How to make a radio announcement or advertisement with Audacity

Please click here for assignment page

Assignment Stars: 4

I had to record two pieces of audios in my own voice. The first piece of the audio was about the letting the audience know which radio they were listening to and the second piece was about the advertisement announcement.

I also had to download two sound pieces from SoundBible. One of the sound I used as a beep between the two audio pieces I recorded in my own voice and the second one was a little bit of music I used at the start of the advertisement announcement.

I followed the following steps to create the radio advertisement.

Step 1: I opened Audacity.

Step 2: I recorded the two pieces of announcements in my voice.1

Step 3: I imported the audio clips that I downloaded by clicking the File Menu and then Import.

importing audios

Step 4: I moved all the audio clips to the series where I wanted them to play from the “Time Shift Tools”

time shift tool

Step 5: I selected the music layer and added a “Fade Out” effect to it from “Effects Menu”

5

Step 6: To save the prepared audio clip, I exported it in mp3 form from the file menu and saved it to my computer’s hard drive.

 

 

 

How to record a telephone conversation with two different voices when both voices are your’s

Please click here for the assignment page

Assignment Stars: 4

This seemed a challenging task to me as what I needed for my story was a telephone conversation between a male and a female person. I wrote the script that I wanted to implement during the telephone conversation and then followed the following steps in Audacity audio editing software to make it work for my story.

Step 1: I recorded an audio but with breaks. I mean I would record what the male voice has to say and press stop. It would automatically take me to a new sound layer in Audacity. Then I would record what the female voice would say.

1

Step 2: I downloaded a “Telephone Ring” audio clip from SoundBible and imported it into Audacity and kept it at the beginning of the whole audio.

importing audios

Step 3: I selected the voice layers for female voice and made changes to their “Pitch” from the “Effect Menu”

3

Step 4: I changed the “Percent” property of the voice layers that were representing a female voice to 13 as can be seen in the image bellow.

2

Step 5: I then exported the audio in mp3 format to my computer’s hard drive from the file menu.

Please follow this link for a video tutorial to change the pitch of a sound clip in Audacity.

The scary night, with audio effects only

4.5 Stars Assignment

Length of audio: 44 seconds

Please click here for assignment page

This was a challenging assignment. I had to tell a story without words. So I thought of a scary night where a person gets into a haunted house. There he finds out that the house is possessed by a scary creature. He shouts and screams and fires at the scary creature.

The context of the story that I carved is that it is the last scene of a radio scary drama. At the end I have left the story open to speculation of the audience as they would be making predictions about what happens at the after the shot being fired. So till the next episode when the answers to unanswered questions will be given, the audience will be intact to the radio drama and tune in again to know the proceedings.

I downloaded 6 audio segments from Freesound. I have put the names of the audio segments in the sequence they occur in the radio drama scene that I produced.

sounds used

  1. Door knocks
  2. Door handle sound
  3. Door opening
  4. Scary sound
  5. Guy screaming
  6. Shots fired

I imported all the audio segments to Audacity software.

audicity 1

Then I used the time shift tool, as can be seen in the image, to give a sequence to the drama scenes

audicity 2 time shift tool

I used the Gun Shot audio clip multiple times. Following image gives an overview of the final Audacity software panel that I used to export the scary audio drama in mp3 format.

audicity 3 full audio

Then I uploaded the drama scene to my Soundcloud account for a larger audience to listen to.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/273055534″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

Me as the RJ for DS106 Radio

2 Stars assignment

Length of audio: 17 seconds

Please click here for the assignment page

I downloaded the Audacity free audio editing software and installed it on my computer.

audacity

Then I downloaded and installed the required Audacity plugin to convert audios to mp3.

Audacity plugin

First I thought of sentences that I wanted to say as a radio presenter. I came up with the following sentence:

“Dear folks, you are listening to love songs from DS106 radio on FM 106. Call us to dedicate a love song to your loved ones. They will love it.”

It was not an issue to record an audio with the help of Audacity. It’s really simple. The challenging part for me came when I had to play two audios simultaneously, first my recorded audio and second some love music from FreeSound. I searched Google for help with Audacity. The search returned the following Youtube video tutorial that proved really helpful.

After watching the tutorial video, it was simple, I put both the audios together and exported them to a single mp3 audio.

radio1

radio2 repairThe above repair tool helped me get some noise out of the sound bit I recorded on my microphone.

Following is both of the audios playing simultaneously:

mixed audios

 

I uploaded the audio to my Soundcloud account. Here is an embed of the soundtrack from Soundcloud.

