This audio assignment is called “DS106 Radio Commercial” and the purpose is to create an audio file that emulates a commercial you may hear on the radio. However, the catch is that you need to advertise something that could be useful for characters in a TV show or movie. The first show I thought of was Seinfeld!! The premise for many of their episodes revolve around the 4 main characters communicating with each other and losing each other around the streets of New York. Imagine how different the show would have been if mobile technology was as prevalent then as it is now.
I first looked up some situations in the show where the characters could have used a mobile phone, this site was very helpful. I then collected different audio clips and imported them into the tool, Audacity, where I layered the sound. The commercial is comprised of three sounds: A mobile phone ringing (downloaded here), my voice (using SoundCloud), and background music (Kaskake – LAX to JFK) that I had on my computer.
I thought it all came together nicely, I tried lowering my voice to make it more suspenseful and raised the volume of the music when fading out at the end.
Foley sound, which is defined by Wikipedia as the reproduction of everyday sound effects, was the basis for this assignment – creating sound effects completely on our own to mirror a section of a Charlie Chaplin film. The section of the film that I was responsible for was from marker 1:31 to 2:00 and my resulting foley sound effects are above. This was a very tricky task, timing was everything, and knowing what is going to happen in the film before it happens, was vital. Although it was challenging (I may have recorded over 20 takes) it was funny to hear some of the sounds we can make, but most notably, it was interesting to see how an everyday sound (such as tapping on a desk) could resemble something so much different – such as a man running. The sounds I added to the video were: Dialogue via my voice, growling via my voice, water splashing using a water bottle, and footsteps by tapping my desk.
The sounds effects story assignment requires the user to find a collection of sound effects online and any self-recorded audio to create a story using only effects and no dialogue. For my sound effects story I chose to convey a stressful mood of someone then change that mood into relief, or happiness. From a story spine perspective the story itself could go something like this:
Once upon a time there was a man stressed out from work and traffic, he felt like nails on a chalkboard would be better to listen to all day. Every day, he listened to heavy metal to try and relieve the stress but it never helped. Until one day when he decided to finally go on vacation. Because of this, he was able to clear his mind.
When creating my sound effects story I wanted to capture things that are irritable, annoying and are indicative of things people may do when stressed (like listen to loud music) then phase into a more pleasant and relaxed setting. The effects I used were downloaded from freesound.org and they included fingernails on siding, heavy metal music, traffic, a man yawning, birds chirping, a front door opening, and an ocean splashing. I self-recorded the sound of the bottle filling up with water.
My sound effects story:
I used the tool Audacity to create/edit the audio, see my reaction and project in my screencast o matic video..
I just had the opportunity to listen in on a podcast by “The Truth” titled, “Falling.” It was quite the dramatic story, based on an emotional roller coaster romance between a man and the woman who saved his life. To be honest, I usually am not drawn to romantic stories, but i’ll admit that I believe the story kept my attention since I was only listening. I think because I was using only my sense of hearing, it forced me to constantly sculpt images and settings in my mind; it allowed me to be creative and very imaginative. I liked how the podcast itself started with suspenseful and dramatic sounds with narrative from a bystander then immediately goes straight into what the ending is. I feel like it’s sort of a tease since it works to lure the listener in. The sound effects all came together nicely in this beginning segment.
Some audio techniques I noted while listening were the use of sound effects and background noise. Sound effects were used not just to emphasize the setting (such as the sound of boiling water) but to also provide the hint that a new setting/scene has taken place. I particularly noted that the change in settings worked better when there was a sharp sound effect (like an alarm clock) which was more helpful from a listening perspective since otherwise I found it difficult to catch when a new setting/scene has taken place. The use of background noise (such as dogs barking or doors opening) helped me form the setting in my head which I thought was a key element for me to follow the story. I liked how during the buildup of the story, the listener was given an “inside look” of the man and woman’s individual lives. This candid look made me feel more part of the story, like I was connected to it, as weird as that may sound. A good example of the use of background noise can be found at the 7:43 mark of the podcast.