I feel as if the importance of audio is easily overlooked. It is so ubiquitous to us that we rarely take the time to think about the significant effects of audio while we watch a documentary or listen to the radio. Podcasts, movies, TV shows, and more utilize audio in ways that connect to audiences on a cognitive level. J. Carl Ganter and Eileen E. Ganter write in their article Sound in the Story that audio is an “intimate medium” (pg. 4). After reading and thinking about the work that goes into producing quality audio content, I would have to agree.
More Important Than Text?
Sound in the Story makes the interesting point that because our world is so saturated by audio, we need to make our audio content worth listening to. Just like what I have learned about writing for the Web, audio content needs to “hook” the listener. Likewise, audio needs to illustrate a story or an event by showing instead of telling by adding detail and not just straightforward content. The article includes an example of a piece CBC radio did with a mother at a Memorial Day service. The mother lost her son to war, and the way she spoke, choked up, and stopped talking in the interview struck a chord with listeners everywhere. Simple print coverage of the event would not give the audience the same emotional reaction.
In addition, J. Carl Ganter and Eileen E. Ganter point out that listeners view audio as a source of proof over printed text. Therefore, it is important to be diligent in producing audio content that can be used to supplement visual content or stand alone. This is done through:
- Natural sounds
- Supplemental music
The selected portion I read of Sound in the Story focuses on the process of conducting audio interviews. There is a possibility that I might be including an interview in a video for an upcoming post, so this information is important for me to know. Among other things, the article stresses the importance of talking to the interviewee in a quiet place, keeping the mic close to the interviewee’s mouth, and asking questions that require responses that are in complete thoughts for easier editing. The article also mentions the benefits of ambient sound and voice-overs to bring the piece to life. I plan to use voice overs in my video about recreational parks in Greenville to give more interest and information to my audience.
Here is an interesting video on how to effectively film an interview:
Birds, Kids, and Bikes… Oh My!
As I film parks, I will also want to record what Ganter and Ganter call “wild sound,” which is essentially candid, unplanned sound. Parks are filled with opportunities for wild sound, from birds to children playing, from flowing streams to people biking. For me to fully share my experience, I will need to capture all these sounds.
Sound in the Story brought to my attention how I can further my readers’ experience with my blog through audio. I am looking forward to put all these tips to use soon!
Good examples of audio interviewing: