Learning production in Audacity

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mac_audio
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Learning production in Audacity

Post by mac_audio » Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:54 pm

I would like to learn how to use Audacity to edit/mix/etc podcasts that I want to record.

I have used Audacity for years to record radio shows online, but have never used it for what most people probably do which is creating produced output.

I decided to join this website to learn more, and I see there is a FAQs section, but am thinking there must be a better approach to actually learning on how to created produced podcasts.

There are pobably millions of books out tehre on podcasts and sound engineering, but what is the *quickest* way for me to learn how to use Audacity to accomplish my end goal?

Thanks,


Mac Audio

kozikowski
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Re: Learning production in Audacity

Post by kozikowski » Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:50 am

what is the *quickest* way for me to learn how to use Audacity
That's stump the band, isn't it? I think the best we can do without marrying you for a couple of weeks is the tutorials in the on-line manual.

https://manual.audacityteam.org/

Scroll down. Start with the upper left tutorial:

Editing an Audio File - Import the file, edit and export it

Next down is recording:

Your First Recording - Record microphone, guitar, keyboard

Behold the disadvantage of forum support for free software. There's no corporation here to provide support and classes. We don't recommend YouTube classes, either, because most of them are for the wrong Audacity, are misleading, awkwardly produced or have errors. Video classes are very production heavy and there just isn't anybody available to do them and keep them up.


I write these repeatedly, so I started to collect them. I will eventually publish them in a formal document.

RecommendedPractices2-copy.txt
(3.28 KiB) Downloaded 22 times

Koz

kozikowski
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Re: Learning production in Audacity

Post by kozikowski » Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:01 am

To avoid the "deep end of the pool" problem, it's recommended that you record your initial voice performances in an actual professional studio and then produce the final show using their sound files at home. There is just nothing like struggling with all parts of the production at the same time. This way, you'll just have to worry about editing and cutting the show together. Not that funny noise the microphone is making.

Then, after you get post production working, try recording it yourself. When that fails, continue to use the studio while you stamp out the bugs and operating problems with your microphone.

Then, just when you're losing interest in the whole thing, get good at it enough to do the whole thing at home.

The longest message on the forum is Ian who just wanted to record audiobooks from his noisy apartment in Hollywood. 39 chapters and about a year. So while I know you want to get going by next week, it may take a bit longer than that.

Koz

mac_audio
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Re: Learning production in Audacity

Post by mac_audio » Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:54 am

@kozikowski,

So what do you do for a living?

How did you become an Audacity "elf"?

kozikowski
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Re: Learning production in Audacity

Post by kozikowski » Fri Aug 24, 2018 3:12 am

I showed up at the front door of the camper one dark and stormy night, skinny and malnourished with my fur all matted.

They took me in, gave me a bath, a proper meal and a strong, pot-brewed mug of tea. I've been here ever since.

As you may know, Audacity is developed in a camper on the south-west coast at Land's End, UK. It's not that far from Penzance to call a town you've probably heard of. That's also the closest Tesco (7-Eleven).


Screen Shot 2018-08-23 at 19.56.20.png
Screen Shot 2018-08-23 at 19.56.20.png (277.87 KiB) Viewed 278 times

Mrs. Raines who runs the Cornish Pantry at the Tourist Center lets us piggy-back on her WiFi and we keep her CompuServe account sorted. She texts one of us when pastys are fresh from the oven.

It's snug with five of us in there, but we hope to have an annex shortly, if no other reason, so we don't have to rotate sleeping on the roof.

Koz

steve
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Re: Learning production in Audacity

Post by steve » Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:35 am

mac_audio wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:54 pm
but what is the *quickest* way
Make a podcast about a popular subject, put it on YouTube and any other free hosting that you can find, and leave the comments open.
Join some specialist podcasting forums (there are a few big ones), and if allowed in their rules, tell them about your podcast and ask for reviews / criticisms.
Grow a thick skin as quickly as possible as you are likely to get a lot of biting criticisms.
Filter out the trolls and vulgarities, (these will mostly come from juveniles that have no real interest in podcasting), but take on board any genuine criticisms and find out how to improve.

