Ums and ers: the sound of thinking

I spend a huge amount of time listening back over recorded interviews when I’m working on Spoken Portraits and podcasts.¬†Once I have organised and cut the ‘tape’ into a flowing, engaging story, there’s the question of all those hesitations. There can be hundreds of ‘ums’, ‘ers’ and long pauses in a lengthy interview, adding up to several minutes (I make no criticism here: I’m a big ‘ummer’). I love capturing the way people sound when they speak naturally. But there’s a balance to be struck between realism and holding the listener’s attention!

Here are a few ‘ums’ and ‘ers’ salvaged from the cutting room floor that I’ve mixed together. I like to think of it as the sound of people thinking.