A Weekend in Portland- First Draft Audio Story

For this project, I made an audio-diary type project, talking about some of the highlights of my weekend in Portland. While I did a ton of things in Portland, I narrowed it down to things that I felt were most interesting for an audio story.

In terms of inspiration for this project, I am going to be honest and say that I did not listen to other audio stories that were related to travel. This was for a reason, as  I wanted these to be my own ideas, and I felt that if I listened to other travel stories I would be mimicking, rather than creating.

However, there were a few stories in the example section of the weekly readings that I really admired. The Musical Language story was one that I admired, because the music was included not only as an active part of the story, but part of the music bed as well. You will see where I tried to duplicate this at the end of my piece.

I began this story by capturing raw audio  while walking around Portland, I wanted the sounds of the city to guide my listener through the piece. Then, I spent the morning writing a script and recording it on my iPhone to narrate my piece. I woke up that morning with a terrible cold, so the amount of mouth breathing I had to cut out of my audio was outstanding. Haha.

Here is how I put the story together in Audition.

  1. I downloaded a trial of Audition, and began a new session, with the same bit and sample rates as used in the tutorials.
  2. Next, I used the import option to import all of my raw audio files and narration that I had recorded on my phone. (I had emailed them to myself previously).
  3. Now, I began dragging the narration over to the first track, and placing it in the order I thought best suited the piece.
  4. When I had the audio in the order I liked, I began using the razor tool to edit out any coughs, long breathes, awkward pauses, or unnecessary information from my narration. I would highlight an area, use the razor tool to slice it on either end, and use backspace to get rid of them.
  5.  After I had the narration figured out, I began to drag over onto a track below the first one all of my ambient noises I had recorded during the duration of my trip, and trying to align them to the parts of the story where I was talking about them
  6. Again, I used the razor tool to slice out any information that was not needed in these files.
  7. After I had the ambient noise track in the order I wanted them, I dragged them and the narration tracks from side to side, until I found pauses in the narration and noises that seemed to flow into each other.
  8. Finally, it was time to adjust the volume. While I kept the narration volume the same, the background ambient noise needed to be adjusted. By clicking on the solid line in the middle of these tracks, I was able to drag the volume down on each track as a whole.
  9. In order to make the volume on these tracks fluctuate, again I click on the solid line controlling the volume in the middle of the track. Instead of pulling it down though, I clicked once towards the beginning of the track, and once about a second in. I then adjusted the first point by pulling it down with my mouse. The creates a fade in effect.
  10. I did the same at the end of the track, using two points to make my audio fade out.
  11. After a quick listen through for any last adjustments, I exported my file into an MP3, using file+export+multi-track mixdown+entire session, keeping the same audio formats I used in the start of my session.






6 thoughts on “A Weekend in Portland- First Draft Audio Story

  1. Madison Wicks says:

    Hi Samantha!
    I really enjoyed your blog post and reading up more about what your blog is about. I love Halloween Town the TV show, I watch it every Halloween. That is so cool you got to actually visit there! Mcmenamins is pretty good, but I’ve only been at the one in Bothell. This post was really good! I listened to your raw audio footage, and I enjoyed the background noise on the draft better, that was a good pick. A little more than half way through your audio, your talking gets quieter. You should try and change that if you can. Otherwise it isn’t a big deal at all. I felt that at the beginning of your audio you were talking a bit fast, so maybe slow down some. I think that if you get rid of some of the longer pauses you can talk slower and not as fast, I see that your right at two minutes. Good job, and I can’t wait to see the end results!



  2. crystalynnkneen says:

    Hey Sam!

    Wow! I think your idea is amazing! It sounds like you definitely enjoyed your 21st birthday weekend. I really liked your ambient sounds and music in the background. Very professional and relatable to the story. To be honest with you, I can’t really think of anything wrong with it, but I have to suggest two thing,. so I’m gonna try. I would edit out the DMV part if you want to cut it down a bit. There’s nothing wrong with it being there, it was just one of those things to cut out if you needed more room. The second thing I can suggest would be maybe mess with your volumes on the different clips to balance them out and sound a bit smoother. Some clips are just a little bit quieter than others. Besides that, your voice is very clear and everything else sounds great! Happy Birthday!

    Crystalynn Kneen


  3. samanthachapmanblog says:

    I am pretty content with my draft, but like all media pieces, it is always a work in progress. One thing that people noted about changing in my drafts was how my voice was louder in the beginning and then grew quieter towards the end. I am going to listen back through, and either manually change the audio to be the same volume, or use an equalizing tool. Also, the beginning seems to trip people up. There is a lot of information crammed into one section, so it my be good to edit some out, or re-record with less information at a slower pace. Fitting right into that two minute deadline may prohibit slowing down without taking out some content. I also want to add some photos with the final draft of my weekend in Portland, that way people can see what they are hearing about in my story.


  4. theselittlelightsblog says:

    Hi Samantha,
    I absolutely love Portland and really think you did a great job showcasing your trip and the authentic vibe of Portland. Your background noises fit in so well! You did a great job editing those in!!
    As you go back to finalize this story, I only have a couple suggestion. As you transition from your activities, adding a transition line might help make those moments flow more smoothly. Also, the beginning seems to pack a lot of information in all at once. Consider either slowing the introduction down or breaking it up throughout the story – maybe that could be your transition?
    Besides those two minor suggestions, I think you really have a great start!



  5. jessica says:

    Hi Samantha,

    I like the introduction to your story. It was easy to follow your story. I like how you added historical meaning with pop culture. I did not know some of the scenes from Twilight or Disney were filmed in Portland. I like how easy it is to read the steps you took to create your audio story. I like how you decided to number your story.

    There is no big suggestions for you. I think your draft was very well done and it had all the elements from the rubric. The two suggestions I can give you is to play with the background music. You can either adjust the volumes or add more sound effects. The second suggestion would be to get to your story faster in the beginning. If there is another important part of your story, I would do that. I cannot wait to hear your final story.



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