So we had a student with Momenta who is totally new to multimedia and just bought an Edirol R-09 with no idea how to use it. I sent him these tips on how to use Audacity and Soundslides which is the best budget friendly option for exploring multimedia before making the investment into Final Cut. This of course is more for hobbyists and not something that pros use, I realize. However, I figured I’d share the tips here too. Enjoy! – Jamie
Audacity, Soundslides & Multimedia Basics
Soundslides and Audacity, as I said during the workshop, are really dumb simple easy and very intuitive. They are the baby steps to getting familiar with these concepts before graduating to Final Cut. But I believe you have to learn to crawl before you walk and these two programs help you do that.
First, you’ll need the programs. Second, you’ll need to download your audio and hopefully have it logged and ready to go based on our Audio Tips in the Momenta Student Handbook. Sit down at your computer with an audio track (interview, music, doesn’t matter) of approximately 1-2 minutes long. Have a folder of images (20 total) ready to go as well in jpeg format. Now let’s get started….
First, let’s start with basic multimedia understanding.
As you start working in multimedia, you need to switch your brain around from just being visual to starting to see and hear in the field. You also need to start thinking like a producer. Think NPR meets MediaStorm. So let’s take a look at some sites that will help with that:
http://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/archive/res_audioequip.htm (a basic understanding of all the types of gear you’ll need)
Next, let’s move to Audacity and audio recording.
Below are some of the following tutorials offered by the makers of Audacity:
Those are fine but rather bookish and less “hands on” for my taste. However, there are also these good video series which will help you gain a great understanding of the basic of audio manipulation. The audible marketing is primarily for podcasters but I think this will be good for you since you’re mainly working with audio interviews and not doing musical tracks manipulation as such. However, I including mixing audio tracks in these links just for the hell of it for you.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvVk-E5R0r8&feature=related (this guy sounds like Ben Stein but the training is good…)
In order to download MP3s from Audacity, you quickly need to download a Lame converter. Here’s why and where to download it:
Now that you’ve started to understand audio manipulation and have a manipulated, renamed audio track, let’s move onto Soundslides Tutorials.
You’ve got the images, you’ve got the audio track ready to go and saved as an MP3. Let’s start a slideshow with audio in Soundslides. These two should help you figure out how to do this very easily and quickly. Like I said: it’s totally intuitive and really simple:
This one is strictly for Mac and discusses Audacity and Soundslides together which might be helpful for you as well:
If you want bare bones just look at this for a reminder:
Now you’re set! You can upload a slideshow to the internet, send it friends, put it on your blog or just simply show your friends and family. There’s lots of other tutorials but these are pretty much all you should need to get started and go out and create more of the same!
Finally, educational opportunities you can explore to make yourself an expert with this technology and start to explore Final Cut Pro:
One way to truly emerse yourself in much more advanced storytelling with multimedia is to attend the NPPA convergence event where the best of the best teach audio and multimedia. This is a great way to find and network with multimedia professionals and also to get in touch with people who publish and produce good work. If you’ve followed these tutorials and started trying this out yourself by the time Convergence rolls around, you’ll be a perfect student for their workshops. Just something to think about for the future….
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