Thoughts on audio recording and software

I’ve now had a chance to interview Dad twice, and have gathered more than 3 hours of audio. It takes a lot of work to edit though – I’ve only got about 15 minutes finished. So far I’ve been recording the calls on Skype using Call Recorder (audio only), converting to mp3, then importing to Hindenburg Journalist for editing. I basically don’t know what I’m doing, and for all I know, I could be breaking all the rules of audio editing. I’ve been trying to learn what I can from listening to podcasts like the Transom.org podcast, or NPR shows and documentaries.

Dad’s story is so interesting to me – and so far, the three (plus) hours of raw audio only covers his childhood and World War II years.  He talks about the politics, the battles, and best of all, his own experiences living on a farm in a tiny rural town in Upper Austria.  The details are everything – the facts of history can be found from any number of sources, but hearing it from personal memories gives it so much more meaning.  What did kids in poor families in Austria get for Christmas during the war years?  What was school like?  What was it like to see people disappearing to concentration camps, never to be seen again?  I’m excited to have something that we can have to give to the people in our family to enjoy now – and also to future generations.  Dad has listened to the first 15 minute segment, and says he’s very happy with it so far.

The other really interesting part of all this is that I’m having to learn all about audio recording and editing.  Transom.org is full of really neat resources, interviews, podcasts, and Tools reviews. That’s actually how I found Hindenburg Journalist. I was just browsing around the site this morning when I came across a review of another piece of editing software called Reaper.

This is a little screenshot of the Reaper program, I purposely chose the one running on Ubuntu, because it makes me happy that it’s compatible with Linux operating systems.  Yay!  **UPDATE** I checked on this, and don’t think there’s a Linux version of Reaper after all 🙁

Another great point:  the software is NOT expensive.  In fact, you get a fully functional 30 day trial so you can decide if you want to go with it, and if you DO want it after that, it’s only $40 for a non-commercial license!  Nice.  The review was mostly positive, so I think it’s worth a try.  Maybe if I create something that isn’t embarrassingly terrible, I’ll post it on the blog.

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