Tag Archive 'Audio'

Jul 30 2012

Say “Night, Night” to Long Installation Sessions with Ninite

A new computer is a popular high school graduation gift, and a great one at that! However, getting all your favorite applications and software isn’t as exciting, and can be a very time-consuming process. Luckily, Patrick Swieskowski and Sascha Kuzins–two awesome people at Secure by Design, Inc–have created a way to streamline that process for us!

Click here to visit Ninite, a website with a long list of popular software that you can download in a single bundle.

Ninite Software Options

What would you like to download?

Check the software you want on your machine–Ninite (which takes suggestions of what apps to include) offers a multitude of selections in categories such as browsers, imaging, media, developer, and documents.

This is great if you are (as we hope you are) a devout user of Firefox and Chrome, because your average Windows machine, for instance, comes only with Internet Explorer. How about another free favorite of ours, the imaging app Gimp? Yup! It’s there too.

Ninite's Installer

Easy to download the bundle!

After you’ve made your selections, download the installer and treat it like a dot exe file–execute it! All the programs you want will quickly download. It’s as easy as that!

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Sep 22 2011

Audio Resources on the Web

Published by under Audio Stuff,Media Stuff

Over the summer, I took a variety of interesting classes.  The most interesting was a Computer Science course called Digital Storytelling.  One week of assignments had to do with creating audio narratives.  I expected these projects to be challenging, not only because I don’t think strongly in terms of sound, but also because I didn’t know of many sites on the web that offered sound bites freely available for use (see: Creative Commons).  Thankfully, my professors had taken it upon themselves to solve this problem for us and compile a useful list of websites.

Ear buds

Sounds by Fey Ilyas on Flickr

If you’re not taking a music course or something like Digital Storytelling where the professor is directly asking you to for some kind of audio work, you might find that a bit of audio spruces up an otherwise visual-only presentation (think PowerPoint, or a video project).  You might be surprised!

Here are the resources:

Freesound.org — A site that aims to create a “huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps,” and is all available under the Creative Commons license.

Free Music Archive — The FMA is directed by the WFMU, “the most renowned freeform radio station in America,” and was created out of the belief that the radio has always been a venue to offer free public access to new music and should continue to do so.  However, this purpose is often undermined by licenses that were not made in (and could not predict) the digital era.  Here at FMA, you will find great mp3s you can feel good about downloading.

ccMixter — This is a self-described “community music remixing site featuring remixes and samples licensed under Creative Commons licenses.” Here you’ll find the opportunity to be endlessly creative and mingle with fellow music lovers.

Internet Archive — The Internet Archive is a fascinating place that I have yet to really explore.  The IA is attempting to create an Internet library in an age and space where sites and sounds are ephemeral.  Content that appears on a site one day may be completely different the next.  This is a great stop for more than just audio.

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Oct 21 2009

Awesome Aviary Audio

The last time we discussed aviary, SfSS told you all about Aviary (http://aviary.com/home) and its ability to be your photo editor, for free.  Well, while Aviary is still all about that, it has some new functions that you should know about.  Let me introduce you to Myna, Aviary’s new free audio editor.  Have you ever had a dream about being that awesome DJ, spinning incredible tracks with laser lights going off all around you?  This could very well be your first step to realizing your ambitions, you go getter, you!

To start off with let’s talk about the layout:

Picture 5

It looks straightforward and comes with the same basic options that you would find on the older program Fruitloops, for those who have been in to making your own tracks for a while now.  Although the snap shot only shows a few of the tracks it carries ten tracks that you can test.  My favorite thing about this stuff is how absolutely painless it is for me to use.  Everything can be simply snapped to the grid and edited within there.  You have a whole host of options, creating fading in and out transitions, changing the gain, editing the clips, and more.  The best way to get yourself acquainted to this fun tool is to just start playing with it, although there is a helpful quick screencast to get you started.

Clips for this program come from three possible sources.  The library within Myna, which comes with a user’s agreement, boasts a wide range of clips from different cds, all of a techno genre or another.  Next, your own media library can be used as a resource for clips.  However, if you have say a part of a song that would fit so nicely into your mix, unless you have a clip prepared, it will generally pull the whole song, major buzz kill.  Oh and that third source of clips?  Well that is you, of course.  You can record directly into Myna, instruments, your voice, a baby crying, whatever.

Aviary as a whole is really awesome, especially with its support.  I had some funky saving issues when I created my first song, but I dropped aviary a line, got a response in no time flat and straightened the issue out.  So give it a whirl already!

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Jul 14 2009

The Audacity of Free Audio Editors (There is Hope!)

Ok, pay no attention to the cheesy and poorly written joke in the title of this post. This ‘Stuff’ post features one of my favorite open source software, Audacity, a free audio editor and recorder. Audacity has many features including recording, import & export capabilities, editing and effects. For a free piece of software Audacity has a lot of power.

I have used Audacity to record lectures during classes (very helpful if you learn best through auditory input), to create a quick recording of my friend’s jamming to a song on their guitars and to poorly mashup songs to create a whole new song. From basic recordings to advanced editing Audacity can handle it all. Even if you don’t need a piece of software like this all the time (I certainly don’t) it is a good program to have in your repoitore. Maybe you’ll even find reasons to use it more often once you start playing around with it.

I will mention that in order to export from Audacity and encode your stuff you will need to download something extra but, Audacity will point you to where you need to go. So if you plan on exporting an mp3 from Audacity you’ll need to have the extra file.

So there you have it, Audacity, a handy piece of free audio editing software. Just to reassure you that this piece of software is used by the best, take a look at UMW’s New Media Center and you will discover that this software is endorsed by our New Media Specialist Andy Rush. If you don’t trust his opinion on this new media stuff I don’t know who you can trust 🙂

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Feb 17 2009

A Spoken Word Is Not A Sparrow…

…Once it flies out, you can’t catch it.

But we are not talking about just any spoken word, we are talking about SpokenWord.org and this is the kind of stuff that we don’t mind slipping out.

So, what is SpokenWord.org? I am glad you asked because it is a number of things.

First of all it is a directory for audio and video spoken-word recordings. So instead of hitting up google (and we do love google) hit up SpokenWord and you’ll find a plethora of just recordings that can satisfy your audio desires. SpokenWord also has the added benefit of being a user-generated content community. So if you know of some good recordings out there (hey free PR, baby!) you can submit it to the site and get mad Internet-props for not just being a consumer.

Now here is where SpokenWord takes it up a notch. While SpokenWord does not actually host any of the recordings (again just a directory) you can create ‘collections’ and subscribe (like an iTunes podcast) to those audio recordings you dig. SpokenWord can do this through an RSS feed of the recordings and if you aren’t familiar with RSS this quick video is a great way to learn. In addition, you can subscribe to your own collection or others users collections in iTunes (or whatever feed reader you choose). I know you are asking, how will I find other people’s collections or more importantly how will people find my awesome collection of audio recordings? Simple, you can tag your collection with various key terms that will help you find what you are looking for and help people find you.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up, contribute, and share – the wheels of the web don’t run if users like you don’t move.

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