Museum Audio Tours: The Home Stretch

By: Andrew McGivern, curator of exhibitions on August 15th, 2012

As we move closer to the opening of Birds in Art and the completion of the building addition, the Woodson Art Museum is abuzz with activity. New artwork will be installed throughout the Museum, and were also preparing to unveil our new audio tour units.

As a follow-up to Catie Andersons August 1 blog Woodson Art Museums App Enhancing Exhibitions This Fall,we are happy to report that the iPod Touch audio units have arrived along with protective cases, lanyards, headphones, and a charging station that also syncs the units for loading the application software.

Wisconsin Public Radio host Glen Moberg generously agreed to give voice to the Owen J. Gromme portion of the audio tour. Catie and I visited WPRs new studio in the Center for Civic Engagement on the UW-Marathon County campus where I videotaped Glens recording session.

Heres a video clip sampling of the studio time.

As you can see, Glen did an outstanding job. In some cases, he recorded a second and third take when he wanted to improve what I considered a nuanced change. It was fascinating to witness the recording session and wonderful to be one step closer to having the audio tour completed.

Back at the Museum using our equipment, we recorded director Kathy Foleys audio tour introduction. Using my temporary exhibition vault as a studio, we turned off the air handling unit to reduce noise and asked staff in the office above for quiet during the recording time.

As I post this blog, student intern Alan Raff is working on the audio tour software, inserting Kathys introduction and Glen Mobergs ten tracks and polishing the overall look of the application.

During the opening weekend of Birds in Art, well record over a dozen visiting artistsstatements so their voices and insights will enhance the exhibition audio tour. Once the audio is edited, Alan will place it in the application along with images of the artistswork, and the iPod Touch units will be ready to present to the public on September 18.

Check out (literally!) the iPod touches in the Museums main entrance and enjoy the audio tours of Birds in Art and Owen J. Gromme: An Enduring Legacy. The finish line is in sight; we think the new audio tours are winners!

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