This section of the guide examines the ‘toolbox’ of components available to the audio tour designer. Some will be mandatory and some will be chosen to enable you to best communicate with your listener.
The key or ‘master’ components are listed below - we follow with an analysis of what components do what jobs and why.
The introduction is discussed in further detail later but it serves to introduce the listener to the Narrator or Guide whose voice is first heard. It should last less that 30 seconds and answer the questions in the listener’s mind about Who you are? What you are going to talk about and Where the tour is located or starts. This component may end with a promotional credit or a sponsorship clip.
The next section contains the important housekeeping and safety information. This should run straight on after the Intro as part of the initial track. This will help ensure that everyone listens to it.
The ‘legal stuff’ is an important part of your tour.. It will help keep the ‘legal eagles’ happy and will also let you sleep at nights.
You should take advice upon the wording of your disclaimer which will depend upon the type of tour you are developing. A driving tour will have different disclaimer from a walking tour. A hiking tour over rough ground also requires different wording.
You have worked hard on developing the tour and you dont want it copied or redistributed or altered without your express permission. To achive this, even though you may not be looking to get paid, you must include a clear copyright statement and an indication of the terms of the licence to use the material.
This section is the lecturer’s equivalent of ‘tell ‘em what your going to tell them.
It should be less than 1m:30s and will outline the content of the tour, how long the tour will take, any recommended start points, alternate start points with an audio track number, and recommendations about any difficult stretches of the tour.
An example of specific recommendations...
The path from stop 8 (the church) to stop 9 (the graveyard) is quite steep, if you prefer you can leave the graveyard stop until the end of the tour and approach it downhill from point 14.
Tour Bodies actually (one for each point of interest)
At each location on the tour you have an option of which type of audio style to use. Some of the more usual audio styles are
- Narrative - spoken by the narrator of the tour
- Monologue - spoken by an actor or ‘voice’
- Dialogue - two or more actors or voices
- Fx and Music - may be used mixed together or singley
- Interview - The narrator speaking to one or more people
When choosing an audio style to use remember you are not trying to show how many audio styles you know about. You are communicating a message, creating an atmosphere etc.
Tour Body ChoicesEdit
Narrative (the voice of the narrator) will usually convey information in the present
Monologue and dialogue can be time independent (either back/forward or present in time) and can include FX and music
Interview will also be considered ‘present’. If you wish to use the interview format but in a 'past time' it will be interview style dialogue and scripted accordingly.
e.g. Lets go back to 1835 and listen in on a conversation that might have taken place between the Harbour Master and the Ships Captain....
If you are a real live tour guide the end of the tour will also be the climax or high point of the tour. Its the build-up that helps to fill your ‘Thank You’ box with coins and notes.
Your Audio Tour should end in the same way. Avoid the somewhat harsh statement “So that ends the tour. I hope you enjoyed it. ..... silence.....
A better conclusion would be something like..
... and now as we come towards the time to say goodbye I would like to thank you for listening to our tour of...'place name'.. It has been my pleasure to share with you something of our history and heritage.
Please tell your friends about this special place.. I will now leave you with your memories of our time together.
Short signature music clip... We hope you enjoyed this tour which was made with help and support from the Open Communities network.
Tail Piece promoEdit
The tail piece promo is the opportunity to invite visitors to 'Visit our shop' 'Call into the Information Centre' or even a more commercial plug. This tour was 'sponsored by the XYZ Car Rental Company – Car Rental for all your needs'
Apart from the audio component of the tour there are a number of other components that can add value to the Tour. They include the Map or Tour Diagram which is discussed in more detail below. It may also include GPS.
Satellite co-ordinate data or information about where to find a GPS Track file in .GPX format for downloading.
Map / Tour DiagramEdit
The design of the map or tour diagram is worthy of section of its own and is discussed in more detail in this guide. It is important that it is easily read (print size) and it includes an easily recognisable start point which is clearly recognisable. Try to show which way is North so that the map can be oriented correctly by the novice user.
The Guide pictures should be taken to provide information – not for artistic excellence. They should be suitable to be shown on a PDA player or printed 8 up on an A4 sheet as shown below which may be folded to suit.
If double sided printing is available up to 16 pictures can be used. Experiment with folding a piece of blank A4 paper to determine the best layout and sequence for the pictures. Be sure to number each picture to correspond with the same track number of the tour.
The introduction has a to both inform and persuade the reader to undertake the audio tour.
Try to start your text (and your audio introduction) with a short statement of less than 25 words that will catch the imagination and interest of the target audience. Bear in mind that you are not trying to persuade someone who is interested in Country Cottage Gardens to visit Town Centre Houses. You are interested in engaging the detailed interest of someone who already has a similar general interest.
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