Radio Blah Blah

(Title a reference to a song… can you guess it? Enjoy a selfie of me in the Vocal Booth!)

Greetings! This is Sterling, and I am back with some more content. This week is audio-focused. We were tasked to create a ‘radio bumper’ between 15-30 seconds to go onto the DS106 radio. I will write about the experience below, as well as the tweet-along to the DS106 broadcast.

For my bumper, I was inspired by the radio stations at home that normally use a glitch-type effect in theirs. Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” has a nice, catchy intro and I used their more-percussive instrumental version to spice it up a little:

I actually used Audacity a whole lot as a teen since I thought I wanted to do voice acting and music, so it was second nature to go through my amateur editing regimen. I reserved UMW’s Vocal Booth for a couple hours so I could have a good quality recording. It took a few tries to get the ‘right’ intonation (aka level of enthusiasm) without sounding too cheesy like they do on the radios. Then, I used the Noise Removal tool to get a profile of the white noise to remove it from the recording. After that, I used the Equalize tool to make the soundwave more level with a subtle Bass Boost. The Normalize tool came in handy to make it peak less and maintain a normal volume.

Following my clean-up of the vocals, I used a YouTube to MP3 converter website to download the instrumental. I then timed it the way I wanted before using the Equalizer again with the ‘Telephone’ and ‘Radio’ effects. Then, a Google Search suggested that I use the High Limit Filter to create the muffled ‘radio’ effect better; not 100% sure what this one does other than potentially expanding some of the lower frequencies, but it did the trick! Duplicating the word “to” in my audio clip helped make the ‘glitch’ effect. I thought Soundcloud would copyright my clip, but it looks like it passed.

Next, I wanted to discuss the DS106 radio tweet-along. Unfortunately, I was in-and-out and had to miss quite a bit of the last part. I’m participating in my school’s musical backstage and it’s a little hard to pay attention with one thing in one ear and something else in the other. We also performed during all of the times the radio was on this week – I should have emailed about it, but I didn’t notice that I would have this problem until Wednesday. However, I’ll share what I thought and observed about it!

This is when the concept of escape was introduced. To be honest, I didn’t expect this to be so much like a documentary (though I suppose it is). However, it was a good preface to the tale of the Vanishing Lady. It reminded me of an English paper in that regard.

Here are more ramblings; I wish I could’ve caught all of the context since this post is a bit disjointed. Though I like how the story explained these concepts early on, planting the seeds of observation in mind so that the listener can potentially figure out a mystery.

Just the general play on innocence reminded me of A Streetcar Named Desire and how they spoke in the Marlon Brando movie. And, of course, Hitchcock movies. I’m not the greatest at French, though I’ve been taking classes for 8 years and it was quite a blatant mispronunciation (which is OK).

Hey – I got a response! Learned something new. And to answer it, wouldn’t be too surprised.

… Yep. I’m a Theatre major.

That’s where I had to stop because the show was wrapping up, but it was really neat to be able to visualize what was being spoken about. I liked how it went from explanation to story, though it felt like the story took a while to actually begin. This method of storytelling was also nice because I could do things with my hands while I listened. I’ve never really tried audiobooks, but I certainly understand the appeal now. Until next time!

3 thoughts on “Radio Blah Blah”

  1. I clicked on this post to read it because I immediately recognized the reference to the Queen song 🙂 this bumper was one of the best ones I’ve heard this week! I love the sound effects you did with your voice, and the fading of the music at the end. Great job!

  2. Hi Sterling,

    Just wanted to say what a great radio bumper – really good choice of music and use of audio effects!

    I’ve been following the course as an open participant while doing a very small scale study on ds106 as part of another Masters course ( I’ve also been trying my hand at this same assignment ( although I’ve got a lot to learn… Your bumper is very inspiring though!


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