By the time I came to do the stories about Bill’s father and Mazina, I had bought a very useful little device: the Olympus Digital Voice Recorder. This changed my life.
I had previously talked with Bill and recorded a second conversation. Because he didn’t have any photos I took new ones and used cunning black and white renditions to age them.
The Olympus allows me to download the file to my computer and I have a free, open source copy of Audacity. While at work on Windows I use Adobe products to edit audio, I still prefer Audacity because it’s so easy to use. The trick is not the technical edit but the story edit – where to stop, what’s to keep in, how to retain the character of the person and the story they are telling, how many ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’ and, at times needing to keep an intrusive background noise in order to retain the recorded comment and, lastly, prospective audience interest.
I’ve made a pdf I had at work into a short guide, but if you want a hard copy comment here (with your email of course) and I’ll send it to you.