Oral History: Milo Larson

In this oral history project I choose to interview my father to learn more about how technology has evolved throughout his life. Overall, the interview went well with a few errors that I wish I could have solved prior to recording. Most of what my dad had told me throughout our interview I had known but, he included a lot of stories that made the explanation of these various technologies interesting. Within our interview we mostly talked about how the evolution of  television and cell phones effected his life at my age. I felt that this would have created an interesting contrast to compare my life to. Learning the vast difference between technologies my father had used in college and the technologies I use today, makes me wonder what the future of technology might look like.

When editing I decided to listen to different parts of the audio story to decide which topics were most interesting, which topics were related, and if there were any audio problems present within the story. When conducting the interview I notice my dad pausing and taking breaks in between sentences. To ensure that the final audio story flowed well, I edited the empty audio clips out. Although this was a long process, it helped in reducing the length of the interview and making it more precise. I also made sure my interview stuck to a single topic when editing it to ensure that it made the most sense when listening to it from start to finish. Lastly, I added fade-in/fade-out effects and subtle background music because the interview itself sounded pretty monotone.

When interviewing I made sure I was in a small, furnished room to prevent from any echo that may be heard in the recording. I positioned my father directly across from me and used a laptop and phone to record. I wanted to make sure I had two audio files in case one of them failed to record or just had poor sound quality. At first I tried to use the audio from the laptop but the difference between my voice volume and my fathers voice volume varied significantly. Another problem I ran into was trying to use the audio recording on my phone because it recorded in a M4A format which could not be opened in the editing software I was using. I used a converting program to convert the M4A to a WAV in order to begin the editing process.

Overall, when creating an audio project like this, it is more than likely that you will run into some sort of problem which I learned through conducting the interview and editing. I not only learned the differences between technology in the past compared to now but, I also learned how these changes effected my father when he was growing up. This gave me understanding of what it was like to grow up in an older generation as the stories my dad shared with me helped illustrate that.

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