Tag Archives: audio slideshows

Olympic suburbs audio slideshow

Public to name Olympic suburbs

Here’s a good audio slideshow from the BBC on the plans for the areas around the Olympic stadium and what they will look like.

There is a voiceover, rather than Q and A, done by Duncan Innes, from the Olympic Park Legacy Company. The images are a mixture of shots of the state of the areas now and artistic impressions of what the suburbs will look like.

The slideshow is done particularly well because they match what Innes is saying to the images with great precision e.g. when he says one area will be very close to the cycling facilities, we are on an artist’s impression of the velodrome and cycling track etc. A couple of seconds later, Innes says it will be close to the station – and we get a close up shot of Stratford station.

Timing is clearly everything – and just as important here as it is with voiceovers for video footage. I get the impression the voiceover was recorded first then the images were timed to fit.


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How to make an audio slideshow using iPhone voice memo and iMovie

Phew. Ok I just made an audio slideshow – I think, I hope.

Let’s begin at the beginning. I took some audio footage of a salon catwalk show at London Fashion Week last week. It was the Craig Lawrence A/W 2011 show which took place in Somerset House’s Portico Rooms on Saturday 19th February (9-11am). This designer is known for his craftmanship with knitwear so they chose to forego music and instead have a member of Lawrence’s team describe the materials and techniques used in each piece. My images are from Craig Lawrence’s Designer Profile on the London Fashion Week website.

I recorded the footage with my iPhone 4 using Voice Memos which comes as standard and can be found in ‘Utilities’. I have cut down the audio to seven looks (Looks Two to Eight) to avoid it getting boring for anyone not in love with knitwear. One minor fault already is that I only decided to start recording after I realised their strategy – half way through Look One.

After browsing through some posts I saw that publications often use Final Cut Pro to produce audio slideshows. Since I don’t have this software, I used iMovie which is also recommended. I didn’t flail into the audio slideshow unknown blindly though – I used an instruction video on vimeo.com to guide me – How to make an Audio Slideshow on iMovie – what a way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

If you are really impatient – here are the most important bits:

1. Open up iMovie. Save your images into a folder or onto your desktop and drag them into the project box. Single click to drag images and re-order them. Hovering over the images acts as rewinding and fast-forwarding whereas pressing the space bar is ‘Play’.

2. Drag your audio into the project box. When dragging it in you can choose which frame to start the audio on, and slide it around. Your audio will only run to the total length of your photos so double click on each image to change the number of seconds it stays on screen.You will have to listen to your audio a few times and note down the place each time you want to switch images – bear in mind any transitions you might put in too when matching your images to the audio (see point 6)

3. The toolbar below the preview pane has some useful tricks. The microphone is to record live voiceovers as you watch the images. If you add voiceovers, any music audio that you have already added with helpfully fade out.I didn’t have to record a voiceover because my original audio was just that.

4. The crop tool is also essential – images are set to the Ken Burns effect which zooms in on the image. However as my images were all models – i.e. portrait shots – I chose to click on Crop then choose Fit in order for the whole image to be seen. This means I have black bars at either side of my images but this can’t be helped when you’re using portrait shots.

5. The ‘T’ is for titles. Choose the title type you want, drag it to (usually) before your first frame where it will ask you to choose a background. I went for Pixie Dust because I couldn’t resist with the Industrial background. To change your text, click on the blue bar above the title frame and then type in the preview pane on the right hand side. Pixie Dust was one of the titles with locked in fonts so I couldn’t change the font but sometimes you can.

6. The rectangle cut into triangles is the Transitions button. Click on this to view different transitions you can use between images. I chose Cube and Fade To Black at alternates because I felt some of the others were too flashy for my material. I double clicked on these transitions once I’d placed them and lengthened them for 0.4seconds to 1second each – this is subjective of course.

7. To get it onto WordPress when I’d finished. I clicked on Share in the iMovie toolbar and chose YouTube – here you just pop in your YouTube username and password and select the file size etc. Then I inserted the video as usual into WordPress by entering the YouTube URL. Easy.

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Filed under Audio Slideshows, Equipment

Tips from a start out multimedia journalist


We spoke to audio journalism fanatic Perry Santanachote who has been working as a multimedia journalist for two years in the US. She gives her essential equipment, Do’s and Don’ts and favourite podcasts and slideshows.

How long have you been working in multimedia?
I have been a multimedia journalist for two years.
What equipment do you have – what are your essentials?
For audio I use a Marantz PMD660 with a cardioid microphone and Sony MDR7509 headphones. I always carry a shotgun mic with a dead cat too, just in case the room is noisy or the wind’s blowing. I have a smaller Marantz 620 in my purse at all times. For photos I use a Canon EOS Rebel XTi. And I am addicted to my Sigma 18-50 mm MACRO lens.
A Flip cam is also always in my purse and has come in handy on several occasions.

What can audio journalism do that nothing else can?
Audio journalism encourages imagination like no other medium. In that sense, it’s actually the most visual form of storytelling. Ambient sound has the power to transport listeners and paint a vivid scene in a way that a photo alone can’t. And on the web, audio provides the narrative spine necessary for linear multimedia production.

Do you have any favourite audio journalists or pieces of work?
Do you listen to any podcasts – what are your favourites? 

  • On the Media
  • The Moth
  • Radio Diaries
  • World Vision Report
  • Public Radio Exchange
  • Transom
  • Third Coast International Audio Festival


Finally, what are your Do’s and Don’ts for producing audio journalism?
DO transcribe.
DO use short, neutral and open-ended questions.
DO always ask “how” and “why.”
DO know when to shut up and engage with your eyes.
DO wear headphones. Ear buds won’t do.
DON’T ever record in a gymnasium or a hallway.
DON’T forget to pack extra batteries.
DON’T waste time. Pre-interview and tell the interviewee exactly what you need.
DON’T produce a story if the character’s a bore. Ninety-nine percent of a good audio story is a good character.

Check out Perry’s website at http://perrysantanachote.com/

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Filed under Audio Slideshows, Equipment, Interviews, Podcasts