Week Four: Audio Narrating In A Visual Age

This weeks assignment for digital storytelling is to explore the art of creating and manipulating sounds to express and replicate specific emotions and expressions.  Sound drives stories in many ways, though many of us may not realize how closely we attach certain noises with human emotions as triggers for our own formulated reactions.  May this be the crisp crack of opening a refrigerator door that, like the sound of Pavlov’s bell, ignites an anticipation and salivation or the clacking of a stacked heel on linoleum tile which crescendos as is draws closer to you, we associate our own experiences with sounds.  Noir, as a genre, is very distinct in many ways.  Most notably the color scheme but what may be initially overlooked is the fact that the directors utilize silence and sound more artfully than arguably any other genre of film.  The suspense, passion, anger, you name it, are all emphasized by the stark contrast, as if they were paralleling the black and white visual with sound.  This was my favorite realization from this weeks assignment.

http://freesound.org/people/pboix/sounds/155302/

http://freesound.org/people/cmusounddesign/sounds/84707/

Our next task was to produce our own radio bumper.  This took me awhile to come up with mainly because i was unsure about what exactly i should incorporate and how concise to be with my wording.  I guess when all else fails, placing some classic Bossa Nova in the background can make anyone sound smooth and polished, even me.

https://soundcloud.com/caroline-cotto-2/01-the-girl-from-ipanema

Then we were asked to create an audio story using only sounds of objects, naturally the first thing to come to my mind was to quench a thirst, since I am always drinking water.  so first came the crack of the fridge, followed by a pensive pause and then some rummaging, a liquid pour and a satisfying gulp finish off the narration of a person enjoying hydrating amenities.  Feelings everyone can relate to: craving, indulgence, and finally satisfaction.

Brainstorming radio show ideas for the upcoming project was slightly difficult because I wanted to be original in my suggestion while I could only think of programs that I had hear my local broadcasting stations do; interviewing celebrities, some kind of open pole done on the topic of a new product or current affair (in a trashy way), or interpersonal dialogues among radio DJ’s. It may be interesting to try and mix the celebrity component in with the noir character association by asking listeners to call in and suggest what modern celebrities should play the parts in classic noir films or what movies they’d like to see adapted into noir.

Getting acclimated to editing and manipulating audio recording was by far the most difficult part of this weeks assignments.  As a self proclaimed technological amateur, to put it lightly, I rely on trial and error to get me through utilizing and building my comfort with many of these platforms.  Audacity has a very user friendly introduction to their system which sifts through alot of their different functionalists, which are not unlike many desktop recording programs.  This does allow you to play with layering sounds much more, which will be interesting to play with as we progress with our radio show.  The freesound website was a bit of a mixed bag.  I liked that it acted as a conduit for almost any sound you could think of but the con was that there are many search results for common sounds which means the sorting becomes mandatory and tedious.

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