How to Make an MP3 Recording of a Storytelling Session

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  • #8859
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    From: Ross Tarr, The Storyteller of Old Tampa Bay
    Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2018 01:11:28 -0400

    I would like to make MP3 recordings of my storytelling sessions using my Dell Laptop computer and a Blue Yeti Mic. Can I get some guidance as to what software I can use to do the recording, where to find it, and advice on how to proceed?

    ROSS TARR
    Florida Storytellers Association – National Storytellers Network
    International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas
    Licensed & Insured

    #8860
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    From: Richard Martin
    Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2018 07:17:22 +0200

    A couple of years ago we had a thread on this which I used as a basis for this page of general recording suggestions:
    http://tellatale.eu/tales_how2record.html

    HTH,
    Richard Martin
    **************
    “Small Bird’s Wisdom” is the latest upload to the video gallery of 80 folk tales
    Watch here: http://tellatale.eu/tales_small_bird.html

    “The Magic Pisspot: Swedish folk tales” (Per Gustavsson, trans. Richard Martin) published Oct. 2017
    Details: http://www.tellatale.eu/pisspot.html

    #8861
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    From: Tim Sheppard
    Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2018 15:08:27 +0100

    You could use any recording software. The most well-respected free software is Audacity. It’s available for PC and Mac at

    Download

    It’s very capable of recording, and editing your audio, and exporting it to MP3 format (or various others) while giving you complete control over the MP3 quality settings.

    The interface can look a bit complicated because it’s capable of advanced things, but essentially all you need to do with any software is to make sure your Blue Yeti is selected as the mic to record from, and check that the recording level isn’t too high or low by doing a test and watching the soundwave to check that it isn’t either tiny or pushing up against the limits. (The Blue Yeti has its own knob to control the Gain for this, and you’ll want the mic to be on the Directional setting, to pick up only your voice, or Omnidirectional if you’re recording a round circle group.)

    Press record, then stop, then save. To save as MP3 you need to Export and choose that format. But you will want to keep the original too, since the ‘lossy’ MP3 format greatly reduces the original data by throwing it away – if you want to re-edit or repurpose the audio always go back to the original ‘lossless’ audio file, which you can save/export as WAV with higher resolution settings. WAV files take up lots more space but they are a standard format that you can play on anything.

    It’s worth reading up a little about what settings make an appropriate quality audio file, because any recording or conversion software will ask you to choose settings for how high a resolution you want (called “bitrate” measured in kbps – kilobits per second, and “sample rate” measured in Hz). For instance if you buy an MP3 music track it will probably be at 128kbps (small file but barely adequate quality), 192kbps (good quality) or even 320kbps (very high quality, larger file). But voice recordings don’t require such high settings to preserve the same quality, so 128kbps might be enough. The Sample Rate for CD tracks is 44100Hz, but again for voice you don’t need to preserve such high frequencies of sound, so half that or even lower might be fine. There are other more detailed technical settings you might get asked to choose, like “variable bitrate” but these aren’t all that important here – just accept the default. Don’t worry about all this if you aren’t going to use your recordings for anything special like publishing or broadcasting. The main thing is to check that your final MP3 file sounds good enough after you save it (check it on good hifi speakers rather than cheap headphones, to hear any distortions), and is not too huge a file to send or store.

    Experiment with how close the mic should be to your mouth, how loud to speak, whether the space around you makes you sound harsh, boomy, echoey etc, and whether you need a ‘pop screen’ (stops you blowing against the mic if your mouth is close).

    Basic audio editing is a bit like wordprocessing – if you want to trim unwanted bits from the beginning and end, or anywhere, just highlight them with the selection tool and press delete. You can even get Audacity to find and remove silences automatically.

    This isn’t a complete guide! But it should get you started.

    Tim

    #8862
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    From: Bettizane Smith-Thorpe
    Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2018 07:17:18 -0700

    Thanks the Audacity Shout-Out. This is what I use for my radio show and for making MP3s.

    I will say that I feel like I’ve been climbing a steep mountain to learn the program however. Whatever you decide to use, try to find locals who can tutor you!!! Another option for MAC users is GarageBand, which generally comes with your MAC computer.

    BZ

    #8863
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    From: Patricia Coffie
    Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2018 09:21:27 -0500

    Love Garage Band with share to iTunes. Makes recording I can use to hear myself. one I can use in car to practice, and gives time of presentation—so useful for 5 minute slots or 15 minute slots…

    Patricia Coffie
    Stories from Home
    203 Emery Drive
    Waverly, IA 50677
    maemaude@me.com
    319-230-0659

    There’s a story for that…

    #8864
    Administrator
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    From: Healing Story Alliance
    Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2018 07:39:20 -0700

    Ross

    Audacity is an excellent free audio recording and editing software. You can download it here: http://www.audacityteam.org/download/

    There are a lot of YouTube tutorials on Audacity. I recommend keeping it simple and building up knowledge slowly.
    First because you will only need a small fraction of the advice out there and it will take a while to know exactly what you need to know to accomplish what you want to do. And secondly, because there is a lot of other stuff you will need to learn along the way, recording/editing is only a smart piece of the pie.

    Pat Flynn is a noted podcast expert and his recording and marketing advice are invaluable. He is a podcasting expert and while you may not be interested in doing a podcast, at least to start, he offers helpful organizing and production tips.

    If you are interested in producing your own cds, Kunaki is a great resource for professional cd production and packaging. You can print in small quantities and edit/revise your approach with each printing as you learn. And there’s a lot to learn. Most of it is entirely dependent on your audience and things you will learn from them. Hope that helps, feel free to reach via email or call if I can be of help.

    Gemma 91630171598

    #8865
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    From: Richard Martin
    Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2018 19:28:34 +0200

    I’ve used Audacity and found it quite good. Currently, on a mac, I use Amadeus Pro, which I find easier to edit with.

    That said, all relatively basic programs take a bit of learning, but not too much to be able to do what we need.

    Cheers,
    Richard Martin
    **************
    “Small Bird’s Wisdom” is the latest upload to the video gallery of 80 folk tales
    Watch here: http://tellatale.eu/tales_small_bird.html

    “The Magic Pisspot: Swedish folk tales” (Per Gustavsson, trans. Richard Martin) published Oct. 2017
    Details: http://www.tellatale.eu/pisspot.html

    #8866
    Administrator
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    From: Maria Gomez de la Torre
    Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2018 07:42:34 -0700

    Last year for the school musical production, I was in charge of recording and sincronizing the songs with the sts’ voices. I used Adobe Audition. Good fidelity and easy to use.

    HTH.
    Maria

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