Soundslides Individual Project

For this assignment I created a Soundslides project by myself. This assignment helped me to combine photojournalism and audio while working independently of others.

You can see my individual Soundslides project here.

For this project, I chose the topic of flyball. Flyball is a team sport for dogs. I went to a flyball competition last summer and thought it was interesting, so I thought it would be a fun story.

I found my topic very interesting. I love animals, so doing another project involving animals was fun. Even though I have been to a flyball event, I really knew very little about the sport. Doing this story gave me the opportunity to learn about something new.

I had several difficulties while working on this project. My first difficulty came when interviewing Steve Miller. Steve is very nice and is full of information. The only difficulty came in that he clears his throat very frequently when talking. Sometimes he would clear his throat mid word. This made editing very difficult because I didn’t want the interview to sound too choppy.

While editing the interview with Rebecca Whisler I had a new set of difficulties. The area where we chose to do the interview had a bit of an echo. I did not notice this at the time but it became very evident when editing the audio. There was also some kind of a heater in the area which made some odd noises in the background.

Photography also came with difficulty. The practice I attended to take photos was at the Laramie Plains Civic Center. I had never been in the building before so I did not know how terrible the lighting was. The lights in the gym were very yellow dim.

The lighting made it impossible to go to a stop action shutter speed without limiting the amount of light and turning the photo completely dark. This made getting action shots very difficult. Most of the shots I got were very blurry, and I just had to choose the best photos to make the most of the situation.

If I could have changed anything I would have liked to do this project in the summer. If I could have taken photos outdoors I believe I could have gotten the proper shutter speed on my camera and taken better action photos. I also would have selected a better area to interview Rebecca.

Despite the difficulties of this story, I really enjoyed it. I loved seeing how happy the dogs and people were when playing flyball. The whole experience brought a smile to my face.  Am even thinking of bringing my dog to one of their practices.

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Critique of Soundslides Projects

For this week’s assignment I am critiquing three Soundslides projects from my classmates.

The first story I listened to was from Faryn Babbit, Bailey Gallo, and Alexandria Newman which was titled Jeff and Jahna, Gary and Vi.

One thing I noticed in the beginning of the first interview was that Jahna’s interview seemed to have a bit of an echo. I think the cuts in the audio were pretty good. I think there could have been more time between the two different interviews.

During the second interview I could hear some fidgeting with the recorder. It sounded like the interviewer may have run a thumb over the recorder a few times. There were also times when I could hear the interviewer laughing in the background which took away from the entire effect of the story.

There needed to be some audio noise for this story. Some good places could have been when Jeff mentioned meeting at a wedding there could have been church or wedding bells. Another option for ambient noise could have been when Jeff said Jahna worked as a checker there could have been the sound of the beeps from a check stand in the background.

I think the photos were pretty good, but didn’t necessarily relate to what the people were saying at the time. There could have been family photos when Vi mentioned their children.

The next story I listened to was by Dyann Diercks and Brooke Eades. Their story is titled Wyoming Cowboy Basketball: A Legacy. The first thing I heard was the band and crowd cheering for the team. I felt that this ambient noise was very appropriate. However, it was a little unclear. I think perhaps the audio recorder was too close to the people who were cheering and it interfered with the audio. I think the subtle crowd cheering in the background of the speakers made this project just a little more special.

I think Dyann and Brooke did a great job of editing the audio. Even though they had many different speakers, the piece flowed very well and made sense to me.

I especially liked that the photos related well to what the speakers were saying. I liked that when a new speaker was introduced that there was a photo of that speaker. It helped to introduce the person’s face as well as the voice.

The next story I listened to was made by Tom Hesse and Brad Estes. Their project was titled Wrestling profile.

I think they did a pretty good job with this story. I think most of the cuts were pretty smooth. I thought the ambient noise of the wrestlers sparring was a good touch. I noticed some strange background noise in this audio. I think it was probably noise from the recorder so it was probably unknown during the interview and then very difficult to fix, but it was distracting.

One thing I would have liked to see done differently was the timing of the photos. I enjoyed the photos, but when a specific wrestler was mentioned the caption said it was a different wrestler in the photo. The coach mentioning a particular wrestler and his goals would have been a great place to put a photo of that specific wrestler.

Overall, I felt like this project was very well done.

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Soundslides Group Project

For this week’s assignment I created a project with Soundslides with a partner. The purpose of this assignment was to learn how to combine photojournalism with audio skills. In the coming weeks there will be another Soundslides project which I will complete by myself, so this assignment will also help me with that project.

