straight down the line

The story of how I defecated on myself

One of our required assignments from the assignment bank this week was titled “Sound Effects Story.” And just as the title hints, we had to create a story using purely sound effects. The directions stated: “Tell a story using nothing but sound effects. There can be no verbal communication, only sound effects. Use at least five different sounds that you find online. The story can be no longer than 90 seconds.”

This assignment also had to be dedicated to our noir character that we have been working on for a few weeks now. If you don’t know who Cecilia is by now, then you have a lot of catching up to do!

I decided that I wanted my sound effects story to be about the “break in” at the Stanford’s house I wrote about two weeks ago. I won’t say much about it, or what I am visualizing. I want the effects to tell you the story, not me. Give it a listen, and tell me what you think!

[worth 3 1/2 stars]

This is probably the hardest assignment I have completed for this course thus far. I had no previous experience with sound editing so I spent the majority of my afternoon calling my computer various obscenities and falling asleep watching tutorials. My roommate even came into my bedroom at one point to check on me, because she “hadn’t heard me scream at my computer for a while” and she was “getting concerned.”

Although this project was tedious, time consuming, and ungodly frustrating I actually ended up quite enjoying it towards the end. It is a great deal like movie editing. Once you learn the program it can become quick paced and the options are endless.

Funny story, I actually got really creeped out at one point while I was adding in the “horror movie” soundtracks. I get spooked easily and around 8pm my roommate left the apartment to run to the grocery store. My apartment complex is already sketchy enough, but sitting here in the dark (my light switch was all the way across the room) and listening to the eerie violin music was giving me the creeps. Then, there is a huge knock on my front door and I swear to little baby jesus I must have jumped about two feet in the air while simultaneously screaming at the top of my lungs.

I screamed so loudly that my dogs ran and hid in my closet. My next reaction was to hide under my covers because you know, nothing can harm you under the protection of target brand cotton sheets. I may or may not have started crying, only because I totally got dust in my eye. The next thing I hear is my roommate calling my name from the front door. She was too much of a lazy ass to pull out her own keys to unlock the door, so she decided she better knock so I could come open it for her. Our friendship will never be the same. She needs to earn back my trust.

Anywayyys…I figure I should compile a list of all the different audio tracks I used, so when my professor is grading this he can truly appreciate how much time I put into this (*cough cough* 8 hours *cough cough*). Really I just want a pat on the shoulder and someone to give me a gold star for all my effort. Is that too much to ask?

Here is a list of all the tracks I used:

Sound of a couple laughing

Sound of a champagne bottle popping

Sound of a male exhaling

Sound of a male gasping #1

Sound of a woman screaming

Sound of a man groaning

Sound of a person falling down wooden stairs

Sound of a woman gasping

Sound of a woman’s muffled screaming

Sound of a male breathing heavily

Sound of heavy footsteps running up stairs

Sound of light footsteps running up stairs

Sound of a woman breathing heavily

Sound of cinematic suspense

Sound of glass hitting table

Sound of thriller ambient

Sound of creaking floor

Sound of “shh”-ing

Sound of glasses clinking

Sound of a light jazz song

Sound of fire crackling

Sound of girl screaming

Sound of man panting

Sound of door opening and closing

Sound of a male gasp

Sound of horror/suspense violins

Sound of heavy thud

Sound of gun shot

After visualizing what I wanted my story to be, I created a account and began collecting sound effects. I knew how I generally wanted the story to go, but I didn’t realize just how many sound effects it would take to make it sound good, let alone get my vision across. I felt as though without any of those effects I added some piece of the story would be missing. After finding all the effects and downloading them into itunes, I downloaded the Audacity application for my computer. It was recommended to us by our professors to use for sound editing. The program is simple enough, once you watch tutorials and figure out where you are going. It is not nearly as tedious as iMovie, but can have its moments.

After Audacity finished downloading I imported all my sounds into a new project. From there it was just a matter of arranging and timing each one specifically to fit the story. Once I was satisfied with the audio clip, I simply exported it to my desktop as a mp3 file and uploaded it to soundcloud.

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