This weekly summary should be titled, “The Sound of Silence,” or at least the second half of the week. This week started more auspiciously than it ended, I am sad to admit. I created a SoundCloud account and posted my first audio assignment on Monday. I was very proud of posting something early in the week, that I was on cloud nine!
Then my productivity went downhill. I was stymied by audio editing tool, Audacity. I must admit that early in the week, I was filled with trepidation at the thought of audio editing. It is an activity in which I do not have any experience. I have not worked with either SoundCloud or Audacity. To help mitigate last minute panic, early in the week, I prepared for the assignments:
- I explored the various websites where I can download audio files. Some I found too confusing; whereas others seemed to want my billing information despite touting “free” audio files. I liked the ease with which I could navigate, search for, and download audion files from FreeSound. So I used this site.
- Instead of randomly downloading audio files from FreeSound, I developed a story idea first. I decided on a snapshot story of a day in the life of an inanimate object, my travel backpack, Becki. Having a story outline made it easy for me to search for specific audio files from FreeSound.
- I watched my assigned segment of Charlie Chaplin’s “The Circus.” Then I watched the entire 3 minute clip to get an overall context of the story.
- I further broke down my assigned segment into five-second pieces and in a table, mapped out actions that required foley sounds.
- I downloaded the support software LAME library. Or, so I thought.
As mentioned, Audacity and audio editing were challenges for me. I found the tips helpful but it still took time for me to find ease in manipulating the track timeline and adding effects. The true challenge came from the support tool LAME Library. I admit to not following the directions correctly (hmm….maybe this can be a candidate for storifying…), so I ended up downloading a few files that negatively impacted my internet connectivity. I had to engage the Help Desk to get rid of these files and restore back to my system’s functionality. Yes, by now, this is Sunday and I had wasted a few days. Granted, it was a very busy week between personal and professional conflicting priorities. I am glad, however, of the prep work I completed, because as soon as I got my Audacity tool sorted out and I was able to export MP3 files to SoundCloud, completing the assignments was relatively easy.
Due to the time crunch, I chose a fairly simple second audio assignment, Taking Back SPAM. I was looking for the good ol’ Nigerian bank scam or one of those “you’ll get 10 years of bad luck if you don’t pass this on” e-mails, but it seems my e-mail programs have gotten better at filtering these old SPAM classics. I suppose mail order bride and relationship seeking SPAMs are timeless, so I was able to find one to use.