The Assignment: Create a 30 second radio commercial or PSA featuring a music bed and at least one sound effect.
My Take: I created a commercial for a fake bar/nightclub in Macomb called Rehab. Rehab is offering drink specials for finals week to help students relieve stress. My sound effects are taken from one of my very favorite things.
Instructor Comments: Your recording was a beauty. I’m fixing to enter it in to NBS this Fall as there’s still time to do it.
My Thoughts: I was quite honored Mr. Murray wanted to enter my assignment into the National Broadcasting Society competition. Honestly, I had forgotten there was such a thing. Now that I’ve been reminded, I full intend to submit something in about eight different categories next year, so look out for those.
That’s it for audio assignments! I’ll return next semester with updates from BC261 – Video Production II. We’ll be making storyboards and doing a lot of editing, I imagine, so that should be a lot of fun. I’m also taking BC402 – Advanced Broadcast Writing, where we’ll be working on episodic scripts for a television program that we pitch during class. Very exciting stuff.
OK, So I’ve been terrible about posting these. The end of the semester got a little crazy for me. Luckily, only finals remain. Here’s audio project 3:
The Assignment: Record natural sounds using a Sony PCM-50 digital audio recorder.
My Take: I used the sound of an old 8mm camera I bought at a yard sale, the sound of my computer fan (with the unmistakable sound of a train in the background), the sound of a big goofy dog, and the sound of a guitar hero guitar while I play Tom Sawyer by Rush.
Instructor Comments: Great job on your natural sounds assignment. Nice mixing as well…sounded very professional to my ears.
My Thoughts: The next time you watch a movie, listen for the ambient sound and background noises. Most of the time, what you’re hearing isn’t what was actually in the background of the scene. Someone went out and recorded sounds and sound effects to fill out the scene. Movies are crazy!
WIU BC323 Research Paper & BC102 Research Project
The Assignment: Research a topic and give an in-class summary of your findings.
My Take: I had to write a research paper for BC323, so I combined the assignments and focused my research on the pending FCC broadband regulations. The video link below was my research summary for BC102.
[edit: My video was pulled from YouTube due to a copyright claim by FOX. The clip in question was the musical number 'The Fellas at the Freakin' FCC' from Family Guy.]
Full Video Text:
Too busy getting slizzard to keep up with the last hundred years of computer history? Here’s what you missed.
2400 BC: The Chinese invent the abacus and… well, that’s a little far back.
1870: The US Census takes 7 years to tabulate. A census employee invents a way to store information on a punch card so that it could be read back later. He founds a company to make the product.
He called it I-B-M.
1892: William S. Burroughs invents a fancy printable desk calculator. If that name sounds familiar… It’s because he’s the grandfather of this guy.
1943: The geniuses at Bletchely Park in London are charged with breaking the German Enigma cipher so the Allies can intercept Nazi messages during the war. The build the Colussus…A machine so big, even this guy’s impressed.
1958: The integrated circuit is invented. So now we can use these…Instead of these.
1965: Moore’s Law says we gotta go really fast now…
My third audio project for BC101 was due today, which must mean it’s time to post Audio Project 2!
The Assignment: Experiment with the audio effect in Adobe Audition 3. Essentially, we were to record 5-6 seconds of dialogue and then apply three separate filter effects to it. We then used multitrack view within Audition to line up the original (dry) sound and the three effected (wet) sounds in order and the mix them down into a single file.
I recorded myself telling a silly joke. I then applied three filters:
Reverb: Lots of echoes, very ‘fuzzy’
Graphic EQ: I pulled the low-end out which created a radio broadcast-esque sound
Pitch Bender: Changes in pitch throughout. Pitch starts almost a full step up, moves down to about normal, drops to a full step down and then back up to almost a full step up.
Instructor Comments: It appears we’ve corrected the ‘hum’, although it’s a bit hard to tell with this assignment.
My Score: 5/5
My Thoughts: This project was way fun. Audio effects are a good time. Pitch Bender is my absolute favorite (so far) — that last clip just sounds awesome to me.
Next Week: Recording in the field with the Sony PCM-50 portable digital audio recorder. Also, maybe some pictures of the booth – I still haven’t gotten around to taking any.
My first production course for Broadcasting, BC101, was team-taught this semester so that Mike, the audio guru, and Sam, the video guru, could each devote eight weeks specifically on their area of expertise. I didn’t post my video projects from class because, frankly, I wasn’t very happy with them. I learned a hell of a lot in the first eight weeks of broadcasting production, but the most important lesson was definitely to allow for twice as much time as you think you need.
Nothing, NOTHING gets done as quickly as you think it will. If you tell yourself, “That should take about 10 minutes…” give yourself 30, just in case. When it comes to video editing, I thought I’d need about an hour, and I would end up looking at the clock, four hours later, still not entirely happy with my edits.
But enough about procastination – with this post comes my first audio project for BC101. Audio assignments are due each Friday, so every week until the end of the semester I’ll post the audio assignment from the previous week. That will give me time to get the assignment back, so if I receive any feedback, I’ll post it along with the clip.
The Assignment: Record 30 seconds of your regular speaking voice.
This assignment was basically just to get us familiar with Adobe Audition. I chose to read an excerpt of The Lorax by Dr. Seuss.
Instructor Comments: There is an audible “hum” in the back of my vocal track. I spoke with my prof about it and we attempted to deduce the source in order to eliminate it. I’m recording from my home studio (read: converted closet) so it’s either the furnace vent or my desktop computer, which makes far too much noise. I’ll continue to investigate and report my findings in the next post.
My Score: 5/5
My Thoughts: I had a blast with this project, and it’s only the beginning. Broadcasting has rekindled my fascination with sound, writing, journalism, math (who knew?) and many other technical areas. There was a time when I felt like I knew what I was talking about when it came to audiovisual stuff. Now I know that I had no idea what I was talking about, but I’m starting to learn. Yay school.
Next Week: That’s it for this week. Next Friday our Dry/Wet (Effected) Sound project, where we used Adobe Audition to add audio filter effects to a vocal track. I’ll try and post some pictures of my homemade sound booth next week as well.