I, being the “uncultured swine” that I am, hadn’t realized that the GRAMMYs were this week. I don’t know if that was the rationale for making this Audio week, but I’ll just assume it was.
I started off the week by checking out the required readings, and chose Helen Hanson’s “The Ambience of Film Noir- Soundscapes, Design, and Mood”, It was very informative, and critiqued many of film noir’s tropes while giving a detailed chronology of the development of contemporary sound effect techniques in Hollywood. I completed my Daily Creates early in the week, so I could have some more time to mess around with Audacity. I’d never made my own recordings or done significant audio editing before, so I thought I would be in for a trip this week, which I noted in my audio reflection post.
The first assignment I created was the Radio Bumper. I really enjoyed making that, and thought it was a great introduction to Audacity. I created a sort of scene for my bumper, wherein a shotgun is cocked and fired at someone, followed by a brief break to allow myself to announce “You are now listening to DS106 Radio”, followed by a car squealing off into the distance. It was the first effect I used in Audacity. It later served as a jumping point for my Sound Effect assignment, but I’ll continue more on that later. Here is my bumper, so you don’t have to open yet another tab.
I thought it sounded pretty decent until I just listened to it again now–I don’t like the echo from my voice that was caused by recording it in at the top of a stairwell, which I had thought would be beneficial.
I started looking for and bookmarking any and all audio assignments in the assignment bank as part of my process. Basically, I bookmark everything I like and then go through them later so I can be a little more picky about which ones I want to complete. This little guy, Kevin, helped me through the week. Seeing everyone’s Daily Creates with him in there was pretty enjoyable.
I saw the 800% slower assignment, and really wanted to complete it, so I pulled a few of my favorites, and tried to lengthen them using the suggested software plugin, but it all sounded like, well, monster faucets. At least someone else had attempted the same feat and decided the reward wasn’t worth the time.
I felt rather downtrodden by quitting an assignment, especially one I had spent so much time working on, having pulled several songs, waited for them to be rendered at 800x the normal length, only to be greeted by a monstrous rumble with high pitched squeaks. So I set out to complete my first point-valued assignment: the a Cappella With Yourself!. That ended up being an interesting situation, which led me to creating my first assignment for the class. Talk about a silver lining! I ended up with the first singing recording I’ve ever done.
I was fairly nervous about actually clicking the “Upload” button on SoundCloud, but I think it turned out reasonably well enough to post, so I figured I’d put myself out there.
After that was completed, I felt really good about my capabilities with Audacity. I’d used numerous effects, and had more than 6 layers of audio, so I was really happy with my results. So, I was up to a total of 6.5 points.
I tried to do the 800% Slower assignment again, with better knowledge of Audacity’s effects, I thought I could at least make the monster faucets sound better. It didn’t work. I pulled up my bookmarks and looked through them, finding the “Favorite Song” assignment caused a bit of an ethical dilemma. So, I completed the “Can’t Get It Out Of My Head” assignment to bump me up to 8.5 points.
I had a hard time whistling the entirety of my favorite, vocal-less song, for three and a half minutes, but I thought I’d done a decent enough job on my first take, so I went ahead and went with my gut instinct to not touch the recording and just post it sans anxiety.
I was very active on Twitter this week, as always, and plan to continue that habit throughout the semester. It’s helping to get the class a bit more involved, and is a great communication tool for contacting professors and asking for help from other students.