Individual Soundslides Project

•December 8, 2010 • Leave a Comment

After doing a group Soundslides project, we were given the assignment to do one alone. At first I thought that it would be really difficult because I really relied on Courtney to help me out with our last assignment but I figured I would get through it none the less.

When I first started thinking about this project, I was asking around for idea of what to do. I asked a friend of mine if she knew any interesting people and she told me that she had a friend who does Burlesque dancing in downtown Laramie. I am never around Burlesque dancing so of course this caught my attention immediately.

I would have to say that I can’t even compare this project with my group project. In my mind they are two completely different things. I loved working with Courtney and I think our project turned out awesome but I also had a great time doing this one as well. Fathom was extremely interesting and I wouldn’t have traded my topic for anything.

My favorite thing that happened during this whole project happened when I was at the bar taking pictures of Fathom. The bouncer came up to me and my friend and told us that if we wanted to get up on the bar and dance we could and he would take pictures of all three of us. We politely turned him down and giggled together as soon as he was gone.

This time around, I didn’t have nearly as many problems as I did with my group project. This time audacity and Soundslides worked perfectly for me. Ironically Courtney and I worked on our projects together and we high-fived several times when we both were completely finished.

Looking back on this project, I wouldn’t have changed anything. I would hope that maybe people would have a little more free time but that is obviously something that can’t really be controlled. I honestly had a great time doing this project.

Review of Soundslides

•December 1, 2010 • Leave a Comment

After completing my own Soundslides project I thought it would be pretty interesting to look over a few other classmates projects. I know I had some of my own difficulties and being able to look over some other projects will give me a chance to see what I can possibly improve for my next Soundslides project.

The first project that I looked at was Brooke and Dyann’s. I personally know both of these girls and they both strive to do perfect work and so I knew that their project would be almost flawless. I thought that the interviewing was pretty dang good. The cuts were all really clean and all of the people who were included were relevant to the topic. Although their was ambient noise in the background I did not feel like it interfered with the interviews. The one thing that I found a little distracting were the breaks that were in between some of the interviewing. I started to pay more attention to the photos then and the ambient noise and then I had a hard time devoting my attention back to what the people were saying.

As their photos, I thought they were all pretty good. There weren’t any that I thought didn’t go along with the story and some of them used creative devices while others were just good shots of people. I thought that it was a good mixture.

The second story I looked at was by Tom and Brad. I was intrigued by the story because I personally don’t know very much about the wrestling team here. The interviewing content was all really good but it had such a sudden start and ending that I didn’t really know what was going on at first. The ambient noise in the background was a little distracting throughout because I wasn’t sure what it was until later on in the interview. As for the photos, they were all fairly good. Some of them were a little blurry and some of them could have used a little more creativity but overall I still enjoyed listening to the story.

The third and final story that I looked at was by Tracie and Nic. I love animals so I figured there story would be an interesting one to look over. The interviewing itself was really good. The content was interesting and there weren’t any times that I was distracted by the ambient noise. I really liked that they added dogs barking and cats meowing. I thought it really added something to the story. Their pictures were also pretty interesting. I could sit and look at pictures of cats and dogs all day long so I was happy with them. The only real critique I have is that the interview seemed a little lengthy. I started to lose a little interest towards the end but it’s something I can completely relate to so I can’t really critique that fact too harshly.

Soundslides Group Project

•November 22, 2010 • Leave a Comment

After a couple of weeks of struggling to complete an audio story about the band High Country, Courtney and I finally succeeded. The purpose of the assignment was to familiarize ourselves with audio recording someone, taking pictures of them, and then adding these things together in a Soundslide presentation. These kind of stories are becoming more and more popular online and becoming aware of how to do these things is detrimental to our futures in Journalism.

Working with Courtney was definitely interesting but I’m glad she was my partner because there were some serious stressful situations and the fact that we could both laugh them off kept us going. The actual interviewing and picture-taking went just fine, it was later when we were trying to use Audacity that our troubles arose. We had completely finished our editing process when Audacity decided it didn’t want to work for us so I had to go back through and completely re-edit.

Other than this, though, this project was pretty fun. I have seen High Country perform several times and listening to how they go into Country music and how the band came about was really interesting. They definitely had some really funny stories to tell so I had a great time.

When we finally got around to putting the project onto Soundslides, everything went pretty smoothly. I think I know the interview by heart now due to how many times I’ve listened to it but it should be pretty good now. The only problem with Soundslides that I encountered was when it came time to send the project to my teacher. I have absolutely no idea if it worked… but I guess we’ll see.

As I move onto the next Soundslides project that we have I hope things will go a little smoother with Audacity but so far I seem to always have issues. However, at this point I know how to solve most of my problems so I say bring it on!!

3 Story Ideas

•November 8, 2010 • 1 Comment

As I began to think about different topics for an audio story that I have due in a couple of weeks, I thought of three different things that I could go with. My first idea is to speak with a business owner downtown about how they got to where they are. I know a few different owners that have had businesses downtown for at least thirty years. Speaking to them would give a good insight into how a business can survive in a town like Laramie. It would be interesting to see what certain things they do to keep their business alive and thriving. For a story like this I would interview the owner and probably an employee, along with a customer as well.

