And That’s a Wrap, Folks!

Radio is a medium that I never thought I would enjoy as much as I did. Not only did I love listening to our group’s final project on the radio, the process of making it was so satisfying. There is nothing that gives me more pride now, than lining up sound effects in the correct order to make it sound like a real-life scene. (Okay, maybe there are some things that go above that, but it really is fun and rewarding.) As a listener of the show, I was so nervous leading up to its premier, because I just wanted everyone else to love the outcome as much as we do. There was so much work that went into every aspect of the show, as I’m sure  it did with everyone’s, that I honestly think I would have been heart-broken if people hated it! Haha! When the show started playing, there were several technical difficulties, as other parts of the radio were playing over top of it, so of course I was freaking out a little bit. However, they finally got it working right, and it was smooth sailing from there. The viewers that I interact with on Twitter all had positive feedback for the show, which was great to see. The most exciting tweets were the ones from the professors, because they know how to use the technical jargon to make us feel like we really accomplished something great! Although I was nervous, at first, I truly enjoyed listening to the show on DS106 Radio and interacting with other listeners during the show.

If there was one thing that I wish could have been done differently, it would have been to start the audio editing earlier. However, this was not possible because three of the four people in our group, myself included, were all playing in the CAC Women’s Basketball Championship and took an unplanned overnight trip to Salisbury, Maryland, during the weekend the radio show was due. However, we are  big advocates for “no excuses”, so we worked on it as much as we could at the hotel and on the bus and pulled an all day, into the night, work session on Sunday. The intricacies of audio editing are time-consuming but extremely rewarding when everything comes together.  The finished product is something of which we are extremely proud!

As I have stated previously, I received a lot of satisfaction in lining up the sound effects in Audacity to have them flow together like one big, happy radio show. That was absolutely my favorite part. It was my job to put all of the sound clips together after everyone sent me their dialogue parts, so it was just me and my computer against the world! I spent about eight hours straight just putting the show together, and it was worth every second. I also really enjoyed the brainstorming process, as bouncing ideas off of everyone was very beneficial in the storyline development. All of my group members had awesome ideas, and we were unstoppable when we put them all together. Although it was rewarding, audio editing was probably the hardest part of the project, as well. There were many frustrating moments, because of how intricate sounds are and how even the tiniest movement of a clip can make a scene sound completely disconnected. It was also difficult to schedule meeting times with the four of us having different schedules, so we did most of the voice recording separately. However, I think we made it work very well!

For future DS106 students, I suggest an early start, group recording, and having fun with it! Definitely start the brainstorming process earlier on in the week! It takes more time than one would think to consider each character’s back story and fabricate a way for them to interact in a way that maintains consistency. Also, since audio editing is also time-consuming, it won’t seem so bad if it is done a little at a time. Since we did most of our recording separately, we had to edit the clips and and put them together along with the sound effects. This is exactly why I suggest recording as a group on one computer, so that you will not have to add this step to the process. My final tip is to have fun! It is important to be proud of your final product, so put a lot of work into it, and you will get a lot out of it!

Imagination and MaNOIRpulation

This second week of working on our radio show definitely proved challenging and a lot more rigorous than week one. Since our group, consisting of Aubrey Howland, Amanda Layton, Brianne Comden, and myself,  used week one to create the commercials, radio bumpers, and basic idea/storyline for our show, week two consisted of all of the physical work. This included the script writing, line recording, and audio editing. After coming up with a brief storyline, I started a Google Document and shared it with my group members to start writing the dialogue and link to different sound effects that individual persons thought would be crucial to add into the final product. We met this past Wednesday to develop the entire storyline from start to finish. It was great to bounce ideas off of each other. At several points in the meeting, I was pacing around the room with ideas just flowing out of my mouth. :) After writing the storyline in bullet points, we started on the dialogue together. Later that night, I wrote a lot more because ideas just kept flowing. Luckily, all of my group members liked it and added to it. We finished up the final script by Friday afternoon and started recording Friday night. With all of our hectic schedules and the weather, we decided it would be just as easy to record separately, and then everyone sent me their lines to edit and compile into Audacity.

