Video and Sound Week 2: Creating a Soundwalk, Crazy8
Due to some course add/dropping, I ended up joining my group a bit late, so I didn’t have a huge amount of input in the original conceptualization. Our idea for the soundwalk was inspired by the unique character of the eighth floor of the Tisch building—the supremely creaky floors, the number of photos displayed on the walls, the open equipment cage with its coils of extension cords, peeling lettering on the walls, and the sights a viewer could see from the large windows.
We made a large list of sounds to collect for the soundwalk—some from the 8th floor, some more abstract— and split it between the four of us. We recorded most of them on the Zoom recorders, but a few (e.g., the kissing noise, the bell) we got off of open source sound archives.
Selection and editing of clips
We met as a group to go through all the clips and decide which ones to use. Once we chose the final clips, we each edited our own clips using audition, and uploaded them to our shared Google Drive folder. Because all of us recorded using the built-in Zoom microphones, there was a lot of noise pollution we had to clean up **LEARNING EXPERIENCE: ALWAYS GET AN EXTERNAL MIC TO RECORD, AND SOUNDS THAT CAN BE “FAKED” IN A QUIET SPACE SHOULD BE.
User testing without sound
We asked one of the staff on the 8th floor to come on our soundwalk with us, while Joy read the script aloud from her laptop. We did this to get a general sense of timing for each sound, and also to ensure that the instructions in our narration script were clear.
Using the feedback from the user testing session to edit the script, Joy recorded the narration clips for the soundwalk and uploaded them to our shared drive.
First cut in Audition with narration
I did the first cut in Audition with the narration clips, the edited clips, and the time cues from the user testing session. **LEARNING EXPERIENCE: NEVER COPY AND PASTE AN AUDIO CLIP, OR YOU MIGHT GET GHOST AUDIO CLIPS FAR DOWN IN THE TIMELINE THAT WILL RUIN YOUR EXPORTING PROCESS.
First listen as a group
We met on Monday afternoon to discuss how to proceed with the mixing, decide whether we liked certain sounds, etc. **LEARNING EXPERIENCE: I (Cara) had been editing the volume of the clips using the Hard Limiter and Amplify effects, but I got some help from fellow ITP-er Aaron when trying to make a clip play pan to the left, and learned that you can edit clips using “Envelopes” and it is so much easier and more effective.
Re-walking the soundwalk and editing in real time to ensure the timing mapped out
We ended up adding a lot of time to allow the user to walk from place to place, which we didn’t account for in our first mix. When we tried to export this edited version, we got a bunch of errors, and so our exportation was delayed by a day. **LEARNING EXPERIENCE: GIVE PEOPLE MORE TIME TO WALK.
User testing of draft
We exported a version to Soundcloud and had a friend user-test using her phone and earbuds. We made some final edits here, and uploaded the final version to Soundcloud.
User testing without sound (thanks so much to Sage from the 8th floor!)
The team running through the mix.
You can hear our final soundwalk here: