Unit 7: Advanced Audio And Radio Show Production

Not technically a course this is another experiment in offering a full ds106 experience to open participants based on previous syllabi taught at the University of Mary Washington (UMW). The first was August-December 2013 as a “Headless ds106”. This Open ds106 is a re-organization of that experience, but without references to date or time- this could be something individuals or groups could do at any time, at any pace. See the full index to learn more.


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

Welcome to Unit 7 of the Open ds106, typically the half-way point for the class, and a point where we really push your creativity. For our classes at UMW and elsewhere, this is where we have participants form groups to produce a polished radio show. Now in an unscheduled open course, you may have to improvise how to do a group project– there us much to be learned about collaborating on audio, especially at a distance.

You may want to try and solicit others to do a project with you, or if you go it alone, aim to produce a 5-7 minute piece in the style of the shows we studied in unit 4. Ideally you would have started forming a group back units 4-6, and maybe even already created things like a logo or a graphic for your show idea. See more details on this project in the Radio Show Project Specs.

Need inspiration? Or just want to listen and learn from some of the old-time radio masters at their finest? Arch Obolers’ series Lights Out syndicated in the The Devil and Mr. O broadcasts are highly recommended.

With its premiere on the nationwide NBC hookup in 1935, Lights Out was billed “the ultimate in horror.” Never had such sounds been heard on the air. Heads rolled, bones were crushed, people fell from great heights and splattered wetly on pavement. There were garrotings, choking, heads split by cleavers, and, to a critic at Radio Guide, “the most monstrous of all sounds, human flesh being eaten.” Few shows had ever combined the talents of actors and imaginative writers so well with the graphic art of the sound technician.

Scottlo’s ds106zone LoDown Episode 14 and podcast is another recommended read and listen.

Lo Down Episode 14

Scottlo also recommends the article by Rob Watson, “What’s So Interesting About Audio Drama?”. Watson’s answers to this question are interesting and thought-provoking, and provide some suggestions that could be useful for creating your radio plays. We also recommend the Transom Review article on Ira Glass and his “Maifesto” for insight into the audio styles and philosophy behind This American Life.

More on the Radio Show Project

Sharing Your Radio Show

Audio Storytelling Assignments

(1) Create a Bumper for your radio show

(2) Create a Commercial for your Radio Show

(3) Make Foley Sounds for a Silent Movie

More Audio Assignments

Daily Creates

Unit Summary

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