#LostAudioFails

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July 18, 2015 by johnnyseifertradio

How many times have you recorded some audio and when it has come to download it on Adobe Audition (other editing softwares are available) and the audio has been corrupt or is missing? We have all been there! We have all gone through the stages of panic, sweat, the preparation of admitting to your boss what you have done and the satisfaction afterwards when the revised audio has been better then you may have previously planned. I thought today I would take you through a couple of times I have made that mistake and what I did to rectify it:

The first #LostAudioFail was when I presented the Breakfast show on Scratch Radio, a community radio station in Birmingham. I had a phone interview with an actress from Hollyoaks. If you still watch Hollyoaks you will know that each October there is a big stunt with past events including  a fire in the pub, a minibus and a  crash as well as a detonated house bomb which is a key way of doing a big axe on numerous characters. I had recorded this interview and it had gone really well, a nice bit of cheeky flirting with the girl and I walked away a happy boy. I had saved the audio and went on to Audition to edit it and I just saw wavelengths the size of the lightning bolts we had last week and panic took over. I started listening and the file was corrupt. The audio could not be played. The star interview of the week that would have been given gratitude was gone. I was devastated. However, instead of moping about it…for too long  I called back Hollyoaks and told them what a great interview it was and would it be possible to use a second star to tell their version of the story from their characters perspective. This worked and it meant I had an interview that I could broadcast with a change in my cue material.

The second #LostAudioFail I had was the one that still to today I can not predict how my life would have changed with the right audio. Let me set the scene. I was producing a documentary on Auschwitz and had interviewed six Holocaust survivors. The plan was to follow their footsteps in Auschwitz and have lots of mini Vox’s from me in the different barracks and around Poland. For example, on my trip I visited Amon Goeth’s house, the Plashov butcher who had killed 10,000 Jews in his garden. I had visited a mass grave where the Jews were treated like wild animals and buried on top of each other like potatoes in a potato sack. I had recorded all this audio and was on the aeroplane on my way back from Poland when I decided to save time and would note all the audio on my Myrantz I would use and note which files I would delete upon my return.This went well, I had a page of notes that had saved two hours for the next day. When I got home ready to start editing I could not find the Myrantz. I looked everywhere and it just could not be found. It was lost! Everything I had recorded gone. To make matters worse, I then lost my voice for four weeks as the stress and upset had got to me. To rectify this, I interviewed the fellow people who were in Poland with me and we all spoke about our experience in Poland seventy years on from how the survivors described the harrowing scenes that they had gone through. The documentary was a success and was nominated for ‘Best Journalistic Programming’ and ‘The Kevin Greening Creativity Award’ at the Student Radio Awards 2014 as well as for ‘Culture’ at the Midland Media Awards 2015. I do wonder if the audio was all there would the documentary have had a different feel completely? Could I have won the awards? Would the documentary have made people cry more then they had done already?

The third #LostAudioFail episode happened this week. I was interviewing a disabled model about body confidence for my programme on AudioBoom called This Is My Boom. After finding a Cafe Nero in London to record in that had step free access (twenty minutes walking to find one place with it) I started to record the interview on my iphone using the ‘Record Pro’ app. Bearing in mind the sound of the coffee machine going off every five minutes the interview went well and I had caught all the power messages I was looking for. When I came to editing I noticed that the first six minutes out of the thirteen minute interview were missing. I went back to my phone and it was not on there either. I had done a pre-rec and it was fine I was recording perfectly. I am not sure what happened but I had to make the best of the situation. After being ready to throw the towel in and forget the interview I had some re-assuring words from my boss. I listened through to the audio that I did have and I changed the topic to looking at the absence of models in the fashion industry. The outcome was a good four minute package that was broadcast with the key message still being delivered.

There is always a way around a situation. So this weekend I want to know what #LostAudioFails you have had and how you overcame them.

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