A New Audition

I love audio, always have.

I’m the person who forgoes carpool karaoke 4 days out of 5 so I can devour audiobooks, podcasts, and any news hour. My mother said I rarely watched television, but rather I loved listening to it while I played with toys or drew. There’s something about listening that just clicks for me.

Needless to say, I was excited to get going on this week’s assignment.

With writing as my topic, I knew I wanted to interview a mentor, someone who’s been a support and thought partner in my own journey. My dear colleague, Desirée, is writing a memoir and has been involved in the Portland writing community much longer than I. When I seek a sage, it is she.

First, I wrote a few open-ended questions and shared them with Desirée ahead of the interview:

  • What is your definition of a memoir?
  • What has surprised you during your writing process?
  • What is your process for writing?
  • What advice do you have for someone starting this journey?

Next, Desirée and I sat down to record our chat using my Blue Yeti microphone in Adobe Audition. After collecting our conversation, I recorded my spouse and singer-songwriter (who I interviewed briefly last week) Bryan, playing his own acoustic guitar song in a new track.

The initial run of editing was easy. Next door to my office a loud group held a meeting during our recording session and at several points their laughter was picked up by my Yeti. Better mic = more sounds. So, these clips were the first to go.

Then, I listened to Desirée’s comments for a throughline. For her, it was talking about a process. I used the Select tool to order clips with what she does to get started and ended with her advice. Together, the soundbites would speak to any audience interested in writing as there are universal truths about the work. 

I edited out “ums” and “ahs” as well as long pauses and then used Merge Clips to connect full thoughts. Then, I recorded myself giving short intros to each of the five sections in a third track, cut them into sections, and spliced them in between the clips of Desirée talking.

Lastly, I modified the guitar track. I like how I can use Mute and Record when moving between tracks in a piece. I used the track tools to fade in the sound at the beginning and fade it out at the end. I also lowered the volume to -20 decibels during the conversation by using the Select tool to create points on the volume line and dragging down to lower the line during the conversational section.

I’d love to hear what you think about my recording and your thoughts about the writing process itself. 

Stay tuned for the final draft!

The author’s draft recording using Adobe Audition.

4 thoughts on “A New Audition

  1. Hi Erin!

    The audio on your draft story sounds really good! I like the beginning with the guitar picking and the quality of your “talking” audio is good, especially with Desirée. One thing I found myself doing while listening was raising the volume on my computer when your voice was present. Desirée’s voice was a little bit louder than yours so maybe you can raise your volume a bit. I really enjoy how you incorporated both voices in your story using your own audio to explain to listeners what you had asked Desirée. I like the point you make at the end of the story and I like Desirée’s advice but it felt like an abrupt end in a way. I think the inflection in Desirée’s voice makes it sound like she is going to say something else then it cuts off. Overall, your audio story sounds great!!

    – Natalie Steele

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I listen again I am thankful for having found such a wonderful person to interview. Desiree’s comments and reflections made editing a natural process. Using the microphone was helpful and made for a clear recording.
    I think this week I will see if I can make the parts with my speech a little louder to match Desiree’s talking. I also might try to tuck in a reflective comment on the end to summarize or more smoothly end the piece.


  3. Hi Erin,
    I really like your audio story. I think the topic is very interesting, and Desiree has some great insights into writing that we can all take to heart. You did a great job tying her soundbites together into a cohesive, compelling story with your track. You also did a great job with the narration; it sounds really natural and conversational. I also love that your husband provided the soundtrack. His song sounds wonderful, and I like how you let your story breathe by having a short section of music in between soundbites. It helps with pacing and can also help transition to a new thought. The only suggestion I might make is to raise the volume of the music slightly, towards the end of the piece I found it a bit hard to hear. I also agree with Natalie that the volume of your track could be a bit louder to match up with Desiree. Really good job I can’t wait to hear the final version!


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