Unit 7

I was part of a radio broadcast both in high school and college so I have some experience as far as being a DJ but not as much when it comes to producing a taped and scripted radio show. I noted that in the specs it says we should create a piece that’s equal to 5 minutes times the amount of people we have – 40 minutes is a long broadcast! Anyhow, I like the idea of perhaps exploring the idea of time travel (perhaps because I just saw the Stephen Hawking movie in which he speculates about the nature of time). That’s just an idea. It seems to be that radio interviews are the easiest to produce (and similar to what I do every day) while radio dramas are the most difficult simply because of the nature of scripting, the number of different people involved, along with the sound effects and sound elements that go along with it. However, if its a well-scripted suspense or adventure story (like the Sherlock Holmes Basil Rathbone radio shows linked through the Internet archives), the number and importance of sound effects is less, though the need for a strong script and good characters is much greater.  In Rob Watson’s article , he describes the radio drama as an exercise in imagination – a theater-of-the-mind.  It challenges us to use a very limited and simple set of tools to create our stories – just voice and other sounds. I found it interesting that he would then challenge us to go beyond the simple tools that we’ve been given and try to re-imagine how to create a radio drama. I suppose one way that modern radio drama could take advantage of new technology would be to use the kinds of effects that were never possible before – flange or echo effects – or ones that manipulate the voice to create a new kind of character or to instill mood or drama. In Ira Glass’s article , he also talks about simplification, but in this case, I vbelieve he is simply trying to save us from ourselves. I’ve seen it a million times at MSNBC, where new writers try to write in a way that makes them sound intelligent or uses big words and all it does is complicate when often is a simple story. The toughest thing to do sometimes can be to find a simple, conversational way to say something. In Ira’s article, he uses this same idea to encourage producers to find the human element of a story – in other words, the most relatable part. In the same way, our writing should be something that all of our listeners can easily understand.

Three audio assignments

Bumper: I did this with my daughter – similar to the bumper I did with my son although this obviously was supposed to be within the context of a radio show (and obviously this was done before we decided on our radio show or its theme)

Commercial: This ended up being the commercial for the radio show. It’s under the radio show blog posting.

Foley Sounds: This wasn’t too hard – interesting to see how so many of the sound effects are made. I was more comfortable making them myself then finding stuff to make the sounds. My son enjoyed watching this. For mine to line up, you have to start the video at 1:28.

Ten stars worth of assignments

Being a Music Producer – 3 1/2 stars – AudioAssignments, AudioAssignments1179

Decided on this after trying to do Sounds of the Day but I couldn’t get the files from my phone to translate to Audacity for some reason. I opted instead for the music producer assignment (which actually had been my first choice) and recorded a beat on a snare, layered with some really poor guitar,whistling and clapping (got a little carried away cause I was enjoying myself). Its easy to add new tracks and Im getting better at clipping sounds and tracks where I want to.

Can’t Get it out of my Head – 2 stars – AudioAssignments, AudioAssignments1526

Did the whistling thing – pretty easy to guess I think, but maybe that’s because it is, actually, stuck in my right now.

Dramatic Reading Remix – 3 1/2 stars – AudioAssignments, AudioAssignments1417

This is Jackie reading the lyrics to Uptown Funk over some violin music I found online. I thought she did a good acting job. This was a straight copy off youtube, download and record a second track on Audacity.  Pretty simple.

Teezee reference – 1 1/2 stars – AudioAssignments, AudioAssignments1117

I found a good Twilight Zone reference in Futurama. I downloaded it from youtube using the website, YouTube to MP3, then imported the download to Audacity, trimmed off the pieces I didn’t need, then uploaded it back to my desktop and then to soundcloud. Added a picture this time too.

Summary

My sense about audio is that it is a more challenging medium than video or still photos. Our most immediate sense is our sense of sight – everything else needs to be interpreted and translated. In this way, audio/radio creates a more formidable challenge for the creator/producer. We need to use a more limited set of tools and be able to use them in such a way that they interact with the listeners’ imagination in order to convey the message we intend. Nevertheless, the fact that we are interacting with a listeners’ imagination gives us freedom to try different things and different sounds to elicit different responses. As far as producing a radio show, I think it will give the class a unique opportunity to interact and also to see how people’s voices reflect their character.. No one ever sounds as good as they think they do.

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