the moleskine podcast #2: the cultural studies perspective

This is the second installment of the moleskine podcast series. Just to remind you, for this series, I’ll be interviewing students, professors, and advisers to give you an insider’s perspective on admissions, research, accommodations, and much more!


Bethany, me, and Muriel recording in my kitchen.

For this podcast, I interviewed two of my friends Bethany Johnson and Muriel Lovo who are also in the Cultural Studies MSc. Programme at the University of Edinburgh. Bethany graduated with a bachelor of arts in English and Humanities from the University of Louisville in Kentucky, USA and. Muriel received a bachelor’s degree in Arts and Filmmaking at the University of Arts and Social Sciences in Santiago, Chile.

In this podcast, Bethany and Muriel will be talking about applications, Cultural Studies, scholarships, and life after graduation.

Resources mentioned in this podcast: The Mary Churchill Humphrey Centenary Memorial Scholarship

You can also check out my first podcast with my American friends Ben and Julie who are also studying at the UK.

the process

Making this podcast was a bit easier than making the first one, but it still had its challenges. Recording can be especially difficult if you have never been on a podcast before or are with a couple of girlfriends. Muriel, Bethany, and I spent several times re-recording the introduction because we couldn’t stop laughing. It was a great fun, but next time, I’ll start the recorder before the interview starts and just transition naturally from casual conversation to interview.

I recorded the moleskine podcast #2 on my boyfriend Andrew’s macbook pro and used Audacity to edit the majority of this podcast. However, I think I might try a different editing program, like Reaper or SPEAR, because Audacity isn’t the most intuitive or user-friendly program. I actually ended up doing the final stage of editing through Nuendo, a digital audio workstation. Most professional sound design is made through Nuendo or Pro Tools.


This is a screen shot of Audacity


This is a screen shot of Nuendo

Through Nuendo, I was easily able to cross-fade, compress, and equalize (EQ) the sound. These processes are essential to producing high quality sound. Because of the nature of a live interview, I had to cut and paste certain sections  in order to tighten the podcast. Since sound is a time-based medium, you always have to be aware of how you’re moving sections around. This is why you have to cross-fade in order smoothly transition from one section to another. Finally, in order to improve the volume and quality of the podcast, you have to compress and EQ the sound.

An important lesson I learned while editing this podcast is saving incrementally as different files. I had saved incrementally, but under the same file. In other words, I selected “save” instead of “save as”. This simple error cost me about 45 minutes of editing time. Not too bad in the grand scheme of things, but still annoying.

thank you

Big thank yous to Bethany and Muriel for letting me pick their brains.

Special thanks to Andrew, check out his blog { sound + design } for tons of geektacular sound stuff!

Thanks to warg from Soundsnap, a user-driven sound effects library, for the cheesy, but fun loop warg elizabethtown.



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7 Responses to “the moleskine podcast #2: the cultural studies perspective”

  1. Karen Says:

    I was so excited to find your blog! I’m currently applying for masters programmes in cultural studies in the UK (I plan to stay on at Nottingham) and I haven’t seen anything like your blog before. I was looking for tips on writing my personal statement, and I always cringe when the only search results are anonymous pages. I will definitely be looking here regularly!

    • melissa andrada Says:

      Hi Karen,

      I’m so glad that my blog is helpful! It’s good to know that prospective postgrads are getting the information they need. Please let me know if you have any specific questions about the personal statement, cultural studies, etc. Good luck with your applications and personal statement.


  2. Hana Says:

    Melissa, did you see this NY Times article last week? or

    I found it very relevant to my current predicament. I knew we humanities majors were in the minority, but just eight percent of all college students? That came as a surprise.

    • melissa andrada Says:

      Hi Hana, I did read that article and am planning to blog about it at some point. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hana Says:

    My favorite line in the article:

    This crisis of confidence has prompted a reassessment of what has long been considered the humanities’ central and sacred mission: to explore, as one scholar put it, “what it means to be a human being.”

    As part of the Core at the U of C, I had to take at least two quarters of humanities. I chose Human Being and Citizen. For old times’ sake I looked up the course description in the U of C catalog for this year, and they’ve changed the curriculum! The class now integrates a film each quarter; there also seem to be more readings. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Looks really interesting, though…I wish I could sit in on a section. Maybe I could sneak in and pretend to be a prospie. “Of course I’m 17! What do you mean I look 25?”

  4. sound + university « Says:

    […] will use my Zoom H2 to record interviews and sounds for my dissertation and podcasts. This week I’ll be interviewing Stefan Ecks, my former anthropology professor and Director of […]

  5. the moleskine podcast #3: interview with dr. ecks « Says:

    […] andrada This is the third episode of The Moleskine Podcast, which  features interviews with students and staff about graduate school in the United Kingdom. In this podcast, I will interview my former […]

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