When I began thinking about this assignment I hadn’t read the class website so I didn’t realize that our topic was supposed to relate to the Bonk book. I am very focused on the visual so thinking about removing that element and focusing on just sound is a new way of thinking for me. I had the idea of going out in the field and recording bird calls and songs and then breaking them down so that others might be able to recognize birds by their calls. I began looking around to see what species were still around so that I could concentrate on those. I had the idea of getting a couple of friends who are good at recognizing birds by their call or song to go out with me and do a “Richard Nelson” style podcast of verbalizing the natural world around me. When I realized we had a more directed assignment I was disappointed that this other idea would have to be put on hold and also relieved that the topic would be easier!
A two-minute podcast….how hard could that be! I asked my spouse, who is an accomplished documentary producer, how many words can you fit in two minutes. He told me that if you talked really fast maybe about 60 a minute. If you want the conversation to be more natural then less words. I had just written the text for the third podcast and it was about 600 words.
So a two-minute podcast requires concise thought about what to include to get the message across but still be engaging and entertaining. This would be a great lesson for students for a presentation style assessment.
I’ve done audio editing before so that part of the process was familiar. I had not added multiple tracks (for the music) so that was new to me and clearly will take more practice. I used Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/) for the recording and editing. It is free and is pretty straight forward. There are a lot of tools and features but you don’t have to use them. If you are using a MAC and want to export to .mp3 you also need to download the LAME MP3 encoder (http://lame3.buanzo.com.ar/Lame_Library_v3.98.2_for_Audacity_on_OSX.dmg) (Lame, yeah, I thought it was lame too!). When I was recording I didn’t stop the once I started with when I made a mistake–I just started the sentence or phrase over again without worrying about pausing or redoing sections. I think for the first podcast my recording was about 5 minutes with all the start-overs and mistakes. This process got better for me as I went along.
I decided to upload my podcasts to soundcloud.com. I really like the embed player. If you have a pro account (which I don’t have for my personal use) you get some added features, one of which is that you can add text comments as seen in this image.
So here are my podcasts:
(Note: I reference heidi.com in my podcasts as a way to get more information. I don’t really own this site so you won’t find more of my information here. The site is for Swiss clothing company.
Podcast 1 on Bonk Chapter 3
Podcast 2 on Bonk Chapter 4
Podcast 3 on Bonk Chapter 5