This shouldn’t be so hard: my struggles with audio technology

Okay, I consider myself a relatively tech-savvy person. I know how to use garage band, have dabbled in photo shop, and use programs like Finale and Final Cut with relative ease. But, my god, it took me way too long to figure out the technology I was using for my project.

One of my friends at STAMPS let me borrow two portable microphones for my project. They’re pretty basic: about 5 inches long, 3 inches wide, they come with those squishy things you can put over the actual microphone that makes the sound better (as you can see, I know a lot about microphone terminology). They also have a lot of little buttons, which proved to be a source of trouble for me.

Turns out you have to press the little recorder button twice to actually start recording. Is this common knowledge? Did I miss something? Anyway, I lost about 10 minutes of recording because I thought I only had to press that stupid button once (I’m not bitter though).

Also, before you import the audio clips on your computer, you have to designate files on the little machine! Again, I wasted a fair amount of time frantically searching for my audio while pressing lots of buttons on both the microphone and my computer.

I eventually figured it out, thanks to trial and error and a very helpful phone call to my art school friend (use your resources, people!). If anything, this tech trial taught me that I should set aside time to really finesse my set-up process before interviewing big-wig professors, or else I might end up looking like a fool.

My Set-Up

Emily Cotten

Emily Cotten is a sophomore Vocal Performance major at the University of Michigan. She hails from North Carolina and enjoys reading, writing, and blasting opera hits in her car while driving down the highway.

2 thoughts to “This shouldn’t be so hard: my struggles with audio technology”

  1. Emily,
    Personally, I don’t view myself as being tech savvy, so it probably would have been ten times as worse for me if I were in your shoes! Nevertheless, it is good to know that you are learning how to operate and utilize technology that is alien to you; I feel like this is one of the ulterior goals with this remediation project. It also sucks that you lost a good portion of your initial recording due to something so trivial as pressing the record button twice (I mean, what the hell? Who’s idea was it to press it TWICE to record?). I am curious though, does anything happen if you press it once? Regardless, you are definitely right about how we should take advantage of the vast amount of resources available to us. It’s there for us to use, so why not use it? Hopefully you’ll have more success with your project now that you’ve started grappling with the new technology.

  2. Hey Emily,
    You really persevered in order to figure this technology out haha. I hope it pays off! I’m sure your professors will be impressed with your set up. Really going the extra mile to get these microphones working will increase sound quality and lead to an overall better podcast for sure. When I was doing the voice over for my video I tried playing around with some voice effects to add to the tone, maybe you can take a look at some effects also and see what they can add to your speech voice.

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