How To Guide: Commentator’s POV (Final)

This post will be dedicated to creating an in-depth tutorial on how I made the “Ovechkin Hits 700!” Soundcloud audio in my final. At this point in my story it is time for the climax. Alexander Ovechkin finally hits 700 goals and the team can get back to just playing hockey. They won’t have to be bothered by the constant looming of achievement on the horizon. I felt that using the commentator’s audio would show the listeners how much this meant to the team and to Washington DC. Here is my final product, the guide will be below the audio.

  1. First, I needed to find the audio that I wanted to use for my commentator’s POV audio.
  2. Once I had the YouTube video that I wanted to use I copied the link and went to this website. I then plugged in my YouTube video so that it could convert it to an MP3 file.
  3. I took this MP3 file and dragged it into Audacity so that it could be further edited.
  4. I increased the volume on the clip using the slider on the left and also trimmed the audio by using the cut function in Audacity.
  5. All that was left to do was export it as an MP3 file so that I could open it in Soundcloud to upload.

If you guys think I missed any parts in this guide please feel free to let me know in the comments! Thank you for reading! Below this I will link the YouTube video that I got this audio from to use in my final assignment.

Create A Place

For the Create A Place assignment, I will be trying to depict a very busy New York City afternoon. Some sounds that I want to use to convey this to the listener are traffic, horns, maybe someone yelling, police sirens, and maybe even someone trying to call for a cab. All the sounds that I will be using in this assignment can be found at freesound.org. After working on several other Audio Storytelling assignments for this week, I don’t think this one will take too much time. I will be using Audacity as my audio editing software. There will be an in-depth guide on how I made this at the bottom of this post. Here is my finished product:

This picture of New York City was what I used as my inspiration in making this sound. I think I did a pretty good job of conveying this type of atmosphere to the audience.

How To Guide: The strategy for this assignment was very similar to how I have approached past audio assignments. First, I brain storm about my idea and what sounds I’m going to need to make this idea come to life. Then, I went to freesound.org and downloaded all the sounds I wanted to use. Next, I dragged all the sounds into Audacity. Once I had all the sounds, all that was left was to move them around where I wanted them. I did this simply by copying and pasting portions of each track on to my first sound. I also, tweaked some of the volume levels using the slider on the left side of the window. Let me know if you guys have any questions!

Here is a video I found helpful on some advanced tips for using Audacity:

80’s Product Radio Commercial

For the 80’s Product Radio Commercial assignment, I decided that I wanted to do it on some sort of cleaning supply. After a bit of research and by research I mean spending way too much time watching random 1980’s radio commercials. Some of these things are absolutely fascinating, they seem like they are made in another dimension. I realized that I would use these as my inspiration to create an 80’s radio commercial for a modern day product like OxiClean. This assignment will how an in-depth guide on how I created this at the bottom.

Here is the general break down of the script:

*Dinner sounds*

Narrator: “Ahh the Steven’s Family, enjoying a nice meal at the dinner table after a long week. Everything is going wonderful for them until…”

*Loud spilling sound*

Narrator: “Oh no, Jimmy has spilled lasagna all over his brand new white shirt!! Well, fear not Jimmy’s mom, I’ve got the product for you!”

Narrator:”OxiClean! OxiClean unleashes the power of oxygen making tough stains disappear like magic, without fading or bleeding the colors! It goes deep down to not only get rid of any stain but the odor as well.”

*Thanks sound*

Narrator: “No need to thank me Jimmy’s mom. Let this be a lesson learned. Don’t let a stain ruin your afternoon, go out and buy some OxiClean!”

Here is the finished product:

How To Guide: Once I had a general idea of what I wanted to do for this assignment, I first wrote out the script. This included all the external sounds that I wanted and my voice lines. Next, I went to freesound.org and downloaded all the sounds I wanted to use. Then in Audacity, I recorded all of my parts by using the red record button up in the top left. I then added in all my external sounds as there own individual tracks so that they wouldn’t interrupt my voice lines. I did this by simply dragging the files and dropping them into Audacity. I now had all the audio I wanted for my commercial inside my Audacity window, all that was left to do was organize and get everything into its place. I did this by simply cutting and pasting the sounds to the correct time I wanted them to play. I also went through to each audio track and adjusted the sound according to the part it plays in the overall commercial. This can be done by simply changing the volume slider on the left side of each audio track. Finally, I exported the file as an MP3 so that I could upload it to Sound Cloud. Let me know if you guys have any questions!

Sound Effects Story

This is my attempt at the Sound Effect Story Assignment. The story that I wanted to tell was extremely simple. A person wakes up in the morning to their alarm clock. They then go take a shower, eat breakfast, and brush their teeth. Afterwards, they go outside and warm their car up. While driving to work they get into an accident and an ambulance is called. I went with a rather simple story as this is my first time editing in Audacity. The story in total is around a minute long. I got the inspiration for this story from something that happened to me in real life a few years ago, don’t worry everyone was okay. So this is sort of a generalized re-telling of a story. Any ordinary day could turn into something like this so please drive safe. I got all my sounds from a single website called freesound.org. I will leave an in-depth guide on how I created this below the audio. Here is my attempt at this assignment:

How To Guide: Once I had the story that I wanted laid out in my head I simply went the website linked above and downloaded all the sounds I wanted to use. I opened Audacity and dragged all of the sounds into the window. So at this point, I had about 6 individual audio tracks that I wanted to all combine into one. Next, I simply copied sound #2 and then pasted it where I wanted it to go after sound #1. I repeated this with all my sounds until they were all on one single audio track. Once I tested it and liked what I made, I exported it as an MP3 and I was all finished. Let me know if you have any questions!!!

