HOW TO RECORD
Decide what type of story you would like to tell. Is it your own personal story or would you like to interview someone else so that they could tell you their story? Whatever you decide, use the SRL PITCH SHEET to write your ideas and determine a beginning, middle, and end.
Advanced option: Also consider adding audio scenes. Just like video stories are enhanced by b-roll (supplemental footage), audio scenes will help the listener immerse themselves into the story. Audio scenes are NOT sound effects added later, but actually recordings of a real event. For example, an audio scene of a tennis match (racquet hitting the ball, tennis ball bouncing, feet shuffling/sliding/skidding, subject talking with opponent). Audio scenes can make your story come alive. Make sure to add your ideas for audio scenes to your pitch document.
Step 3: Choose your recording device. Audio could be captured using a phone, computer, or portable audio recorder. If using an audio recorder, adjust levels so voices are at about -12 db. If using an iPhone, use Voice Memo App. Make sure to set the audio recording at the highest setting. Go to General > Settings > Voice Memos > Audio Quality > Lossless. For Android, use: Titanium Recorder app
Step 4: Prepare your space. Before you start recording, listen to your space. Can you make it quieter? Empty rooms are not recommended, since sound will bounce off the walls, creating an echo, which will affect your audio recording. Closets actually make awesome recording studios or use a blanket over your head to minimize unwanted noise.
Step 5: Record voice. Use your recording device to record your own story or your interview. If you are conducting a remote interview, make sure to instruct your subject to record their audio using their own recording device. (This will sound much better than Zoom audio.) Guide your subject through the settings for optimal audio quality.
Step 6: Record room tone. Remember to record 30 seconds of the sound of the room where the voice was recorded. If you captured multiple voice recordings in different locations, make sure you record room tone for each one of those locations. Having room tone will help you edit your story later on. ›
Step 7. Optional: Record audio scenes. Go back to the planning doc and look at your list of audio scenes. Did you come across new information that would cause you to update that list? If yes, add or replace audio scenes that are relevant to the story. Record those audio scenes or instruct your subject to record them for you.
Step 8. Scripting. Transcribe and highlight the best parts. Then start making a script with the highlighted parts, making notes about when to bring in audio scenes. Your story might need a voice track. A voice track is when you (the reporter) give an introduction, identify characters, add statistics or a conclusion to your story. Write all that out in your script and try to write the way you’d talk. Get feedback on your script before you start to edit.
Step 9. Editing. Now you are ready to edit and can use your script as a guide. It’s super important to make all the voices the same audio level. Experiment and have fun with layering voices and audio scenes to create the mood you are going for in your story.
Step 10. Get even more feedback. Remember, it takes awhile to get good at anything. Feedback and mentorship helps. Share your drafts with your SRL Youth Media Producer and make revisions based on their feedback. After you’re done, feel proud of yourself! You’ve made an audio story that educates and inspires listeners.