Introduction: How to Navigate KNCO Newsroom's Computer System

Workstation desktop.

This computer has:

Adobe Audition-- record and edit audio files.

Metro News Browser-- write news stories here, and see the Metro News Wire and stories written by anyone on any computer using Metro News.

Adobe Photoshop-- resize photos and save them to use online.

Step 1: Audition

Adobe Audition is very easy to use once you know what the controls do. There are some red boxes with numbers on this picture. Find the corresponding number for a brief explanation on what each box does.

1. File-- "Save", "Save As", "Open" and the usual suspects are all here. You will use "Save and "Save As" from the drop-down menu most often. (Note: There are many hot key commands for items in this menu. "Save" is Ctrl+S, "Save As" Ctrl+Shit+S, "Open" Ctrl+O.)

2. Effects-- Here's where you find all your audio effects. Time stretch, normalization, amplitude and compression, noise reduction, etc. Check the steps "Normalize" and "Popped Plosives" for effects from this menu used most often.

3. Generate-- This is where you'll find "Generate Silence," a great trick you can use to mark the start/stop of a specific sound clip you might want to use in a story. You can choose how long of a silence you want to generate it and it will appear wherever your cursor is without writing over any audio.

4 and 5. New File, Open File-- The icon on the left (blank sheet of paper) opens a blank audio file. It will bring up a window with settings and ask if they're okay. Make sure you are recording in mono instead of stereo (unless you're recording ambient noise or music) and click "OK." The little folder on the right opens a file you've already saved in Audition. You can use the browser window it will open to navigate the network (S: drive holds personal files [ex: Ashlyn's Audio File, RitaStuff, etc] and W: holds communal files [ex: LocAudio]) and find the file you're looking for.

6. File Window-- This shows the file you currently have open in Audition. Click a file's title once to start listening to it. Double click it to open it in the editing window.

7. Editing Window-- This is where the magic happens. Click anywhere on the sound's wave pattern to move your cursor. Use your mouse's scrolling wheel to zoom in and out with ease. As you zoom in, the green bar at the top of the editing window will shrink; you can drag the bar to the left and right to move around the file while zoomed in.

8. Decibel Level-- When you're editing, make sure your cursor is hovering over the editing window. If your cursor is over here while you scroll, you will change the decibel level you view the audio file at. This can be nice if you're working on a file from a really soft speaker with very small peaks, but mostly it just gets in your way. If you mess up your file while editing, this is probably where you went wrong. Hover in this area and scroll in/out until your file looks about the size it was when you loaded it.

9. Time Window-- This tells you how long your file or a selected portion is. This is great for timing soundbites (which you generally don't want to be over 22 seconds). It also tells you start and end times for what you can see in the editing window.

10. Playback Controls-- All these buttons do exactly what you think they do. Little red circle is record, triangle is play, two triangles is fast forward/rewind, etc. I'm not going into this with you, you know this. Pro tip: The space bar is the hot key for play/stop in Audition. Use it.

Editing Tip: There are 2 keys you will use a lot when editing in Audition. The space bar (to start/stop your audio) and the Delete key. When you're cutting audio, highlight whatever you want to get rid of, then hit "Delete" on the keyboard.

Step 2: Audition: Normalize

Normalizing audio boosts the file's volume. As of 5/13/2015 anything recorded in the news booth needs to be normalized by about 75% because the board is recording quietly. This is also great for interviews recorded on bad phone connections or in the field with a cruddy little recorder or cell phone app.

1. Select entire audio file. When you normalize, it will ONLY edit the selected portion of the file.

2. Click Effects > Amplitude > Normalize.

3. Select percentage to boost. You can enter any number here. A negative number will make the audio quieter. Usually 60-120% range is good for boosting, depending on the original volume.

WARNING: Normalization boosts EVERYTHING-- that includes annoying static and buzz. Always listen to your file after normalization to make sure you haven't made it intelligible. If you mess up, go to Edit > Undo or use the Ctrl+Z hot key.

Step 3: Popped Plosives

A popped plosive is what happens when someone is talking directly into the mic and sends out a fast, hard burst of air. This usually happens with hard "p"s. (You can feel this when you put your hand in front of your mouth and say "popped plosive.") The highlighted example here is actually the "th" in "thirteen." It's like a punch to the ears. You'll hear it before you see it. When you zoom in enough to see it, you can fix it.

