FIT Halloween Special - Some Thoughts On The Audio Editing Experience

The AztecMedia.net's TechNewsRadio show is part of the great FriendsInTech (FIT) group.  We have been doing special Christmas and Halloween productions since 2005.

The latest one is called "It's the Great Server Chuck and Kreg" and it was posted on 10/24/07.  It is family safe and only about 12 minutes long.

This year I volunteered to be part of the post production and helped with the mix down of scenes into the final version with Kevin Devin.

I learned some great lessons:

  1. Work with the best people possible. The FIT team is giving, helpful, encouraging, insightful, and very talented. It makes the project very enjoyable and you'll have fun doing it.
  2. I did all my editing of my parts (the outside scenes) in Audacity.  I didn't have any major problems or issues other than at times the scenes mix downs were very complicated with 24+ individual segments.  I ended up in situations like this to do 3 intermediate mixes with each one having ~8 individual segments.
  3. Having a vast special effects (SFX) library of audio is very helpful. Using sites like freesound is good, but some of the royalty free material other FIT members had was very impressive.
  4. When recording lines in a remote situation take at least three takes for each line.
  5. It really helps if you can do your remote lines recording with another person saying the other lines around your lines.
  6. Use a wiki to develop the first drafts of the script, but then migrate to a script writing tool for final production.
  7. Scripts file names and titles within the document should have version numbers or clear dates on them so you know what you have is the most current one.
  8. Tools like BIAS SoundSoap2 for cleaning up audio are pretty important if someone makes their recordings in a noisy environment.
  9. All the spoken word parts of a production should be processed with the same RMS settings.  We also ended up running them in bulk through The Conversations Network's Levelator.
  10. Using MP2 files for distribution during post production is very efficient and doesn't diminish quality.

New Media News Update - Podcast.com, Elgato, Amazon MP3, Gmail, Bias, Sound Ideas, Magazine

There seems to be a lot of stuff going on, so I thought I'd do a quick list of things I'm tracking:

  1. Treedia Labs has started a beta of Podcast.com.
  2. Quick review at Gizmodo on the Elgato Turbo.264 Hardware H.264 Encoder.
  3. Amazon MP3 has DRM free music for purchase.
  4. Lifehacker on Gmail Mobile 1.5.
  5. Bias has released Peak Pro XT audio production suite which includes SoundSoap Pro and Master Perfection Suite.
  6. Sound Ideas has released a new version of their Podcasting Production Toolkit 2 with over 500 audio elements, music, and sound effects.
  7. The October 2007 edition of Blogger & Podcaster magazine is out.

I think #1 is important because if the domain becomes a popular user site then it will be a great site to promote material.

I am interested in #2 because it could save time in post production for any video podcasts.

#3 is cool because I hate DRM solutions for most of new media.

I think #4 should be tracked to see what effect the new version has on consumption of new media products as they move from the web to email.  What does your content look like from RSS reader to a forwarded email that ends up on Gmail mobile?  Could you make it better?

I added #5 because not everyone is happy with Audacity.  Here is an option that might fit your style better.

The pointer to #6 is because you might want some new sounds in your library.

And you should check out #7 because it is full of great information.


PNME 2007 - Audacity Presentation In QuickTime Format

Thanks to fellow Friends In Tech member Kevin Devin I have posted my Getting Started With Audacity Presentation in QuickTime format (126-MBs) from the Podcast and New Media Expo (PNME) 2007. This is the output form Apple's Keynote with the embedded screencasts that I presented during the session. 

There is no audio yet of the actual session so you will not get to hear in the movie what I said during the screencasts or slides right now.  If you are a conference attendee you should have gotten an email with details on how to get the audio.  If you weren't a conference attendee then my recommendation is that you subscribe to the Gigavox Media's Podcast Academy channel.  It should be released over the next 6-8 months.  I will link to it when it does come out. 

More information in general (including PDF slides) about the presenation has been posted here.


PNME 2007 - Getting Started With Audacity Slides

The Podcast & New Media Expo (PNME) 2007 slides from the "Getting Started With Audacity" session have been posted. 

Some notes:

  • These slides are a PDF output from Apple's Keynote. 
  • There is a QuickTime movie version of the presentation that will be posted soon but it will not have the audio recorded during the presentation sync'd in.  The movie version has all the screen casts used during the presentation.
  • The audio for the presentation is still under the control of PNME. If you were a conference attendee then you should get a link to the audio as part of your conference fee. Ultimately the audio for all the sessions will get posted over the next 8-9 months to Gigavox Media's Podcast Academy channel.
  • Sometime in the future, complete screen casts of each topic will be produced and posted.
  • More information on the PNME Forums and previous AztecMedia.net post.

Feedback, comments, suggestions, etc. appreciated: [email protected].


New Media Expo 2007 - Getting Started With Audacity Session

I will be at the New Media Expo 2007 this weekend (Sept. 27-30).  I am giving a presentation on 'Getting Started With Audacity' in the Podcaster 101 track:

Session 8 - 3:15pm to 4:15pm
Ballroom B
Saturday, Sept. 30, 2007
http://www.newmediaexpo.com/saturday2007.htm#Audacity

If folks are bringing their laptops to the session, then it is highly recommend that the come with Audacity pre-loaded ... http://audacity.sourceforge.net. I also have upload some demo audio files in zip format that I will be using if folks are interested in working hands-on with the same material: http://www.newmediaexpo.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1634.

If you'd like to meet-up at the Expo please drop me an email or post a message to me on Twitter.


New Apple iPods = Lower MP3 Player Costs

The new recently announced Apple iPods have apparently caused some pretty standard price reductions on a variety of MP3 players from several vendors.

For instance, the advertised price at many stores in the US for the 30-GB Microsoft Zune Digital Media Player is now $199.99.  And the San Disk 8-GB Sansa e280R MP3 player is now coming in as low as $129.99.

The new iPods are definitely pretty feature rich and will have a premium price for a while.

The marketplace continues to be dominated by Apple, and that will probably not change anytime in the near future even with the price drop/rebate that Apple is doing with the iPhone.


Great Media Conversion Tool Gets Upgrade - Sound Grinder 3.0.1

If you use a Macintosh for your audio and video production work flow, and need a straight forward tool to do file conversions, then I suggest checking out Monkey-Tools Sound Grinder 3.0.1.

The new version has some pretty compelling features, and it is a very inexpensive tool ($39) for converting WAV or AIFF files to MP3s with RMS leveling.


Pointers To New Wi-Fi Media Players

PC World for April 2007 had a round down of some current and near-future WI-FI enabled media players that competes with the Music Gremlin that I thought was interesting to note:

The article also noted that Microsoft Zune has limited Wi-Fi features that could be opened up for more functionality.


Tech Watch: Seagate DAVE

Seagate's Digital Audio and Video Experience (DAVE) looks like an interesting mobile media player  on paper.  You can get see a video demo over at Gizmodo.

Core features: wirelessly share media via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi; storage up to 20-GBs; form factor of 3.5-by-4.7-by-0.5-inches; and an estimated cost of $150.