Make another podcast and see if you get the same criticisms. If you get different criticisms, then that shows that you are making progress.
Don't expect to get much, or any praise. If you do get praise, take it with a pinch of salt as they are probably just being nice - the first 10 podcasts by anyone are usually rubbish ;)

If you get reports about technical issues, try to work out how to fix them, and use the documentation. You will learn much more quickly if you work it out yourself. If you can't work out a specific technical problem, then start a new topic on this forum about that specific problem. The more specific your question is, the better the answers are likely to be.

So it's:
  1. Make a podcast
  2. Get feedback
  3. Find out how to fix the problems (ask specific questions if you get stuck)
  4. Repeat
By the 11th podcast, you will most likely either be making reasonable podcasts, or will have given up.

It's often said that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in anything. I'd guess that if you work at it every day, and if you have some aptitude, then you will be making reasonable podcasts after about 6 months, and some pretty good podcasts after about a year.
9/10 questions are answered in the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

kozikowski
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Re: Learning production in Audacity

Post by kozikowski » Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:37 pm

Have a thought about your target audience. "Everybody" is probably not going to be interested in your work. For a reality check, Google your topic.

Do you follow other people's podcasts? How long are they? The forum gets postings from people whose presentations are too long for some of the Audacity tools and file management to handle. That's probably not useful. You can't follow several podcasts if each one is hours long.

I follow a video podcast which seems to be a scattered mess. Entertaining, but still. As I got into it, I got little hints that the Producer is actually following strict, clear theatrical guidelines. It only seems like a scattered mess.

Can you script your work? I'm not advocating scripting it, but could you? Aimless wandering is not entertaining unless you're Robin Williams and even that gets old.

I found the best shows are translations or extensions of radio shows or actual theater where the Producers are working from a structure. Lot to be said for that.

Two podcasts I like vanished. Google hits are all months old. Producing is hard work. The Five to One editing rule applies. Prep takes five times the length of the show.

Are you Irish? The Gift of Gab is real and recommended.

Koz

mac_audio
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Re: Learning production in Audacity

Post by mac_audio » Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:46 pm

kozikowski wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 3:12 am
I showed up at the front door of the camper one dark and stormy night, skinny and malnourished with my fur all matted.

They took me in, gave me a bath, a proper meal and a strong, pot-brewed mug of tea. I've been here ever since.

As you may know, Audacity is developed in a camper on the south-west coast at Land's End, UK. It's not that far from Penzance to call a town you've probably heard of. That's also the closest Tesco (7-Eleven).

Mrs. Raines who runs the Cornish Pantry at the Tourist Center lets us piggy-back on her WiFi and we keep her CompuServe account sorted. She texts one of us when pastys are fresh from the oven.

It's snug with five of us in there, but we hope to have an annex shortly, if no other reason, so we don't have to rotate sleeping on the roof.

Koz
I can't believe I'm asking this...

You're kidding, right??

mac_audio
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:28 am
Operating System: OS X 10.11 El Capitan or later (macOS)

Re: Learning production in Audacity

Post by mac_audio » Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:59 pm

kozikowski wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:37 pm
Have a thought about your target audience. "Everybody" is probably not going to be interested in your work. For a reality check, Google your topic.
Yes, my primary "target audience" is moms (and families).

kozikowski wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:37 pm
Do you follow other people's podcasts? How long are they? The forum gets postings from people whose presentations are too long for some of the Audacity tools and file management to handle. That's probably not useful. You can't follow several podcasts if each one is hours long.
As crazy as it sounds, no I am not listening to any podcasts currently. In fact, I'm not sure that I have ever listened to a podcast - technically.

Here is what I can say...

I have been a life-long radio junky, and I know the power of radio and the spoken word.

Everything from NPR and BBC-style broadcasts, to things I hear on U.S. rock radio - um, the old-school stuff and non of the iHeart crap!

I would like to start with a weekly 60-second segment. (Technically not a podcast, but that's what I loosely call all of this stuff.)

I would be interested in doing like a weekly podcast-esque type thing that is maybe a little longer like 5-15 minutes, but not more than that.

