The Journey with TED Radio Hour & ScottLo

This week we are moving into audio storytelling. Before you can create your own stories using audio you need to know what audio really sounds like especially with audio techniques, because let’s be honest…a story of just someone narrating can be interesting, but with audio techniques added into the story it will make it 10x more interesting.

So, to learn and hear different audio techniques, I listened to examples of Detective Stories cut from the Radiolab show, a clip from TED Radio Hour, and listened to different things from ScottLo.

The Detective Stories cut from the Radiolab show had three stories in the audio clip I listened to. It starts off with people asking if “this is us” and then goes into a beat and intro into what the show was going to be about. Things I noticed in the audio clip was the narration that overlapped from various people as well as hearing people in the background. In addition, there was a recording in a recording in the 2nd story and throughout all of the clips were “transition” audios to go from one scene to another, and added in audio clips from other pieces to enhance their story (i.e. the 666 beast song) to explain a part of the story. This audio clip I had trouble with because it was just brief excerpts so I had a hard time grasping the main idea of the story and what they were doing but was probably better able to hear all the different audio techniques they added in to enhance their story.

The Ted Radio Hour Demo had a narration that started casual and then added in background music to create a sense of a backstory that they were going into from the present. The story was about a women comforted by a robot and throughout the 3 minute clip there is back and forth narration. In addition, there is an intro of the story before introducing the show and then going into the story. Just like how in the clip there was music that enhanced the story that would pick up as the story did, there were points where the music would hit its peak then stop (i.e. when the women said she found herself “profoundly depressed”) it then goes into the intro music and at the end of the clip, the music fades away to reintroduce the story. It is hard for me to really explain how music enhances the story but it does, and it keeps the viewer more engaged than if there was no background sounds.

I also listened to various things from ScottLo; a guru of audio and radio technique. Some of his work I liked but also some of it I did not like. Audio Postcard 1 was one thing that I liked. I liked how he gave an intro to who he was and an intro/background of the piece he was going to share. Without the background of the piece, it would hold no value or importance to me. One of the pieces I did not like at all was his lofi-truckertale. There were many different sounds overlapping at different paces before it went into the audio. For me personally, I was lost as to what was going on and it did not capture my attention and I found myself zoning out quite often.

In addition, I listened to three of his daily series from the Summer ds106 Zone class of 2013. I listened to Low Down Epsiodoes one, eight, and nine. Personally, when I was listening to these I did not gain much useful information other than one tip he gave that said to listen to your audio on headphones before you publish it to make sure a sound isn’t too loud. It is imperative to remember the rule of thumb that the listener should never have to change their sound on the piece they are listening to. Other than that helpful hint, I found him oftentimes rambling on and going on tangents related to the 2013 class about their assignments. I then just saw myself as wasting my time so I stopped listening to him (plus I found his audios boring).

Listening to these different audios helped me see how different audio techniques can make or break a story. One thing I wonder though is what do other people think about the audios? I know that everything is perceived differently by everyone so I’d love to see what other people have to say about it.

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