My second idea was to find a unique Laramie local that finds refugee in a downtown Laramie business. I have encountered a few different people at Coal Creek and Turtle Rock that seem like they are always there. Taking a look at why they feel welcome downtown and why they have chosen their particular location would be interesting to find out. It would be news worthy for the business and other businesses to see what is attracting different people to that particular location. To do this kind of interview I would talk with the local and a couple of the people who work at the business.

The final idea I had is to interview the band High Country. I personally have seen the band perform numerous times and I can tell that they all have a blast at every performance. Since I know they have been together for quite a while I bet it would be fun to see what has kept them going for so long. Due to their ever-growing presence in Laramie it would be news-worthy for the people who continually see them playing but do not know much about the band as a whole. To interview a band like them would give other bands insight into how to keep a band alive and well. For this particular story I would interview a few of the band members at least and then maybe a fan that has been loyal over the years.

Class Critique of Edited Interviews

•November 5, 2010 • Leave a Comment

After completing my own edited interview I was very interested to see how everyone elses interview went since I know mine was not the easiest task to overcome.

The first interview that I listened to was by Alexandria Newman. I was interested to listen to interview because I had heard her discussing the topic in class. It seems like her interview with Bailey went really well. I liked the topics that were discussed and it seems like Alexandria did not have that much difficulty editing down her five-minute long interview. The only thing that I think could have been better was the amount of static in the interview. I do not know if this was due to background noise or what but it was somewhat distracting.

Brooke Eades’ interview with Dyann seemed to go very well. Dyann’s answers to Brooke’s questions seemed in-depth and long so that makes editing that much easier. I love the topic of music as well. I personally know how much Dyann loves music so to hear how much she loves its presence in her life is not a surprise. Overall I think Brooke did a great job. The editing that she did do was completely smooth and the topics were not choppy at all which is great in the end.

The final story I chose to look over was Tom Hesse’s that he did with Max D’Onofrio. I really liked the personality behind the story told because you can tell by the way that Max tells the story that he really did have a great time. Overall, Tom did a great job with editing. The story seemed to flow really well and it was very interesting.

The main thing that I learned from looking over these three stories is that not everyone has as much difficulty with editing as I did. Mostly I just had a hard time making one phrase mesh well with the next. I figure that I will get better with time, though, so I’ll just keep on going.

Edited Interview

•October 29, 2010 • 2 Comments

As I began to go back over my interview with Courtney I figured there was plenty I could edit out so I tried my hand at editing and set my goal and getting it down to two minutes.

It turns out there was quite a bit out of irrelevant information just because of natural rambling and pauses. After cutting these things out I found that there were a couple of questions that weren’t as important or interesting so I just left them out completely. Luckily all of the information linked to each other so I could throw in some information in random places.

From this editing experience I learned that editing is not as easy as I always thought it was. After listening to clips on NPR and other news stations I always figured it couldn’t be that hard because they make it sound so good.

My favorite part about editing was listening to the content again. Getting to know someones favorite thing to do is pretty interesting. In Courtney’s case she gets so excited about hunting so I could definitely feel that energy.

My least favorite part of editing was definitely making the clip sound good without any unnatural pauses or abrupt stops. That was very difficult for me although it wasn’t necessarily surprising that it was that difficult.

The only thing that I wish would have gone a little smoother was the end of some of Courtney’s comments. I probably should have left a little more of a break instead of jumping immediately into the next question. It probably would have made cutting a tad easier.

Overall I would say that the editing went pretty well though. I think it sounds good and the story is interesting and it flows pretty well. I look forward to experiencing editing again.

Real Edited Interview by Adrienne Morency

Unedited Interview

•October 25, 2010 • 1 Comment

As I continue to learn about audio recording, I keep learning new things that I may encounter in the future. Today when Courtney and I interviewed each other, we found out how difficult it is sometimes to be professional while being recorded.

When Courtney first began interviewing me, the first two recordings that we have were just laughter. It doesn’t quite help that both of us have a very large sense of humor. Once we got into our roles, though, it became much easier to take the assignment seriously. However, neither of us were able to look each other in the eye because we would start laughing.

Besides the laughter, though, the recorder did not bother me very much during her interviewing or mine. It was fairly easy to pretend like it was not there and just talk to Courtney.

The main thing I learned from this assignment was to not cover your mouth at all when you are speaking. I found myself doing this occasionally while Courtney interviewed me and on the recording my voice is a lot quieter when I did this.

For the most part, I enjoyed the entire experience. We had a good time and we learned a little bit about each other. The only thing I did not enjoy was holding in my laughter since my sense of humor is such a big part of who I am. I just knew the laughter would probably be a little distracting on audio.

The only thing that could have gone a little smoother is my last question that I asked Courtney. After listening to it again I think it sounds just fine but she felt like she could have phrased things differently which is probably true but I didn’t want to lose the emotion she portrayed on the previous question.

