SoundDelivery is an organisation led by Jude Habib which does fantastic media work in the community. I was recorded one-to-one at DS8 by Andrea Protheroe for SoundDelivery and I’m grateful to her for sending me the piece on Audio Boo. She said: “Very much enjoyed the conference and my first visit to Cardiff. Hope to return next year.”
Get your voice-recording done with a high-quality unit in a quiet room with natural acousics (neither boxy nor echoey), unless there’s an overriding reason to the contrary (e.g. you’re working with an archive recording or in an inescapably noisy environment). As I’ve said here before, the best digital stories can work as radio pieces, so aim for top radio quality when you record.
Happy St David’s Day
Here’s a short clip of a song sung by children at a school in south Wales to celebrate the national day of the patron saint of Wales, sung at Cardiff Castle on 1 March 2008. I’ve obscured the images of the children on purpose. Diolch i chi blant am godi calonnau pawb a gwneud i ni deimlo’n falch i fod yn Gymry.
Here are three links I wanted to share with you in the area of storytelling, participation and citizenship:
If you’ve got a webcam and a microphone plugged into your computer, you can contribute to this site. It partners with Channel 5 news and is a managable way to get your point across on video. The drawback is that it’s difficult to make a polished piece: good sound and light, memorising something fluid and engaging, looking comfortable in front of the camera, etc. Oftentimes though, the speaker’s passion shines through.
From Mandy Rose
A Flash-based online storytelling tool. You can add photos from Flickr or your computer, upload an audio recording and combine the two to make a digital story. Once registered, the site annoyingly nags you until you upload a photo of yourself. Because it’s a Flash console, you can’t bookmark favourite stories on the site. Best use of this tool is with group photographs where each individual in the picture gives their take on the set-up. Here’s a topical Haloween photo montage: http://voicethread.com/share/14089/
Soapbox project at the Royal Festival Hall in London. I’m not sure whether or not what people say will be published online as video.
From Carwyn Evans
We looked at workshop space in the last post, today it's the kit.
You want to bid for funding to set up a digital storytelling project, but you're not sure what you're going to need? Here's a list to build from of examples of equipment needed to run digital storytelling and participatory media workshops. The kit specified below is all portable so, as long as extra trained personnel are available, workshops can be held in external community spaces as well as in the Workshop base. Here's the shopping list:
laptops with software to capture/edit/show video, image and audio with mains leads and spare batteries. I think Apple computers have been better-suited to digital storytelling than PCs, whilst there's a higher penetration of PCs here in Wales. At least two of the laptops to be designated and set up for trainers.
image scanner(s) which can be powered from the USB lead – not plugged into the mains
some digital cameras with fast, large memory cards
tripod (e.g. Manfroto)
two microphones (e.g. Rode)
USB audio interface by Edirol or M-Audio
two mic stands, cables, windshields and clips script stand
portable audio recording solution
portable powered speakers
DV camera for archiving stories. MiniDV tape, not disk, with DV-in enabled.
other appropriate capturing/authoring devices as required for workshops (e.g. Nokia N93 mobile phones)
tape, disk, card and storage stock
portable hard drives
external USB floppy drive and card reader
USB and firewire cables
gaffer tape and rubber mats
access to transport suitable for carrying equipment will be needed by trainer
If you want to post an audio blog on the move or are desperate to record a voice track for a digital story, but don't have access to voice recording facilities on the computer you're using, here are three sites which will let you record audio via your phone:
http://www.gabcast.com – The free package seems to offer plenty. You can use London voicemail number 0207 1002530 (UK, London number with very smarmy voice asking for account number) and VoIP.
http://www.gcast.com/ – Free. Two ways of making an audio file: uploading your own mp3 file and dialling a US phone number. There's podsafe music available for use too.
http://www.hipcast.com/ – This is only free for seven days; it's 5-50 UDS/month thereafter. You can either phone in, use VoIP or upload a file you've recorded locally on your own computer.
The sites all have ways of publishing what you record as an audio blog. At first glance, Gabcast looks the most promising, because of that UK phone number. I haven't registered with any of these, so I don't know whether or not they have online audio editing tools. I haven't studied the terms and conditions either – I'd like to check where the ownership of the completed audio rests.