Week 8 & 9: Activity 3-4-5-6

Activity 3 

For this activity, I used my cellphone and recorded the sound of me walking on snow. Although the outcome is not comparable with the one carried out by professional equipment, I still enjoy the “crunchy” sounds.  I used Audacity to convert the WAV file to an MP3 file.


Activity 4

I choose to edit the audio resource found for activity 2: French Self-Taught by Librivox. I followed the provided instruction:

  1. Import it into Audacity.
  2. Look at the waveform and decide if there is a need to remove any DC offset. I noticed that half of the waveform is not centered due to the reason that the volume of the French speech is lower than the English one, so I tried to use Normalize to fix it. But it just amplified both volumes, which made no significant difference to the whole soundtrack. I guess it might need more advanced tools or solutions for this issue.
  3. Create a 10-second clip. The tutorial introduced many tips for editing a selection of the audio. Basically, the principle is to zoom in until you can the detail of the waveform in order to select the period you need. I selected 10 seconds of the original audio and added the fade-out effect at the end of the clips.
  4. After making sure there is no unwanted audio at the beginning and end of the selection, I exported the selected clip to an MP3 file.


Activity 5

I chose to use the “Oral Book Reports” (Unidentified & Meyers, 1967/1968) for this activity to try the Noise Reduction effect.


Activity 6

I used a part of my previous assignment as the script to record an educational incident story that is suitable for educational distribution. The equipment used for recording is my MacBook with iPhone earphones. The background music is from Free Music Archive, allowing for sharing and editing.

I followed the Audacity tutorial of Mixing a Narration with Background Music. The following steps are considered necessary for me:

1. Edit my recording.

I need first to edit my recording to reduce the noise and cut them into several clips to have the waveforms marked for where I would like to add background music. I found the noise reduction effect is powerful as it made my recording sound more like those recorded by professional microphones.

2. Prepare for the music clips.

Since I don’t want to have background music for my whole recording, I picked out some phrase as intro, outro, and break. The essential steps are to add fade in and fade out effect between audio and music, which is pretty intuitive. The purpose is to make them sound in harmony rather than appearing out of a sudden.

3. Combine the clips and export.

After all the work is done, I saved the project and rendered it as a new clip for a final check before exporting.

The tutorial is straightforward, and the Audacity is handy audio editing software. With better recording equipment, I could start creating my own podcast.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi Junxiang,

    Your first recording reminds me of how sound effects professionals used to note that in many applications (like the live stage) the real sound doesn’t sound real. I can hear one type of snow in your recording (I lived on a ski hill for two years so I’m familiar with the snow spectrum). I know a couple of people who keep a good microphone with their smartphone as they often stop to collect sounds back when they walked around the city day to day.

    The clip you edited is nice and clean. As the French and English comes one after another you could amplify the French by selecting that portion of the waveform and then applying the amplify filter. It’s not very out of scale though.

    Your final edited audio is very good. Your voice recording stands on its own well. You might get some lower range with a good microphone. I got an AudioTechnica mic that’s at the bottom of professional or top of hobby level. It works really well (I haven’t had to do noise reduction on it yet).

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