Monday, April 6, 2015

Audio in presentations: The announcement

Last week I attended a seminar where audio interviews where played as an essential part of the presented research. The audio quality of some of the interviews was bad and the researcher looked concerned, so I offered some on-site very basic advise. Another researcher, who hadn't started doing the interviews intents to use a cellphone to record them.

The challenge in the doing interviews is big. Sometimes we record on unknown rooms, w don't deploy the recording hardware ourselves, not say anything about a basic sound-check. The variables we can control are few. One of those variables that can be control is recording gear, but universities and researchers can't afford descent equipment, and if they do they don't borrow it easily.

But on the other hand, just because we have access to language labs or smartphone have built-in software to record some voice notes, it doesn't mean recordings will be good. This led to consider starting a new series on audio for presentations. I think we can do better, and this series is aid do just that.  No to produce Hi-Fi quality sound, but to produce scientific data that we can work with and present.

The series will be focused on post-processing using Audacity, but I will be writing about hardware and set up. I don't want to dumb things one, so I'll be talking math, physics and electrical engineering. But fear not, I'll strive to make it understandable to the layman.