Audition: Why do I work in multitrack?

Audition offers two forms of editing: waveform and multitrack.

If you’re recording a live show and will not need to complete any post-production work, waveform is perfect because it employs something called destructive editing, meaning any changes you make will be final. So if you’re completing a one and done project like an interview and sending it on it’s way, you can make any edits, like cutting out “ums”, in waveform and send it on its way.

Multitrack uses non-destructive editing, meaning that anything can be undone at a later date. Saved your file and decided you want to go back and remove an effect? No problem. The audio file can be restored to its original state. Multitrack also allows you to assemble projects with multiple components more easily. This is perfect if you’re making a podcast and need to add an intro, outro, and background music around your main segment, or if you’re compiling dozens of clips for a station reel.

Remember to always save a copy of your work in multitrack, even if you’re editing in waveform, just to be safe!

Creative Commons and Audio Use

Creative Commons is a licensing organization that works towards expanding access to creative resources by enabling lawful collaboration. It is a standard way for creators to give other creators permission to use their work, sometimes under restricted circumstances.

Creative Commons music can be used for background music and sound effects can be used to bring life to your audio projects. Learn about the different types of Creative Commons licenses below.

Click the image to watch a video explaining the different types of Creative Commons Licenses.

Finally, read this Hootsuite article to find Creative Commons resources for audio to use on your next project!

Making a Bumper

A bumper is a short clip that can be up to 15 or 20 seconds long that introduces your show to listeners. It can include signature music (like a theme song) from your show or sound effects, but should always feature the DJ’s name, show name, and the name of the station.

Bumpers are useful for breaking up segments on your show or for following the best practice of reintroducing yourself or your show every 15 minutes or so while on air.

Follow the tutorials below to learn how to add depth to your voice to produce a professional bumper, and discover the rule of three to create a pleasing sounding bumper.

Add depth to your voice by clicking on this video and following the tutorial.
How to make your bumper sound professional.

Picking a Microphone: What are polar patterns?

Picking the right microphone can be crucial for audio projects. If you’re interviewing a guest and you only have one microphone, you want to make sure they sound as good as you do. But how can you ensure that when you only have one microphone? The answer is polar patterns.

Polar pattern refers to the directional sensitivity of any given microphone to sound. In other words, how it picks up sounds coming from different directions.

There are six polar patterns advertised on majority of commercial mics, as shown below, but today we’ll only be touching on three.

The six polar patterns

Omnidirectional— Omnidirectional polar patterns pick up sounds coming from every direction. They work well if you’re looking to pick up ambient sound in your audio and are great for maintaining a consistent audio level, but the flip side to this is that they may pick up a lot of unwanted background noise if you’re working in a room that isn’t well suited for recording.

Unidirectional (Cardioid)— Unidirectional polar patterns, sometimes referred to as cardioid, pick up sounds that are coming from directly in front of the microphone. They are optimal for isolating sound. This is useful again if you do not have a space that is well suited for recording.

Bidirectional (Figure 8)— Bidirectional polar patterns are also known as figure 8 patterns, since they pick up audio from the front and rear of recording devices while blocking the sides, giving the diagram the look of the number 8. Since it receives equal sound from the front and the back without picking up audio from either side, bidirectional is best used for conversations or interviews between two people where the microphone can be set between them.

Using this knowledge, you can now research the polar patterns on the mics available to you (many have multiple) at Simmons and beyond, and better select a microphone for your recording endeavors!

Audacity vs. Audition: Which is right for me?

For anyone just starting out, choosing a digital audio software to master can be a daunting task. Adobe Audition is seamless, but it’s expensive and complex. Audacity can be a great jumping off point for users looking to complete smaller projects. Weigh the pros and cons of Audacity and Audition with The Podcast Host by following the link shared below.

Click the image to be taken to the article.

New England DIY

This playlist is a tribute to something I have been missing like crazy during the long struggle that is this pandemic. My Friday nights were once spent in basements and Boston venues listening to local music with my friends. Now they often involve my dog and a puzzle or my latest knitting project, with a solid 9 o’clock bedtime. So for all of you who are missing late nights & live music… hold tight, be patient, stay inside & discover some local DIY with this playlist.

*comment or DM us your favorite local punk & DIY music/ your band and we’ll add it to the playlist

Acoustic Music & Autumn

For me, fall weather and folk music have always gone together hand in hand. Like making warm apple crisp and listening to the soothing drawl of a good folk song. Lucky for us living here in New England, the folk and acoustic music scene has a wide variety of creativity and collaboration, leaving us with the perfect soundtrack to our already beautiful fall setting. Go ahead, take a break from studying and throw on this playlist of folk and acoustic-based music all based out of New England. Whether you are missing Boston and studying from far away, or enjoying Autumn here in the city, take some time for yourself to enjoy fall.

