Audio



Audio Playground


David Foster Wallace wrote that the path out of a creative rut is to “work your way somehow back to your original motivation—fun.” This is a chance for audio producers to do just that. We’ll listen together to audio work that is beautiful, strange, and joyful. We’ll discuss it, dissect it, and—inspired by it—students will complete a short low-stakes creative assignment each week. Throughout the course, we will be less concerned with perfection and more interested in exploration and risk. Students will leave with five completed short audio sketches and a new familiarity with audio storytelling from around the globe. This course is suitable for students of all experience levels, with at least basic editing and recording skills. (12 hours/Intermediate-Advanced)

Please note: This course is offered in an online format and will not meet at CDS but will instead take place in regularly scheduled virtual sessions.

Sarah Geis is an independent producer and a former artistic director of the Third Coast International Audio Festival. She got her start in radio traveling the country with the StoryCorps oral history project, and has since made a career listening to stories and encouraging producers around the globe. She teaches radio and podcasting at Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and workshops at community organizations. Recent stories have aired on Love + Radio, WBEZ, and BBC 4.

Additional Information:
The class will be conducted online. A late-model computer, fast internet connection, and built-in camera are recommended, though not required. Students with less than optimal hardware or internet connections are welcome to take the course, though it may be difficult to participate fully in virtual meetings.

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AU114SP18
Center for Documentary Studies
Virtual Classroom
Geis 4/5 - 5/10 Th 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM $275.00 View

Digging In: An Artists' Retreat with Big Shed


This retreat brings together documentary makers and storytellers of all stripes for a productive, invigorating, and rejuvenating week of digging deep and making meaningful progress on individual projects. For audio producers, writers, photographers, filmmakers, multimedia creators, et al., Big Shed designed this retreat to help you delve into the work that’s most important to you (work that’s often hard to make time for). If you have a story you’re trying to finish, a project you’re researching or developing, a proposal you need to write, or maybe you just want space to think about your creative trajectory; spend a week as part of a great group of creatives, all of whom are doing the same thing! Guiding the way will be Big Shed founder Shea Shackelford, with other instructors to be named later. And in case you need more convincing, course fees include tasty lunches throughout the week… and hand-cranked ice cream on the porch. (40 hours)

Shea Shackelford is a documentary producer and a founder of Big Shed Media, an award-winning public media shop specializing in audio and multimedia production. When he isn’t producing his own stories, Shackelford is busy training producers and helping organizations design and create their own media projects. He is the creator of the Place + Memory Project, and his awards include a Best Documentary: Bronze Award at the 2010 Third Coast International Audio Festival. He has been part of the CDS summer audio intensive team since 2005.

Additional information:
Enrollment fee includes dinner the first night and lunches throughout the week. Students are responsible for housing and transportation.

Hours for the retreat are:
Sunday, July 22: 5 p.m.–9 p.m.
Monday–Friday, July 23–27: 9 a.m.–9 p.m.
Saturday, July 28: 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

See the course blog for a preliminary schedule, information on housing options, and more.

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AU537SU18
Center for Documentary Studies
CDS Auditorium
Shackelford 7/22 - 7/28 Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Varied $675.00 View

Hearing is Believing: An Audio Documentary Intensive


In this weeklong, morning-till-night immersion in making audio documentaries, you’ll learn hands-on skills in recording and digital audio mixing; discuss issues such as the ethics of documentary work; explore varied uses for audio documentaries; and hear accomplished producers play and talk about their work in evening presentations. During the week you’ll collaborate with a fellow student to produce and edit a short audio documentary, from the first interview and sound-gathering to the final mix. The intensive will be led by John Biewen, along with guest instructor Shea Shackelford and a guest lecturer to be announced later. Examples of last year's student projects can be found here. (40 hours)

John Biewen is audio program director at the Center for Documentary Studies. Besides teaching summer audio intensives and undergraduate courses, he produces documentaries and features for NPR, PRI, American Public Media, and other public radio audiences. Biewen has been making radio since 1983, including eight years spent producing documentaries for American RadioWorks. His work has won many honors, including two Robert F. Kennedy Awards, the Scripps Howard National Journalism Award, and the Third Coast International Audio Festival’s Radio Impact Award. In 2015 he launched CDS's biweekly podcast Scene on Radio.

