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Research Guides@Tufts

Ambisonic Microphone Kit

Transferring media

4.Transfer audio

Transfer audio by removing the microSD from the bottom of the device by lifting the battery cover and

pushing in on the card. Connect the included card reader to a computer and insert the SD card. 

A drive will mount. 

Copy/pasting ALL folders onto your personal device. Once returned, the DDS Staff will erase all media on the card.

Once you return the kit, Tisch staff will erase all media on the card, and you will not be able to retrieve any forgotten files.


Media Management Tips

Media management encompasses the organization of media assets from research and writing through sharing and archiving.  Below are some best practices for keeping track of files as you work on your project.



We recommend creating a shared Box folder to store all your digital assets.  You can share this folder with the members of your group and your professor and TA. iMovie files do not save on box without creating a zip file.  See the instructions below for how to backup your iMovie library.


External Hard Drive

You can also purchase an external hard drive drive to save files and move your project file around between computers.  For editing purposes, make sure you purchase a drive with 72000 RPM.




Staying organized is essential as you collect and create various assets for your project.  Organizing and naming all your files will help make collaborating smoother.  Above is an example of how you can stay organized during this process.



Always backup your media and project files in at least two locations!  It’s important to always back-up your media and project files in case your computer crashes or hard drive malfunction. All machines in the DDS are wiped weekly.

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Any application that allows you to split, rearrange, and duplicate audio files can produce interesting and dynamic audio work .  Below are application that provide the essential tools for audio editing for a variety of setups.  
Recommended Free Applications
  • Zoom Ambisonics Player - for accessing and editing ambisonic files

  • Audacity (OSX, Windows, Linux) 

  • GarageBand (OSX, iOS, iPad OS)
  • Adobe Audition (Windows, Mac) - free access available at the Digital Design Studio (room 303, Tisch Library)

Project Files vs Media Files

It can be very confusing understanding the differences between media files and project files and knowing what files you need to share with a project collaborator.
    • Project File - Project files are usually a small (kb or mb in size) file that saves information about how your organizing your audio in a timeline, transitions, effects, project settings and other editing parameters.
    • Media File - Media files are the raw materials you are creating your audio project with, e.g., field recordings, interviews, voice overs.  
When you select "Import" in most editing applications, your media files are linked to the project file.  The project files knows where your media files are saved and references them every time you open the project.  This is why media management is so important - if you move your media files midway through the editing process you may open your project to find that all your media is offline.  
To successfully share your editing project with a collaborator, they must have access to all the media files on their computer as well as the project file and even despite this it may require they manually show the application where these files are located on their machine.
Applications like Garageband will your duplicate media and wrap it inside the project file.  This takes up more space on your computer but when sharing your edit with a team member, you can simply share the project file and it will contain all the media files as well.  Other applications, like Audacity or Audition, require that share the profile file as well as additional folders and media files.

Editing Ambisonic Files

To work with Ambisonics recordings you will need to download the Zoom Ambisonics Player.

Adding Files

  1. Click “Add File” in the File List.
  2. The “Add Files” dialog appears
  3. Select the files to add
  4. Click OPEN. The files are added to the end of the file list.


Play and Edit Binaural Stereo Audio

  1. Select a Binaural Stereo file from the File List.
  2. The Binaural listening mode button is selected. Other formats are disabled.
  3. Click “Play” to preview the file.
  4. Click “Export” to save the converted file


*Note: The ZOOM Ambisonics Player allows you to convert from Ambisonics A or B to any of the above formats. If you select any other format (Stereo, Binaural, 5.1 Surround), you cannot convert to another format.

More instructions can be found in the Zoom Ambisonics Player User Manual.

Project Timeline and Settings

Prior to editing, review all of your media.  Check the format, sample rate and bit depth of your media.  In applications that require you to set your project and timeline settings, ensure that these settings match the settings of your media.  If you aren't sure what these settings are, right-click on your media to get more information.  Some applications like Garageband, will automatically set your project settings for you.
  • Format, sample rate and bit depth - In most cases, your media will dictate your project and timeline settings.  The ideal settings are a wav file 4800Hz at 24 bit .  Settings lower than these can result in poor quality audio and files stored as mp3's are mored compressed and may have unwanted artifacts. 
  • Space - If you are using an robust editing application and working on an older machine, make sure you have enough space available on your machine to edit.  If not, either clear space on your computer or try working on a web based editing application.  If your internet connection is weak and unreliable, try downloading a free application listed above so you can edit confidently offline.  

Getting Started in Garageband

Creating a New Project

  • Open Garage Band and choose Empty Project. 
  • Make sure the Output Device is set to Built-in Output or headphones.  This will determine where the sound will playback from.
  • Select Choose
  • The next window assigns the microphone to a specific track.  Choose the Microphone under Audio and select Create.

New Tracks, Adding & Duplicating Files

  • Create a new track: Track > New Track or Opt+Command+N
  • Add new files: Simply drag and drop your files from the Finder into the Workspace
  • You can copy, cut and paste by navigating to the Edit menu.
  • Duplicate files already on your timeline: Hold Option while dragging the clip to a new location in the Workspace

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Splitting a Clip

  • Split a clip: Select the clip in the timeline, place the timeline indicator where you want your edit.  Select Edit>Split Regions at Playhead or Command+T

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Adjusting Volume & Transitions

  • Enable Automation: Select Mix>Show Automation or A on your keyboard
  • Double-click the track to place the Volume overlay on the track
  • Click the yellow Volume line to create a key frame
  • Create two points to make a transition. Moving the line down lowers the Volume while raising it increases the Volume.  
  • Disable Automation by hitting A on your keyboard.
  • To reset: Select Mix>Delete All Automation on Selected Track

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  • Loop a portion of the timeline: Drag in the upper part of the Workspace.  This will enable the Cycle button in the Transport Window
  • Deselect: Unclick the Cycle button in the Transport Window

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Audio Editing Tips

  • Use room tone to fill gaps in your recording
  • Remove all clicks, pops and distracting audio
  • Set Volume just on the edge between green and yellow.

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Editing Techniques

Paying attention to your surroundings and monitoring the volume of your recording are important factors in creating an audio piece regardless of device or application.  Below are some techniques to consider when editing.
  • Transitions: Fades and cross dissolves are a great way to smoothly transition your listener from one clip to another.  For example, if you are cutting between two interviews recorded in different locations, adding a fade at the end and beginning of each clip can help blend disparate background room tone.

  • Room Tone:  Room tone is a recording of a location, e.g., the space where an interview is occurring, without dialog.  Recording at least 30 seconds of the space without dialog allows you to continue the presence of the space between edits in an interview without having the track drop to silence.


  • Layering: Sound effects or field recordings can help give your piece specificity and can orient your audience to their location in a particular space.  Adding audio with a range of textures and perspectives can help create depth, e.g. recording of a bee vs recording of the ambience of a field that includes distant birds, wind, leaves.
  • Montage: A montage is a sequence of clips that allows you to condense time and space by editing the clips in a relational way, e.g. a series of audio news clips about the same topic over time.  This can help tell your story in a format that supports advances your argument while providing a break from strict dialog.
Clean-up  -  Clean up any unnecessary blips or pops in your audio that your audience may find distracting.  Make sure you listen to your edit through speakers and headphone to catch any issues that may be accentuated through these different playback methods.
Feedback- Once you have an edit, don't hesitate to share it with your friends or family!  Sometimes people with the least context for a video can be the most helpful in spotting areas that are confusing, too quick or...a bit boring.  Even just being in the same room with someone listening to your piece can give you space to hear where you can make improvements.