I Think I’m Hearing Things!

The dreadful Audio week that I heard about on Twitter and various other DS106 sites, proved to be a little difficult but nothing I could not handle, or at least ask others about. In fact, I enjoyed this week the most because I truly felt accomplished when I finished each assignment.

I began the week by introducing myself to audio storytelling. Some of the concepts that I learned about from the Audio Resources were extremely interesting, and I found that they were applied in many of the works that we viewed, listened to, and read. The first two video clips, although visually the same, differed greatly in their sound and their meaning as a whole. Even though they were the same opening scene to “Touch of Evil”, the first clip portrayed an exciting walk through a chaotic street, while the second conveyed a frighteningly rushed walk through the same street. This transformation was solely due to the change in audio and exemplifies its powerful effect on media. For the second resource, I chose to read, “The Ambience of Film Noir- Soundscapes, Design, and Mood”. This selection broke down the elements of audio and how they are used to achieve mood, setting, and atmosphere. The final resource that was used to introduce us to audio in storytelling was DS106 Radio. I participated in the live “tweet-along” on Tuesday night, during the playing of the “Maltese Falcon”. Through this piece, I gained a better understanding of how audio is used, particularly in noir, to create an eerie mood or transition into flashbacks. My reflection on these resources and the use of audio, as a whole, is included in a blog post.

The next task for the week were the ever-faithful Daily Creates. I knocked these out early in the week, as Monday’s and Tuesday’s prompts were too great to pass up. The “Urban Decay” assignment prompts us to take a picture of something that represents decay, and I knew of a shed that fits this description precisely:

Shed-ing Away

On Tuesday, the assignment was to add words to a photo with the theme of “I’m Sorry”. Upon research on the ol’ trusty Google, I discovered the perfect picture to go along with the theme:

Ya gotta go!

At first glance of the “radio bumper” assignment, I honestly did not know what to do because I had never heard of one before. However, after listening to DS106 Radio on Tuesday night and using the Wikipedia link to do some research on them, I understood exactly what was being asked for in this prompt. I also realized that I have listened to thousands in my lifetime. I worked to find the perfect background music to represent noir and came up with the message, “Freeze…You’re listening to DS106 Radio” to bring out a character trope (hard-boiled detective) typical of noir stories! I believe that my bumper will be a great addition to DS106 Radio, as I have already heard so many great ones from my peers between broadcasts.

The next task was to complete 8 points of Audio Assignments, with 3.5 of the points being dedicated to the “Sound Effects Story”. This assignment was also required to revolve around our noir character. Therefore, “Jewel” went on a house call to a client’s home and came upon an unexpected scene. The Free Sound website provided me with the effects necessary to make this story possible, and Audacity allowed me to seamlessly put them together. Creating this story adds depth to “Jewel” as a character and helped me gain a better understanding of how to fabricate my own version of audio storytelling.

The next audio assignment (worth 3 points) that caught my eye was the “Line Remix” prompt. Although I struggled with finding which movie to choose, once I decided on “She’s the Man”, I knew exactly which line to transform. If my line was inserted into the movie, it would completely alter the story plot, as Viola Hastings would not be able to continue playing in the huge game at the end. She would also never get to be with Duke (and that is a shame for everyone)!  I really enjoyed completing this assignment, because it connects outside of the noir realm.

The next assignment that I chose to take on connects to my life away from noir, as well, since I will listen to the final product well into the future. The 3-point assignment,  “So and So’s Greatest Hits” prompted us to create a mash-up of our favorite artist’s songs. When trying to think of an artist that has been a constant presence in all phases of my life, Beyoncé is the one person that comes to mind. I put together a mash-up of seven of her greatest tracks, in my opinion, and utilized Audacity to cut out parts of them and transition in between each. Unfortunately, due to copyright issues, I was unable to upload the track to SoundCloud, but I was able to upload it to the posts directly. The final product is something that I am extremely proud of, because it represents all of the parts of Beyoncé’s artistry that I enjoy listening to the most.

The final written assignment for this week was coming up with DS106 Radio Show ideas for an upcoming assignment in a few weeks. My first idea revolves around our original noir characters, which each of us was required to create and continue to develop through several assignments. For each show, members of a group would assume the role of their own character. The characters would all have to interact in some way in a short story that is told through the radio broadcast. My second idea focuses on the audio principles that we learned about this week. Each group would include information about the artists on a movie soundtrack that featured noir music, presented similarly to a talk show, as the conclusion would be an informal discussion of the effectiveness of the music, suggestions for improvements, etc. Either of these radio show ideas could be effectively executed by groups of my peers.

Experimenting with Audacity was the most fun task to complete this week. It applied to several of the assignments, and I have a sneaky suspicion that it will continue to apply throughout the semester. I had never worked with audio editing software, and it was very intriguing and addicting to do so. On some assignments, I did not want to stop trimming clips here and shifting clips there. It does not help that I am a perfectionist and worked with the tools until I got each Audacity project the exact way I wanted it. The online manual helped tremendously.

As part of my participation this week, I took to Twitter heavily with the “tweet-along” and several other tweets about my assignments, my progress, and I even reached out to the community for some help with Audacity. I got some great feedback! One of the awesome things about this class is the sense of community, without even sharing a classroom. In addition, I commented on Brian’s post, this fellow political science major’s post, and Leanna’s post, to name a few. Like Professor Bond says, “we are all in this together” and commenting is just one aspect of this! Until next week!

#ds106 #4life

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