Fall 2020 at Simmons Radio

Welcome to a new and strange semester. Obviously, we’re doing things differently this semester… here is some info about it! As always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas.

Our Podcast “Welcome Home”
Iz Indelicato (General Manager) and Katie Cole (Assistant General Manager) are producing a podcast in collaboration with the Simmons Voice. It’ll be a weekly Simmons news round up. We would love for you to be included! We’re accepting all kinds of content, be it a fun segment you do with your friends, an interview you do with a professor, maybe a COVID update from a health major, or a news story you’re particularly proud of. If you want to contribute, email us back and we’ll let you know how.

Your Podcast
One of the great things about radio is that it’s accessible. All you need to produce a podcast is the microphone on your phone and a basic editing software (Audacity is free!). We also are in the process of purchasing some mid-grade professional USB mics you can use if you send us a podcast pitch. We’re hoping to have about 3-4 available. We’ll post your podcast for you on our Spotify. This is a great opportunity, even if you only produce an episode or two – please take it!

Spotify
Simmons Radio has a Spotify account. We’ll be posting collaborative playlists, but also would love to have you do weekly playlists for us as you would if you had a music show live with us. You could also write up brief descriptions about why you chose your songs and we can post that description along with a playlist link to the Arts & Entertainment section of the Simmons Voice!

Live Broadcasts!!!
Radio Managers are getting the capacity to post live broadcasts from home! This means if you record your show or a podcast, we can play and stream it live like we would if we were back at school. Let us know if you’re interested!

EBoard
We have open EBoard positions! We are looking for:
– Operations Manager
(Help with scheduling shows, managing emails and google drive, podcast posting. Take a leading event planning. Supporting GM and Assistant GM with daily tasks.)
-Social Media Manager.
( Manage our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook feed and Spotify playlists! Helping plan events and manage the station too.)
-Music Director
(Help plan virtual concerts, plan band interviews, reach out to local bands, help plan Fin Fest provided we are on campus next semester, Helping plan events and manage the station too.)
Keep in mind if you have your eyes on higher office (GM or Assistant GM) you need to have held another EBoard position. Email us if you are interested in any of these roles!!

And a note: We aren’t perfect and we don’t think of everything, so if you have an idea, please send it along!

This semester is going to be weird but we’re going to make the very best of it. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if and whenever you want or need it!

Radio FAQ

Let’s start with the simple stuff, cause we all know we’re dumb sometimes.

  • How do I go on air?

Go to the mac computer( the one on the left), hit the big live microphone button, the next which is to the right of it. Boom! You’re speaking to the world!

  • How do I start the Audition recording?

First you have to open Audition which is a green icon with the letters Au on it. Then that will bring up a blank screen. Hit file, new and it will . Hit the red circle on the bottom and it will start recording.

  • How do I save my Audition recording?

Stop the recording and it will prompt you to save it. Make sure to name it something you will be able to remember later! Save it to the folder labeled shows and recordings, and then inside your own show’s folder.

  • My music isn’t playing?

First thing is to make sure the sound on your device is turned all the way up.

Next check that the WF Panel Button is turned on, with it’s volume up. If either is is true, your music has been play, it’s just on air can not hear it.

If neither works, check the station volume all the way on the right side of the board. If that is turned down, then your listeners have been hearing the music, but you have not.

Also note, if your microphone is still on while playing music it will not play in the station, but your listeners will still hear it.

The important thing to remember to avoid this confusion is to pay attention to the levels on the board, on the PC where Audacity is recording, and the Mac live broadcast.

If you tried all of the and it still is not play please use the contact on the whiteboard to contact us!

  • There is nothing open on the Mac to go on air with?

This is a super easy fix. Just go to the dashboard at the bottom of the screens and there will be three microphone looking icons on the left. Click the one furthest to the left, On Air Display, and that will bring up the window.

  • I’ve checked and nothing else is wrong, but I still can’t go on air?

Check the console under the radio and look for a green light to the right of the on air button. If that is not on, press it and try again. If this still doesn’t work, contact us!

  • My levels on the On Air Display isn’t going when I play music/speaking into the mic?

One reason might be that backbone is being finicky. Try quitting On Air Display by hitting the name in the upper left corner, quit On Air Display and then opening it up again. If this does not work contact us!