Things we’ve learnt so far about making geo-tagged audio

Scary eyes

1. It’s scary

This is mostly because us audio producers are used to nice, linear feature-making; where the passage of time allows you to reveal information to a listener at a pace that we control. But now it’s the listener calling the shots – and every step is one we probably would rather they didn’t. So out goes A followed by B – get ready for A followed by B-Z. Crikey.

2. Don’t describe what you’re doing/where you are/what the time is

Turns out that you’re already there and can see perfectly well. So out goes any exposition – we throw you right into the thick of the scene, whatever it may be.

3. Straight storytelling works best

No clever-clever mixing and chopping between contributors. Just one person, followed by another. Appears boring; but actually very exciting.

4. Instructing the listener (telling them what to do, where to go) is reassuring

Just because people have the choice, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to be led. Many interactive projects fail because they don’t allow guidance. Ours will feature narrative elements to keep people feeling part of something bigger.

5. Archive is brilliant

I mean REALLY good. Simply playing with a bit of old newsreel about a tailors on Hackney Rd really lifts your spirits. The past really comes alive!

More thoughts as and when they surface – the team at Amblr are being very patient with us and our technical demands. It’s early days, but it’s very exciting to be at the forefront of audio technology on the go.

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