Insight into radio storytelling

Summary of Dissecting Joanne Rosser, Papermaker

I made the following notes from the Dissecting Joanne Rosser, Papermaker Show that proved useful when I was listening to the radio story and then making a summary of it.

  1. An audio presentation must have simplicity on surface and a lot going on in the background,
  2. Paragraphs arrange the ideas in a meaningful sequence.
  3. Prompt to intro by the interviewer could prove useful when conducting and presenting an audio interview,
  4. A story must have clear beginning, middle and end to it.
  5. Triggering line that will be followed by a sequence accompanied by music and/or other required sounds according to the needs of the scene.
  6. In an interview you start about the beginning, while in other stories u don’t necessarily do that.
  7. Different sound may act like paragraph indents.

Summary of the Radio Story

I have utilized the above points in the summary of the audio story I listened to relate my summary to the Dissecting Joanne Rosser, Papermaker show.

The story that I listened to was from RadioLab

The story: Ghost Machine

The year is 1562 the name of the main character is Don Carlos, the crown prince of Spain, his father the King and a Monk who died around a hundred years ago. The two presenters are interchanging arranging the paragraphs to make a sequence. The follow a specific sequence with a starting line of Nasir being a fond of robots and the sequence adds up.

The part of the story where the falling down of the crown prince of Spain, Son Carlos is illustrated give full information about his injuries to his head as it starts to swell, struck blind. The other audio presenter says “OW” at this point. It acts as a paragraph indent just like explained in the Dissecting Joanne Rosser, Papermaker show.

There is not much of extra music or other audio things happening in the background in the initial part of the audio story so the audio expressions by the second presenter become really important. But as the story progresses, music relevant to different narration is added.

The presenters are asking questions by themselves and then answering them to attract the audience towards their story and make it more interesting.

Opera Music has been added to the part of the story where the presenters are talking about the dreams that the Prince had. I believe that the use of Opera makes the dream look alive.

They have added authenticity to the story by adding audio bits from Elizabeth King, a professor and another contributor Latif Nasser, A graduate student in the history of science department at Harvard. The story tells about a King making a pact with the God. The King promises the God if his injured son is miraculously cured, the king will also perform a miracle. His son cures and tells his father about a Monk in his dream who cured him. The King asks a watch maker to make a machine identical to the description of the Monk. Elizabeth King and Latif Nasser both confirm that there was an actual Machine Monk made and it is still present in a history museum.

The art of audio storytelling

Ira Glass

According to Ira Glass, there are two building blocks of audio storytelling:

  1. Anecdote: According to what I understood from the video Anecdote is a sequence of actions like one thing happening next to other in audio storytelling. This is an example of the whole thought process that must be in a correct sequence to make a sense. A story is originated in a specific sequence and not according to a title line as we traditionally think of. I personally also believed that once you think of a catchy title, the story will follow. But now I believe that there has to be a proper sequence of actions to make a story interesting to the audience. I mean who likes people who jump around when they tell you about whatever happening. There has to be a proper though and a sequence to make you feel like listening. It’s not always about facts. Ira Glass has very finely explained it with a simple example of a story of a guy waking up in the morning and getting off his bed in the following video.
  2. Question/Answers: Second thing according to Ira Glass is raising and answering questions. It’s like finding a purpose to the different things happening in the story. The answers to these questions is the key to the success of the story among the listeners. If the person making the story cannot answer the questions that are raised due to the different parts of the story, the audience won’t buy it in my opinion. I think that there are points where unanswered questions are left in a story but they are to be answered in the next episode if it’s a radio show and keeps the listeners intact to the show. In the meantime, the audience can keep guessing and wait for the next episode.

In the following video, Ira Glass tells how hard it is to find a descent story. I believe that it is important to know that nothing is free in this world. To get your hands on a story that would be loved by the audience, you need to be patient. It could take some time to be able to get a good story out of someone. The storyteller might have to use their innovation and imagination to tie down bits and pieces from another person’s broken and non-sequential story and give it a proper sequence to make it make sense.

Jad Abumrad

This video is a great example of taking advantage what might be lacking in whatever. Yes, it’s kinds of using making your weaknesses as your strengths. In the audio world, we do not have access to the visual information. The audio presenter has to come up with audio description of the things that he/she wants to explain in a way that it imprints a set of visual information in the minds of the listeners. When we listen to a radio program, we have to be able to see through the eyes of the audio presenter, otherwise our interest is lost. This makes the work of an audio presenter both easy and challenging. Easy in a sense that he/she can be innovative in the description to make a visual imprint in the minds of the listeners. Challenging in sense that different people have different thought processes and they would perceive audio information differently than each other. So finding a common ground is a challenge for the audio presenter. Here is the video for my blog audience.