A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Audio

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1.
#18613

AHA: Audio HTML Access   (members only)

This report discusses the 'AHA' system for presenting HTML in audio for blind users and others who wish to access the WWW non-visually. AHA is a framework and set of suggestions for HTML presentation based on an initial experiment. Further experimentation and further revisions will be performed with the system.

James, Frankie. Stanford University (1998). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Audio

2.
#23610

Assistive Listening Systems: Crucial For Skilled Listeners With a Hearing Loss   (PDF)

Technical communicators are skilled listeners. Whether interviewing subject matter experts or working on teams, good communication is essential. But if you have a hearing loss, assistive listening systems (ALSs) can help.

Vinegar, Judy A. STC Proceedings (2003). Articles>TC>Accessibility>Audio

3.
#28489

Audacity Tutorial: How to Record and Edit Audio with Audacity

Audacity is a free cross platform multi track audio editing program from Sourceforge.net. It will let you record, edit, and mix an unlimited number of tracks. Audacity runs on Windows (98 through XP), Mac OS X, and Linux.

Guides and Tutorials (2006). Articles>Documentation>Software>Audio

4.
#28897

Audio and the User Experience

Audio signals also help us interact with our environment. Some of these signals are designed: We wake to the buzz of the alarm clock, answer the ringing telephone, and race to the kitchen when the shrill beep of the smoke alarm warns us that dinner is burning on the stove. Other audio signals are not deliberately designed, but help us nonetheless. For instance, we may know the proper sound of the central air conditioning starting, the gentle hum of the PC fan, or the noise of the refrigerator. So, when these systems go awry, we notice it immediately--something doesn't sound right. Likewise, an excellent mechanic might be able to tell what is wrong with a car engine just by listening to it run.

Follett, Jonathan. UXmatters (2007). Design>User Centered Design>User Experience>Audio

5.
#28007

Audio Recording of Workshops and Seminars

The AHDS made audio recordings of recent seminars with the aim of transcribing the recordings, and presented them to seminar chairs to facilitate their task of completing reports on each event. This case study looks at some of the issues that occurred as the AHDS recorded and transcribed the material from these seminars. While its findings are based on roundtable seminars, some of them may also be of use to those doing other types of audio recording - interviews, field notes etc.

AHDS (2006). Articles>Collaboration>Multimedia>Audio

6.
#34071

Authorship, Appropriation, and the Fluid Text: Versions of the Law

A fluid text is any work that exists in multiple versions. What are the ethics and legality in the creation, sharing, and ownership of textual versions? What are the boundaries of textual appropriation? How does technology abet appropriation; how might it assist in the useful designation of boundaries? Is the law keeping up?

Bryant, John and Wendy Seltzer. MIT (2009). Articles>Intellectual Property>Audio>Podcasts

7.
#26975

Behringer Multitrack Audio Mixer

Introduces how to perform multimedia audio mixing and editing using a Behringer multitrack mixer.

Pratt, Andrew and Dave Long. Studio for New Media (2004). Articles>Documentation>Multimedia>Audio

8.
#25969

Captions and Audio Descriptions for PC Multimedia

This article discusses the various types of captions, when to use captions, as well as the various types of audio descriptions.

Microsoft (2002). Design>Multimedia>Accessibility>Audio

9.
#37778

Comparing Computer Versus Human Data Collection Methods for Public Usability Evaluations of a Tactile-Audio Display   (peer-reviewed)

We present a public usability study that provides preliminary results on the effectiveness of a universally designed system that conveys music and other sounds into tactile sensations. The system was displayed at a public science museum as part of a larger multimedia exhibit aimed at presenting a youths’ perspective on global warming and the environment. We compare two approaches to gathering user feedback about the system in a study that we conducted to assess user responses to the inclusion of a tactile display within the larger audio-visual exhibit; in one version, a human researcher administered the study and in the other version a touch screen computer was used to obtain responses. Both approaches were used to explore the public’s basic understanding of the tactile display within the context of the larger exhibit.

Karam, Maria, Carmen Branje, John-Patrick Udo, Frank Russo and Deborah I. Fels. Journal of Usability Studies (2010). Articles>Usability>User Interface>Audio

10.
#26378

Conversation on Sound

Design can be more than meets the eyes. Denise Gonzales Crisp opens her ears to unfamiliar territory.

Crisp, Denise Gonzales. AIGA (2005). Design>Graphic Design>Multimedia>Audio

11.
#34746

Copywriting Tip: Have the Computer Read Your Writing Back To You

You don’t have an office mate willing to read your work aloud? Don’t want to bug someone to read your two paragraph blog post? Have your computer read it to you!

ChirpUp (2009). Articles>Writing>Editing>Audio

12.
#18440

Deaf and Hearing-Impaired

It is hard to make a hat that fits all heads. If one were made, most people would find it uncomfortable. This fact could be the realistic of the web sites design. Web developers face the same issue creating web pages for more general usage. For those deaf and hearing-impaired people, some special technologies should be applied to ease their web browsing and searching. This report will focus on such disabled characteristics.

Universal Usability. Articles>Usability>Accessibility>Audio

13.
#32001

Deafness and the User Experience

Because of limited awareness around Deafness and accessibility in the web community, it seems plausible to many of us that good captioning will fix it all. It won’t. Before we can enhance the user experience for all deaf people, we must understand that the needs of deaf, hard of hearing, and big-D Deaf users are often very different.