Shea Shackelford is a documentary producer and a founder of Big Shed Media, an award-winning public media shop specializing in audio and multimedia production. When he isn’t producing his own stories, Shackelford is busy training producers and helping organizations design and create their own media projects. He is the creator of the Place + Memory Project, and his awards include a Best Documentary: Bronze Award at the 2010 Third Coast International Audio Festival. He has been part of the CDS summer audio intensive team since 2005.

Additional information:
Students will edit on desktop workstations using Hindenburg audio editing software. Students who have their own field recording equipment (recorder, microphone, and headphones) should bring it; equipment will be provided for those who don't. No experience in audio production is required.

The enrollment fee includes dinner the first night and all lunches during the week. Students are responsible for housing and transportation.

Hours for the intensive are:
Sunday, July 8: 2 p.m.–9 p.m.
Monday–Friday, July 9–13: 9 a.m.–9 p.m.
Saturday, July 14: 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

The intensive concludes Saturday, with a public presentation of student work ending at 3 p.m.

See the course blog for a preliminary schedule, information on housing options, and more.

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AU525SU18
Center for Documentary Studies
CDS Auditorium
Biewen 7/8 - 7/14 Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Varied $925.00 View

Making It Sing: An Audio Documentary Intensive


This intensive six-day workshop for producers with some experience—or a lot—gives you a chance to focus on a challenging project or to stretch and try something new. You’ve recorded interviews and gathered sound, and you’re ready to construct a six- to twelve-minute audio piece. You’ll bring your own recordings, logged, transcribed, and ready to go. You’ll get instructive sessions and personal, small-group guidance from seasoned radio producers (and from your peers) as you structure and script your story, record your narration tracks (if any), and mix your piece on CDS’s Hindenburg workstations—or, if you prefer, on your laptop with your own editing software. Saturday morning, we listen! The intensive will be led by John Biewen, along with guest instructor Shea Shackelford. (35 hours)

John Biewen is audio program director at the Center for Documentary Studies. Besides teaching summer audio intensives and undergraduate courses, he produces documentaries and features for NPR, PRI, American Public Media, and other public radio audiences. Biewen has been making radio since 1983, including eight years spent producing documentaries for American RadioWorks. His work has won many honors, including two Robert F. Kennedy Awards, the Scripps Howard National Journalism Award, and the Third Coast International Audio Festival’s Radio Impact Award. In 2015 he launched CDS's biweekly podcast Scene on Radio.

Shea Shackelford
is a documentary producer and a founder of Big Shed Media, an award-winning public media shop specializing in audio and multimedia production. When he isn’t producing his own stories, Shackelford is busy training producers and helping organizations design and create their own media projects. He is the creator of the Place + Memory Project, and his awards include a Best Documentary: Bronze Award at the 2010 Third Coast International Audio Festival. He has been part of the CDS summer audio intensive team since 2005.

Additional information:
Please bring your own recordings to the intensive. Students can edit on their own laptops or on our desktop workstations, which have Hindenburg and Adobe Audition audio editing software.

The enrollment fee includes dinner the first night and all lunches during the week. Students are responsible for housing and transportation.

Hours for the intensive are:
Monday, July 30: 5 p.m.–9 p.m.
Tuesday–Friday, July 31–August 3: 9 a.m.–9 p.m.
Saturday, August 4: 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

The intensive concludes Saturday, with a public presentation of student work ending at 2 p.m.

See the course blog for a preliminary schedule, information on housing options, and more.

Add Section Location Ages Grades Instructor Dates Days Times Fees Details Open
Register Now!
AU535SU18
Center for Documentary Studies
CDS Auditorium
Biewen 7/30 - 8/4 Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Varied $875.00 View