Brief summary of activity

The participants walk around in the neighborhood of the training place and record ambiance sounds - traffic, street noises, chatter...

Aim of the activity

Through the exercise the participants get acquainted with the basics of making recordings and they learn how the added ambient sounds can change the atmosphere / listenability of an interview.

Expected Outcomes

The participants learn the basics of using a portable recorder and discover how to tell a story by only sounds, how to present an interview in a more vivid way.

experience and skills required

No special experience required.

infrastructure, setting, resources

At least one portable recorder for 2 trainees.


30 minutes for making recordings then 15 minutes for analysis and discussion.

How the activity should take place

The trainer shares the portable recorders, show them how to use the devices (record function, sound leveling, recording distance, etc.) then ask the trainees to walk around in the neighborhood of the training place and record at least 5 different sounds that they may find interesting or typical in that place. The trainees can walk in pairs as well - in this case one recorder should be given to two persons. After 30 minutes the participants come together and they listen to the recorded materials - they try to identify the sounds. While listening, the trainer points out the importance of using different background sounds - the participants talk shortly about the different types of interviews as well - where and how the added ambient sounds fit in an audio material. This conversation triggers the exercise of interviewing.

Recommended max. number of participants and trainees to trainers ratio

1 trainer for 6 or max. 8 trainees.

Risk and possible adaptation

This exercise has less relevance (in terms of revelations) in case of visually impaired participants who use sounds as an orientation in their everyday life

Tips for Trainers

The exercise is a kind of complex ice breaker as well - if we do not have enough time or we would like to save time, the exercise could be done during lunch break or extending a break time with this activity.

Analysis and evaluation

The participants listen to each others’ recordings and they try to identify the source of sounds / reflect to it. At the end of the activity they talk a bit about the interviews they listen in radios.


In the first phase of a training, before teaching the usage of portable recorders and interviewing.
FavoriteLoadingAdd to my collected documents