It seems like it would be better to have a regular 5-minute digestable show than a once-a-month hour long thing. (Besides, do an hour or more than a week would likely take half a week to produce!)

kozikowski wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:37 pm
I follow a video podcast which seems to be a scattered mess. Entertaining, but still. As I got into it, I got little hints that the Producer is actually following strict, clear theatrical guidelines. It only seems like a scattered mess.
I bought like $200 worth of books on the topic, so if I can ever get to reading things, I expect to learn a lot.

I have a clear vision of what I want, just have A LOT of learning to do - including learning how to make my Tab key work properly!!!

kozikowski wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:37 pm
Can you script your work? I'm not advocating scripting it, but could you? Aimless wandering is not entertaining unless you're Robin Williams and even that gets old.
I have very strong writing skills, so I think the answer is "Yes".

kozikowski wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:37 pm
I found the best shows are translations or extensions of radio shows or actual theater where the Producers are working from a structure. Lot to be said for that.
If I did a true podcast, I would just write something and then read it.

People say that isn't natural, but I disagree.

You don't think that famous Super Bowl ad took months to write and perfect and then the actor weren't needled into learning it word-for-word? Nonesense!!

I would say you write out your ideas, refine them, make sure they sound good in your head, then rehearse them out loud until you can deliver them smoothly and so your voice sounds as good as your internal voice in your head when you read things.

kozikowski wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:37 pm
Two podcasts I like vanished. Google hits are all months old. Producing is hard work. The Five to One editing rule applies. Prep takes five times the length of the show.
I would agree with that.

That is why a 60-second weekly <whatever> is enough for me to bite off!

kozikowski wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:37 pm
Are you Irish? The Gift of Gab is real and recommended.
Is that a book?

I have lots to say, not sure if that is the "gift of gab"?

And I think I have a lot to say that other people care about. Why? Because they told me so.

Thanks,


Mac Audio

mac_audio
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Re: Learning production in Audacity

Post by mac_audio » Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:08 pm

Almost didn't see this response?! :o
steve wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:35 am
mac_audio wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:54 pm
but what is the *quickest* way
Make a podcast about a popular subject, put it on YouTube and any other free hosting that you can find, and leave the comments open.
I don't have enough hours in the day to do all of this, BUT I have a website that I am finishing up, and that is what I plan on being my main "delivery engine" for my spoken word. (Probably not technically a "podcast", but that's what I call that sort of stuff.)

steve wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:35 am
Join some specialist podcasting forums (there are a few big ones), and if allowed in their rules, tell them about your podcast and ask for reviews / criticisms.
Can you recommend some sites that would be a good place to learn from experts like you all here?

steve wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:35 am
Grow a thick skin as quickly as possible as you are likely to get a lot of biting criticisms.
Filter out the trolls and vulgarities, (these will mostly come from juveniles that have no real interest in podcasting), but take on board any genuine criticisms and find out how to improve.
That may be some of the best advice!!

steve wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:35 am
Make another podcast and see if you get the same criticisms. If you get different criticisms, then that shows that you are making progress.
Good point!

steve wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:35 am
Don't expect to get much, or any praise. If you do get praise, take it with a pinch of salt as they are probably just being nice - the first 10 podcasts by anyone are usually rubbish ;)
Interesting...

steve wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:35 am
If you get reports about technical issues, try to work out how to fix them, and use the documentation. You will learn much more quickly if you work it out yourself. If you can't work out a specific technical problem, then start a new topic on this forum about that specific problem. The more specific your question is, the better the answers are likely to be.
I was planning on just having .mp3's that people can click on on my website for starters.

As I read some of these podcasting books I bought, and with time, maybe I can try and create a true "podcast"...

steve wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:35 am
So it's:
  1. Make a podcast
  2. Get feedback
  3. Find out how to fix the problems (ask specific questions if you get stuck)
  4. Repeat
By the 11th podcast, you will most likely either be making reasonable podcasts, or will have given up.
That is good advice!

steve wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:35 am
It's often said that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in anything. I'd guess that if you work at it every day, and if you have some aptitude, then you will be making reasonable podcasts after about 6 months, and some pretty good podcasts after about a year.
Sounds reasonable.

Thanks!!

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