Over the past week I was instructed to carry around an audio recording device (in my case, an iPhone 4) and record ambient noises. Below are six of the sounds I recorded.
The first ambient noise I recorded was traffic driving past me as I walked down Grand Avenue in Laramie. This kind of ambient noise might be used in audio journalism stories about car accidents or a stretch of highway. It might also be used as a transition where traveling in a car is involved.
The second ambient noise in this set is a shower turning on and running. I recorded this in Crane Hall, the dorm hall where I live. This sound might be used in an audio story about morning activities, hygiene, or anything to do with changes in water supply or the water system.
The third sound was taken while I was standing in line at a Walmart check out. Though this sound was recorded at a Walmart, the ambient noise could be used in almost any story that involves a large store, to set the scene or to introduce a story about holiday season shopping.
The next sound was taken in a classroom, a few minutes before class started. The sound mostly consists of mumbled voices, and only a few words can be picked out. This kind of sound might be used in a story about High School students and changing standards or problems with attendance or graduation rates.
Ambient noise number five is a recording of me brushing my teeth in the bathroom at Crane Hall. This is another sound that could be used in a story about morning hygiene, or more specifically in a story about dental health or the profile of a dentist.
The final ambient noise is the sound of my car starting. At the end of the recording the car is going into gear. I recorded this sound in a parking lot. This ambient noise might be used in an audio story about cars and the damage they do to the environment, or in a story about car trips during the summer.
Preparing myself for audio journalism, the second part of the assignment served as an introduction to audio editing. I was assigned to familiarize myself with the free audio editing program Audacity. For this assignment I recorded myself counting to ten completely out of order, and then used the program to reorder the recording so that it is in order. Both recordings are playable below.
This was my first experience with audio editing. While I have recorded brief things before, I have never used any kind of program to edit that recording. I did mess around a little with Apple’s GarageBand in high school.
That being said, I was certain I would be able to figure out the program with a little practice, and I am not the least bit afraid of editing or audio journalism in general. I like the idea of recording my own voice, and except for some small issues with the recording device I didn’t have any problems completing this assignment. When I recorded myself counting to ten, I did my best to leave space between each number and to include those realistic pauses in the edit. The biggest issue was that I let myself drop the pitch on the number nine (the last number I said out of order) which does not sound all that natural in the reordered recording.
Thanks for reading,