Kelsey Tramp Audio Profile Edit

Kelsey Tramp Edited Audio Profile

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Kelsey Tramp’s account of her Bureau of Land Managment internship in Dish Pan Butte HMA.

Mustang Colt

Kelsey’s Mustang colt named Mako who represents her agricultural roots.

Conant Creek

Three Conant Creek Mustangs were selected for roundup during Kelsey’s internship with the Bureau of Land Managment.

The editing process of Kelsey Tramp’s audio profile was a difficult experience to say the least. When I began, I ran into several immediate problems. After converting the file from an mp4 to a WAV file, the Audacity program still refused to open the audio.   It said I did not have enough storage, even though my hard drive was clear, so instead I had to open a separate Audacity window and work with two different pages.

This was only the first step. Once in Audacity I was excited to begin editing the file and clean it up a bit. I planned on removing my voice that asked the interview questions, long pauses, and anticipated mess-ups such as slurs or “um’s”. While I wanted Kelsey to sound real and natural, I also wanted it to be a professional and clean edit.

However, it became a lot more complex than just adding necessary pauses and deleting unwanted audio. When I deleted the interview questions that I had asked, it was still a lot longer than two minutes. This meant I had to pick and choose what I wanted to include and what could be left out of the profile. With that said, the audio didn’t make sense without hearing the interview questions. I had to completely restructure the audio which was a very time consuming and difficult process.

One of the biggest things I learned from this experience was to be patient. It is very easy to get frustrated with a program like Audacity where you are constantly re-doing and un-doing edits to your piece. Even though it might seem like a disaster during the editing process, the biggest thing I learned is to take it one step at a time. Most importantly, work in order from the beginning of the audio to the end.

I also learned from my experience that the most efficient way to approach this type of project is to give yourself a lot of time. I know for myself I thought editing the sound file was simply deleting undesired audio, but it is actually a lot more difficult. It is important to plan for a good amount of time for editing.

From this project I most certainly enjoyed being in control of the final outcome of my audio file. I was able to make it sound exactly how I had envisioned it even if the unedited audio was very chaotic.

I also enjoyed being able to copy and paste sections of my audio from the original track to a new one. This makes it easier than simply deleting audio from the original file. This makes it visually more organized.

Time was the biggest factor that surprised me during this project. I most definitely underestimated the time it would take to edit the audio simply because I only thought it involved deleting pieces you did not need or want. Rather, you had to fade each piece in to the others so that the audio didn’t sound choppy, alter the pitch to a certain level so the sound did not ever get too loud or too quiet, and delete the right amount of audio so you still had natural pauses but none that were too long.

I was also surprised to see how different the audio file could sound just based on a few alterations. It was almost as if I did not recognize Kelsey’s profile from the raw unedited version.

The only thing I wish I could have done differently was adding ambient noise to the background. I originally was hoping to add the sound of running horses for ambient noise to add emphasis to her profile but the sound did not fit the entirety of the audio. This sound was also too loud and overpowering to Kelsey’s voice which is the main focus of the profile.

I would like to work more with ambient noise to understand which sounds would be appropriate to different pieces, and how those can be used without becoming a distraction.

After completing this project I can definitely say I wish working with audio files was a lot smoother. With all the different audio file types and the different converters, it makes audio edits extremely difficult.

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Kelsey Tramp Raw Profile

Kelsey Tramp Raw Uncut

kelsey tramp

The interviewing experience with Kelsey was a very interesting one.  The first problem we encountered was finding a secluded place that was quiet enough for good sound quality, but also a comfortable setting for interviewing.  When none of the study rooms in the library were available we settled with recording in my car.

Originally we had planned to send each other a list of the questions we would ask one another, but with the lack of time we had, we didn’t.  I actually think it was good we weren’t able to because it would have sounded too rehearsed and not as natural.

Instead we asked each other which aspect of our lives we should focus on to talk about, and hit the record button.

I went ahead and recorded Kelsey first as she was more comfortable in front of the microphone.  It was extremely awkward to interview her using an audio recorder.  It was hard for me to feel engaged in the interview since I couldn’t say “uh-huh’s” or “yeah”, rather I had to use my non-verbals to show her I was interested.

At certain points I wanted to laugh because what she was saying was funny, but again, I had to keep all background noise to a minimum.  I used head nods and eye contact as a way to show her I was engaged.

