6 Replies to “My first Soundslides BBQ”

  1. There’s good things and some stuff that could use improvement.

    GOOD:
    First, the pics go well with the voiceover and make for a good visual story.

    I really like that you included a lot of nats (natural sound). It gives the viewer a sense of being there. It’s great that you used cutaways, where you’d pause the voiceover and put a lot of nats.

    IMPROVEMENT:
    I can’t hear the voiceover well enough. You could drop the nats volume and increase the VO to make it more audible. You could copy the VO track, and past another copy of it on the track right below so you’re doubling up.

    What audio recorder/mic are you using? Where are you recording? Maybe put the mic closer to her mouth to cut out ambient noise. Really watch your levels while recording…I was hearing distortions, like you were peaking.

    Mark from Notes from a Teacher left a comment about my most recent project that may help you too:

    The narration sounded like it was being read from a script. I would have liked to hear a more conversational tone. The limited amount of recording/narration I’ve done has usually taken three or four takes, working from notes (not a full script) and then some editing to pick bits and pieces from the different takes.

    Your VO reader had this monotone the whole time. She didn’t use tone, inflection, volume or pauses to make her words interesting. Again, not your fault, but you may be able to coach her next time.

    It’s a valiant effort for your first ever audio slideshow! Congratulations. 🙂

  2. Man, I’m going to almost totally agree with Angela on this one. The photos are attractive, the story itself is interesting, and the idea of putting it into a slideshow is a winner.

    but the audio gets in the way.

    A few minor things:

    The title image stays up too long.

    The changes between the levels of the narration and the other voices were very obvious. And it sounded like she was talking in a barrel. If nothing else, get someone you know who does sound recording for musicians to give you some pointers on getting a better recording.

    It’s going to take some time to get narration that sounds like it’s being spoken rather than read. Good luck, and keep at it. it takes practice to get it right.

    I always like the way NPR produces their stories. download some podcasts of morning edition, all things considered or this american life and listen to their sound editing. get your reporter to listen to the way they deliver the stories.

    And spend some time with this site: http://www.transom.org/tools/index.php

  3. Thanks – keep it coming! Obviously, the sound recording gear and environment was not ideal for the voiceover. We’re working on it…

  4. Other than what was already mentioned, I kept noticing the room noise that the narrator was in whenever she started and stopped talking. I think this could either be solved by going into a quieter room, or laying down room noise from the room she is in on the whole track, but of course, lowering it when she stops talking and when the natural sounds, interviews, etc come in.

  5. @Daniel – Wow, you’re right. Room tone would help. When I used to work on film sets, this was the punchline of any series of shots or scenes in a given space: The exhausted and noisy crew were silenced for 30 second of recording “room tone.” These were the sound mixer’s 30 seconds of joy, when he or she actually got to dominate the set and shut us all up.

  6. Yeah, I quickly found while editing my short film that adding a layer of room tone greatly adds to the feeling of fluidity.

    As for the piece:

    I liked the variety of images and the VO generally matched to the scene.

    The drawbacks were the sound quality, but you already know that. The only other thing that really threw me off was that she sounded very very nervous. Maybe doing more than one take or just using interviews or letting her rewrite the copy to her “voice” might have helped.

    Gald to see ur living ur dream there!

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