1. Highlight the affected wavelength.

2. Go to Effects > Filters > FFT Filter.

3. On the left side of the new browser window, scroll through until you find the preset "Kill the Mic Rumble." Select and click "OK."

4. Revel in the might of Audition's presets.

Pro Tip: Do not get clever and apply this to your entire file in an attempt to out-maneuver Audition. It's not clever-- it's lazy and will make your audio sound flat. Just apply this to each popped plosive. Seriously, it takes like 8 seconds.

Step 4: Saving Audio Files

Now that you've trimmed and edited your audio clip to perfection, you're ready to save it.

1. File > Save As

2. Give it a title. If you're taking multiple cuts from the same interview, number them.

3. Save into your file on the S: Drive.

4. File > Save As.

5. Don't change anything (especially the file's new title). Click the "Next Level" button the the browser (little picture of a folder with an arrow on it pointing up, near the top on the right side).

6. Go to the W: Drive. Open the file LocAudio. Save it there as an .mp3 (extension is in the File Type drop-down menu bellow the file's title).

7. Repeat steps 4-6, but save it as a .wav (second from the bottom in the File Type drop-down menu).

Do this for every soundbite. It's very repetitive, so this is where the Ctrl+Shift+S hot key becomes your best friend.

Metro News can only play .wav files, but when a story is uploaded to the website, we insert .mp3 audio files (because they're smaller).

Pro Tip: If you are trying to save something and you hit a wrong key, and don't recognize any of the folders in the browser window, don't freak out. Keep hitting the Next Level button (little folder with an arrow pointing up on it) until you can't click it anymore. Double click My Computer. You're back at the list where you'll find S: and W: Drive.

You can watch a video of this process here: https://youtu.be/RljtG0YV3IY

Step 5: Metro News Browser

This is where all the actual writing happens. When you first launch it, Metro News will bring you to its news wire. The left half the the browser will be blue. At the top, on the left hand side, there is a drop-down menu that currently says "Wire Stories." Click it, and select "Local Stories 1." The left side of the browser should be green. Click a file name once to view it on the right side of the browser, double click it to open it in a new window and edit it. The first time you save a file after opening it, Metro News will bring up a window and ask you what file you want to save it as. Select the name of the file you have open (if you can't remember, hit "Cancel" and check the top of the file, where each file name is written), and click Save. Metro will ask you if you want to save over the current file. You do.

Formatting in Metro

When writing in your Metro News file, there are a couple of formats that you use.

1. At the beginning of each story, write:

--cart--SLUG/NAME OF PERSON ON AUDIO--- DATE--

2. Distinctly more important is how you write in the audio files. You can just select Insert > Audio Name at the top of your Metro News Editor browser, or you can write out the file code as follows

{TITLE YOU SAVED YOUR AUDIO FILE UNDER VERBATIM}

After you've inserted the audio's name, you need to give the out cue (last 2/3 words in the audio file) and the time.

{Audio Title 1} q... fat lady sings." (:15)

Step 6: Help! Metro Won't Launch!

Sometimes, you sit down in the morning, double click on Metro News to launch it and are greeted with a terrible sight. A Windows command window (black with white text) that says something about network drives and asks if you want to re-map it [Y/N]. I don't know why this happens, but don't freak out.

1. Type "y," hit the Enter key, and wait a bit. If the Windows command window doesn't close on its own, close it, then re-launch Metro. Metro will fail to launch, and a window will pop up to tell you that the network drive is corrupted and needs to be re-mapped.

2. Click on the Start button in the lower left hand corner of your screen. Hover over My Computer and RIGHT click it.

3. Select Map Network Drive.

4. This will launch a browser window called "Map Network Drive." In the top drop-down menu, called Drive, select W: //Met-source-user.....

5. Next to the bottom drop-down menu, called Folder, is a button that says "Browse." Click it.

6. Top of the list is My Network Places. Nested under that is Entire Network. Nested under that is Microsoft Windows Network. Under that is a list of networks; the second is called Knco.local. Select that one.