The interviewing process was also easy for me because Kelsey was able to give very detailed and descriptive answers to the questions I asked.  Therefore, I only had to ask her questions relative to the topic of her career goals and life after college.

One thing that also made it uncomfortable was sitting still and not being able to move around.  The audio was quick to pick up any background noise and it felt staged to not move the entire time.

On the flipside it was more comfortable being interviewed.  I was a little nervous at first because I have a tendency to talk fast and can’t think on my feet, but it ended up working out.  I had to remind myself that listeners wouldn’t be able to see my facial expressions or have visuals, so I had to give these through my voice.

I used emotion in my voice and was very descriptive so listeners could create a mental image of my life through my profile.

From my experience with audio recording I learned that it doesn’t have to be perfect the first time.  It is important to get the raw story first hand, knowing I could edit any awkward pauses or background noise later.

I also learned it is best for the interview to not be planned out word for word.  People want to hear real stories, not something that has been practiced or rehearsed.

Another thing I learned is how important it is to find a quiet area to interview.  The recorder can pick up little noises that can be detrimental to the entirety of the interview.

More importantly, I learned to keep the recorder in the same spot during the entire interview.  I suggest setting the recorder on a ledge or a counter top, that way you can avoid distracting sounds and muffles.

Aside from the difficulties of this assignment, I really enjoyed learning more about Kelsey.  On a personal level I was able to connect with her as she told me about her life.  It was also fun to be in control of the conversation, I was able to direct the interview and ask the questions I thought would be interesting for other listeners.

I didn’t like however, that we had a time limit of five minutes.  I wanted to ask more questions to get a full profile of Kelsey’s career goals, time didn’t allow for it.

After completing the raw part of this audio interview assignment, there is nothing I would go back and change.  I am happy with the recording I collected and the quality of the sound.  I am very excited to begin editing it and hope to add some ambient noise in the background for the finished product!

Listen Carefully

“Typing”

It was early in the morning and I was pulling another “all nighter” to complete the over load of homework I had yet to finish.  There were very few people left in the library considering it was 3:30 a.m. and it was nearly silent.  There was one noise that continued to ring throughout the room, and that was the noise of the fingertips pounding on the keyboard as sleepless students struggled to stay awake.

The typing ambient noise could be used in an audio journalism story about the emergence of social networking and social media in American youth culture.

“Shower”

The sound of running water is a familiar noise for everyone.  Whether it’s the kitchen sink, the flush of a toilet, an outdoor hose, or the sound of water from a showerhead, which is featured in this audio from my apartment bathroom, people can relate to this sound.

This ambient noise is very recognizable and can be used in several different audio journalism stories.  For example, the running water in this audio clip could be used in a story about conserving water during nation wide droughts.

“Sizzling”

I not only love to eat but I also love to cook.  I am always in the kitchen and after focusing on ambient noises that surround me; I quickly realized that there are a lot of different sounds created when you’re cooking in the kitchen.  The noise made in this audio is the sound of potatoes hitting a hot frying pan and sizzling as I season them for my breakfast.

This ambient noise is frequently heard in the kitchen and could be used in an audio journalism story about obesity issues as a result of deep fried foods.

“Read All About It”

A man at Coal Creek Coffee Co. flips through the pages of his newspaper, lacking any interest in the daily news stories.  His mood is reflected in the pace at which he is turning the pages of the paper:  dissatisfied.

The ambient noise featured here could be used in an audio journalism story about dying print media in our technologically advancing culture.

“Snow”

After an unexpected winter storm hit Laramie early Monday morning, students trekked to school bundled up in snow gear head to toe.  By the late afternoon the snow had hardened creating this crunching sound as students walked through campus.  I was able to record this audio as a student walked into the student union just before the early morning rush of students heading to class.

This ambient noise could be featured in an audio journalism story covering harsh weather conditions in northern states.

“Sweeping”

Sitting at work folding napkins, I was able to take in several different sounds around me.  One of the noises I recorded was the noise of a broom sweeping across the newly polished hardwood floors.  With light chatter in the background, the Cavalryman employee sweeping the floors made for a unique ambient noise.

This noise of a broom sweeping across a restaurant floor could be used in an audio journalism story about competing restaurants that keep clean to attract customers and increase their business profits.

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