I enjoyed working with my partner, Nic Behnke. I think Nic was a great person to work with. He is knowledgeable and very helpful with the workload. As a group we decided to do our Soundslides project on the Laramie Animal Shelter.

 We spilt the work fairly evenly. I conducted the interviews and recorded them. Nic was at the interviews to ask any additional questions that I may have overlooked. We then both took photos at the shelter.

I later went back to the shelter to collect ambient noise and noticed there were some different animals than we had previously seen so I took additional photos at that time. Nic edited the audio for the project, and I wrote the captions for the photos.

The photography was difficult at times. Animals are very unpredictable, so the movements were difficult to accommodate in many of the photos.

I found Soundslides quite easy to work with. I know many of our classmates had difficulty in downloading the photos to Soundslides, but Nic and I were lucky to not encounter such a problem. I thought organizing photos was easy and adding captions was made simple.

I think the biggest difficulties I had with this project was finding time to work on the project with a partner. I work full time as well as go to school full time so it is often difficult to find times that work well for me and a partner. This was a slight issue, but Nic was great with finding times we could work together.

 I think if I could change anything I would have worked on audio editing with Nic. That way we could have collaborated on ideas. Because we worked on audio and captions separately, we had to talk via phone and text message as to changes we would make. I think if we had time to work together on the audio it would have been easier and taken less time.

I think I need to think ahead to my individual project. I think the best advice I could give myself is to try to get the work done as soon as possible so I have time to work with Soundslides and make sure my ordering is perfect.

Overall, I think this was a fun assignment and it will help me in the future. It helped me to make the mental link between audio stories and photojournalism.

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Ideas for a Soundslides Project

One idea I have for a soundslides project is a story about the local animal shelter in Laramie. I think this story could be about the pets in the shelter as well as the process of adopting an animal at the shelter. The story could include photos of animals currently at the shelter as well as photos of animals who have found homes through the local shelter.

I think this could be an interesting story because animals always hold the interest of people.

I think one source I could use for this story is the head of animal control here in Laramie. Working at a grocery store, I see him fairly regularly and think he would be a great source for an interview.

I could also interview an employee at the shelter. This could be a paid employee or someone who volunteers to walk and feed the animals.

Another source for the story could be someone who has adopted an animal from this shelter. I could ask this person about the pet and the entire experience.

The next story idea I have for a soundslides project  is on the difficulties of teaching at an elementary school for the first time. I could find out what kind of stuggles are presented by being a first time teacher. I could also get information on what teachers do on a daily basis.

I think this would be an interesting story to many people. I think people who are graduating from college soon may be interested to hear some of the challenges of going into the workforce.

One source I could interview would be my sister. She recently graduated from the University of Wyoming’s Elementary Education Program. I know she has mentioned that the first year of teaching is difficult and that many schools try to help first time teachers during their first year of teaching.

I could also interview a principal of an elementary school about what that school may do to help first time teachers.

Another source I could find would be a teacher who has completed their first year of teaching and can talk about memories from the first year.

I also know a woman who was an elementary teacher for only one year before she quit. She said the job was too stressful for her. She would have an interesting perspective on the topic as well.

The next idea I have for a soundslides project is a story about opening a business in Laramie. This could be about the ups and downs of opening a new business in a college town.

I think this would be interesting to people of this community. I think people in Laramie would like to know what it is like for the new business owners in town.

One place I thought I could go is Mr. Jim’s Pizza in Laramie. The business is expected to open its doors next week. I think the onwer or a manager could have great information for this story.

I could also go to the Front Street Tavern in Laramie. This business has been open just over a year and I think thw owner could have great insight into making a business work in Laramie.

Another Place I could is the new scrapbooking store here in Laramie. I first noticed the business a few weeks ago, and I think it has only been open for a few months. I think a manager, employee, or owner could give me great information for this story.

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Audio Profile Critique

For this week’s assignment I listened to other student’s audio profile posts and critiqued them.

The first audio profile I listened to was Tiffany Le Gal’s interview with Zak Bolender. I thought the story was done very well. The information in the story held my interest well. I think Tiffany did a great job of editing information in an order that makes sense to the listener.

One thing I noticed was that some of the transitions were a little rough. I think that adding more silent space between sentences when the topic is changed would help those transitions sound smoother.

The next audio profile I listened to was Tom Hesse’s interview with Max D’Onofrio. I liked this story as well. It was something I could relate to. If I had the time or the money, I would definitely go on a trip with my friends. I imagine I would have similar feelings about such a trip with the people I care about.

