ASRaudio runs courses on oral history (how to conduct an interview), the care and conservation of sound carriers and transcription and cataloguing.  All courses are bespoke and tailored to your specific needs.  Please contact us to discuss your requirements and for prices.

We also realise that you may have questions in the days and weeks after the course and we encourage people to contact us later.

We will travel to you as this is generally easier than you having to make arrangements for a group of people, especially volunteers.  All we will need for equipment on the day of the course is a table and access to an electrical socket.

If you want a course related to audio which isn’t covered below we can probably devise one, so do contact us.

Oral History Training

At ASRaudio we have over 30 years experience working in the field of oral history.  Because of this we feel that we are in the ideal position to train others in the techniques and methodology of how to actually undertake an oral history interview and have run hundreds of such courses.  We can also help you plan the project.

We realise each recording project is different and has its own specific requirements.  We therefore try to tailor each training session to the needs of the individual project. Training sessions however will cover the following aspects:

  • The recording equipment – how to use it
  • Finding interviewees
  • Questionnaires
  • How to undertake an interview – the do’s and don’ts
  • Copyright

The session can then end there, or some groups like to have a role play session where the course participants are paired off and they interview each other using the techniques and questions discussed earlier in the session.  We appreciate that this is an entirely false situation but participants can put what they have learnt into practice and it can get people over their initial nervousness of asking strangers questions.

As people often have questions as the course unfolds all sessions are conducted quite informally so that any issues can be addressed as they arise.

If you would like advice on suitable recorders for your project please get in touch.

If I'd know you were coming I'd have baked a Tape

or The Care and Conservation of Sound Carriers*

ASRaudio runs bespoke one day courses on the care and conservation of sound carriers.

The first part of the course will look at all the major sound carriers you might encounter including:

  • Wax cylinders
  • Shellac records
  • Reel-to-reel tapes (paper, acetate and polyester)
  • Instantaneous (lacquer, acetate, direct cut) discs
  • Aluminium and copper discs
  • Wire recordings
  • Vinyl records
  • Cassette tapes
  • DATs
  • Minidiscs
  • Compact discs
  • A look at modern digital storage

For each format we will consider the physical construction and characteristics of the media, the risks, conservation/preservation practice, handling and storage.

If your collection holds other formats, such as DCC, Durium, Elcaset or flexidiscs, these can be covered.  Just let us know in advance.

The second part of the course is a very informal affair where you will have the opportunity to look more closely at, and handle, the different formats and we will discuss your particular collection, storage environments and needs, assess any problems and try to devise solutions to these problems.

* If you’re wondering about the title of the course it relates to sticky tape syndrome and moisture in the tape.  All will become evident during the course.

Transcription and Cataloguing

At ASRaudio we have vast experience in the transcription and cataloguing of audio collections.  Although there is no one correct way rules and practice need to be established at the outset. This will mean a consistency is maintained throughout and will save many hours, if not days and weeks, righting wrongs later.

All projects are different and the course will be tailored to your specific needs.

Many projects want to transcribe their recordings to make them more widely accessible or to publish them in booklets, on the web etc.  We will look at what you want from the transcriptions, how they are going to be used, discuss the pitfalls and establish a set of rules for those who will be transcribing your recordings. 

Cataloguing is another minefield.  This part of the course will discuss the establishment of a union catalogue, how, and by whom, the catalogue might be used, various levels of cataloguing and, once again, look at the many pitfalls you might encounter.

At the end of the course you will be in the position to start the transcription and cataloguing of your recordings.

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