Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The End of the Journey

And so it all ends. Throughout today and yesterday, I completed the final task that lay before me: editing the audio tour files with the background music. The music sampling the musician recorded last week runs for only a minute and a half, so yesterday I uploaded the audio files onto editing software so that I could copy and paste the accompanying music. I had done this before, mostly in high school with more outdated software, I spent only about an hour getting reacquainted to the software and completing the task set before me.

Today, I completed the task by listening to the recording over again, tweaking the audio files slightly to account for any distortion heard by the listener while walking along the exhibition. And with that, I completed my internship project! For the past few months, I have spent countless hours researching Point''s life, cataloging the art, and organizing the twenty columns. I gained an appreciation for museum work, artistic analysis and audio recording. Before this semester, I never really thought about museum work as a possible career opportunity. But with my experience working with Professor Schloesser, I now know that museum work is a possible avenue for me after my academic career.

And with that, I hope you all had almost half as much fun reading my blogs as I had writing them and working on my internship. Till the next time!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Last of the Recordings

At the end of this week, I completed the last of the audio tour recordings. Given the similarities between these past few days and earlier this week, I'll spare you the details. For the majority of the columns, I simply read the script I had written a few weeks ago. I then uploaded the files onto my computer, and converted them into MP3 files.  However, a few things did arise that hindered my work.

For one, a few of the columns' scripts needed to be reedited to bring them down to under 40 seconds. While that may not seem long, you should remember that there are twenty columns in the exhibition. If each column is almost a minute long, then it will take visitors twenty minutes to get through only one part of the exhibition. Furthermore, a few of the columns were just a bit too long, and one was almost over an entire minute. Accordingly, I spent about half an hour rewriting the script, deleting a couple of useless sentences and trying to be as concise as possible. One column actually had four drawings of landscapes, and my script had originally called for almost an entire 50 seconds of information! Talk about too much information!

The last column, the most problematic of the columns due to a lack of remaining themes I could display, didn't even have a fourth drawing! So, before I could record an audio file, I had to find and write a script for the final column. After about fifteen minutes of searching, I was able to find a pretty good photograph of Native American delegates to Washington, D.C. which I think shows the lasting impact of the Jesuits. For better or worse, they helped incorporate that region into the United States, and I couldn't think of a better way to end the exhibition than with that message.

In the final concluding hours of Sunday, I compiled the majority of the audio files on an iTunes playlist to gauge the length and quality. Apart from a few instances of static, the audio files were of good quality! The only thing I have left to do before the end of the semester is to match the audio tour with a loop of the guitar riff I recorded with the local guitarist. Until then!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Recording the Audio Tour

This, the final week of the semester, is when I finally tackled the final task of my internship: the audio tour. During the last few weeks, I have been writing the script for the audio tour. Compared to that, this week was remarkably easy. On Monday, I rented a simple voice recorder from the Digital Media Lab at my University. I did this because I had tried to record a few entries with merely my computer, but when I listened to the recordings the audio files were rife with static. After I got the voice recorder, the task became essentially reading what I had written last week. To the right is my work space, now refitted for recording the audio tour.

However, as with other aspects of my internship, this task brought with it a few problems. First and foremost, after uploading the sixth audio file my computer "decided" to delete everything I had uploaded concerning the tour. As such, for a few hours on Wednesday I had to rerecord the first quarter of the the audio tour. However, after that the majority of recording was incredibly easy. Although some of my recordings were simply badly worded and I needed to reword some sections of the tour, recording the actual tour went by pretty quickly.

After completing about two thirds of the tour, I reached out to the local guitarist I talked about a few weeks ago. During the middle of November, I decided that the tour needed some background music. So on Thursday, we met at my apartment to record a small acoustic sample so I can test it with the audio recordings. Due to the relative length of the tour, I will most likely loop a longer sample over the tour. Till next time!