straight down the line

Week Four: Do you Hear Something?

I learned a lot this week, because before now, I knew absolutely nothing about creating sound (except obviously I know how to talk). This week I found the Tweet-along to The Maltese Falcon incredibly fun, not just for the story, but to interact with people who were going through the same experience as I was at the same time. I got more followers on Twitter as well, because I was meeting more people in the class. Reading back through my Tweets is also amusing, because I can see my thought progression through the course of the story. My favorite revelation:

I also enjoyed the two daily creates this week immensely. I did the “I’m sorry” picture and the cute im sorry picpuppy picture. Coincidentally, both my daily creates were about adorable animals, which is fine with me any day! Of the two of them, I found the “I’m sorry” picture more fun, because I could imagine what cats would say to each other when they had to apologize. In this picture, the one cat gave the other cat’s toy to the dog, but they will get revenge for it. It is a classic tale (no pun intended) of cats versus dogs, and I think the cats will win.

This week focused on audio storytelling, and one of the assignments was to analyze and compare two openings to “Touch of Evil,” one with a theme song and one with city sounds. This was kind of difficult because at first I couldn’t decide which I liked better. In the end I figured that the non-restored version was too much of a giveaway with the ominous music (even though the very first shot was someone putting the bomb in the trunk). However, both did a pretty good job with creating a noir mood, which made me realize that its ok that I couldn’t decide which was better.

On of my favorite assignments was to create a radio bumper for noir106 radio. This was my first experiment with Audacity, and it was easier than I thought it would be to edit sounds. Clearly it wouldn’t be that hard if radio stations all over the country created new ones every week or so. After I finished my bumper, I was very proud with myself (more so than in other weeks where I already had some experience with the necessary elements)! I followed this assignment with the sound effects story for my character. This was a little difficult because I had to go on and browse through tons of sounds to find the perfect ones. Additionally, it was hard to keep to the limit of 90 seconds or less, but I successfully created Sasha Kellogg’s morning routine.

I completed three audio assignments that were nine points all together. The first one I created was a reading of part of a fairy tale in the inflationary language style. I love Borge, and I loved this assignment! It made me think about what I was saying, and was overall a humorous adventure. I found myself waiting in line for something Saturday and thinking, “this is taking five-ever!” Hopefully I don’t start talking like that all the time (although I’m sure my friends would have a laugh). The next assignment I completed was a dramatic reading of “Under Pressure” over the Moonlight Sonata. Of all the assignments this week, I think I like the end result of this one the best because it is so different than the original song. It is a serious take on were the world is headed, with one of my favorite classical pieces in the background.

The third assignment I completed was to create stress/anxiety through sound effects. This was a difficult assignment for me, mostly because I wanted to make a relaxing sound so badly but it wasn’t working! Perhaps this stress made it easier to come up with stressful sounds. These sound effects convey a traffic jam so close to the beach you could taste it, but you can’t because you are stuck. On top of that, the seagulls are annoying you and a baby starts crying (#worstdayever). I got stressed listening to my work, which was unfortunate because I had to take an online quiz right afterward (so hopefully I did well).

The last assignment for this week was to brainstorm ideas for a radio show. While I knew I didn’t want to do a traditional murder mystery, it was pretty hard to come up with ideas that were new and exciting. I don’t have a complete picture of what I want to do in the radio show, but I know that I want it to be unexpected and mix noir with other genres to create something new! Overall, this week was a lot of work, but I was learning new skills and working with technology that I had never tried before (although I have to admit I have always wanted to try my hand at inflationary language). That was scary, but surprisingly not too hard to learn. Sound has a huge impact on almost everything, so I’m glad I know more about how it works and what goes into making it.

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