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Creating Oral Histories

This guide offers general tips and resources for those interested in undertaking oral history projects

Equipment and Applications Overview

When conducting an oral history interview, it's important to have the right equipment to ensure clear and accurate recording. There are a few situations outlined below that you may want to consider when doing your recording. While recording over Zoom is the easiest way to record an interview along with it producing a transcript, the library offers equipment to record interviews in person. 

Zoom for Audio Recordings

Zoom is a good tool for doing live and recorded video conferencing. Zoom allows sessions to be recorded in both video and audio formats and even provides a transcript. However, if one of the speakers on a Zoom call has less than ideal audio quality, how do we fix that? Fortunately, Zoom does have the ability to record each presenter's audio to a separate track. This allows you to take these audio files into editing software like Apple's Garage Band or Audacity and edit each individual's audio. 

It is an option that is not set by default. To record multiple audio files in Zoom: 

  1. Open the Zoom client and click Settings.
  2. Click the Recording tab.
  3. Enable Record a separate audio file for each participant. 
  4. Record and save the meeting to your computer. (Note: this feature will not work when Recording to Zoom's cloud storage. Please make sure you are recording locally on your computer.)
  5. Once the meeting is over and the recording has been processed, open the recording folder. 
  6. Within the folder, open Audio Record.
  7. Once in the Audio Record folder, each participant's audio track will be listed as its own file in with the file name ending in the participant's name.

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