SoundCloud Hacks 09/09/12

A few ways SoundCloud could turbocharge your next video project.



There are over a hundred SoundCloud apps that extend the platform’s functionality and amplify the experience. These custom integrations are great, but there are many simple ways that SoundClound can improve a video project workflow.

MON: Audition VO artists and variations on a read.
TUE: Audition music.
WED: Get feedback on audio repair
THU: Create ‘watch folders’.
FRI: Use IFTTT to route to different Web destinations.

Use SoundCloud to audition voiceover artists.

For example, here are the demo reels of 5 VO artists that were selected by awesome editor for a project. He can now send this SoundCloud page link to the project producer and client.

By posting potential candidates all on one easy to access page, SoundCloud serves as a centralized place to view, comment and collaborate on the selection of voice talent.

Also, once you finally select a VO artist, you can have them give you different variations on your script. Fast. Slow. Low-energy. Urgent. Anxious. Whatever.

This approach can be particularly helpful when you have a word or phrase that doesn’t have an obvious pronunciation. Foreign words are a good example.

Below is an example, where the editor is trying to get feedback on 3 different pronunciations for Zdravstvuyte (Здравствуйте), the Russian word for Hello.

 

Use SoundCloud to not just audition VO artists but to audition production music.

For instance, you may have found 5 great songs you want to use for for your video but they are from 5 different production library CDs. Individually sending these huge music files to your producer or client would be a huge pain. Why not just upload them to SoundCloud, creating a custom project playlist?

This gives them the opportunity to comment on specific parts of the songs, telling you what they like – or don’t.

This is also where SoundCloud’s genre tags really come in handy. This will give your collaborators an idea of what the music sounds like before they even play it.

Put up questionable audio on your SoundCloud project page to get feedback from your post-audio person.

Inevitably, you’ll get a project with portions of poorly recorded sound. It may be an outdoor interview in which you can hear the wind, a dog, or a police siren howling in the background.

Maybe the refrigerator kicked on during recording, or the boom operator’s hands can be heard scraping the boom pole intermittently.

What do you do?

As a video editor, you know what audio you are capable of cleaning up using tools like Audition or Soundtrack Pro. But your post-audio person can bring even more powerful software to bear like Ozone and Sound Forge – not to mention professional know-how.

By getting feedback from your audio person at the start , you’ll know what audio can be rescued and what needs to be re-recorded.

Create SoundCloud watch folders using the web service SocialFolders.

Watch folders are like magic portals.

If you’re not already familiar with the concept, they are folders that automatically distribute (and can even convert) files that are placed inside. Although they may sound like wormholes, they are just scripts that run every time files are added to a folder.

You can use the OS X app Automator to do this on an operating system level. A lot of apps like Fetch, Squeeze and Adobe Media Composer also use this workflow.

While you can’t yet send a file to SoundCloud using Automator, there are apps that will essentially do it for you.


Web service SocialFolders is like DropBox for social sites. The app creates a folder on your computer that automatically syncs dropped-in content to your social platforms. As of today, SocialFolders supports Facebook, Flickr, Evernote, Photobucket, Google Docs, Box, YouTube, Twitter, SmugMug, Instagram, Picasa, and now SoundCloud.

How does it work?

Once you sign up for SocialFolders it will prompt you to connect to your first service.

 

You’ll see a list of apps that you can connect to. Connect to SoundCloud.

 

Give SocialFolder permission to connect to your SoundCloud account by clicking Connect.

 

Once SocialFolder has established a connection to your SoundCloud account, you’ll get a success message.

 

Now when you open a finder window you will see a SocialFolder icon that goes straight to your SoundCloud dashboard.

Use the Web service IFTTT to route your audio to different Web destinations.

SocialFolder sends audio from your computer to SoundCloud. IFTTT does the reverse. It sends audio from your SoundCloud to, well – just about anywhere.

IFTTT stands for If This Then That and it’s a service that lets you create powerful connections. Their motto is Put the Internet to Work for You. 

So how does this work?

 

After you sign up for an IFTTT account, go to the SoundCloud Apps Gallery and get the IFTTT app.

 

 

Activate the app.

 

 

Then you’ll be prompted to connect to your IFTTT account.

 

 

Once you’re connected, you’ll see your newly created IFTTT SoundCloud channel.

 

 

On this same page you’ll also see a list of available Triggers, Actions and Recipes.

 

For more information on using IFTTT, check out this screencast by Snazzy Labs:

 

This concludes our week of SoundCloud hacks.

Check back on Monday as we continue our month of audio hacks, with a hack a week, a step a day.

 

 


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