Workshop in March on Portable Audio Recorders

In L.A. Friday, March 27, I’ll be presenting a workshop called for “Birthing Digital: Portable Digital Audio Recorders” for the Southwest Oral History Association’s Conference that afternoon. Location: USC. Register: Cost: SOHA members $35, Non-Members $50, Students $20. (+online registration fees). Short description: When an audio recording is initially stored as bits, bytes, ones and zeroes, it’s called “born digital.” The birthing begins with two people having a conversation. It ends with a digital audio file. This 3-hour workshop focuses on what happens in between. It’s part theory, part show and tell, and part practice using a glorious array of portable audio recorders.

Long Description:

The Theory:

An overview of the most common routes to go from spoken word to audio file. It will provide a framework to understand the myriad portable audio recorders available on the market. There will also be an introduction to some basics of audio, digital sampling, file formats, and concepts that underlie best recording practices.

The Show and Tell:

A look at many of the common portable audio recorders. Recorder types will include portable flash memory, portable internal micro-drives, direct-to-CD, recording pens, components that connect microphone directly to computer, and add-on components that extend functionality of common audio devices such as certain iPods. Attendees will be able to handle the recorders and compare them by size, weight, and inspect their controls.

Attendees who have worked with a given recorder will be encouraged to describe their experience using that recorder, including their learning curve, workflow, and any technical “gotchas.”

The Practice:

Attendees will get some hands-on practice making brief recordings using the recorders. (Note: The amount of hands on experience depends on the number of attendees and the total number of recorders, but this part of the workshop will be designed to give each attendee the maximum exposure to different recorder types.)

Who is this session for? For beginners who are looking to make an initial equipment purchase and experienced oral historians looking to upgrade their current recording kit, the session will provide a one-stop preliminary equipment overview and evaluation. For those who already work with digital equipment, this is an opportunity to share your experiences and to see what other product offerings exist.

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Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on March 02, 2009 in • AudioAudio: Hardware
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