By Sue Jenkins, Clinical Assistant Professor of Art
At the start of the fall 2015 semester, I found myself in need of having to record some audio files for a special facilities tour project I’m working on for the Art Department. After consulting a few people and researching tools on Google, I quickly determined that the best tool for the job would be a free account with SoundCloud. If you haven’t heard of SoundCloud before, it’s “An audio platform that enables sound creators to upload, record, promote and share their originally-created sounds.” Perfect!
Though I’d never used SoundCloud before I was confident I could figure it out on the fly, so all I really needed next to get started was a place to record. After a quick email to Kathy Lewis, Assistant Director of Marywood User Support, I discovered that I could schedule solo time in one of OIT’s three new Recording Rooms, located on the 3rd Floor of the Learning Commons. Each of the rooms are equipped with standard PC’s and internet service along with specialized software for course content development and presentation assignments including webcams and microphones for content development using Panopto or Audacity. In addition, one of the rooms is also equipped with a VCR/DVD combo unit that may be used to view videos that are on reserve in the LC.
Before my scheduled recording date in the Learning Commons, I signed up for a free SoundCloud account for the Marywood Art Department. Then I spent about an hour poking around to see how it all worked. Turns out it was pretty easy to learn, and any questions I had were easily searchable in SoundCloud’s help center. I also created a test recording and uploaded some graphics to customize the account profile.
When I arrived in OIT, Kathy showed me my recording room and I jumped right in. First, I logged into my SoundCloud account. Then I tried out the microphone set up to see how loud I should talk into it to create a crisp and clear recording. After a quick test track (hello, hello, abc, 123, testing, testing…) I was ready to start recording my audio tracks. Some tracks went smoothly while others needed to be rerecorded, but overall the experience went smoothly, and within a little under two hours I had recorded 20 tracks! At the end of the process I spent a few minutes labeling the tracks, making them public, and adding tags (keywords) to help make them easier for people to find.
To listen to my recordings, visit the Marywood Art Department SoundCloud at https://soundcloud.com/marywoodart
To reserve a Recording Room for one of your own projects, simply submit a request to the Help Desk located at the Knowledge Bar at the entrance to the Learning Commons.