A number of years ago, a producer at our local NPR affiliate, KBIA, gave me this list they call “The 10 Commandments of Audio Recording” (no sacrilege intended, so I hope no offense is taken). I was totally new at producing radio-quality audio and had no idea what the pitfalls were for a print-trained journalist in particular.
Since then, I have learned a lot from the mistakes I tend to make that diminish the quality of the audio, or make it more work to edit than it has to be. I’ve revised the list to reflect some of our print-centric foibles — a biggy being our tendency to use verbal affirmations while interviewing others. I talked about this briefly in class on Thursday: how important it is to nod and provide non-verbal affirmation so all those little sounds don’t have to be edited out later.
I’ve also included the list on one of the pages just below the picture on my blog. Look for “DIY links” — there are a bunch of links there that can help you begin to learn on your own (Do It Yourself) some of what you need to know for doing your multimedia project. That’s the way you’ll learn some of these skills. And I know from experience it’s the best way: We can show you some stuff, but it’s up to you to take it the next mile. Repetition, trial and error and experimentation are the way to go when learning these techniques.
I really do hope you’ll fall a little bit in love with these forms of storytelling.