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Beat The Street.

WIT's BSc Multimedia Applications Development students produce audio podcasts for primary and secondary pupils for South East Science Festival

Introduction

Students studying “Audio Production” on the BSc Multimedia Applications Development programme at WIT, have for many years produced audio podcasts for Science Week. This year, twenty students elected to incorporate a special project “Beat The Street”, a community walking and cycling challenge piloted in Waterford from September 13th to November 1st 2017.

Methodology

Students studied the “Beat The Street” literature, and using a whiteboard brainstorming session, mapped out the different opportunities to communicate the different aspects of the project. The title was broken down into a number of subtopics which were then assigned to individuals in the group. Each topic targeted an audience of late primary and early secondary school students in just 30 second segments. Scripts were written and revised, recorded, edited and produced. Experimentation in noise reduction, dynamics, filters and equalization, acoustics and reverb, was carried out during recording, editing and production. Original music backing tracks were also produced. Voiceovers and music were mixed together as audio files for radio/websites/podcasts/social media.

While the physical characteristics of sound (amplitude dB, frequency Hz, and timbre) were visualized and explored in the project, a relatively new method of measuring loudness featuring a loudness radar, and a new scale (LUFS) was used to produce the audio so that it adheres to the latest international loudness standards in broadcasting (EBU R128 & ITU-R BS1770-3) which included -23 LUFS for broadcast and -16 LUFS for podcast & web audio rather than the more commonly used target peak decibel level. A comparison of sound fidelity vs file size was carried out to compare audio files which were uncompressed, compressed using lossless compression, and compressed using lossy compression.

Productions included:

  • What is “BeatTheStreet”?
  • Getting Started
  • Description
  • Location
  • The success of “BeatTheStreet” in the UK
  • Card Location
  • Teams
  • Prizes
  • Cheating!
  • Strategy
  • Leaderboard
  • Safety