Digital Stories @ UMBC



Where can I record my digital story?
The International Media Center (AC IV B wing 219) has 2 Marantz digital audio recorders in recording booths– it is a quiet area.  Use the Visual Assignments wiki to book recording time.  You can access the wiki at the blackboard page under tech tools on the left side.
You can use Audacity in any of the computer labs with headphones with an attached mic.  Built in mics in the computer are not the best quality for this.

What file type must the audio be for the narration and for the music?
If you’re editing in Final Cut, then the preferred audio format to import is AIFF or WAV.   You can import mp3’s, but you’ll have to render the audio each time you use it.

If it is not the correct type of file, how do I convert it?
Here’s a good tutorial, using iTunes or QuickTime player:

Where do I find free (and copyright free) music for my story?
There are some sources listed on the digital story site – Consider using Garageband-there are many music loops there, or you can easily create one of your own.
Ask a musician friend to record something for you. It doesn’t have to be long-you can loop/repeat it if needed.


What size flash drive do I need to store my story?
We recommend a minimum 4Gb flash drive to save and backup your media.

How do I download/rip video from a DVD, You Tube, camera?
Be aware of all copyright laws before you rip a DVD or download a video.  Important questions to answer:  Are you going to publish this online?  Will it only be shown in class?
To rip a DVD, use a program such as Mac the Ripper, Handbrake or Toast Titanium.
To download a video from Youtube, we recommend asking permission of the producer.  You can use an online provider so that you don’t have to load/launch any software.  Here is one:
To import video from a camera you have to first setup a scratch disk (destination for the video).  Launch Final Cut.  From the Final Cut pull down menu select System Settings. Choose where the video will be stored (making sure there is enough space-these files will be large).  Hook up the camera to the computer with a firewire cable.  Power up the camera.  From the Final Cut pull down menu select Log and Capture.  Press play and Capture Now.  It will capture to the end of the tape.

How do I post my story to You Tube?
You’ll need to export it as an mp4 movie and get a Youtube account.  Then you can follow the instructions listed here:

When I came back to work on my project, I got these red blocks that said image missing – what should I do?
You have moved your media from the files Final Cut first referenced them from.  You can ask Final Cut to reconnect the missing media, but you need to know for sure where the media is.  To avoid this problem in the future, keep all your media in proper folders and in the same place they were when you imported them into Final Cut.

How do I remove background noise from my audio?
Try Audacity that is loaded on all the lab machines.  Open the file and highlight the part you want to filter, go to effect (get noise profile) then noise removal.