This week, we have been turning away from video skills and moved towards practicing our audio skills. This will play a massive role in our second final project as a third of it will be the 2 minute radio piece and we needed to realize that any elements that could spoil the quality of the audio can make the whole piece sound inadequate and unprofessional. Such elements include: background noises, weather noises, how close or far the microphone is from the person’s mouth and even the positioning of the microphone.
The instructions we were given meant we had to choose three locations- a quiet, loud and an outside location and record a 10 second piece of audio describing that location. We were also given the zoom microphones in which we recorded our audio in and set off to our desired locations for recording. The zoom microphones we used were pretty self-explanatory because we had used the same make before but this was the first time we used these specific ones. We were also told that if we plugged our earphones into the microphones, we would be able to hear what we were recording. This was immediately a solved problem because we could hear how strong the background noises were in advance so that we wouldn’t be wasting time or microphone battery with repeatedly poor audio.
The fact that we decided to approach this task in small groups also related to our problem solving skills which we knew would need to be used at some point; for example, we all had to decide between a quite, loud and outside location. We decided to head into the main city to try and capture some of the outside/loud audio. However, some of the most obvious problems we faced included the traffic, wind and other people passing by. We all deliberately decided to carry out our load and/or outside audio recording here but, to overcome the problem, I faced away from the traffic and buses and raised my voice slightly more but not so much that the quality became poor or that the volume was too overwhelming. Another problem I faced was with he microphone itself because I had never used the style I used before and the audio-capturing parts to it were both at different angles. This meant that I had to experiment with positioning it in a way that would capture my voice and as little of the background noises as possible- which did work! However, it did mean that I couldn’t properly see how long I was recording for whilst actually recording, so it meant that by the end I had ended up with audio 7 seconds short at only 23 seconds. But this made me realize that next time I’m using these microphones, I will position them in a way where I can still receive good quality audio at the end but still within the time duration too.
Apart from this skill playing a massive part in my second final project, this undoubtedly plays a huge role in the industry within areas such as radio reporting, news reporting and even journalism. Many people don’t consider journalists to have this skill but when it comes to researching their topic, they have to have it at hand for vox pop interviews and face-to-face interviews. They will even used their vox pops and own recordings for putting together reports that appear on the radio and even on TV.
Below are the audio recordings I took today. There are three of them in total totaling around 23 seconds. The first one is the quiet one, the second is the loud one and the third is the outside one.
Overall, in comparison with existing professional examples, I’d say that I haven’t done a bad job at all mainly because of the quality of the outcomes- which has been very positive considering the circumstances we were under. This was down to our problem-solving skills which clearly worked and as a result, we came out with very clear and good levels of audio without too much disturbance from the environment(s) and with my voice not being too loud, quite or scratchy in any of them. This is vital when it comes to professional works in industry because otherwise, the whole project will look of a poor and shabby quality just because of the audio levels- not to mention that the audience won’t be able to hear what is being said which will ruin the whole piece.