Since I’m just polishing up some things about recording sound that I will be adding to my “Digital Storytelling: Makin’ Movies” presentation on Friday, sound might be a good topic for the rest of the week. Now, my bold advice: get Audacity!
It’s free. It’s powerful. It doesn’t cost anything. It works on Macs and PC’s. And you won’t be spending any money. Oh, yeah. You will need the LAME plug-in to export as MP3, but that’s free too. Go ahead. Go download it if you haven’t already. I’ll wait.
Good, you’re back. Now, what can you do with this program? Steve Dembo will tell you that you can record and assemble voice and sounds for a podcast. And I will venture into podcasting as storytelling one of these days, but not right now. You certainly can record and you can edit the sound too, just like it’s a sentence in a word processor. But like that sentence, I’d rather you have some fun with the “fonts and color.” If you look back two posts, I mentioned Audacity as a way to get the mysterious voice of the future like the students from El Paso did in their T+L entry, “Today’s Generation.” First, you need to either separate the voice from the video in your editing software or record a separate voice track in Audacity. Once you have the sound in Audacity (you might want to save a copy of the original just in case), highlight it, go to the Effects menu, and play around. With the attached files, you have my untouched original, the pitch kicked up an octave in the Chipmunk version, and the pitch dropped and then the bass altered a bit in the Bass version. Import back into your video for a dynamic change in a character’s voice.
Just one more piece of free advice, check out the Audacity Wiki for more ideas and help.