Week 4: Audio
2/2/15 – 2/8/15
All work is due by midnight on 2/8/15
This week we will dig into audio storytelling. That goes beyond the words and tone of voice to include sound effects, background noise and music. We will be asking you to consider how these subliminal elements impact the story. We are also introducing ds106 radio (an open, Web-based, community radio station) this week, where we will be broadcasting noir-ish tales Monday – Thursday from 9-10PM.We will also begin experimenting with audio production. We strongly recommend Audacity, a free and open source audio-editing program, further details below. If you have access to and experience with a different audio editing system, you are free to use it instead.
NOTE: This week, we’ve put together an Audio Resources page which includes lots of information and resource to help you complete the week’s assignments. We strongly recommend you read it and refer to it during the week.
- Think about Audio Storytelling: Review the following readings and examples, as well as the various links/information on the Audio Resources page. Write a blog post (tag: audioreflection) discussing audio in storytelling, the way audio is used in film/video, and the use of audio in noir. Consider what we watched, read and listened to this week and in the previous weeks. How does sound drive stories? How does it impact mood and create atmosphere? Use specific examples and embed them in your post. Make sure you complete the ds106 Radio listening exercise below and discuss your impressions of what you heard in your post, as well. (There is a lot to potentially reflect upon here; if you wish to divide it into a series of posts, using the “audiorefleciton” tag, that’s fine.)
- Watch: Touch of Evil Opening Shot and Orson Welles – Touch of Evil (1958) – opening (NO-restored version) – compare, analyze impact of street sounds vs. theme music
- Read: “The Ambience of Film Noir- Soundscapes, Design and Mood” Helen Hanson OR “Radio Noir in the USA” – Jesse Schlotterbeck, from Companion to Film Noir
- Listen: Participate in a live “tweet-along” with ds106 radio one night this week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, 9-10 PM. Use #noir106 hashtag in your tweet responses in order to get credit.
- Complete 2 Daily Creates: You must complete and correctly tag at least two daily creates this week. Make sure you also blog your TDCs.
- Create a Radio Bumper: Once you’ve familiarized yourself with ds106 radio, try your hand at making your first radio “bumper” – a 10-30 second short audio that announces a radio station that is played between songs to remind listeners what they are tuned in to.This should be saved as an MP3 file, and then upload it to SoundCloud. Make sure in Soundcloud that you enable to option to allow downloads (so we can add it to ds106 radio!) Your audio must be embedded in your blog post summary of this assignment. You can embed Soundcloud audio just like you have done for YouTube and flickr, put the plain text URL on its own line, and when you publish, WordPress will create a player to allow visitors to listen. The radio bumper is an assignment in the Assignment Bank (so you should tag your blog post correctly when you’re done), but it won’t count to your star total this week. Sorry!
- Complete 8 Stars of Audio Assignments: This week you must complete at least 8 stars of assignments from the Audio category in the Assginment Bank.
One assignment everyone must do is the sound effects story (3 ½ stars): This is a challenge to tell a short story (no longer than 90 seconds) using nothing but sound effects! When completing this assignment, you must make the story in some way related to the character you created for this course. We highly recommend using http://freesound.org to find free sound effects for this project.
Make sure all your completed assignments are uploaded to SoundCloud, and write up a post for each assignment in which you embed that audio from SoundCloud.
- Brainstorm Radio Show Ideas: In a couple of weeks, you will be forming groups and creating a radio show as pre-recorded audio. In preparation, we want each of you to brainstorm an idea for a 20-30 minute radio show—somehow related to or inspired by noir—on your blog. This post can just be some random ideas, thoughts, and/or a rough sketch. We want this to be a space where you share your ideas and people start to congeal around a few so we can be prepared to form groups soon! This post should be tagged “radioshowideas” and placed in the “Thoughts and Ideas” category on your blog.
- Download and Experiment with Audacity: Unless you have a lot of previous experience with audio editing, you should plan on spending some time this week getting comfortable with If you have another audio editing platform that you’re familiar with, you can skip this step. But everyone needs to get their hands dirty with audio editing. If you’re overwhelmed by Audacity, make an appointment with at the Digital Knowledge Center for help: http://dkc.umw.edu.
- Weekly Post: You all know what this is.
A few important reminders:
- You must to be actively participating in Twitter to be participating in this class. If you’re not on Twitter, you’re missing important information.
- You should be watching the weekly videos in full and reading these intro posts in their entirety every week. If you’re not, you’re missing important information.
- You should be watching for and viewing our weekly individual videos. If you’re not, you’re missing important information. These usually come out between Wednesday-Friday, and you can find them under our individual character tabs on the Video page.