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The Second Sense of Hearing

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When I saw we were working with audio this week, I wasn’t very excited.  I haven’t worked with audio before, so I was dreading it.

Doing something new is scary!

But on Tuesday I decided to stop pouting about it and just jump in.

Though it probably would have been smarter to start from the top and work my way to the bottom of the assignment list, I skipped ahead to the bumper.

Bang! Bounce! Crash! Bump!

Boy did I start with the wrong assignment.

But it became a learning experience like nothing else. After failing to make the bumper I wanted, I finally decided to take a look at the videos on the Week Four list. But more on that later.

So my bumper.

I took a look at the assignment page and at some of the examples I could find in the older submissions. Some people went super radio-ish with tons of sound effects and voices. Others went rather low-key with just music and their voice.

I didn’t want to spend all day on this, maybe just 12 hours, so I went with a song and my voice.

But then I had to figure out which song would work best. It took me an hour or so, but I went through all my music and tried to find ones that could transfer to a bumper well.

I finally decided on “Sail” by AWOLNATION.

Recording my voice was another intimidating task. I’ve been a bit self-conscious about my voice ever since I heard it back on a PA system at Lowe’s (where I work over the summer) and my co-workers said I sounded like a mouse.

But I got it done. I decided to add a reverb/far-away effect to compliment the digital/electronic sound of the opening 30 seconds of the song.

Take a listen:

If you wanna learn more about how I made this, check out the post I made.

The Scoop on Sound

Like I was saying earlier, I decided to watch the videos on this week’s assignment list to help me understand what I was supposed to be doing with this bumper.

I don’t want to spoil anything I said in the original post, so check out the post here.

What I do want to talk about, though, is how different audio/radio storytelling is from other forms of storytelling. Unless you grew up listening to NPR or AM radio, you probably don’t see audio as the method for storytelling. If anything, creative writing is storytelling to most people. You have a beginning, middle, and end. There are characters in a setting who face conflicts, then the story reaches its climax, and then there are resolutions.

But audio storytelling doesn’t have to stick to that format. That is why I like Ira Glass’s thoughts on storytelling. I like the idea of telling a story that doesn’t require you to create suspense, but that the momentum of actions will create it for you.

Really. Take a look at my post and the videos in it.

A Stirring Story on DS106 Radio

Also on this week’s checklist was to listen to an hour of DS106 Radio.

I listened to two stories, but felt more of a connection with the second story about a woman and her relationship with her father who had Alzheimer’s.

I don’t have much more to say about these stories that I listened to other than what I already said on the post, so take a look here for more on my experiences listening to DS106 Radio.

Movies for your Ears

Along with DS106 Radio, I also listened to stories on The Truth apm.

This was by far the best experience I’ve had listening to radio stories. Since all of the stories I chose to listen to were short, I listened to three to equal about an hour.

The first one, Third Party, was about a serial killer going after independent candidates for Congress.

The second one, The Modern Prometheus, was about a computer system taking over basically.

The final one, The Death of Poe, was a user’s story about a theory of how Edgar Allen Poe died. This was my favorite!

You can read more about these stories on this post right here.

A Slow Life’s Sound

By far my favorite assignment this week, we had to create a story out of sound effects. There could be no verbal communication.

As soon as I heard this was a sound effect story, I knew I could use I wasn’t able to use it for my bumper, but I couldn’t wait to use it here!

Take a listen to the clip, then read more about the storytelling below:

This is when I really started to feel like a storyteller. I had the story in my head, but would that same story come across to the listener? If not, what will they hear?

I tried to remember what I had heard in the videos on storytelling. I created an action-based story (which is really all you can do with just sound effects!). I wanted listeners to ask where is he going when he gets in his car. He’s driving in the rain, is it at night? Then I wanted them to wonder about the importance of the bell ringing. Will he drop change? Will he pass on by?

Now I almost made him pass by and not drop change. I wondered if that would be a more interesting story–for him to go against the norm. But then I decided that I never drop change (I never have cash/change on me!), so maybe this is the same for other people, and hearing someone drop change will make people ask more questions.

Well, read more about my adventure in audio storytelling here in this post.

Side note: I also keep reading that this was a five-sound story. In my defense for using way more than five is that the Assignment Bank says “at least five different sounds that you find online.”

 A Little Less Routine

I’m sad that I only got to three daily creates this week. I wasn’t really busy, but I wasn’t really interested in many of them. Maybe that’s why students stop doing them. I hate most poetry, so two were out for me just from that. I’m not a fan of making videos simply for the time that goes into that for me right now. My webcam died so I’m having to use my camera. I’m also not a fan of these “first memory” daily creates. I don’t remember much from my childhood, especially things that were my “first.” I guess I could make one up, though.

Nevertheless, I got three this week.

And my favorite part of this week’s daily creates: I got to do my own submission!

Read more about my Daily Create adventures here!

Group 4 Life

Okay, not really 4life because we’re about to change groups, but I like the sound of that.

I really loved hearing from people that they enjoyed my daily create this week. Definitely was a great feeling that other people love messing with popular culture like I do.

I also appreciated Richard’s challenge to my photo assignment from last week. I knew the wall had changed, but I’m glad not everyone just agreed with me!

Nancy suggested that I start more of a theme like she does. While I love how she does it, I don’t think it would work very well here. She also encouraged me to use the subreddit. I didn’t get to this week, but now that we’re entering photos, maybe I’ll try it out next week.

Tim helped me find all the blogs. I keep forgetting our blogs were on that site. Now that we’re changing comment groups, this is especially helpful for those people I don’t follow on Twitter.

I was honestly taken aback by the creativity of my group members. Tim’s ninja story was especially hilarious. Richard’s sound stories were really fun, too. I’m usually a pretty “deep” person when it comes to things. Being funny isn’t the easiest thing to do for me when I’m online, so seeing others have fun with the effects was really entertaining.

Finishing up Week 4

This sums up how I feel about getting through this week.

Very grateful that it is over and that I survived audio storytelling thus far.

Now this week wasn’t as terrible as I imagined it would be. I never thought I’d be comfortable working with audio, because as I have stated in just about every post this week, I don’t really like radio.

But working on the sound effect story and listening to Ira Glass helped me realize that storytelling with audio is hard–and that’s okay. Luckily, unlike him, I am not making a living off of how well my radio show entices people–it’s just grades….

Anyways… to finish in the same way this week started for me.

In this week’s assignment list, one of the first things mentioned is the infamous War of the Worlds radio show. You know, the one that caused all that panic.

We’ve all heard about it, I’m sure. I heard about it in my history class a few times, but always wondered how people could believe something like that. How could a radio show make people believe that something was happening like that?

That’s what we really learned this week: how to affect people and how to create stories that connect us with the people listening.

I’m not thrilled about the Group Radio Show coming up, but I understand the power of radio and listening to something, having people imagine what you are saying instead of just drawing it for them.


Final note: I’m excited we’re leaving radio to explore photography.


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