Saturday, October 16, 2010

More VeriCorder Technology: Showcase & VC Audio

In the beginning of this project when I was experimenting with different audio and video applications, I thought that VeriCorder was going to be my least favorite of them all. They look technically heavy with all kind of editing features that you can do. These applications really do have everything that you find on a computer, which, frankly, scared me. I didn't want to have to do all of the fine tweaking I do on a computer on such a little screen. That being said… VeriCorder products are now my favorite applications. While other applications such as ReelDirector may offer audio slideshows, these apps are not as advanced as VeriCorder. I am by no means trying to sound like a commercial for VeriCorder products, but I have definitely had the best luck with them.

VC Audio is audio editing application from the Canadian-based company. Like all of VeriCorder's products, you can buy a Consumer edition for a price, in this case $5.99, or you if you set up a paid MIMS subscription, you can get the Networks version for free upon setup. Our school has an account with VeriCorder, so we used the Networks version. From the home page, you can manage your settings by clicking on the wheel/cog in the upper right corner. There you can turn airplane mode on and off. This allows for better recording and disables the phone features of your device. You can also manage integration settings such as SoundCloud, email as ringtone and email as M4A (AAC).

If you go back to the home screen, you can click on either the folder (where you will find audio clips and projects, or you can click on the mic to record. You MUST record in VC Audio to have the audio to edit in the program. This wasn't obvious to me and I recorded a few things in Voice Memos hoping to move it over later, only to find that wasn't an option. If you didn't record in the application, there is one bit of hope. If you can email the sound clip to yourself and get it on your iTunes, then you can import from iTunes on VC Audio.

In the editing mode, you can insert a clip by pressing the plus sign. and select a clip. You can listen to the clip, double click it and drag the sliders to where you want the clip to start and stop. Then drag your selection down onto one of the boxes below the waveform. When you are done, push the check mark. There are a lot of more advanced features on this screen. In order from left to right, you can play, zoom, undo/redo, go back to the beginning of the clip, remove the last selection you made, trash, crop, add another clip, export, close and save. Back on the home screen, the buttons are play, add a clip, a building blocks like button where you can see all of your clips and drag and reorder as you please. (This is especially helpful for checking if you have some empty space between clips). Then, there is undo/redo, zoom, back to beginning, two volume editing choices, text, export and home.

The two audio buttons confused me the most at the beginning. I was expecting to make in and out points similar to a computer audio editing program, but that is not the case. The first button which is kind of v-shaped allows you to make the ends louder or quieter. If you select a clip before you do this, it can make a clip fade out a little softer. The second button makes either a clip or the whole selection increase or decrease a percentage.

This didn't work for me every time. Sometimes I would select a clip and the whole track would turn up or down. It worried me a little.

… and then there is Showcase. (If you are saving money, you can also choose to make a Showcase presentation under the 1stVideo application). The same rules and buttons apply - the Networks version is free and the Consumer version is $7.99.

The only major problem I had with Showcase was the building blocks type button where you can see all of your clips. You cannot see an image on the blocks, simply just a colorful box with the amount of time on it. Also, half of the time it wouldn't let me slide over and I would have to drag one of the first pieces over to see the end clips. Then, it wouldn't let me rearrange them at all. This only happened one time, but I was quite frustrated.

If I were to recommend two changes for VeriCorder's programs, it would be to be able to see an image on the 'blocks' and not just a colorful square and also the ability to make points and change specific volume parts of clips.

Sharing is the same with both applications. To get the information off of my phone, I click on Sharing and then Start Server. From there, it gives you an IP address that you can enter in a browser on your computer You can download your files from there. This is definitely the easiest part.

All in all, I really like VeriCorder, but if is definitely built for serious audio editing. You can do simple things in the program, but this is meant for those who know what they are doing.

2 comments:

  1. Great post Jennifer and thanks for your recommendations. Using images on the blocks is smart.

    You can change the volume on specific parts of a clip by using the volume curve tool (the V button.) First, make a selection of the part of audio you want to adjust and and drag the handles on the left and right side to set the points. Then, you can adjust your in and out markers slightly inside the first points and drag the handles down to duck the audio. Hope that makes sense.

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  2. Yeah, it makes sense but sometimes it would change the whole track and not just the selected clip I was trying to edit. Thanks for the suggestions!

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