Saturday, 26 October 2013

Audio, Audio, Audioooooooooo: Shrinking The Big Questions

Well, I've participated in creating a radio show for the very first time. And it won't be the last. In fact, I'm hoping to create something in time for Halloween as Ben Rimes suggested (tight deadline!) So I've emailed the Talky Team and sent out a rough draft.

We had the largest Headless radio show group. Six in total. Talky Tina, Christina Hendricks, Mariana Funes, Jess Hobbs, Rhonda Jessen and myself. I joined the team because I had enjoyed discussing things with Mariana when we were zombies, knew Christina had done a brilliant radio show before for DS106 Twilight Zone and I wanted to work with Talky Tina, who as we all know is a sound goddess. Jess and Rhonda were perfect additions to the group! Both of them have great voices and are creative and clever. For such a large team, it was very easy to organize, share ideas and work together.

Mariana got the ball rolling by setting up a google doc were we all started to pitch our ideas. Mariana was so enthusiastic and organized that she had an outline of an idea already written out. We scheduled a google + hangout for the October 6th and just hashed it out. Tina even joined us! That's where I ended up with my Bossy nickname.  I said I would project manage the group (though really it was unnecessary) and Bossy was born!

We each wrote our own sections, including finding clips, background music and sounds but shared our scripts with each other for comment and feedback, which I found helpful. Everyone also did a basic edit of their own work. I looked at the cooking show as a way to hang the various ideas together so I included philosophers, Freud and DS106 riffs. It was great fun to write! I just kept editing and editing it down. When I listen to it now I can hear how a further edit would have made it even better. I based my use of sound on NPR's The Splendid Table. Listening to a few episodes helped me to understand where music was appropriate and at what level.

I sent Rhonda her section to record as she had a frantic week and she sent me all of her completed sound files. They were very clean, with only a few hesitations that I edited out in Audacity. I then amplified her voice using the amplify effect, since her voice was very quiet and used the envelope tool on mine to tone it down so we sounded like we were recording at the same time. I then created a new Audacity file for the overall project.  As we worked on the show and shared more information on the google doc the show continued to morph. Eventually, as we refined and refined again, we had a great sounding program. Christina did the final edit.

What was so great about this project is I feel much more comfortable in Audacity than I did before. I am still doing simple edits such as cutting and using the time shift tool to just make sure everything is strung along properly, but this time I also used the envelope tool more frequently as well as the effects tool. I applied fade in and fade out as well as learned to use the pitch effect to change my voice. I hunted for sound effects and music using Freesound. I was very lucky to find some great background music for the cooking show. I also used ListentoYouTube to convert video to sound and applied that to Talky Tina's closing remarks.

It was great fun to be able to talk about the show on the radio too! I still am spending time listening to the various radio shows as we all approached it from different perspectives.

If you want to listen to what we created here's the link:

I know that I am just at the beginning of my love affair with sound!