Can you hear me now?

Week three is completed!  I think that this week was my favorite so far.

Audio production is something that has fascinated me for a long time, whether it has to do with music or radio shows.  I really enjoyed learning about the processes that go into producing podcasts and other forms of audio entertainment.

I think one of my biggest obstacles was the learning curve with the audio software, but once I played around with it enough and got the hang of it, everything was smooth sailing.  I definitely think I am going to continue using the tools I learned this week in the future, whether its for school or just for fun.

My favorite assignment that I completed was when I got to make a scene from sound effects only.  It was fun to turn random noises into an actual soundscape.

If I could go back and do it again, I would probably try and play around with creating my own musical tracks, instead of focusing on sound effects.  I think it would be really fun to produce my own tunes.  Overall, I am very excited to continue on into next week!

 

Audio Assignments:

Create a story, Create a Place, Favorite Song, Make your Own Sounds Effect

Assignments:

Ira Glass Advice, Moon Graffiti, Ted Radio Hour

Daily Creates:

June 5th, June 6th, June 7th, June 8th, June 9th

 

 

Not So Successful Moon Landing

I absolutely love anything with an eery feel to it.  That is why I enjoyed listening to the Moon Graffiti so much.  The podcast took a joyous day in American history, the first moon landing, and acted out how Buzz Aldrin and Lance Armstrong would have reacted if they crashed and were stranded.  The producers took full advantage of their “spooky space sounds” setting in their sound boards.

Every element of the show was extremely realistic.  I loved the way they made sure every action that the voice actors were acting out had a sound to go along with it.  My favorite example would be the flag pole. When the flag pole was bending as the astronauts were attempting to put it in the ground, instead of them narrating what was happening, the listener heard a simple “whomp” noise (the best way I could describe it).  There is something to say about the way an audio only show is produced when it makes the listener actually see what they hear.

The way the show was produced was outstanding.  By using creepy sound effects and eery music, the audio producers created a story that made the listener uncomfortable and on edge.

Advice from Ira Glass

Sound design is something that I have always found very interesting and was very excited to see that this week’s assignments included learning more about radio and sound production.

In the interview I watched with Ira Glass, the well known NPR personality, he offered very specific and easy to take advice when it comes to setting up and creating radio shows and any other work that is heavily reliant on audio. The first thing he mentions is how difficult it is to find a story that is worthy of your time and effort. He mentioned that you, as the producer of whatever you are working on, have to be able to “kill” more ideas than you would like. Glass says that “anything you out on tape…is trying to be really bad”. I interpret this as meaning that nothing that you obtain in its totally raw form is going to be perfect. It takes an incredible amount of work at every step of the process t0 end up with an end product that is spectacular. The only reason products end up very good is because the creators are extremely harsh on their own projects.

Glass also mentions how every creator is a creator and strives to be a creator because they have great taste. This great taste could be in television, radio, movies, really anything. If a creator is taking the time to create the things they love, it is because they know what is good and what is bad. That being said, Glass also comments on the fact that the first good bit of your career creating things you love, you are going to be creating things that are not good, except the term he used was “total crap”. His suggested solution to get out of the funk of the badlands of your creative career is to simply keep making “crap”. I agree with Glass on this one. The more you create the things you want to create, the more you will find yourself slipping into an identity of sorts. This identity will, hopefully, be one that reflects who you strive to be as a creator.

I really enjoyed listening to Ira Glass give his advice.  After all, he is one of the most successful radio personalities and producers in the game.  His advice can apply to not field regarding audio work, but any entertainment field.

Dissecting TED Radio Hour

This week we were assigned to listen to the intro of a TED Radio Hour that was available to us through SoundCloud.

The intro to the TED Radio hour features a story about how technology is changing the way that humans interact with machines and technology both positively and negatively. The way in which the three minute intro is cut and layered together is a way that leaves you with questions wanting to be answered. It begins with the narrator, Guy Raz, talking by himself as he introduces the subject, Sherry Turkle, an MIT Professor. This starts the story with the feeling of having a casual conversation with somebody you know. About fifteen seconds later, the Sherry’s voice is cut in, and the listeners are now introduced to the main character of the story. Instead of having the interview being played between the Raz and Turkle, the main character’s portion of the interview is being played meanwhile the narrator explains to the listener what the story is about. About 45 seconds into the introduction, a soft and bright melody begins to play behind the narrator and as he goes on to talk about the main topic of the story.

The way the TED Radio hour introduction is one that has become increasingly popular throughout the evolution of radio and podcast production.  The introduction does an effective job at immersing the listener into the conversation.  Instead of evoking a feeling of being an outsider listening in, the conversation is cut in a way to make the listener feel like they are a part of the conversation.  Personally, I really enjoy this production style.  It makes listening to radio shows and podcast much more immersive.

Sounds of the Streets

The point of this assignment was to create a place using only sound effects.  For this process, I went to FreeSounds which is a free-use platform with thousands of user generated sounds.  My goal was to make the listener feel as if they were sitting on a bench by a busy street. I searched for different types of sounds to emulate the feeling of being outside.  I found sound bytes that sounded like cars passing, birds chirping, and even a bike bell.

To create the scene, I uploaded the sounds into Audacity. In order for the sounds to seem more organic, I cut them up and scattered them throughout.

When I was happy with the finished product, I uploaded it to SoundCloud.

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The end result turned out to be the sounds of a busy street.  I am very pleased with how it turned out.