7. Scroll down to the little computer icon called Met-source-serv and click it, then scroll down to the folder called MetNews and click it.

8. Select the folder titled MetNews on Met-source-serv, bellow LocAudio. Click OK, then Finish.

Step 7: Saving Pictures for the Website

When you want to upload a story to KNCO's website, you'll want to at least include a picture of the front page banner. Featured images for the banner need to be 300 x 200 pixels. You re-size pictures to these dimensions using Photoshop.

** When you save a picture to use for the website, make sure you save it to RAW PHOTOS - NOT READY FOR WEB, which is under WEB on the S: Drive (a folder on the same drive where you store your personal audio files).

1. Open Photoshop (this may take a while to load-- it's a big program).

2. Click on File > Open.

3. Navigate to the S: Drive (Photoshop should automatically open it, but you may need to use the icon of the folder with the arrow pointing upwards on it to get to the network's master list). Scroll through all the folders to find WEB. Inside, open up RAW PHOTOS - NOT READY FOR WEB and find the picture you just saved there that you want to use. You can search by name (all files are in alphabetical order) or, if you can't remember the file's name, you can sort by most recently added by clicking on the icon of a browser window next to the New Folder icon, next to the navigation bar. The icon browser gives your sorting options-- click Details, then click the Date column at the top of the list twice SLOWLY to sort them with the most recently added files at the top.

4. Once you open your picture, it will appear in Photoshop's editing window. In the top left corner of the editing window are two tabs. Once says Full Edit and the other says Quick Fix. You want to select the Quick Fix tab.

5. At the top of the Quick Fix editing window is a settings bar. Make sure the Aspect Ratio option is set to Custom and that the Width is set to 300 px and the Height to 200 px. (Note: If you do not include "px" after each number to indicate you want to measure in pixels, Photoshop will default to inches and your picture will be too big!)

6. When you hover over the picture, you will notice your cursor turns into a square with crossed corners and a line running diagonally through it. By clicking and dragging, you create a dotted line that will stretch to the dimensions you need. After you create a box with dotted lines on your picture, you can drag the corners to make it bigger, or drag the tiny box at the center to move your cropping around. When you have your picture the way you want it, click the green check mark that appears at the bottom of your cropping box when you hover over it.

7. Click File > Save for Web. Click OK, make sure the file is saving under the WebReady, and click Save.

Step 8: Uploading Stories to the Website

1. Open your web browser (Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.)

2. Go to knco.com/wp-login.php to access the back end of KNCO's website.

3. Enter your username and password (Hint: Your username is usually your first name and the password is knco830).

4. Hover over Posts, then select Add New.

5. Copy and paste your entire story into the body of the post and add a title.

6. To replace the text for your audio clips (file name, out cue, time) click the Add Media button.

7. In the new window that pops up, select the tab that says Upload Files, then click the Select Files button. Navigate to W: Drive > LocAudio and find the audio clips you want to use in this story. You can select multiple clips by holding down the Ctrl key. When you've selected all the audio clips, click Open, wait for them to upload, and close out of the Add Media window.

8. Highlight the text for the audio clip you want to replace, then click Add Media again. Find the corresponding clip, select it, and change its title (on the right side of the window under URL) to something like "Click here to hear [name of person speaking in the recording]". Scroll down to the section called ATTACHMENT DISPLAY SETTINGS and click the drop down menu that says Embed Media Player and change it to Link to Media File. Finally, click Insert into Post. (It may take a while for the program to insert the link into the post. Be patient and don't click anywhere in the story until the highlighted text has been replaced with the title you gave the media file in blue text.)

9. After you've replaced all the audio files, on the right side of the window, in the section that says Categories, check Local News and Featured Post.

10. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page. On the right hand side you'll see a section labeled Featured Image and click Set Featured Image.

11. In the window that pops up, select the Upload Files tab, then hen click the Select Files button. Navigate to S: Drive > WEB > WebReady and find the picture you edited and saved for the featured image. Click Open, wait for it to upload, then click the blue Set Featured Image button in the bottom right hand corner.