Below is a video that I used to help teach me the basics of Audacity. Personally, I would rather watch someone explain the program to me and not just go into it and try to figure things out myself.

Reflection: Moon Graffiti

This will be a reflection from The Truth Podcast’s “Moon Graffiti“. This was an excellent story to listen to the entire way through. You can really tell how much time went into creating this 16 minute master piece. Here are the notes that I was able to take while listening to this audio:

Here is the audio in case you want to follow along with my notes:

(0:38) – Right off the bat they hook the audience in with a sense of suspense for an event we don’t even understand. There are plenty of radio beeps and static added in as well to make the scene feel very realistic. The tone in the voices of the people in the control room even have a sense of unknown in them, like they are scared but don’t want to say anything.

(1:06) – All the suspense seems to come to a climax as the two are rapidly communicating before what sounds like a crash. All that is left after the loud crash are some dense atmospheric noises.

(1:22) – The silence is interrupted by a deep voice that exclaims these astronauts will be staying on the moon. It is revealed to be the start of a speech written for Richard Nixon titled, “In the event of a moon disaster”. The hook is over and the intro music to the podcast starts to play.

(3:12) – We jump right back into the scene of the two that have crashed. As they seem to frantically begin sorting things out, have they lost communications? Are their computers still working? Where do they go from here?

(4:30) – After getting their suits on they open the hatch as some creepy music begins to play. They get their camera ready to document pictures of the crash. They still don’t have any communication with their team. They are surprisingly calm at this point.

(6:07) – Once they have both exited the craft they start to describe everything that is going on around them in great detail. From, what it feels like to walk around to what the surface texture is like.

(7:14) – Buzz’s tone completely changes as the music does as well. He tells neil, “You’ve got to see this…”. We don’t quite know if its a good or bad thing. However, the music would suggest a bad thing. It ends up being that they find out they have no more fuel. They are grounded on the moon.

(11:06) – They begin to share stories as an attempt to distract themselves from the looming eminent death. The sound effects are amazingly immersing, especially the sounds of them planting the flag.

(12:13) – Layering audio starts to pace faster and faster before Neil is able to stop Buzz from what seems like passing out. The sounds increasing in speed and overlapping give the sensation that he is starting to dissociate from reality. He decides to lay down to help himself out.

(13:25) – The same speech that interrupted the two before starts to play again. This time it plays all the way through and is not cut off like earlier.

(15:17) – The ending music starts to play as the credits begin to roll.

Overall, I had a really great time listening to this podcast. The style was really what did it for me. Cutting in and out of their experience with the speech and mission control was brilliant. The music did an amazing job of letting the audience know how they should be feeling at that given time. They were able to make this such a dramatic fifteen minutes, something the audience was forced to stay and listen too. I would definitely recommend this podcast to anyone who is interested in drama or suspenseful stories!

Reflection: Ted Radio Hour and ScottLo

This post will be used as a notes section that I can write down things of importance as I am listening to both stories. The first audio I will be listening to is TED Radio Hour Audio Demo and the second is the LoDown Episode 1, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14.

Notes on the TED Radio Hour Audio Demo (with timestamps):

(0:25) – Immediately as the background of the story is starting the narrator uses both himself and the subjects voicelines. It is almost like they are bouncing back-and-forth from one another.

(0:45) – Upbeat background music starts to play as the narrator continues to talk about a sociable robot.

(0:54) – There is a clear exchange in scene here. From the narrator to the subjects point of view. She seems to be describing what it felt like interacting with the robot and why it was so effective for the elderly. It is also worth noting she was very descriptive about the way the robot looked and felt.

(1:42) – The uplifting music continues as the subject goes on and on about how much this brought to this elderly woman. Kind of feels like they are trying to “sell” or “pitch” the audience the robot idea.

(2:16) – A dramatic shift in tone occurs near this point. Music fades, she admits that she feels very depressed.

(2:30) – The audience seems to be kind of left at a cliff hanger along with so many questions. The audio then shifts again into an intro to the radio show, introducing the speakers and subject matter for the episode. It seems that this dramatic build up was used to draw the audience in and get them to want to listen to the rest of the show. This was very well executed.

Notes on the LoDown Episodes:

The first episode was used as a sort of introduction to what the point of these radio shows will be. He will be going over assignments and radio plays that are created by students. He has had a long time interest in radio storytelling and is a valuable resource to gain information on the topic.

The one episode that really stood out to me was episode 12. I feel that I was able to really take a lot of information away from this episode specifically. At one point in the episode, he brings up narrating your process of creating a radio story. Now, he is talking about doing this in a group but I think this can be translated to be applied to solo work as well. By doing something like narrating and taking notes along the way of creating something like this, you are able to go back and see what you were thinking at a particular time. So lets say you do something wrong, instead of thinking, “Oh, Ill just do it right next time”. You are instead able to get back into your brain at the time you made the decision. I think this is actually how people begin to learn. When you can look back and change a point in which you made the wrong decision. You can then have evidence to show yourself why the decision you made at the time was wrong. For me personally, this is how I absorb information from past mistakes that I have made.

In conclusion, both of these audio tapes gave me a lot of valuable information. I think that in my opinion the first audio was easier for me to understand. It was easier for me to listen to a audio story and take notes on the important things that were happening. Things like the change in tone, background music, layered audios, and who was speaking. I was then able to go back and ask myself what each of these devices added to the story. For example, the change in background music came at a scene change once and a tone shift once. I believe that I will be able to walk away from these audio recordings with a whole new understanding about audio storytelling.