You Can Be The Voice Of Your Ancestors
When I wrote about the future of my storytelling I did not expect that the process would begin so soon. It all started with my habit of making lists! The list I made (doodled really) of what was required to make a podcast was surprisingly short
- audio program
- written transcript for podcast
- slide show or video program (optional extra)
Although this was a little out of my comfort zone my family history research had given me the confidence to use the internet to search for answers. Through the necessity of starting a blog I would describe myself as a “non-geeky” geek in that my knowledge of technology is strictly on a “need to know” basis. If I was going to record my family history in a story format then my “need to know” led me to researching the world of podcasting.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated to any product mentioned in this post. Nor am I an expert in the field of computer technology. All products are those I have purchased through normal online outlets.
1. Podcast Microphone
The most important piece of technical information I latched onto was a microphone had to be either “condenser” or “dynamic” Opting for the more natural sound of the “condenser” microphone I knew there would be a trade off as this type of microphone will pick up more background noise. Apart from the early morning “crow chorus” this would not be a problem for me but if you live under a flight path or don’t have access to a quiet spot you may have to choose the “dynamic” microphone option. These are more forgiving in respect to intrusive noise but, as you would expect, they do cost more. Having a clear idea of what your specific requirements are is the result of research. Having a clear idea of your specific needs comes with research. My advice is not to rush this step. Your pocket will thank you! In the end my choice of podcast microphone came down to knowing the microphone had to be transportable, less than $60 (AU) and definitely “Plug & Play! By checking out various reviews I found one that ticked all my boxes. The Samson Go Mic. Although I must admit I thought I may have over estimated the “portability” factor as it was a lot smaller than I imagined!
“Having a clear idea of your specific needs comes with research. Do not rush this step. Your pocket will thank you!“
2. Podcast Audio Program
Again my proviso for this post is that my approach to all things technical begins and ends with what I need to know for the project in my sights. I do not claim to be an expert! Whilst I have been known to play the guitar occasionally, I did not research which would be the easiest audio program to record guitar solos, concerts or over dubbing. My goal was to find an audio software program I could grow in to as my needs dictated. It had to be free and suitable for a Windows based PC. My focus was entirely on it’s podcasting capabilities .
“My approach to all things technical begins and ends with what I need to know for the project in my sights.”
Taking these 3 criteria into consideration my choice was “Audacity”. It was easy to download although, take note that you are downloading the Audacity program! I kept getting various “pop ups” with a download icon which on closer examination was for a different program altogether. I have no idea why and perhaps it won’t be an issue for you. (As I mentioned earlier I am a “non-geeky” geek so I did not distract my self by finding out why this was happening)
As you can see by the image above, the screen is a little similar to video editing software with the tools also working in much the same way. This first “teaser” podcast took less than 30 minutes to record, download as an Mp3 file and place into this post.
Does A Podcast Teaser Work?
Does a podcast teaser work? You tell me! Theophilus Adcock is my Great-Grandfather. The census indicates he was a kind, family man. His criminal record would seem to paint an entirely different picture! Would any of these podcasts teasers tempt you to link to see what happens next?
If you do come back and listen to the whole podcast in my next post you will hear where I digress from the podcast script and various other blips. I made the decision that if I wait for perfection my story telling podcast will never happen! My second attempt at “hooking” my listeners was to include a little music. But, then again. it may be a distraction. What do you think?
3. Writing a Podcast Transcript
If you are the sort of person who likes to get started on a project as soon as an idea takes your fancy I would describe this section as a starting point. In my case this started point proved to be completely wrong! My plan of attack was to read aloud the short story I had written in the form of a Pen Portrait, “When Theophilus Adcock Went to Town”. It didn’t work! It was stilted, out of sequence and frankly, boring. Take a listen, and compare it to the versions above.
As I mentioned early, research is the only way to find out what you don’t know! Taking on board my own advice, the research that followed included listening to many, many story telling podcasts. It didn’t take long for me to understand the value and purpose of writing specifically for the genre of podcasting.
In my next post “Writing A Podcast Transcript” you will see how I applied this research to adapting the Pen Portrait of Theophilus to writing the story in a way that was “fit for purpose”. The writing process involved in changing my Pen Portrait to become a podcast transcript, meant I had to start from scratch. As you will hear from the Podcast Teaser they are two very different styles of writing.
My Almost Non-Geeky “How-To” Podcast Links
If you would like to share your own story telling podcasts please let me know!Just Vicki