Idea and Inspiration

My topic of the semester was undocumented immigrants. As such I decided to create an audio documentary of my story, the story of an undocumented immigrant and student.

Design Process & Technical Detail

I was somewhat influenced by the interview tutorial that we did for class with the radio recording of Edward R. Murrow. My design process started with the decision to tell my story as a narration for the project. I came up with a script (written down to make it more fluent) and recorded myself reading it. I then proceeded to record myself knocking on a door as a separate recording as suggested by the class readings. This was followed by finding royalty free music online to use for background music. After opening audition I created a new multitrack session with the settings used for the tutorials. I proceeded to drag in the raw narration audio, raw knocking audio, and the music, each on its own separate tracks. I began by dragging back the narration so that the music played for a few seconds before I started talking. I then, after muting the music and knocking tracks, proceeded to use the razor tool to make the narration more fluid and cut out the breathing during pauses as well as cut out portions in which I messed up and stumbled on words. Once I was happy with the narration I unmuted the knocking track, shortened it by dragging in the sides, and placed it to start right after I finished my narration with a slight pause for suspense. Finally, I unmuted the music track and faded in the beginning. I wanted ambient music during the narration so I lowered the volume right before the story started. I finished it by cutting off the music a few seconds after the knocking and fading out. Exporting the entire session was the last step.

Feedback & Revision

My peers didn’t have any major feedback as overall I had done a good job with my draft. What feedback they could give me was to pace myself a bit in the narration since it seemed a bit rushed. I had cut out the pauses to remove the breathing the microphone had picked up on but didn’t think to leave the pauses in. They also suggested I re-record my narration so there were less trip-ups on words. The biggest feedback came from my TA in an email reminding us of what a good audio story had; I was completely missing an introduction. I created a script for a quick intro and recorded myself reading the new introduction and the original story. I created a new multitrack session and followed all the steps I had done originally, fixing anything my peers had suggested.

Sources and Materials

In my story I used Cylinder Nine by Chris Zabriskie as ambient music. This was found on the Free Music Archive with an attribution license, under which I am free to share and adapt the music as long as I credit the creator.