Blog Post #7: Audacity is cruel


My Reaction

If I had to describe my audio experience in one word, it would be enraging. Oh my god editing audio into something coherent and smooth was tedious. The program itself was not the problem, it was just finding sounds that you could splice together to make it seem like the interviewee never stopped speaking in the interview. I do not feel I succeeded at this project. I was able to edit five minutes to just over two minutes, but that is about the extent of my completion of the assignment, in my opinion.

I did learn something from this experience though. I learned that there is a special breed of person out there that somehow loves to do this, and those people are gods. I listened to some NPR audio interviews after finishing my assignment, and I was amazed at how technical and flashy they are. I never really thought much of that until now, but working in Audacity definitely gave me a greater appreciation of the skill required to work in audio storytelling.

I think that my previous statements have made it pretty clear about what I did not enjoy, but I suppose it was not all bad. I liked the feeling of creating my own version of someone else’s story, if that makes sense. I did not change the facts or anything, but I took something that was presented to me, and I was able to give it a new interpretation of sorts by choosing what to edit out and what to keep in the recording. So that was neat. But holy hell was it tedious.

I think what surprised me the most was how many times I would have to listen to five to seven seconds of audio over and over again in order to find the perfect time to make the cut in the audio. I knew going into this assignment that this would be difficult because I had never done it before, but the level of skill and patience that someone needs to effectively do this is crazy. I thought I would be able to pick it up as fast as I have picked up other types of media, but I was wrong. At least I know where I need to improve now.

I wish I would have been able to put some ambient noise in my clip, but only at the beginning and the end to serve as a fade. I wanted to use the song “Monster Mash” since the subject of the interview was Halloween. I was able to import the file into Audacity, but I could not figure out how to separate the song into little clips, and then move them around to different points on the other track. I tried a plethora of things, but was left confused and broken (ok, broken is an overstatement). It got to the point that either the song played in the background at a lower volume throughout the two minutes, or no music at all. Since ambient noise was not a requirement, I went with the latter.


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