After thoughts and learnings…
I did an AudioBoo with Carrie Walton when we arrived at Cybher but admit that nerves got the better of me and I didn’t do any more throughout the day. I so should have! Time was limited but I could have snuck a few in and that’s totally down to confidence in interviewing for live audio. I need to shake off the print mentality that no one need ever know if I ask a stupid question. You’re kind of exposed on live audio!
In terms of learning though, I’ve picked up some useful tips for recording audio thanks to the session by the girls (and very clever audio bloggers) from The High Tea Cast. They advised that using Skype to record interviews works really well but that Call Recorder (what I chose to use) isn’t very good. My audio has come out a tad tinny so is there a better option?
Yes, say the HTC girls. Recordng Skype interviews via Quicktime works a treat they say, so I need to try it. Having said that though, I wasn’t terribly disappointed with the audio quality (low standards perhaps!?) but having just read this post and checked my own Call Recorder settings, I’ve discovered my audio quality was set to medium not high. Doh!
With four interviews down, I have just one to go. Peggy Poyser, a mummy blogger, is next on my list. Looking forward to our Skype chat next week.
Interviewing and editing (and what to do about snoring dogs)
Editing audio - especially when the interview’s an hour long and you need to squeeze it into 10 minutes - requires a ruthlessness I struggle with. Especially when I’ve really enjoyed listening to the people I’ve interviewed.
I’m currently editing my chat with Violet Fenn of The Skull Illusion in which we chat about personal interests we have in common. And it’s easy to chop those bits out as they’re not so relevant to my project. I’m also having to edit out her snoring dog (very cute!) who insisted on monitoring our session until we bored him and he nodded off.
So I’m having t be strict. First I’ve made notes of “killer quotes” which really stand out. And then I’ve ditched anything that’s not clear, too long, or slightly off topic. That leaves me with the rest to listen over, edit into shorter, themed clips and label so I know what each clip is about. This, in theory, should reduce my interview by at least two thirds and then I can go bout ordering the clips, chopping and swapping things, and seeing how I get on.
And I’ve learned patience. When I first started editing audio I was lazy, wanted it done quickly and produced pretty naff stuff. Last weekend it took me six hours to turn my 40-minute interview with Carrie Walton into a 10-minute podcast. But it was fun and the end result (which still needs polishing) is much better than anything I’d have produced before.
So what I’m trying to say is editing is hard, but fun. And I’m learning as I go - the best way!
Also, I thought my Skype intervews would be lacking because they’re not as personal as face to face chats. But it’s actually turned out better that way; these interviews had more focus, didn’t last as long and were less about chatting and more about interviewing. So from a time saving point of view - not just because of travel - Skype interviews work really well.
Just used this to record a Skype convo. Seems to work a treat and it cleverly saves it as a .mov file in a folder on my desktop and namesit according to the person I’ve been Skyping with. Pretty efficient, huh? And an excellent solution to the problem of interviewing - for audio - people who lives bloomin’ miles away.
My second interviewee - The Open University’s resident student blogger Carrie Walton. We’ll be Skyping tonight :0)
This is what I’ll be using to tackle the distance between me and some of my interviewees. I tried it on on my husband and the audio recorder is pretty good, so this will do nicely for my podcast interviews and while it’s cost me $20 to install the software, using Skype is free and easy for the good folk I’ll be chatting to.