2a) Recording and Editing Audio: Hiking Tech Review, Ep. 1

Today I got over-excited about a new pair of hiking poles that have just arrived, so I thought I’d record my couple-minutes audio about that.

Step One

I recorded the audio directly into Audacity, using my headphones with included microphone.

Step Two

I made some edits to the file in Audacity:

  • Make it sound more even toned (via Effect –> Volume and Compression –> Compressor)
  • Deleted (most) ums and ahs and long pauses
  • Added music and beginning and end (Blind by Derek Clegg is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License)
  • Shortened music clip by deleting end
  • Levelled out the volume between music and voice
  • Faded music in and out
  • Exported as an MP3 file

It was great to learn Audacity! I had a few issues with my file, which I’ll fix for next time:

  • Sound is very hissy on my “s” sounds
  • I had a fan on which I will turn off next time (lol)
  • The entire recording seems to be at a lower volume than other recordings (in particular in comparison with the YouTube instructional video I’m also listening to)

Step Three

Created a transcript. I did manage to create a video from the MP3 file (using Microsoft Photos) so that I could upload it into YouTube, to attempt to generate a transcript. However, as yet my uploaded YouTube file does not have cc captions (maybe it’s just taking a while?). [Update 24 hours later: the cc captions have rendered, yay!]

So then I used a utility called Happy Scribe to generate a draft transcript, which I edited.

Step Four

Here is my recording, with the transcript below. It’s a bit ridiculous (especially at the beginning), but it was very fun to create and I learned a lot.

Hiking Tech Review, Ep. One


Welcome to this episode of Hiking Tech Review. My name is Sarah and I’ll be your host. I am super excited today because I’ve just received my very first set of hiking poles and I look forward to telling you all about them. I recently had a little bit of foot surgery, so I am a little bit unwieldy walking around town. I thought it would be neat to have something that’s a little bit more upscale than a cane, but that would provide me with lightweight support, hence, hiking poll.

Also, this summer, I went on a wonderful hiking trip and borrowed my friend’s hiking staff, which I ended up calling the Holy Pole. In fact, I think I told him I would marry that pole, I loved it so much. Therefore, I was looking for one that would suit me just as well. Unfortunately, my friend’s hiking staff was no longer on the market.

But I’ll be delighted to tell you about this one that I have just received today from Amazon.ca that I think will serve me just as well. So let’s have a look. This pole is by Cascade Mountain Tech. It’s a carbon fiber, adjustable, lightweight trekking pole for hiking, walking, and running in all terrains. This particular pole comes in a set of two and it has feet, mud baskets, snow baskets, and another set of rubber points that would be good for sidewalks.

Some of the virtues of this Cascade Mountain Tech pole are that it’s 100% carbon fiber, which means that it’s about half the weight of my friend’s pole. I’m not sure if this is going to be an advantage or disadvantage, but we’ll have a look at that. Having a very strong, stable trekking staff was great in the summer when walking over muddy bits because you could use it as a third pivot on the side of the path, but that requires putting weight on it. And one concern I have with these polls is that it says in the instructions, do not put weight on these. Like, do not use them as a crutch or a cane.

In any case, they also have these incredible grips which extend more than one hand’s height, which means that if you’re going uphill, you can also use the lower bit of the grip to mean you don’t have to adjust the length of the pole. And that’s very exciting to me. So today we’re going to go outside later and walk along on the sidewalk. It’s not having snowed today, which makes me very happy.

And I’ll report back in episode two of my user experience of these new Cascade Mountain Tech carbon fiber adjustable, lightweight trekking poles for hiking, walking, and running in all terrains.


  1. Curious what microphone you are using. I hear a bit of handling noise around the 2min mark. Also hear a bit of popping which could be mitigated by either angling a bit to the side of the mic. Some mics want you to take directly into them, some work better if you angle them a bit off axis. I absolutely love this bit of audio though. One of the coolest things about this course is the variety of experiences, and stories we get a taste of.

    1. Hi Jonathon,

      Thank you for your comments! Much appreciated. We spoke about microphone issues at the live check-in, which was really helpful.

      Also I’ve been thinking about the tastes of stories you get to hear in this course. A wonderful insight into why podcasts are so great — anyone can share! Many thanks again.

      Sarah McC.

  2. Hey Sarah,

    Good stuff! I struggle so much getting free music that sounds “right,” but your selection feels like it fits really well with the themes you want to talk about. You have a good conversational tone going too!


    1. Hi Ben,

      Thanks so much for your comments! I felt pretty good about that music selection, and yes, it was challenging to choose something with the right “feel.” Hearing my own voice is a bit *cringe* but I’m getting better! Many thanks again.

      Sarah McC.

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