Recording Audio for Tribesourcing Films

For using the Zoom video conferencing app for remote narrators: Download the Zoom app.

Sign up for a free account.

See our in-house instructions for recording an interviewing using Zoom:

Or for Zoom's downloadable instructions:

and here to watch their instructional videos. IMPORTANT: Do not close Zoom while the audio/video file is exporting.

  Oral History Association's "Remote Interviewing Resources"


Microphones (incl. using cell phones) & Purchasing Guides:
On how to use Androids or iPhones (starting on page ten of) New York Heritage's "Recording Oral Histories | Audio Recording Procedures."


Using a laptop and microphone in-person:
Use the open-source program Audacity:
In Preferences, check that the Default Sample Rate is 44100 Hz and the Default Sample Format is 16-bit
Screenshot -- Audacity recording instructions 1
Be sure to sit in front of the microphone and talk to the red light to keep your voice in the “contact cone”


Screenshot -- Audacity recording instructions 2


When you are ready to record, press the red circle. Press the black square to stop. Do a test to check for ambient noise. If there’s too much, move to a quieter location and raise the volume before recording. Low volume picks up mechanical noises and ambient sound.
To Save Files:
Press the black square for “stop.”
In the File menu, select Export (not “Save Project”)
Then “Export to WAV”


Screenshot -- Audacity recording instructions 3
WAV files are uncompressed and will work better in synching with the scanned films.
Name the file with the Narrator’s last name and the film title. If you do multiple takes, label them 1, 2, 3, etc.
Save the WAV files to multiple copies in different locations (a cloud app like Dropbox and on your computer or local hard drive).