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!
My content will sit on a Wordpress site but my audio will need to live somewhere else as Wordpress cannot host. So, AudioBoo is an option (and may well sneak in) but my podcasts will sit on SoundCloud. From here I’m able to add an image, description, tags and links and customise the audio player (pink bits to match the girly pinkness of my site) before adding to my website. I’ve also been able to make the audio private and only accessible to me and my interviewees so they can have a listen before I go live with it. Handy!
If you’re as paranoid as I am about losing audio clips before, during and after editing, you’ll have one of these. I also save files on my desktop and Dropbox, just to be sure. Over cautious? Possibly. But better to be safe than sorry.
I’ve been dipping into tutorials like these of late. After tinkering with Audacity I’ve decided I’ll use Final Cut Express to edit my podcasts. This is for a few reasons - 1) I’m not in love with Audacity. 2) I have (very) basic knowledge of Final Cut already and use it on an ad hoc basis at work and if I am ever to become proficient in it, I’ll need to get on and use it regularly. 3) You can edit audio and video with Final Cut so if/when I need to edit videos I’ll be equipped with the right software to do it.
The best thing about my time working in newspapers is that interviewing was easy. You can have a semi-formal conversation and turn it into a great story for your publication. Interviewing for podcast (or video) is harder because without the question, the answer doesn’t always make sense. And I don’t want to include voiceovers in my podcasts, I want it to be all about the bloggers.
I’m trying to get my interviewees to include my question in their answer but after half an hour - my interviews have been lasting an hour so far - they’ve forgotten and the conversation has turned into just that, a conversation rather than a formal interview. I prefer it that way, and so do they, it’s more fun just chatting about your experiences, I think, but this may well hinder my podcasts. We’ll see.
This is the story of my latest MA in Online Journalism assignment at Birmingham City University. I'll be talking to women bloggers about how the blogosphere has impacted their lives and why they're celebrating that success by attending Cybher - the first all-inclusive conference for female bloggers in the UK.