12. Check your post for typos and punctuation, then click the blue button on the right side that says Upload.

NOTE: Sometimes when you log in, you may notice that the Comments notification on the left side of the Dashboard screen is lit up. Dave is the one who approves/responds to comments on ALL KNCO posts, even news stories. If he needs more info to answer a question, he'll come ask. Just ignore it and he'll take care of it when he has time.

Step 9: Recording Stories for Air (Software)

When you head into the news booth to record, you'll need 2 programs. The first is Adobe Audition. If you need a refresher on how to record in Audition, refer back to Step 1: Audition. The second program is Metro's Metro-Cart-O-Matic. When you record, you will use the right monitor, the corded mouse, and the keyboard in front of the computer monitors.

SOFTWARE

1. When you launch Cart-O-Matic, click the button that says Prompter (top of the window on the left side). This will launch the blank prompter window.

2. In the new window, click the Open button (top left hand corner) and scroll to the file you're using for your newscast (ex: noon news recorded live uses the MIDDAY NEWS file, and afternoon updates use the PM330 Update and PM430 Update files). Double click the file name to open it, or click it once to select it and click Open.

3. Cart-O-Matic will load the file's text and audio carts. When you press the F9 key, the first cart will play. When that cart is finished, the program will automatically load the next one. If you need to stop a cart while it's playing, press F10. If you messed up and need to start over, double click the little 1 at the top of the grid next to the window that indicates the file name of the cued audio (top of the window, next to the red text that gives the time). This will re-load all the audio in order. Press the F11 key to scroll up in the prompter program, and F12 to scroll down.

4. Open your Audition window (WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN RECORDING ALREADY) and stop the recording. Edit it and save it under your file on the S: Drive (ex: UPDATE 430 5/15).

Step 10: Recording Stories for Air (Hardware)

When recording in the news booth, use Mic 3. This is the microphone closest to the computers. Click the yellow "On" button (it will light up when that pot is on) and push the volume control for the microphone (pot it up) near the black line on the board. (Personally, I prefer to have my mic a little higher than the line, but you can experiment to find what level works for you using your headphones.)

Using headphones is highly suggested when recording. It allows you to hear how you sound as you're being recorded and you can hear soundbites as they play. If you decide not to record with headphones, make sure so keep them away from the mic-- they can cause feedback if they're turned up loud enough. The headphone's volume control is on the right side of the board; it's the little yellow knob labeled "Headphones."

If you're hearing the FM or AM broadcast in the headphones, or can't hear what you're recording, check the volume. Then, on the little black box sitting on top of the board, push in button #1 until it's depressed (sometimes, if another button is depressed, pushing the #1 button will pop the other other one out, but won't depress it. Make sure it's depressed). Next, in the top right corner of the board, there is a column of buttons labeled Monitor Select. Push the orange one with PGM written next to it. The one bellow it, labeled AUD should also work.

Step 11: Uploading Your Story Into the Automation System

The left monitor in the News Booth shows the automation system. This computer uses the blue cordless mouse and the keyboard tucked under the desk beneath the tower in the right corner of the booth, next to the window.

1. Scroll down until you see the program and time slot you need to edit (ex. Air Time 3:31:26 PM, Cart Label LOCAL NEWS UPDATE #1), double click the Cart Label.

2. In the new window that pops up, click the button in the bottom left hand corner that looks like a real to real recorder (4th button from the bottom left hand corner). In the recorder window that pops up, click to red Record dot (top left hand corner, next to the Save button). A window will pop up, asking if you want to Append, Re-Record, or Cancel. Click Re-Record.

3.Click Insert, navigate through the browser window until you find the update you recorded (S: Drive > Your File > File Name). If you can't find it, make sure the Files of Type drop-down menu, bellow the File Name bar in the bottom of the window, is set to All File Types instead of just .WAV. When you find your file, double click it to load it into the automation system. This may take a while if the system has to convert the file type from MP3 to Wav.

4. Click the save button in the top left hand corner of the window.

Step 12: Questions

Who to talk to when you're confused about something.

Website, Metro, Audition: Geoff

Metro, Audition, Photoshop: Rita

News booth or recording studios: Tom

Website, recording studios, news booth: Dave

Pretty much anyone in the news department can do anything-- these are just a list of what each person is best at (in my opinion).

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