I think the show went really well! It was a wonderful experience for me to share the show with my dad, and I hope it was enjoyable for the listeners as well. Here's the playlist.
The editing wasn't perfect by any stretch -- how could it be, this was my first ever attempt -- but I do think that my effort was worth it & improved the show. I spent a lot of time working on the music, thinking about which tracks would go best with each talkset and how to weave them in. In fact I thought I was done last night, and then this morning I woke up with a couple of ideas, and went back and re-edited a couple of the tracks.
Which re-editing almost caused a disaster. I was working on one of the final talksets, the one where my dad talks about seeing the Count Basie Orchestra perform. One of my edits had introduced a big blob of noise into the music track which I couldn't get rid of. (This seems to be a bug in the Audacity beta, it happened in other tracks too.) To eliminate the noise I imported another copy of the music track, copied about a second of it and pasted it into the exact same spot over the noise. To my relief that worked, the noise was gone and there wasn't any pop or jump at the edges of the pasted snippet.
I had adjusted the volume on the music track, to quiet it under the dialogue, then bring it up again for a few seconds in the middle, drop it out again and then bring it back at the very end. I muted the duplicate music track since none of those adjustments had been made to it, and then exported the whole thing to AIFF. Here's my mistake: Apparently the "mute" button in Audacity is for the preview only. It doesn't work when you export. Which meant the music track was playing at full volume under the entire talkset, way too loud to hear the dialogue.
After exporting the file I burned everything to CD (which had its own complications, I had chosen the wrong options in the AIFF export and had to convert them all before I could get iTunes to recognize them) and then we went out to lunch. When we got home we had about a half hour to spare, so I decided what the heck, I'll just listen to every track one last time and make sure the CD is okay. Imagine my horror when I got to the next to last track, five minutes before we had to leave, and discovered that it was totally unlistenable. One of the best talksets, too. How awful it would have been if I hadn't discovered the mistake.
I was able to fix it and get the corrected track burned onto a CD before we left, so no harm done. Still, the whole drive over I kept having to remind myself to breathe. There's nothing like five minutes of sheer panic to get you going!
The show itself was the easiest part of the whole process. Georg came with me and manned the computer, just in case I needed help. It turned out to be much less effort than a regular show, and I could easily have done it all myself. Still, it was nice to have his company.
I had never done a show before where every track had been planned in advance. Instead of figuring out what to play next every three minutes, all I had to do was read the list, pull the next song, and stick it in the CD player. I wouldn't want to do it this way every week; I like the spontaneity of the regular shows. But I think it would make things easier if I had a short list of song ideas to draw from, rather than doing the entire show off-the-cuff.
If I ever have the opportunity to do another interview show, I think I'll spend less time on the "um"s and more time on mixing the dialogue together with the music. I think that was the editing task that I did the best with, that had the most positive impact on the show. I think I made it sound pretty good, and if I had had more time to think about it and work on it, I could have made it sound better.
Another thing I would do differently is to listen to it without headphones at least once. The headphones are invaluable for the "concentrating really hard to hear every detail" part. But it sounds really different without headphones, and that's how people are going to hear the final show. I would have made adjustments to the volume of the music under the dialogue (is there a name for that?) if I had previewed it that way.
I hadn't realized how nervous I was about this show, until this morning around 4 I had a classic anxiety dream about the radio station. I haven't had one of those in ages! Years maybe. In this one I dreamed that when I got to the station, I found out the schedule had changed and my time slot had been moved back 15 minutes. I was really upset about this because that's just long enough for regular listeners to decide that the show isn't on anymore, and tune out. They had also moved me to a new control room, really far from the MCR down a long long hallway. In the dream all of our equipment was steam powered, and the boiler was way back by the old MCR. I had to run all the way back down that long hallway and carry boiling water back to power my equipment. The only container I could find to carry the water was a porcelain mug. The porcelain was cold and by the time I got back to the new control room, the water had cooled down too much to produce any steam.
Thank goodness the actual show was easy and stress-free!