Latest post Mon, Aug 11 2008 10:21 PM by Steve Audette. 0 replies.
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  • Mon, Aug 11 2008 10:21 PM





    Ever have an audio file you would like transcribed and can't afford too? Or how about this, say you already have a large digitized section of audio but you plan only to use only just a small bit and would like to use Avid's Script Integration to help you find those clips, but again no transcription? 


    Ah my friends you have come to the right place. Check out this workflow work around.


    FIrst gather your audio in the box, Say for example you are doing a documentary on the upcoming presidential elections and you have imported both the Democratic and Republican candidates audiobooks into the avid as AIFF files. 

    Your plan of course is to use parts of each in the documentary as they are read by the candidates themselves and therefore make an interesting counterpoint to the stories told by others who have been interviewed. (CYA ALERT: This is purely a hypothetical situation here - never break copyright laws or the RIAA will come and steal your children) Any way now you have BIG audio files and no transcriptions - expensive proposition to have a human do it. 


    Well there is another way.


    Bring those bad boy monster audio files into Adobe's Soundbooth CS4. (beta version available to use for free for two days at Adobe labs [].) 


    From there it is simple. Click on the audiofile and then under the "Edit" menu tree look for "Speech Transcription" then "Transcribe" or as a button down below, on the left find "Transcribe."  A menu box comes up to ask you if you want fast (and poor transcription) or slow (better transcription). Choose better. (You will thank yourself later.) 


    Well that will take some chunking. On a mac Quad it is about a one to one time relationship, but then then voilà! you will see a large body of text in a box where the transcription tab resides. (pretty obvious - even if my description isn't.) 


    Now go back to the "Edit" menu and find Speech Transcription" option again. highlight it and you will see an extended option of "Copy Transcription"  - select that and then paste the text copy into a word document. 


    At this point follow the Steve Audette rules for importing transcripts into the Avid and you and you have yourself a rather slopy but useful transcript of the audio all sunk up to the media files. Your producer only has to ask you to find any text they want and BOOM out it comes as a sound file. And you look like a hero - always good.


    Now the Caveats. First the transcription is at best 90%. Second, it contains NO - I mean NO punctuation or formatting. It comes out as a text only document and is completely impossible to read. Now having said that, working with my files from Dreams of My Father and Faith of my Fathers over the last three weeks - in a hypothetical situation only mind you -  it seems the republican candidate translated better than the democratic. Now that might mean that SoundBooth CS4 has no idea what people speaking with african accents - or words translates into, but in any case the mistakes do at least add to a bit of levity in a otherwise very serious editing room. Both transcriptions have proved useful. I don't know what you would do if your audio was not english, but there you go.


    hope this helps you all out. Don't forget to vote this fall.








    Mac 15 inch PowerBook with 2nd monitor, OS 10.6.2 on a 2.33 CPU, 4 gigs of Ram [view my complete system specs]
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