Unedited Interview by Adrienne Morency

Audio Editing Practice

•October 20, 2010 • Leave a Comment

As a way of getting a little more familiar with audio and cutting and editing audio, my online journalism professor thought it would be best for us to count to ten in a random order and then have to put them in correct order using the program audacity. I had to record myself counting three different times because the first two times there were a few blips when I could not be heard. Finally the third time worked fairly well. When I say two it is hard to hear but it is there and other than that my numbers are pretty loud and clear.

This was my first time using sound editing so it was pretty fun to mess around with audacity. Like I said I had a few issues with my recorder but that was a learning process for me as well and I managed to get through it so I think I’ll be okay. Doing this assignment was a good introduction to audio and editing for future assignments that will include actual speaking that I will have to edit.

My teacher obviously felt like this would be a good introduction assignment as well. Soon each of us will be assigned a project where the amount of audio and editing will be a lot more so this brief project was a good introduction. I now feel like I will be able to do our next assignments with a little more confidence and I will actually know what I am doing.

The main thing I learned during this assignment though is that there is a certain distance that the recorder should be away from the person speaking. I’m pretty sure that is what my issue was with the recorder the first couple of times. Next time I will  be able to skip over the first couple of times and skip right to doing it correctly.

Counting original by Adrienne Morency

Counting edited by Adrienne Morency

Ambient Noise

•October 19, 2010 • 1 Comment

For the past couple of days I have playing around with an audio recorder to see if I could collect ambient noises. I found numerous sounds in my own apartment as well as outside and in some of my classes. To give you a little taste of what I have collected I have added six different sounds to my blog for you to enjoy!

Squeaky Door by Adrienne Morency

This audio is one that I took as I was coming home one night. Our outside door at our apartment is extremely squeaky so I thought it would make for a good piece of audio. This kind of noise would be good for a story about burglary. Or perhaps with a story about door repair!

Coins by Adrienne Morency

As a college student having quarters for laundry is a very important thing. This is the sound of all the quarters I have sitting in my room. This kind of audio would be great for a story about how much laundry costs. It would also be good with any kind of money story which is a really popular topic due to the economy.

Zipper by Adrienne Morency

This very strange sound is of the zipper on my backpack. I have been borrowing my backpack from my roommate for this semester and there about six different sections of the backpack. I would say that this audio would be good for a story about back to school or an ad for tents.

Heater by Adrienne Morency

Just a few days ago my roommate and I decided it was time to turn on our heater so right now this sound is almost always present in our apartment, especially on cold days. I would use this audio for exactly what I just talked about, discussion about cold, winter days.

Shower by Adrienne Morency

This audio is a mixture of the shower running and the bathroom fan at my apartment. This audio would be good for a story about water conservation or the prices of water.

Keyboard by Adrienne Morency

My final sound is one of a very busy student during a typing class at the University of Wyoming. We were told to work on our own projects so this student was busy doing her work. This sound would be great for a back to school story or about computers and how prevalent they are in our society.

Audio Stories

•October 15, 2010 • 1 Comment

Recently audio has become more and more prevalent in the journalism world. In order to familiarize myself with different techniques and styles I chose three different stories that I was drawn to.

The first story I picked was one from the New York Times project One in Eight Million. The specific story I chose was titled The Walking Miracle. This specific story was about a woman who was diagnosed with blood clots all throughout her stomach. Doctors told her that if she were to go through surgery her chance of not making it would be 99%. However, if she did not go through surgery, the outcome would be the same. The woman chose to go through the surgery and she managed to survive. She became that 1%.

I really enjoyed this story. Although the audio only consisted of the woman speaking of her experiences, I felt like this was stronger than if the journalist’s voice or questions were recorded as well. Even though the journalist was not recorded, I feel like their editing was very well done. The questions asked and the quotations included were all very good. The emotion came through strongly through the woman because her experience was so intense which made me feel the emotion. Because of the topic of the story I think the journalist did a very good job with how they went about reporting. I would not want them to change one thing.

The second story that I listened to was from NPR news. The story is called We Bought Gold and it is all about these two guys who see how far their $449.06 would take them. It turned out, they were able to buy a piece of gold no bigger than a nickel. The mission of buying this gold was to find out from retails and other people why gold costs so much. Basically they came to the conclusion that it is because of the value that it has always had. Plus, it is a form of currency which everyone wants to be a part of.

I enjoyed this story quite a bit as well because the topic of gold is fairly interesting to me. I was absorbed in the story because it interested me. However, I do wish I was able to watch the men as they went to the Diamond Industry so I could see their faces when they saw how much some gold would cost. Besides this, the story was well done. I liked how ambient noise was included in the background so the listener felt more like they were right there alongside the two men performing the experiment.

For my final story, I returned back to the New York Times to take a look at another One in Eight Million Story. This time I reviewed The Uncertain Gang Member. I was attracted to this story because I have always been frightened of gangs. After listening to this young mans story, I know that not all gang members are dangerous. After being arrested, the gang member decided he was going to stay clear of drugs and other trouble although he did not drop out of the gang.

I really enjoyed this story as well. The emotion the man spoke of when he talked about graduating high school despite the outlook everyone had on him gave me chills. It made me feel like anything is possible. Yet again I liked that the journalist’s voice was not included in the story. The pictures for this story were also very good. They cut right to the emotion.