Some of the transitions were a little rough on this story as well. I think a lot of it was background noise that I really didn’t recognize until it stopped because it was cut and something else was added. I think more time in between cuts could have helped this problem, but it may have been noticeable either way.

I also noticed some background noise which I think was caused from fidgeting. This could have been cleaned up, but it would have been difficult to do so.

The last audio profile I listened to was Dyann Diercks’  interview with Brooke Eades. Hearing about this internship was very interesting. I think Dyann chose great information to put in the audio story. I think the information about the drowning held my attention and made me even want to know more.

I think some of the transitions were rough in this profile as well. I also noticed some background noise. The background noise sounded like some sort of hum, perhaps from an electrical source. The background noise was distracting, but it was constant as well. I think it would have been more distracting if it was an inconsistent noise.

I learned quite a bit from this critiquing assignment. I definitely had some difficulty with my audio profile, and I could tell by listening to other people’s profiles that I was not the only one. I think the biggest difficulty was making cuts and transitions seem natural. I think this was the biggest difficulty for others as well, at least it seemed to be for those whose profiles I listened to. This made me feel like others shared in similar frustrations and I was not by myself in them.

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Audio Editing: Not Easy

2 minutes of interview by Tracie Perkins

For this week’s assignment I edited the interview from my last post down to a two minute long audio track. I thought that this editing would be easy, but I was definitely wrong.

I think the most difficult part of editing my longer interview into two minutes was deciding which information was the most important and most interesting. Once I decided on this information, I had to actually begin the editing process.

It was difficult to get the timing down for selecting pieces of audio. I think my biggest difficulty was learning how to use Audacity for more advanced audio editing. The zoom was a big help when audio editing.

The biggest thing I learned from this assignment is that it is not an easy thing to edit audio. I thought it wouldn’t take very long because my original interview was less than seven minutes long. I thought cutting the interview to two minutes would be very easy, but it was hard.

I also learned that organization is important in audio editing. I had a difficult time in deciding how I wanted to organize the audio track.

For the most part I enjoyed the assignment. It tested my patience for sure, but I think it did so in a good way. I think the part I did not enjoy was how tedious audio editing really is. I heard the same phrases from the same person repeatedly. Just hearing the same phrases over and over got frustrating.

The one thing I wish went more smoothly was how Audacity and SoundCloud used my tracks. I’m not sure what went wrong, but after I saved my audio clip, which was working correctly, pieces of the track got deleted. It was only two pieces of the track and only for a few second each, but it definitely increased my time.

Overall I think the assignment was useful though. I think editing an actual interview will help me to be better prepared when I graduate college.

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Five Minutes of Raw Audio

5 min interview-original by Tracie Perkins

For my five minute interview which will later be edited to two minutes, I interviewed my friend, Nathan Kelley, about his love of cooking.

I thought this was a very useful assignment. I have not interviewed anybody while using my audio recorder, so this helped me to know what I might be up against when I do a longer interview.

I was lucky enough to interview Nathan in an area that had very little background noise, so that was not the biggest worry for me. I was mostly worried about my fidgeting. I do tend to move my hands quite a bit, so I was worried about moving and causing the sound to be picked up by my recorder. I also wanted to make sure I maintained eye contact with Nathan. I think the most difficult thing for me was listening to what he was saying while still remembering what my next question is.

I definitely learned a lot from this assignment. I want to make sure I am better aquainted with the location of the buttons on my recorder. I also learned that I should write down my questions when they come to mind so I can focus on what the person I am interviewing is saying.

I think what I most enjoyed was having the opportunity to learn more about someone I have known for such a long time. I always knew that Nathan enjoyed cooking, but I never really knew why. It was nice just to have the opportunity to ask questions about such a big part of a friend’s life.

One thing I really wish was different in this interview was my voice. I have had the misfortune of being sick the last couple of weeks, and I feel like my voice was scratchy in the audio. Other than that, I think the interview process went relatively smoothly. We were able to discuss the questions before beginning audio, and I think that really helped Nathan to group his thoughts so he made sense during the interview.

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Counting to 10

For this week’s assignment I recorded myself counting to ten out of order. I then used Audacity, a free sound editing program, to put the numbers in the correct order. The purpose of this assignment was to help me to become familiar with Audacity and audio editing so I can use this skill when I do interviews later in the semester and in my career.

