In-class audio exercise

In class audio recording and editing exercise. Worth 10 quiz points.


1. Get a partner. Go to a quiet place.

2. Turn on your recorder. Figure out how it works. Record. Stop. Play.

3. Test it. Record 30 seconds of room tone. Then play it back and listen to it. Note the sounds you hear. If they are too loud, find a quieter place.

4. Take turns interviewing each other.

Ask the following questions:

  • What is your name and where did you grow up?
  • Tell me about your hometown. What is it like?
  • Tell me specific memory or story that sums up what this place is like?
  • If you were going to take me to one place in your town, where would we go?
  • Do you consider it a good place to grow up? Why or why not?
  • Do you see yourself living there in the future? Why or why not?

5. Repeat the interview with the other person.

6. Come back to the room. Get your two audio file to your computer. If you are using a cell phone, email it to yourself. Then save them to your desktop. If you are using a digital recorder, plug in your USB and find the files. Drag them to your desktop. Save them there. We will edit them next class.


1. If you are new to Audacity, take 5 to 10 minutes and teach yourself the basic techniques of sound editing.

2. Import your interview file.

File > Import > Audio

Optional: If your file will not import into Audacity, you may have to convert it.

Convert your files using Switch
Open Switch. (Go>Applications>Switch)
• Drag your files into the workspace.
• Set the output to .wav
• Check the box marked “Output to the same folder as source files.”
• Click “Convert” button.
• Look on your desktop. You now have duplicates of all of your files, but it will say .wav at the end. These are the files you want to use.

3. Listen to your audio interview. Listen for the best soundbites. Try to find the following:

    • Exposition – the person says who she is, where she’s from, and a bit about the place she grew up.
    • Anecdote – the person tells a brief story or memory about their hometown.
    • Moment of Reflection – the person explains the “why” of their anecdote. Why they liked or didn’t like growing up there. Why they do or don’t want to return.

4. Using techniques like selecting, splitting, deleting, duplicating and moving, edit your interview to approximately 45 to 60 seconds. Cut out any questions or sounds of interviewer’s voice.

5. When you are done, create a second track and import your room tone audio. Duplicate and edit until it is the same length as you interview.

6. Adjust the volume of the room tone so it fills in the gaps in your edit, but sounds natural.

7. When it sounds good, create an .mp3 of your file.

8. When you are done, flag me down and I’ll come listen to it. It’s worth 10 quiz points.

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