Basic Audio Skills

Audio is possibly the most overlooked component of multimedia, but it is often where people make the most mistakes. This course is designed to train you in capturing good clean sound with affordable equipment to add another component to your journalism and story telling. 

Introduction to Basic Audio Skills from Africa Media Online on Vimeo.

The course is split into the following lessons:

Audio formats
Equipment and setting up
Proximity
Cleaning up your audio
Interviews
Levels and monitoring
Room tone and ambient sound

Audio formats

Figure 1 Audio Formats from Africa Media Online on Vimeo

This lesson introduces the most common audio formats and explains the formats and technical nature of sound. Different file formats, bit rates bit depths and sample rates are explained to enable you to understand what settings you need to use on your sounds equipment.


Equipment and setting up

Figure 2 Getting good sound does not mean spending thousands of dollars on expensive equipment. Using affordable equipment well will yield excellent results and increase your production values enormously. Learn about when to use different microphones for certain situations and how to set up your equipment

Proximity

Figure 3 Proximity from Africa Media Online on Vimeo

The most important lesson in sound: to get good sound you need to undersand proximity. Essentially this means getting as close as you can to your sound source either with your sound recording or using a microphone.


Cleaning up your audio

Figure 4 Cleaning Up Your Audio from Africa Media Online on Vimeo

This lesson focuses on small changes you can make to try clean up your sound and reduce the hisses and pops and other strange noises that may distract the audience. Just making a few small changes to how you hold your microphone and position whilst interviewing will make all the difference.

Interviews

Figure 5 Interviews from Africa Media Online on Vimeo

Interviews are often a key part of your story and so getting good audio is essential. In this lesson you will find all you need to know to ensure you get excellent audio from your interviews.

Levels and monitoring

Figure 6 Levels from Africa Media Online on Vimeo

To ensure you record good sound its important to monitor where possible with headphones what you are recording. Learn how to read your audio levels and for different sounds what dB values you should be aiming for.

Room tone and ambient sound

Figure 7 Room Tone and Ambient Sounds from Africa Media Online on Vimeo

Learn how to record and use ambient sounds to help create a more vivid and interesting audio piece. Often overlooked room tone should be an essential part of your audio workflow and will improve your interview editing process.