Audio Notes

IMPORTANT: When you edit audio in our labs, you must NEVER save the audio file to the L: drive (the network) until after it is totally complete and finished.

Also, NEVER save the file to the Desktop (the Desktop also communicates with the network in these labs).

Instead, you MUST make a new folder either in the SCRATCH D: drive, or on your USB thumb drive, and work with the file THERE. If you fail to follow these instructions, the editing of the audio files is likely to crash the entire lab network for the college.

You will lose all your work when this happens.

NOTE: See Journalists' Toolkit: Audio for Audacity handouts you can print and use.

Editing Audio

Below are three screen captures from Sound Forge Studio, an audio editing program. Compare these to understand more about how audio files are edited for journalistic purposes. The audio file shown is the one used on the example page for Project 1.

Above: The original file (WAV format) was 2 minutes 53 seconds long.

Above: After a rough edit, the file was 2 minutes 32 seconds. Some long pauses were shortened and some "ums" and "ers" were deleted. Also, cue markers were placed and named on the good bits. This made it easy to select and delete the in-between bits. (In Adobe Audition, you add a cue marker by right-clicking on the playhead; then select "Insert in Cue List" from the pop-up menu. You can rename any cue marker; just open the Cue List. It's on the Window menu in Audition.)

Above: The final edit (still in the WAV format) was 1 minute 29.675 seconds.

Above: The final step is to resave the file in the MP3 format. Notice the difference in the file sizes. This affects how fast the audio will download for the online users.

It took me almost 1 hour to edit this audio file. (I don't edit audio very often, so I am by no means quick at it.)

Recording and File Settings

This audio file was recorded on a Windows computer with a very cheap PC microphone. Settings for the recording were 22.05 kHz, 16 bit, mono (WAV format). These settings were not changed when the file was resaved as an MP3.