Audio

Overviews

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Podcasts

Podcasts are digital audio recordings that are mostly spoken word (similar to a radio talk show or an interview), but may include some music clips and sound effects. Professional podcasts are made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, and are typically a part of a series.

As BizChix.com’s  explains:

Podcast Image

Recommended Software:

Audacity Logo

  • AudacityThis free, open-source software is available for many types of operating systems. It is also installed on all InfoLab machines, both in the labs and for checkout. Audacity projects are saved as an AUP file, but must be exported to another file form such as AIFF, WAV, or WMA for external listening. Exporting to MP3 requires an additional plug-in.

Garage Band Logo

  • GarageBand: This is a free proprietary software program that is available only for Apple products. It is installed on all InfoLab machines, both in the labs and for checkout under the Mac partition. GarageBand projects are saved as .band files, but can easily be exported (Share > Export Song to Disc) as WAV, MP3, AIFF, and AAC for external listening.

Adobe Audition Logo

  • Adobe Audition: This software is a part of the Adobe Creative Cloud and is installed on select InfoLab machines, only in the labs (including those in DesignLab and the Media Studio classrooms). This software is available for both Windows and Mac machines. Using a Creative Cloud account will allow for easy transitions between computers. Like other Adobe products, the learning curve is much more steep for Audition than the above free software programs, but there are more features available in this program. Audition projects (called Sessions) are saved as .SESX files, which can also be exported to a variety of different file formats for external listening (including MP3, WAV, and AIFF).

Audio Essay

Audio essays explore topics using spoken text, audio interviews, archival recordings, music, environmental sounds, and/or sound effects. They can be structured using the conventions of written argument and evidence, narrative devices, as well as poetic and experimental structures.

Recommended Software:

Audacity Logo

  • AudacityThis free, open-source software is available for many types of operating systems. It is also installed on all InfoLab machines, both in the labs and for checkout. Audacity projects are saved as an AUP file, but must be exported to another file form such as AIFF, WAV, or WMA for external listening. Exporting to MP3 requires an additional plug-in.

Garage Band Logo

  • GarageBand: This is a free proprietary software program that is available only for Apple products. It is installed on all InfoLab machines, both in the labs and for checkout under the Mac partition. GarageBand projects are saved as .band files, but can easily be exported (Share > Export Song to Disc) as WAV, MP3, AIFF, and AAC for external listening.

Adobe Audition Logo

  • Adobe Audition: This software is a part of the Adobe Creative Cloud and is installed on select InfoLab machines, only in the labs (including those in DesignLab and the Media Studio classrooms). This software is available for both Windows and Mac machines. Using a Creative Cloud account will allow for easy transitions between computers. Like other Adobe products, the learning curve is much more steep for Audition than the above free software programs, but there are more features available in this program. Audition projects (called Sessions) are saved as .SESX files, which can also be exported to a variety of different file formats for external listening (including MP3, WAV, and AIFF).

Audio Documentary

Audio documentaries involve researching a non-fiction topic and focusing in on micro-stories, as opposed to broader issue pieces or news stories. They often rely on conventional narrative structures, adding recorded, and site-specific sounds to enhance the listener’s experience.

Recommended Software:

Audacity Logo

  • AudacityThis free, open-source software is available for many types of operating systems. It is also installed on all InfoLab machines, both in the labs and for checkout. Audacity projects are saved as an AUP file, but must be exported to another file form such as AIFF, WAV, or WMA for external listening. Exporting to MP3 requires an additional plug-in.

Garage Band Logo

  • GarageBand: This is a free proprietary software program that is available only for Apple products. It is installed on all InfoLab machines, both in the labs and for checkout under the Mac partition. GarageBand projects are saved as .band files, but can easily be exported (Share > Export Song to Disc) as WAV, MP3, AIFF, and AAC for external listening.

Adobe Audition Logo

  • Adobe Audition: This software is a part of the Adobe Creative Cloud and is installed on select InfoLab machines, only in the labs (including those in DesignLab and the Media Studio classrooms). This software is available for both Windows and Mac machines. Using a Creative Cloud account will allow for easy transitions between computers. Like other Adobe products, the learning curve is much more steep for Audition than the above free software programs, but there are more features available in this program. Audition projects (called Sessions) are saved as .SESX files, which can also be exported to a variety of different file formats for external listening (including MP3, WAV, and AIFF).

Audio Blog

Audio blogs are a form of online journaling. They typically function similar to a radio talk show in that they primarily use spoken word. The goal of blogs is to illicit listener interaction via comments on an online platform, such as SoundCloud. Audio blogs are often placed in the genre of “podcasts.” However, audio blogs are less likely to use a lot of music or sound effects.

A subset of audio blogs, called MP3 blogs, use a similar blog setting to publish music or remix recordings online.

Recommended Software:

Audacity Logo

  • AudacityThis free, open-source software is available for many types of operating systems. It is also installed on all InfoLab machines, both in the labs and for checkout. Audacity projects are saved as an AUP file, but must be exported to another file form such as AIFF, WAV, or WMA for external listening. Exporting to MP3 requires an additional plug-in.

