Tune Up That Radio

I listened to recordings of a radio talk show and select episodes of a podcast to understand the concepts behind audio storytelling.

The linked excerpt from an episode of the TED Radio Hour was interesting in how it used background music and dialog to indicate at first how soothing a robotic baby seal helped comfort elderly in nursing homes. Then the background music stops suddenly to provide emphasis and a switch from a heartwarming story to concerns over the roles that robots might take over from humans. The background music resumed and provided tense/mysterious feelings. I felt it was very effective use of background music.

In 2013, Scott Lo provided a daily ds106 “lo-down” podcast. In the samples I listened to, Lo, clarified aspects of ds106 for that semester, and highlighted other participants’ works. The ds106 students and other online participants were required to create an audio story based on The Twilight Zone. He provided useful critique of the work and played completed assignments that were particularly creative. I especially liked the five sound story “Who Left the Door Open” and the radio bumper from Ether Bunny discussed in episode 9. Lo gave tips on using audio tools including Audacity. I also liked that he brought in old radio plays like Arch Obler’s Neanderthal that very effectively told a story using dialog and sound effects.

Lo recorded his audio clips using the tool Hindenberg from his home in Saudi Arabia and also gave tips on using Audacity and Garage Band. Back in the day, you had to use a different tool (LAME) to export audio files into MP3 using Audacity. The version of Audacity I have now is able to export audio files into MP3 without a tool like LAME. Thank goodness for updates and improvements.

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