Herrod, Lisa. List Apart, A (2008). Articles>User Experience>Accessibility>Audio

14.
#31759

Dealing Proactively with Audience Questions

What’s the best way to handle questions from the audience when presenting? This podcast examines key things you can do to deal proactively with audience questions.

Still, Brian. IEEE PCS (2008). Articles>Presentations>Audio>Podcasts

15.
#10036

Designing (for) Ourselves and (for) Others  (link broken)

This presentation, by one of the best-known professors of technical communication in the U.S., traces how readers have been paid increasing attention, especially as they have become more active in text-making, rather than just text-reading. In particular, it talks about the rhetorical roles that readers assume in Web documents, and how those roles contribute to the success or failure of communication.

Coney, Mary B. EServer (2000). Presentations>Rhetoric>Streaming>Audio

16.
#36881

Developing a Personal Voice in Audio: Adding Inflection

Lack of inflection pretty much defines the reading voice. If you read a paragraph of text in a normal reading voice, you won’t hear much inflection. But if you listen to a real conversation, or especially if you listen to actors on TV, their voices move up and down the scale with a lot more inflection. It seems the more emotion you add to what you’re saying, the more inflection you end up including.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2010). Articles>Multimedia>Audio>Screencasting

17.
#36820

Developing a Personal Voice in Audio: Avoiding Phlegm in Your Throat with Voiceovers

One of my biggest problems when narrating a screencast is that my throat gets all clogged up. I have to hit the pause and resume key every minute or so to clear my throat. Voiceover actors have learned to deal with this problem, since they often don’t have the benefits of a pause and resume key. You can reduce the amount of phlegm that accumulates in your throat by chiefly doing these two things.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2010). Articles>Multimedia>Audio>Screencasting

18.
#36806

Developing a Personal Voice in Audio: Avoiding Plosives and Breathing Noises

Getting close to your microphone usually results in something called “the proximity effect.” As you get close, most microphones amplify your voice in a rich, deep way. The proximity effect can make you sound like a late-night DJ. Some microphones give you the best proximity effect when you’re practically kissing the mic. Unfortunately, as you get closer to a microphone, the microphone starts to pick up more sounds from your mouth.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2010). Articles>Multimedia>Audio>Podcasting

19.
#36883

Developing a Personal Voice in Audio: Breathing Correctly

The final tip in my list of techniques for developing a personal voice in audio is to breathe correctly. This is actually the hardest technique for me, so I have saved it for the end. Strangely, in normal conversation, most of us don’t have any trouble breathing. But when we start recording voiceovers, we start talking a little faster, with more energy and fewer pauses.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2010). Articles>Multimedia>Audio>Screencasting

20.
#36741

Developing a Personal Voice in Audio: Finding an Acoustic Environment

For several months I’ve been looking for a quiet room to record screencasts at my work. Our building has four floors for more than 600 IT professionals. I investigated more than 20 conference rooms, poked my head in empty offices, walked around unfamiliar floors, inquired here and there. When people see my looking, they don’t understand what I mean by a “quiet” room. What does quiet mean?

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2010). Articles>Multimedia>Audio>Screencasting

21.
#36848

Developing a Personal Voice in Audio: Fixing Fumbled Sentences

One of my first recommendations for achieving a natural, believable voice is to employ more free narration rather than always reading a script. I recommended this because all the video tutorials on Lynda.com are narrated at the same time as they are recorded, and the less you read, the more natural your voice sounds. However, I realize that unscripted narration, even just a few sentences, can be problematic.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2010). Articles>Multimedia>Audio>Screencasting

22.
#36882

Developing a Personal Voice in Audio: Recording with the Right Microphone

I’ve postponed writing about microphones for several reasons. First, there are hundreds of different microphones suited for all kinds of situations, from vocal music to kickdrums to broadcasting and more. Also, microphones can get expensive, and not everyone has the same budget. So there is no right voiceover microphone for every person and situation. However, I’ll try to present a simplified view of microphones.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2010). Articles>Multimedia>Audio>Screencasting

23.
#36810

Developing a Personal Voice in Audio: Smiling While You Narrate

Voiceover professionals often recommend that you smile while you narrate. Smiling injects a touch of warmth and charisma in your voice. Just a few touches here and there can make the entire tone of your voice noticeably warmer.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2010). Articles>Multimedia>Audio>Podcasting

24.
#36760

Developing a Personal Voice in Audio: Sounding Natural  (link broken)

One of my goals in creating engaging video tutorials is to develop a warm, personable, natural voice, like the voice of an encouraging friend or mentor. In search of this more personable voice, last year I attended a voiceover workshop in my area. The voiceover coach explained that good voiceover artists start by imagining a situation—in their minds they imagine who they are, who they’re talking to, and what kind of situation and environment they’re in.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2010). Articles>Multimedia>Podcasting>Audio

25.
#26420

Developing Voice Interfaces for Legacy Web Applications

Traditionally, web applications are accessed via a single mode interface; information is presented and captured with text. However, one can additionally use a voice browser to navigate the Internet. One can navigate or access 'hands free' Internet applications from anywhere; you are not restricted to the desktop or a portable computer. VoiceXML is a language for Internet telephony applications and is based on the XML language. VoiceXML can 'speech-enable' an existing web application to be used through a conversational interface, providing a more natural way of interaction between users and Internet applications.

Quiané, Jorge and Jorge Manjarrez. ACM Crossroads (2003). Design>Web Design>User Interface>Audio

 
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