My last post reminded me of the proper way to cut an audio track – better known as narration. If you just pick up your script and read (or worse yet, try to ad lib) you’re most likely gonna have problems. So here’s how and why to do it properly.
First, read the damn thing. Even the pros do that – they give it a read to get comfortable with it. They mark it up – underlining words they want to punch. They even change the language so it’s more personal – more their words. And they take ownership of the words; of the script.
Next, label your tracks. The first one is track one, the second track two, and so on.
Now you’re ready to read.
Hint re reading into a mike – never talk directly into the mike. Read over it/past it. Put it beneath your lips and talk to your script. If you read right into the mike you’ll pop your “Ps.” Reading over the mike minimizes this. In fact, you may have to practice pulling your punch with “Ps,” cause they do have a tendancy to pop. (And what I mean by this, is the sudden burst of air as you push the letter out creates a popping sound that is distracting to the audience.)
Read as follows:
“Track one, take one, in three…two…one…” Now read your narration segment. If you mess up, begin again with “Track one, take two, in three…two…one…” As you go, mark the good takes on your script. If you’ve ever edited narration and had trouble finding the beginning, this should solve the problem.
If you mess up mid-track and like what you’ve done so far, pick it up, as follows:
“Track one, take two…pickup, in three…two…one…”
Pros have a reason for everything. When I did field recording of tracks, I’d hold my hand up in front with the track and take number. If it was a wash, I’d do a thumbs down. This way when I was trying to find tracks I’d rewind until I saw a thumbs down and then take the next track. (Yeah, I’m a visual learner.)
By the way, while you’re reading, don’t talk from your head. Use your diaphram. Use the voice you use when you want to be heard. Don’t yell….but push the words out. You don’t want to be authoritative or compelling, but you do want to be believeable.
For VideoJournalism, this is Cyndy Green reporting.