Garage Band Logo

  • GarageBand: This is a free proprietary software program that is available only for Apple products. It is installed on all InfoLab machines, both in the labs and for checkout under the Mac partition. GarageBand projects are saved as .band files, but can easily be exported (Share > Export Song to Disc) as WAV, MP3, AIFF, and AAC for external listening.

Adobe Audition Logo

  • Adobe Audition: This software is a part of the Adobe Creative Cloud and is installed on select InfoLab machines, only in the labs (including those in DesignLab and the Media Studio classrooms). This software is available for both Windows and Mac machines. Using a Creative Cloud account will allow for easy transitions between computers. Like other Adobe products, the learning curve is much more steep for Audition than the above free software programs, but there are more features available in this program. Audition projects (called Sessions) are saved as .SESX files, which can also be exported to a variety of different file formats for external listening (including MP3, WAV, and AIFF).

Audio Narrative

Audio narratives, sometimes also called “radio plays,” tell a story using only sound. Narratives can be fiction or non-fiction and use spoken word, music, and sound effects to immerse the listener in a different world.

Recommended Software:

Audacity Logo

  • AudacityThis free, open-source software is available for many types of operating systems. It is also installed on all InfoLab machines, both in the labs and for checkout. Audacity projects are saved as an AUP file, but must be exported to another file form such as AIFF, WAV, or WMA for external listening. Exporting to MP3 requires an additional plug-in.

Garage Band Logo

  • GarageBand: This is a free proprietary software program that is available only for Apple products. It is installed on all InfoLab machines, both in the labs and for checkout under the Mac partition. GarageBand projects are saved as .band files, but can easily be exported (Share > Export Song to Disc) as WAV, MP3, AIFF, and AAC for external listening.

Adobe Audition Logo

  • Adobe Audition: This software is a part of the Adobe Creative Cloud and is installed on select InfoLab machines, only in the labs (including those in DesignLab and the Media Studio classrooms). This software is available for both Windows and Mac machines. Using a Creative Cloud account will allow for easy transitions between computers. Like other Adobe products, the learning curve is much more steep for Audition than the above free software programs, but there are more features available in this program. Audition projects (called Sessions) are saved as .SESX files, which can also be exported to a variety of different file formats for external listening (including MP3, WAV, and AIFF).

Soundscape

A soundscape (or “acoustic ecology”) is the recording of an acoustic environment. It can consist of ambient noises, speaking/talking, music, etc. Soundscapes create an immersive environment for the listener, so that they experience a place or event via listening rather than seeing. Soundscapes can be used in other forms of audio, such as audio essays, audio documentaries, audio blogs, and audio narratives. Soundscapes are commonly used in podcasts or other forms of audio essay to allow the listener to feel the environment in which the recording is being done.

Recommended Software:

Audacity Logo

  • AudacityThis free, open-source software is available for many types of operating systems. It is also installed on all InfoLab machines, both in the labs and for checkout. Audacity projects are saved as an AUP file, but must be exported to another file form such as AIFF, WAV, or WMA for external listening. Exporting to MP3 requires an additional plug-in.

Garage Band Logo

  • GarageBand: This is a free proprietary software program that is available only for Apple products. It is installed on all InfoLab machines, both in the labs and for checkout under the Mac partition. GarageBand projects are saved as .band files, but can easily be exported (Share > Export Song to Disc) as WAV, MP3, AIFF, and AAC for external listening.

Adobe Audition Logo

  • Adobe Audition: This software is a part of the Adobe Creative Cloud and is installed on select InfoLab machines, only in the labs (including those in DesignLab and the Media Studio classrooms). This software is available for both Windows and Mac machines. Using a Creative Cloud account will allow for easy transitions between computers. Like other Adobe products, the learning curve is much more steep for Audition than the above free software programs, but there are more features available in this program. Audition projects (called Sessions) are saved as .SESX files, which can also be exported to a variety of different file formats for external listening (including MP3, WAV, and AIFF).

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Working on something different?

The above options are just a few examples of audio projects. Want help with something not listed here? Make an appointment with a DesignLab consultant to discuss how we can help!

Examples

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Podcast

Blog: “What is a Podcast” by Natalie Eckdahl (from BizChix.com)

Podcast: “The Audacity to Podcast” (series by Daniel J. Lewis)

Audio Essay

Podcast: This American Life*

Podcast: RadioLab*

*These podcasts are done in an audio essay or audio documentary format*

Audio Documentary

Podcast Episode: Switched at Birth from This American Life

(see also Audio Essay examples above)

Audio Blog

Audio Narrative

Radio Narrative: War of the Worlds by Orson Wells (listed by David Webb)

Student Audio Drama: The Tower (by Chromatic Maelstrom Films)

Soundscape

Soundscape: Percussion Sound Scape – Wind, Rain, Birds, & More

Soundscape: Industrial Soundscape (by bw064053)

Audio Icon

Software Support

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Audacity

GarageBand

Adobe Audition

and more...

Are we missing a software that you would recommend to others? Email us at designlab@wisc.edu and we’ll do our best to add it here!