Audio & Visual Workbook – Week 1

We started our introduction to broadcast module this week, which focusses on audio and visual. The first week was based around audio tasks and on the first day LJ showed us some podcasts that utilised different types of audio throughout. One example of these podcasts was ‘S Town’ which had lots of ambient sounds from real life, audio on the phone, a voiceover, descriptions and the guest talking in real life. One thing I realised was that the podcast was much more descriptive than a lot of visual packages I watch, due to the fact you cannot see what is going on. Every detail was magnified and all of the sounds were used to convey a certain message. Before LJ’s session ended we also had to get audio clips of ambient sounds from around our houses to use in our afternoon sessions with Matt throughout the week.

On Monday I had my afternoon session with Matt, to introduce me to the basics of Adobe Audition. I have used Adobe programmes before but never Audition, so I was excited to get used to it. I was in the process of switching laptops at this point so I was given a uni laptop to learn the basics. I felt comfortable with importing my audio clips and editing them together (I will link my finished piece on day 3, but here are some photos)

Here is the merging of all of the audio clips in multitrack that I recorded to make my COVID piece on day 3 (don’t have my ambient sounds clips since it was on a uni computer but it was the same technique).
Before you enter multitrack which is shown in the screenshot above you can use waveform to edit individual tracks.

however I had to learn a lot about how to export and also the standards of the audio. You need consistent audio, -12 is industry standard. The sample rate  is 44.1k for radio 48k industry standard for broadcast and this can change in music and film due to the production values being higher. Mono means one thing whereas stereo means individually controlling multiple tracks. Matt also showed me a website called bensound, where you can get non copyright music for projects. Finally before finishing my first day in this module I exported my project like this: file – export – MultiTrack mix down – entire session – wav form – save project file and the exported thing itself -open in iTunes from there.

On Tuesday in our session with LJ we went through fair use and copyright. LJ showed us a video to explain fair use rules, which are important to us because they can be the difference between using other peoples content and not. Essentially, fair use is an exception to copyright laws which isn’t decided by social media platforms like YouTube. The material must already be in the public domain. If you add something new to the work it can vary, adding credit and “no infringement intended” does not protect you. Even if you follow all the correct steps you can still be at risk as ultimately it would come down to the owner of the original content and if they feel you have used their work fairly. The other persons work that features in your work should also be proportionate to the content you make, for example if you had a minute long clip and 45 seconds were the other persons work, can you really call it fair use? Finally and probably the most obvious rule with fair use, you cannot make money from it. As well as learning about fair use, LJ also showed us montages, which are a quick way of establishing a scene or topic without a narrator. It allows the scene to0 unfold in front of us, and can be incredibly powerful when reliving an event. Finally, we learnt how to record audio within Audition so that we can get clips and quotes for our audio pieces. To do it, you use this order: file – new – audio file – name it – mono – ok – hit record – play clip you want recorded – hit stop – file – save as – save as wav in folder you have created. It is incredibly important that you have good sound quality & order your files properly from an admin perspective.

You can hit this button to start recording and get any audio you may need for your piece. Once you are done you hit it again and you can edit it to shorten if you need too.

On Wednesday we went through what certain sounds can do to a listener and what the effect of using them is. It’s important to make audio and video appealing to your audience, the sounds and sound effects need to match the story and tone. Beware of copyright with music / buy license, “royalty free” does not mean you can just use what you want / don’t need to buy. Music should only be used to add atmosphere, punctuate or compliment the story. One example of a great montage and use of sounds to create and effect was in the clip LJ showed us about a bombing in Kabul. The music brings you back to the ‘good’ times and how normal life was before which is relatable for a western audience and then the sirens and explosions juxtapose this, showing the new reality. This along with the voiceover highlights how anything can happen at any given time. As well as this we were introduced to audiograms and how to make them. These are basically audio with an image and other features which show visually to the audience. We used a website called headliner to make our own, and using the tools from audition such as how to record and export I uploaded mine to YouTube.

I did face some issues when exporting but when I changed the destination that the audition file was going too, I resolved these issues and was able to open my audition file in headliner. From there I added the font to evoke the feeling of fear in listeners as it is common in the horror genre. I also added a picture of the COVID-19 virus to provoke feelings of intrigue from a potential audience.