This post is mainly for an English speaking audience, so it is written in English.

In March 2015, I visited the Mozilla Berlin office for the „Hack on MDN“ event.

My plan was to contribute by offering recordings for screencasts and videos. What I didn’t know was that MDN celebrates it’s 10th anniversary this year and that we had the chance to get everyone involved with MDN in one room and record the stories that the group remembered from the last 10 years.

Pitching project ideas at HackOnMDN weekend, Berlin 2015. Photo by Biraj Karmakar.

The recording

Planning the content

Florian, Jean-Yves and Justin,who also moderates the talk, created the outline for the recording. The task was to separate the talk into logical chapters, so that the recording could be cutted into separate files. The topics of the chapters should be retained, though.

My setup

I used my t.bone SC400 microphone and my Behringer Xenyx QX1002 USB Mixer. For the backup (always have backups!) I used the Tascam DR-05 V2

Adobe Audition was used for the post-production. The most difficult part was to cut the recording into a logical sequence, because it would be nice to have everything in chapters and sometimes during the talk someone said „oh I forgot this and that“.

Chapters,Chapters…

On the right, you can see the chapters. On the left, there are the two recordings (mixer and backup) including the chapter marks. Maybe this doesn’t look that complicated, but as I said, the tricky part was indeed the cutting.

Outcome

In the end we produced over one hour of audio material, separated into chapters and ready to publish. My part was done at this point. The rest of the team created the website for MDN at 10 and The History of MDN.

I am very happy to have met all the Mozillians in Berlin and I am glad I had the chance to record this (maybe historic) document. I believe it is important to produce things like this, because we have the responsibility to document stories not only products. There is a lot more that „this is just a website, just make a screenshot and we are done“ behind open source projects like MDN. There are people behind these projects and they are important.

Thoughts for the future

Maybe you want to record something like this talk and ask yourself „what would you change in this setup?“. The audio quality is far away from perfect. There are eleven speakers in this room and it would have been nice to use a microphone for every speaker. But lets be realistic: we should record with four, maybe six mics. We could place the mics at different points on the table and connect them with just one mixing desk (don’t forget the Tascam-backup). If we the mics are under 100€ for each and the Behringer mixing desks, we are at about 400€ with four mics and at about 600€ with six mics. In my opinion this is too expensive for just one event, but if you want to record larger groups several times in a year, this could be your starting point.

(proofreading: Florian Scholz)