Category Archives: audio

The difference between digital storytelling and TV

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.”


Digital Storytelling as a marketing tool

This post is about how audio storytelling has been used to publicise a radio play.

On Friday, I attended an industry screening by Cyfle’s Digital Delta multiplatform writers. Cyfle began as a training organisation for TV in Wales and – starting with its landmark Dimension 10 course – it has diversified into digital multiplatform too.

The project that most caught my eye was an audio digital story project called A Shoebox of Snow.

AudioBoo was used as the publication platform and the brief to participants was: “what do you keep hold of in your home because of the stories that are attached to it?”

The concept’s sponsor was Justine Potter @savvyjustine of Savvy Production. That company had won a commission to make a BBC radio play, starring Richard Briers. They wanted to work with Cyfle’s multiplatform writing trainees to generate some press and media buzz and some great stories by inviting people to share their own audio stories about their precious possessions by addressing two questions:

1. What is your object?
2. What is the memory that makes it so special?

Estelle in Plymouth recorded this memory of her dogs and their collars, in an interview with multimedia writer Hannah Wood:

The top dog among collars #ashoeboxofsnow #objects #memories (mp3)

Cyfle’s Digital Delta multiplatform writers were: Medina Bailey, Leusa Llywelyn, Tina Jenkins, Mali Tudno Jones, Dylan Owen, Simon Stratton and Hannah Wood.

And the participants who came from technical and design backgrounds were: Tom Beardshaw, Robbie Brewster, Paula Major, Tara Davies, Natalie Clements, Gareth Milton Griffiths and Jon Maguire.

And the lead trainer was Cyfle’s multiplatform manager Rhys Miles Thomas.

The crew closed their presentation with a peek of Zoetrap – An Alternate Reality Game. The creators are crowdsourcing funds for this Victoria horror game and I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be big.
If you’re going to Storyworld San Fransisco starting Halloween ’11, keep an eye out for Zoetrap.

Avoid less-than-perfect voice recordings – number 3 of 7 DS no-nos

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.

roberts radio photo
Photo by LoopZilla

Written and first published by Gareth Morlais on 18 July 2008.

Happy St David’s Day

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.

Recorded using the excellent hand-held Zoom H2 audio recorder, with thanks to Zoom for the loan of this.

Tell your story

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:
From DK

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

Digital story shopping list

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.

apple titanium photo
Photo by c_ambler

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
  • Bluetooth-enabled printer(s)
  • 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
  • data sticks
  • external USB floppy drive and card reader
  • USB and firewire cables
  • mains extensions/splitters
  • gaffer tape and rubber mats
  • flight cases
  • trolley
  • access to transport suitable for carrying equipment will be needed by trainer
  • other equipment, as advised by trainer

Written and first published by Gareth Morlais on 5 September 2007.

Online audio recording tools

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: – 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. – 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. – 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.

Source for the three links: