The following assignments are designed to help you to master your skills using Audacity and the Lame plug-in as your audio editing software, and Soundcloud as your audio embedding software. At the same time, you will learn proper techniques in mixing music, sound effects (SFX) and voice-overs (V.O.) together at proper listening levels. Please read the following instructions carefully before beginning the assignments:
- You must incorporate multiple audio tracks into your final project: one audio track for voice-over, one audio track for sound effects and one audio track for background music. You must use royalty free music.
- Try to use voice-over talent who is somewhat free of regional accents. Remember, the message is the most important part of your commercial; clarity in your voice-over is very key to the success of your commercials.
- You are responsible for doing your own work. You can ask for assistance from your instructor, a producer, or a fellow classmate, but you will be held accountable to completing the assignment on your own.
Radio Commercial Instructions and Grading Criteria
(If you don’t understand any of these, ASK!)
Radio Commercial Assignment – 100pts
VO= voice over
Record your VO using the recorders provided
Import the VO into Audacity
Create a folder on your hard drive and name it “Radio Commercial” ,then use File>Save and save the Audacity Project File to this folder to your external HD. Name your project as “lastnamefirstinitial_radioproject” (obviously, use your own name). You will turn this in via email to email@example.com once you have exported your final project MP3 for sound cloud.
Use the scripts from the download link above to produce a :30 radio commercial with music:
20pts-Trim the VO to fit 30-seconds. It may start between 0-.5 seconds and end between 29.5-30 seconds. It may not be over 30-second. If you are within 2-3 seconds over or under your target time, you may use Effects>Change Tempo to make your VO be the correct length.
10pts-Add noise reduction and compression, to the VO if necessary. Mix the voice level to average of -6 on the digital audio meters
10pts-Import the sound effects (SFX) as separate audio tracks. Trim them and place them as called for in the script
10pts-Mix each SFX to the correct sound level mix with the VO
10pts-Add short fade up and fade out effects to each SFX in the project
10pts-Import your music track. Trim it to 30-seconds. Add a 1-second fade out effect at the end and mix the SFX audio level to a pleasing mix with the VO and SFX.
10pts-Re-save your completed project lastnamefirstinitial_radioproject (File>Save)
Export your final project MP3 file to your external HD for Sound Cloud (File>Export Audio)
Upload your exported MP3 to Sound Cloud and embed it into your WordPress Major Course Projects page as “Radio Commercial.”
20pts-Go to your Radio Commercial folder on your hard drive. Select both the .aup file and the data file folder, right-click and choose “add to archive”. This will create a zipped file. Email email the zipped file to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Use the scripts from the download link above to produce two :30 radio commercials with music:
Your completed assignments should be uploaded to Soundcloud and then embedded into your WordPress In-Class Assignments page for evaluation and grading.WordPress Major Course Projects page for evaluation and grading.
Script – Pier Point Resort
Script – Good Neighbor Pharmacy
Example Major Project
Use the scripts from the download link above to produce two :30 radio commercials with music.
Record the Voice overs to within one 1.5 seconds of 30-seconds in length. This means from the start of the first recorded word of the script to the end of the last recorded word of the script must me no less than 28.5-seconds and no longer than 30-seconds. If your recording does not meet these criteria, do it over.
Use Audacity and LAME mp3 encoder (both free downloads for Mac & PC) to edit, mix and export your finished radio commercials
Installing LAME mp3 encoder in Audacity (school computers already have this)
How to use the Tascam DR-05 Audio Recorder
How to Record Voiceovers
In this segment we show you how to prepare a recording booth and choose proper audio equipment. Once you know the ins and outs of recording and editing voice overs, your narration will be solid and carry as much impact as the rest of your production.
Audacity Audio Editing Tutorials
How to Import an Audio File into Audacity
Trimming an Audio File in Audacity
How To Split Your Recording And Move Sections Around In Audacity
Clean Up your VO using Audacity
Watch and follow the video below to clean up your VO steps:
- First, import your VO and Room Tone Tracks into Audacity.
- Trim any mistakes, countdowns, and mic handling sounds from your VO track by highlighting and using the Delete Key.
- Effects>Noise Reduction: 1) get noise profile from your room tone track, 2) reduce the noise
- Effects>Normalize audio to -6db
- Effects>Compressor using these settings: Threshold -12db, Noise Floor -40db, Ratio 2:1, Attack Time 0.2 seconds, Decay Time 1.0 seconds, and check the box for ‘make up gain for 0db after compressing.’
- If the compressor effect makes your VO track excessively loud, use the volume slider in the VO track header (on the left-hand side of the VO track) to reduce the volume back to an average of -6db.
- If you still hear a lot of background noise, repeat the noise reduction step above using a noise profile sample from somewhere inside the already normalized and compressed VO track, not the room tone track.
- If your trimmed VO track is short or long by up to 4-seconds, use Effects>Change tempo and change the length to 29.5-seconds.
Understanding Audio Compression to Improve Your Voice
Your voice should be mixed to AVERAGE around -6db
Your music should mix well with the voice, but not conflict with it, or overpower it. Your music will probably be set between -18db and -12db
Mixing (balancing) sound levels on multiple audio tracks in Audacity
Audacity Change Tempo – Make Your VO Fit A Specific Time Without Changing Pitch
Saving the Audacity Project File and Exporting an MP3 file
Saving the Audacity Project File and Exporting an MP3 file
Your completed assignments should be uploaded to Soundcloud and then embedded into your WordPress In-Class Assignments page for evaluation and grading. Label each commercial with its script title.
How to Upload your Audio File to Soundcloud