I have never used any kind audio editing software. This is the first time I have used any software of this kind. I found Audacity very easy to use. The layout of Audacity Made it easy to understand how to reorder my counting. The selection tool made it very easy to reorder these numbers. I think its great that this kind of software is available for free.

The following are my original audio recording and my editing audio recording.

Counting original by Tracie Perkins

Counting edited by Tracie Perkins

I think that one thing I would have changed during my recording is the sound of being finalized at the word “nine”. I think it is very obvious that nine was the last number I used in my out of order sequence. As a result, the edited soundtrack sounds like it should be finished at the number nine and then has a ten stuck on the back of it. I wish I had thought ahead of time when I recorded my out of order numbers so I wouldn’t have had that finished feeling at the number nine.

I found this assignment very useful. I had no idea there was free audio editing like Audacity available. I found this assignment fun and am looking forward to using the program in the future. I think I will most likely use this program for assigments, stories and just for fun.

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Ambient Noise

This week my online journalism class has been working on audio. This particular assignment involved recording ambient noise. So, for the past few days I have brought my digital audio recorder with me everywhere I go and have experimented with audio niose. Here are some of my more successful ambient noises.

Ambient Noise- Typing at home by Tracie Perkins

This is my husband typing at home. I think this would be easily used in any story about an office or any story related to computers. This is a very simple sound to get, and I think it could be used for a variety of audio stories.

Ambient Noise- Printer by Tracie Perkins

This is the sound of an old printer that is printing documents. I got this sound in an office at work. I think this sound could be used for a story about working in an office.

Ambient Noise- Footsteps by Tracie Perkins

This is just the sound of me walking down my hallway at home in high heels. We have hard wood floors so the sound carries very well. I think this kind of gives the feeling of an empty building so maybe someone would want to use this sound for an audio story about foreclosures or even for a story about condemned buildings.

Ambient Noise- Car Blinker by Tracie Perkins

This is the sound of my car’s blinker. This sound came through very clear. You can even hear my car’s engine in the background. I think this story could be used for a story about used vehicles or maybe for a story about a vehicle collision.

Ambient Noise- Bells by Tracie Perkins

These are the sounds of the bells outside of the Wyoming Union. I think every student at UW has heard these bells. They mark every hour at the University of Wyoming. I think this kind of ambient noise could probably be used for a story about churches because they sound a lot like church bells. I also think this sound could be used in a story about marriage because they sound like wedding bells.

Ambient Noise- Clock Ticking by Tracie Perkins

This is the sound of the clock in my bathroom ticking. It is a very loud clock so I thought recording the ticks would be relatively easy. I think this ambient noise could probably be used in a story about how people have difficulty managing their time.

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Three Audio Stories

The first audoa story I listened to was from The New York Times’  One in 8 Million series entitled Andrew Baum: The Rookie Detective. This story is a freelance private investigator who speaks about some of his experiences on the job.

This audio story made me laugh at some points. I felt like I could really understand the kind of person Baum is. He definitely seems to have a good sense of humor about what he does and the experiences he’s had.

I think the journalist working on this story did a good job of gathering a variety of stories from Baum to give a good idea of what he experiences every day.

I think the transistions on this particular story could have been done better. I was very aware that the topic was changing because of a serious lack in transitions.

The next story I listened to was from the same series and it is entitled Mark Mocha: The Ex-Bank Robber. This involved an ex-bank robber explaining what pushed him into his life of crime, how he felt during is crime spree and how he has chosen to change his life.

This was an interesting story because I felt like it gave us a good look into how a normal person can so easily get involoved with the world of crime. It brought a great level of interest to this story.

I think this journalist did an exceptional job at making the transitions seem seamless. It felt like Mocha was just in a conversation about his life with a close friend.

One thing I wish was done differently in this story would be explaining how he came to be where he is now. The written introduction to this story says that Mocha is now a certified addictions councelor and I would like to know more about how he came to that path in this life.

The next story I read is from NPR entitiled ‘Monica and David,’ Building a Life on Their Terms. This story is explaining a documentary about two adults with down syndrome who are married and living independently.

I was really amazed when I read this story and it was quite moving. I loked the story. I thought it gave a peek into the lives of two people who most can not begin to relate to. This story helped in understanding the marriage and the difficulties in the lives of these two people and their families.

I think the journalist did a great job of commentary. Because the two people in the documentary have Down syndrome they were pretty difficult to understand on audio, but the commentary helped give me an understanding of their feelings for eachother.

I wouldn’t change anything about this story. I think everything in the story was done well and should not be changed.

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