Episode 69 : Sounds of Your Life

by Ian · 1 comment

in Audio, Interview, Motivation, Podcast, Prompts, Storytelling

Audio as prompts & atmosphere for your personal story!

The most obvious audio you have, will be the recorded conversation and the most obvious prompts for getting that audio are questions. But there are other types of prompts, including audio.

Old Time Radio Drama Sound Effects

When editing a Life Story there is nothing better than music for setting the tone. In your world you’re immersed in music from the radio, television, records, live performances and now all their digital versions. It’s impossible not be affected by the music that’s around you and often just hearing a snippet will remind you of  your past or that of your culture.

Audio to remind, other than music.

Some families are fortunate to have audio from private sources. These could be tape recordings, film or video of people when they were younger or the atmosphere of events. The audio reminders of you life, like music, can also be the sounds that take you back to the times long ago. Are you lucky enough to have audio of a wedding, a child’s first words or the sounds of an overseas trip?

The audio not normally considered is the background to the home movies you shot decades ago. Stripping out the audio track and using it as a prompt will remind you of things that are missing from the video, then you can build on the video with your stories.

Audio Recording

Record your own audio atmospheres …via vancouverfilmschool on Flickr

Record your own atmospheres

Maybe as you wander through your life working on your Life Story project you’ll have access to audio to help explain the era being talked about. If you happen to visit a museum, workplace or performance you could record some contemporary audio to use as background for a historical period. For example visiting a steam-powered machinery day would give you a chance to record the sounds of traction engines to lay under the background stories you tell if relevant. The sound of an old telex machine working in a museum could be used to explain office life. Even a treadle sewing machine or manual type writer could be laid under audio of the relevant story.

Cultural audio to jog your memory.

You’ve been immersed in sound all your life. Consider the sounds about a time you want to talk about.

The internet with the power of search now gives you access to sound recordings to prompt and enhance your Life Story. Search for an atmosphere of a work period of your life, or an event you participated in and use that to create the prompts to talk about. Then you can lay the atmosphere or effect into the Life Story to enhance the audio of the stories as they’re talk about. Audio from your life to consider could be from the following areas.

Sound Effects on Record

Recorded Sound Effects …via Jacob Whittaker on Flickr

  • Work atmospheres
  • Clubs and organisations
  • Hobby sounds
  • Events and celebrations
  • News broadcast
  • Film, television and radio broadcast
  • Historical events
  • Natural atmospheres

Take the time to think of the audio that you’ve had in your life from the sounds of a holiday to the theme of your favourite television show.

Not only will it remind you of a time from your life, it will enhance the stories you tell and strengthen the reality for those listening to Your Story.


  • What historical recording do you have?
  • Record some audio of your own – Be creative 🙂
  • Have a look at the web sites below to discover  available audio.
  • Write down your memories when you hear a piece of audio.
  • Use those notes as prompts for recording your Life Story.
  • Use the audio to enhance the stories you’ve record in the mix.

Do you have some audio for your Life Story? Comment below and share your thoughts.

Links to start discovering available audio…

Record or Write, Your or My Life Story Biography

Click thu to iTunes

Record Your Life Story

Use some of the ideas in the e-Book Recording Life Stories. Just sign up for it in the side bar form.

To get a kick start, get the Quick Start Guide to Your Life Story by clicking hereand be underway in just an hour.

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Your Story podcast interesting life storiesLifeStyle Podnetwork← If you want to hear some other great stories about the interesting lives that people have, listen to my other podcast at Your Story or on iTunes.
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Jim Jackson

Ian –

I just finished listening to Episode 69 with my wife Donna (a.k.a. Mrs. Jim). I am truly honored and humbled that you shared my thoughts and experiences as I archive moments in time through audio and video. I thoroughly enjoy all of your podcasts. They are an incredible resource for me in gathering useful tips as I continue my journey of capturing life stories. – Jim

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