We also met on Sunday morning to finish up the show, as audio editing is very tedious. I downloaded all of the sound effects and placed them in their appropriate spots based on what we wrote in the Google Document. The most difficult part was putting the lines together in a way that they flowed from one to the next. As good as I got with Audacity, audio editing is still no joke. I cannot tell you how many times I had to zoom into certain clips to cut out maybe two-tenths of a sound that did not belong. After several hours of editing and a few additions to spice up the ending, we finished our show at 20 minutes and 2 seconds. Whew! Every second of that show brought blood, sweat, and tears. Okay, maybe no blood. Usually, I am very critical of working in a group, but I truly enjoyed it this time. It was great to share ideas and come together for the final product, one of which I am very proud. I think the term, “maNOIRpulated” will definitely catch on!

Below are the commercial and the radio bumper that I created for the show, as well as the final product! I hope you enjoy!

 

May I get a drumroll please?….

A Sultry Bumper for a Sultry Show

In the midst of the first radio show week, I tried to focus my audio assignments on prompts that would contribute to our show idea. Therefore, the first assignment I decided to complete was the “Create a DS106 Radio Bumper”. This would be round two for me with this assignment, as I created one during audio week. However, this time I concentrated on the concept of the Femme Fatale, using sultry music and seductive language. The specific prompt states:

Now that we have a #ds106 radio up and running creating a 15 to 30 second bumper for the station. What is a bumper? It is a short recording that identifies the radio station with signature music or an expression that makes sure the listeners know what they are tuned into (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bumper_(broadcasting)). So for ds106 it should certainly include “DS106 Radio” and some sort of message about the station with voice over music.

This assignment is worth 2.5 points.

Considering that our radio show will be set in modern times, with neo-noir Femme Fatales, I searched for more recent sounding background music than classic noir. This search took the most amount of time because I could not seem to find exactly what I wanted, in order to portray sexy and dark at the same time. However, I finally found a mix of instrumental blues music that had the perfect beginning for my thirty-second bumper. The next step was fabricating a message to tie in the seductive nature of the Femme Fatale with an announcement of “DS106 Radio”. I channeled Sandy from “Grease”, as she delivered her famous line, “tell me about it…stud”, when voicing the message, “Hey there ladies and gents, you’re listening to DS106 radio”.  I tried my hand at a raspy and sexy voice. Don’t judge too harshly! :) Although this bumper specifically applies to our show about the “maNOIRpulators”, it also applies in general to the DS106 noir style, as Femme Fatales are a typical noir trope. I utilized Audacity to put the clips together, importing the music track and cutting the section after 30 seconds elapsed, and then recorded a voice-over for the message. I placed the message in the middle of the bumper at about the 15-second mark and used the Amplify effect to lower the music volume in the background as it played. My final touch was fading out the music at the end to avoid an abrupt ending. I did not think I could like a bumper more than my first , but this one might take the cake! :)

“The maNOIRpulators”

When deciding on which type of promo to make for our newly developed radio show, I immediately knew that I desired to create a logo that would represent our entire show. Posters and bumper stickers are useful, but the logo is the main visual representation for any medium.  It didn’t hurt that I already had an idea in mind. Upon forming our group, we analyzed our characters and realized that most of them have one thing in common: they are manipulative women. Our radio show will focus on two cousins, who rely on the advice of their late grandmother, as well as, a female friend of one of the cousins. These “maNOIRpulators”, as we cleverly call them, are dark souls who do not shy away from getting some blood on their hands; hence, the color scheme of the logo is white, black, and red.

I utilized Google to look up three images of female silhouettes and opened them up in Photoshop on one canvas. I then added horizontal text to spell out, “the maNOIRpulators”, angling it slightly upward, from left to right, across the three women. I changed the font type of “NOIR” to stress the association with the class’s theme. Then, the cropping tool allowed me to eliminate excess white space and make it in the shape of an approximate square, typical of logos. This image is the epitome of what our show will be about without giving away too much.

DS106 Radio Show logo