Notes from some great sessions at the Excellence in Journalism 2015 convention in Orlando, Fla. (To be cross-posted to the Rivet blog.)
From the great Al Tompkins at the Poynter Institute:
- Ringr: "Lets you connect with virtually anyone on the planet, record your conversation, and instantly download it for editing, playback, and sharing. And the best part? The sound quality is amazing! In fact, unless you share your secret, no one will know the two of you weren't sitting right next to each other having a face-to-face chat."
- PodClear: "Remote Interviews. Studio Quality Sound. … The simplest way to record your remote guests and cohosts with pristine audio quality. Separate lossless tracks for every guest and a mixed track for quick publishing."
- An audio transcription tool called VoiceBase (50 hours of audio transcribed free). It's not perfect, but it's good enough to help search a big speech, debate, etc. to find cuts.
- A list of other "cool new tools" for creating or editing Web content quickly. (Attached.)
New remote (video) smartphone reporting tools, recounted by Quinnipiac University Professor Mo Krochmal.
From audio wizard and NPR host Adam Ragusea (who's been a guest on Rivet), a wonderful presentation ( <— listen to that audio!) on Why you're doing audio levels wrong, and why it really does matter.
Ragusea's good recommendation for determining whether questionable audio will be intelligible for regular human beings: Layer in a clip of car noise or shower sound. If that masks the audio, your audio's not clear enough.
From talent coach Nick Dalley:
- [Stop pronouncing] the "t"s at word endings rather than the ersatz "British" style of doing a glottal stop at the ends of words with final "t"s. "The presiden() sa() on his ha()." This instead of a nice little pop to articulate a "t" sound: "The president sat on his hat."
- When it comes to pacing, if a mistake is made, too fast or too slow, I believe the typical mistake is going too fast. Hit the period and stop. Grab a little breath, then start the new sentence. Just a couple of pet peeves.
- For those who have trouble distinguishing "-ing" from "-een": Practice the phrase "ping pong." ("No one would ever say 'peen pong.'") Also: "Jean has seen beings sing. From Mr. Bean to Chandler Bing, their voices ring."
What is vocal fry?
RIVET'S PRESENCE AT THE CONVENTION
- This gripping discussion of the WDBJ-TV shootings, the impact on the news organization and the ethical implications of covering what you might consider the first "social media murder."
- This profile of me (and mention of Rivet).
- This PowerPoint I presented during my session.
- This graphic, recounting my presentation.