Weeks 7 & 8: Audio and the Big Radio Show

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Welcome to Weeks Seven & Eight of ds106. Somewhere in here is official half-way point for the class. Congratulations, you’re half-way to reclaiming your life again! We move into a segment where you have longer to work on your assignments; and with Spring Break in between Week’s 7 and 8 there is actually 3 weeks until you must turn in all your work. All work is to be summarized in a single blog post for this stretch due midnight March 17 (your final radio show is due 24 hours before that).

Its in your own and your groups interest to not let the work slide until the end (c.f. Recipe for Disaster)

Yes, audio is back. Some of you may be dreading it, but keep an open mind, and maybe audio will be your friend. The majority of your work during this time should be working on your radio show which is due Saturday, March 16th by midnight. I need it earlier to compile the radio show schedule.

Radio Show Details

Continue working in your groups on your radio shows. By now, you’ve picked your show theme and format, and you should each have scoped out what your contribution to the show will be. Over the next week three weeks (or two if you truly take a Spring Break, and you should), you need to produce this show into a single audio file. The total length of your show should be at least 5 minutes times the number of people in your group and no more than 30 minutes.

Like the ones we listened to in week three, all radio shows should include:

  • An introduction that announces/overviews the show.
  • Two bumpers (10-30 seconds long) in the middle of your show.
  • Two commercials within the show.

The shows are expected to make use of music, ambient sounds, sound effects. For some guidance, you may want to review some of the radio shows previous student groups have done – and decide for yourseld what works about them? What does not? Is it good radio?

Shows are due by Saturday, March 16 at midnight. All shows must be uploaded to the ds106 radio DropBox (the password is “wejamecono”) as an mp3 file that is under 75Mb.

Please name your audio files as follows: GroupName_S13_ds106radio.mp3.

We will be playing all of the shows LIVE on ds106 radio on Monday March 18 between 8:00pm and 11:30pm Broadcasts will be during the following time slots.

You should pick the slot you prefer ASAP by choosing a slot in this google doc schedule. At least one member of each show must be available to talk live with Alan during the live broadcast. You’ll need to indicate who this person is when you fill out the form. During the broadcast, we’ll interview you briefly before and after your show to talk about your work.

In your summary post for this two week segment, you must post a reflection on your blog about the entire radio show production process, particularly delineating your role in the production.

Your grade for the audio show is 60% on the overall quality of the show and 40% for what your contribution is as shown in your summary for the week. You will have an opportunity the following week to provide peer-evaluations of another group’s show (information about this will be distributed after shows are turned in).

Audio Storytelling

There are three required audio assignments plus 5 stars worth of additional ones of your choice from the assignment bank. I am looking in your audio work that you are using multiple tracks to create a full sound, mixing in music / audio effects, and using sound editing effects where appropriate

When you write up your assignments, make sure you include a listing and links to any sounds you used from other sources. You should provide some narrative of the editing process, and I am looking to see a screen show of your editing screen to get an idea how you are using your audio tools.

Create a 10-30 second Bumper for your radio show

Each student is to create a bumper for their show, it should be within the theme/style of your show, and include the name of the show and a ds106 radio station announcement, like “You’re listening to the Doggie Doo Show on ds106 radio, where it’s always a romp in the park”. A bumper is merely a reminder to the audience what they are listening to.

Upload your audio as an mp3 file to SoundCloud (make sure the option is set to download) and embed it in your blog post about this assignment.

Your group should pick the best 2 bumpers to include in the final show.

Create a Commercial for your Radio Show

Each student should also create a commercial for their show, again it should be within the theme/style of your show, and should be 30-45 seconds long. A commercial should include something to draw the interest of a listener to the show, you are trying to convince them to tune in.

Upload your audio as an mp3 file to SoundCloud (make sure the option is set to download) and embed it in your blog post about this assignment.

Your group should pick the best 2 commercials to include in the final show.

Make Foley Sounds for a Silent Movie

Foley is a technique used in both radio and film to create impactful audio effects. Learn more about what a Foley Artist is and review some of these video clips that show how it is done:

See also “Ask a Foley Artist” – Interview with Dean Minnerly (hat tip to ds106 student Jennifer).

Your task will to be generate foley sounds using objects you assemble or ones you can create with your own body for a 30 segment from this clip from the scene in the 1928 silent Charlie Chaplin film The Circus where The Tramp gets trapped in the lion cage. These are to be sounds you generate live, not ones from sound clips found elsewhere!

Here is how you know which segment is yours to work on:

  • If you were born in January or July, you are responsible for all sounds from 00:00 to 00:30 (tag chaplin-lion-01)
  • If you were born in February or August, you are responsible for all sounds from 00:31 to 01:00 (tag chaplin-lion-02)
  • If you were born in March or October, you are responsible for all sounds from 01:01 to 01:30 (tag chaplin-lion-03)
  • If you were born in April or September, you are responsible for all sounds from 01:31 to 02:00 (tag chaplin-lion-04)
  • If you were born in May or November, you are responsible for all sounds from 02:01 to 02:30 (tag chaplin-lion-05)
  • If you were born in June or December, you are responsible for all sounds from 02:31 to 02:55 (tag chaplin-lion-06)

The first thing you should do is watch your clip and make a list of every action in that 30 seconds that could require a sound (in a few places there could be dialogue, make up a line for what the actors might say). Thing of the subtle parts, like the sound of the wood latch falling, the rustling of the lion’s tale.

Next, find objects or things you can use to generate the sounds. You cannot use downloaded or recorded sound clips- all sounds are to be ones you create. Practice a few times generating the sounds in sync with the video.

When you are ready, record your segment. It should be done in a single take. Make sure it is exactly 30 seconds long! Upload it to Soundcloud, and include the tags “ds106”, “chaplin-foley” and the tag listed for your segment. There is a reason for all of this tagging, you will see!

When you write up your blog post, also include the tags “chaplin-foley” and the tag listed for your segment.

More Audio Assignments

Over the span of this assignment stretch, you must complete 5 points of audio assignments from the audio category in the Assignment Bank. Remember, each assignment must be written up in its own post, be properly tagged, and should include a narration of your creative process and how it was created. All external source materials used in your projects must be referenced by URL. Audio must also be embedded from your SoundCloud account.

Daily Creates

Over the next three weeks, you must complete at least six Daily Create challenges, you can disperse them as you please (3 each week, 6 in week 2, etc).

Weekly Summary

Make sure your group signs up for their time slot ASAP! You only need to write ONE summary for these two weeks; it is due by midnight on Sunday, March 17. Your summary should include the following:

  • Links to your audio assignments- one for the radio show bumper, one for the radio show commercial, one for the Foley challenge, and one each for the ones you did for 5 stars from the Assignment Bank. Your assignments should include a screen shot of your audio editor to show your workspace.
  • Links to your Daily Create summary post which summarizes the 6 you did over the 3 week period.
  • A reflection upon your contribution to the radio show and to your assessment of the group process:
    • How did your group go about choosing a theme and organizing itself?
    • What was the easiest/hardest part of working as a group?
    • How did you decide upon your own contribution to the show — did you pick something in your comfort zone or did you decide to push yourself in a new direction?
    • How do you feel your show holds together as a whole? Do you feel like you achieved your goals in terms of the story your group set out to tell? What do you think people will say about it?
  • You’ve worked pretty intensively with audio now for several weeks of ds106 — describe what that process has been like. have you changed your feeling towards audio? When you started with this section of the class, what did you think it would be like and how did the experience measure up?

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