf: The Kinky Lover. Another story from The New York Times’ “One in 8 Million,” she takes listeners on a journey through the life of an S&M buff and what she looks for in a partner and lover for life. Lolita prefers if people look at her as Lolita instead of taking it upon themselves to judge and tag a name on her. She considers it a lifestyle like any other where you choose what you want and get just that. When i initially heard the beginning clip of this story I was immediately intrigued by the shear bluntness of her attitude. It made me say, “Why shouldn’t she be.” It was an amazing view on lifestyle or sexual choice that many individuals view as a negative of “weird” concept. Overall, the story was a refreshing take on a lifestyle piece because I have never run into a more interesting and different approach to people and their life choices. She had such a positive attitude about her life and who she is and it was wonderful to listen and feel good about yourself even if you aren’t agreeing with what she is talking about. It was a quiet background giving a feeling of a free spirit, give-a-care attitude that flowed throughout her entire story. Knowing very little about audio and the difference between good and bad I think that the author did a great job and it satisfied my listener’s interests.

The Finkler Question is an npr.org audio book promotion. First, the book is about a man who lived his entire life with people believing her was a Jewish man. He was not however, but one night after being called out her decided to dive in and see what aspects of his life were reflecting this culture that he was always being accused of being a part of. Throughout the presentation the promoters voice is soft and easy to focus on. He is a poised, crisp talker. I was hoping to learn more in depth about the book but the promotion was a quick overview which I feel could be better at times.