Sound Advice – how to stay connected with your audience

This week, our class has been tasked with learning about audio creation and how this type of media can be utilized to present a story in a very compelling or imaginative way.  Every morning, during my fifty minute commute to work, I listen to the TODAY show talk radio, Channel 108 on SiriusXM.  This is a daily live broadcast that provides current domestic and international news, weather reports, sports updates, and interviews with news-makers from the worlds of politics, business, media, entertainment and sports.  Honestly, if I was at home, I would most likely be watching the TODAY show on NBC, rather than listening to the broadcast.  But at least I have a source of news media available during my morning commute, which is preferred over listening to some of the music channels offered by SiriusXM.

Another personal example of audio exposure is the playing of the national anthem or “Colors,” on the loud speaker each morning at my location of employment.  In accordance with Naval Regulations Chapter 12, Section 1206, all bases are to comply with the playing of Colors each day.  During this time, certain requirements are expected to be observed.  Since my place of employment is on a Naval base, the basis of this practice is to properly honor our country and those that serve our nation.

After viewing the two short videos of Jad Abumrad from RadioLab, a few ideas that resonated:

  • Radio – in the absence of pictures –  enables the commentator to be freely descriptive to invoke the imagination of the audience.
  • By working together, the commentator and the audience can stay connected through the “co-imagination” collaborative efforts of creating ideas, scenarios and concepts.
  • Creating sound is a concept that is actively progressing.  In the late 1920’s, some radio shows began using various props for sound effects such as banging coconut shells together, or crinkling cellophane to recreate the sound of rain.  Currently, sound bytes can be created from a single spoken syllable, synthesized into a variety of different ways.

The audio resources page was a plethora of information and sources on how to edit audio, where to find music and sound effects, and how to develop techniques to aid in creating a competent audio message.  Attempting to “layer sound files” with the use of Audacity proved to be a little difficult.  However, continued practice in the use of Audacity should aid in developing the confidence needed to become more proficient in this skill.

Here is an attempt to create a sound byte with the use of Audacity.  The sound effect of “wahwah” coupled with my own voice saying “hello” repeatedly.


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