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Conduct an Interview Using Audacity

Sharing knowledge orally is central to Inuit ways of knowing, whether it is by learning from a knowledge holder, by listening to the community radio or simply by sharing stories with friends. Recording interviews using Audacity can be a powerful learning activity that taps into this tradition of oral transmission, allowing students to: 

  •  learn from local knowledge holders; 
  •  broadcast on the community radio;
  •  interview a specialist about an issue;
  •  share their own knowledge, learning or results;
  •  create a podcast  on a subject of interest;
  •  and more… 

This article explains how to prepare, conduct, edit and share interviews using the Audacity app available on all KI computers. It is a beginner resource, which means only the very basics of this tool are addressed. 

Knowledge is constantly shared orally around you; at home with your family, in the community on the local radio, at school with your teacher and peers, or simply with your friends. Learning how to record interviews using Audacity can be a way for you to: 

  • learn from a knowledgeable person;
  • broadcast on the community radio;
  • share your own knowledge, learning or results;
  • create a podcast on a subject of interest;
  • etc.

🛠️ Tools used: Audacity recording module and cutting tool.

📚 Curricular links: Formulating questions, Listening, Oral communication, Storytelling.

📈 Level of difficulty: Beginner

Setting up for the Interview

1. Physical Setup

Before conducting an interview, consider location. Is there background noise? Are you likely to be interrupted? Is it echo? If outside, make sure to avoid windy locations. Here are a few tips to setup for your interview with your DELL Latitude computer.

  • Place the computer at an equal distance between the interviewer and the interviewee.
  • Don’t speak too close, nor too far from the microphone. 50-100 cm is ideal.
  • Place the computer sideways between the interviewe and interviewee, so that the microphone is not oriented towards one or the other person.
  • Don’t place the computer on fabric, on your lap or on the couch, since these surfaces often create wrinkle sounds. A table is ideal.

2. Audacity Setup

Once your interview setup is ready, launch Audacity by double clicking on the icon on the desktop. Before beginning your interview, you should follow these steps to ensure your recording works well.

  1. Make sure Audacity is using your computer’s built-in microphone. It should be displayed as Microphone Array (Realtek…).
  2. Make sure the microphone works. Speak normally and see if the green volume lines are moving.
  3. Adjust the microphone volume so that when you speak normally, the green lines reach around -12 on the scale, without turning yellow or red.
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