The second project in the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) was to put together a short course, explaining the basics of sound editing so that local, oral historians – using the free program, Audacity, could edit and present their work. Of course this is equally applicable to music.
Here it is…
Sound Editing in Audacity for Oral Historians
I’m in the process or preparing a short CPD session for colleagues on the free, open-source sound- recording and editing program, Audacity. When pitching the idea, I suggested that we could each prepare a Desert Island Discs CD, featuring 1 minute each of eight tracks. In addition to learning such aspects of the program as fade-ins and fade-outs, it would encourage us to discuss music with one another – a thing which, somewhat ironically, rarely happens. The other irony is that, in seeking accommodation, I discovered that the room containing the most computers, loaded with Audacity is not in a Music department, but CDT.
To experiment with cross-fading, I’ve cut down my original Desert Island Disc extracts to a few seconds. This is the sort of mashup one could use to give an overall flavour of, say, a school concert. While I think you’ll agree that this selection desert-island-discs-mashup doesn’t represent the ideal dinner party mix, it probably doesn’t matter as, on a desert island, one tends to dine alone. “Just as well,” some of you may say upon hearing these extracts.
Firstly, thanks to Ewan McIntosh for flagging up ScreenToaster – a free screencasting application. I decided to experiment by creating a short “how to” video, showing how to convert Sibelius files into PDF files using Open Office – a free, open source program. You can see the video here.
I can see some potential here for distance CDP/In Service. Moreover, there are videos in a variety of languages in the ScreenToaster archive, so you can kill two birds with one stone.
In case anyone wonders why someone who already owns Sibelius would want to do this, here are a few reasons:
scores/parts can be shared with people who are not Sibelius users
they can be printed out even in a location where Sibelius is not installed
parts for pupils can be emailed to class teachers in primary schools – the majority of which do not have Sibelius
scores/parts can be saved in a format which prohibits further editing – by unauthorised parties
files can be uploaded to blogs – allowing pupils with sufficient curiosity to see what others in their ensemble are playing