Category: audio

Labyrinth Tales, a #ds106 radio show

Labyrinth Tales promo poster, by Rockylou Productions, licensed CC BY-NC 2.0
Labyrinth Tales promo poster, by Rockylou Productions, licensed CC BY-NC 2.0

 

There were two open, online versions of #ds106 this summer:

The Burgeron Family Fairy Tale Festival
#prisoner106

Though some of us focused on one and others on the other, many of the open, online #ds106 participants came together to create a joint radio show combining themes from both summer #ds106 experiences.

The result is a fairy tale, with some themes from the tv show The Prisoner, which #prisoner106 was based on.

Labyrinth Tales Poster, by Ron Leunissen.
Labyrinth Tales Poster, by Ron Leunissen.

This show was collaboratively written and performed by:
Melanie Barker
Mariana Funes
Christina Hendricks
John Johnston
Ron Leunissen
Rochelle Lockridge
Kathy Onarheim
Vivien Rolfe
Karen Young
plus, a cameo by Christina’s son Sasha as the page who announces the princess

 

Ron Leunissen & I volunteered to edit all the bits together, but really, Ron did the bulk of the work. I did three scenes and he did all the rest! John Johnston did the whole of scene 7, the one that is only sound effects of the Princess in the labyrinth, with no dialogue.

Here is the show, which was premiered on ds106radio on Sunday, Sept. 6, 8pm UK time, during the ds106 Good Spell show. It is licensed CC BY-NC 4.0. Please credit “DS106 open players” as the creators.

 

Music credits:

Music by Viv Rolfe:

Motion Picture Plays No. 2A Allegro Agitato, licensed CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Motion Picture Plays No. 4A Misterioso e Lamentoso, licensed CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Motion Picture Plays No. 3 Agitato Misterioso, licensed CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

 

Music by Kevin Macleod (http://incompetech.com), all licensed CC BY 3.0

“Black Vortex”

“Drums of the Deep”

“Life of Riley”

“Pop Goes the Weasel”

“Suonatore di Liuto”

“Teller of the Tales”

“Unseen Horrors”

 

Sound effects credits

Many sound effects were used from freesound.org that were licensed CC0, and those are not credited here. Some sound effects were created by the collaborators on this show themselves. The following are credits for sound effects that require attribution.

These are all from http://freesound.org:

 

“Galloping Horse” by prosounder, licensed with the CC sampling plus 1.0 license

“Fanfare1,” by neonaeon, licensed CC BY 3.0

HighHeelsWendyQuick” by acclivity, licensed CC BY-NC 3.0

sw_mild_surprise” by jppi_Stu, licensed CC BY 3.0

Human-Man-Uh_Oh” by D W, licensed CC BY 3.0

“Royal Sparkle Whoosh Left to Right” by alex@vsi.tv, licensed CC BY 3.0

“Garment Rustle 1” by unreadpages, licensed CC BY 3.0

“Opening_Cardboard_Box,” by Tony Whitmore, licensed CC BY 3.0

“Rummaging through the recycling bin” by daveincamas, licensed CC BY 3.0

“Frantic Searching” by Vedas, licensed CC BY 3.0

“Footsteps 3” by Paul Messier, licensed CC BY 3.0

“Yawn 2,” by lauriesafari, licensed CC BY 3.0

“04099 Magic String Spell,” by Robinhood76, licensed CC BY-NC 3.0

“traditional_bavarian_folk_music2” by reinsamba, licensed CC BY 3.0

“Crowd in a bar (LCR)” by Leandros.Ntounis, licensed CC BY 3.0

“Drinking” by limetoe, licensed CC BY 3.0

“drinking in big gulps,” by mwmarsh, licensed with the CC sampling plus 1.0 license

“Old Man Walking,” by reinsamba, licensed CC BY 3.0

“going down quickly on an inside metal staircase”, by arnaud coutancier, licensed CC BY-NC 3.0

door_slam” by primeval_polypod, licensed CC BY-NC 3.0

Poison Spell Magic,” by qubodup, licensed CC BY 3.0

 

computer voice:

http://www.fromtexttospeech.com

 

 

 

 

Foiled escape attempt

So after my Village morning announcement, Rover came to help me. I was starting to, um, ask questions.

Questions are a burden to others. Answers are a prison for oneself.

That’s what I learned while I was in hospital. They treated me so nicely! Especially after, I am told, I tried to escape. I don’t remember it at all. But the nice doctors gave me an audio recording to let me know what I had tried to do, and what happened. They told me to keep it as a memento of my nice time in the hospital.

So now I’m back in my bungalow and can visit with you all again after several days away. Talky Tina made us some nice beverages so I’ll have to go visit her and share one. Sure could use a nice cold drink after that hospital food.

 

HaveADrinkWith_Christina
The delicious drink my Super True Friend Talky Tina made for me.

 

Credits

Many sounds were from freesound.org licensed CC0; the sound of me throwing off the wires from the heart monitor was made by me. The Rover sound came from the “Schizoid Man” episode. I recorded it using Soundflower like explained in the previous post.

Village Philosopher morning announcement

For audio week during #prisoner106, one of the assignments we were asked to do was to create a morning announcement for the Village like in The Prisoner.

Since I’m the Village Philosopher, mine had some philosophical content. Do you know the Ship of Theseus?

 

The process

I wanted this to sound like it was coming over a radio or through a loudspeaker, so I didn’t want a “clean” voice sound like I usually do. Time to use the crappy phone mic and speaker! I recorded the voice parts on some built-in recorder app on my phone (can’t remember what it was), and then I played that through the phone speaker while holding it near my laptop built in mic and recorded it into Audacity. Two crappy mics and one crappy speaker and voilà.

I wanted to do the same thing with the “technical difficulties” clip, but that would be a bit harder. I recorded that from my system audio using Soundflower. So it went straight into Audacity from there. I would have had to then record it on my phone from my laptop, then back into the laptop using the same procedure as above. I decided to just let that go and have it not sound like it was coming through the loudspeaker.

BTW, here are a couple of sites I found useful when I had to try to remember how to use Soundflower (I didn’t remember):

I recorded the Rover sound using Soundflower as well, while watching The Chimes of Big Ben on the Prisoner106 archive. I then uploaded that Rover sound into a #prisoner106 sound collection that Melanie Barker started, that we can all use and contribute to.

The Rover sound from that episode has music in parts of it, though, and I didn’t want the music, so I had to cut and paste parts of the Rover sequence into my audio file. I tried and tried to make the two parts fit together smoothly, but it just wasn’t working. So I gave up and there’s an obvious jump between parts of the Rover sequence. But hey…who said Rover’s noise had to be smooth?

 

Sounds

Mostly made by me, except:

Birds sound is licensed CC0 from freesound.org, but in case anyone wants to find it (or in case I want to find it again), here it is: http://freesound.org/people/sphion/sounds/158527/

Technical difficulties voice sound was made from here: http://onlinetonegenerator.com/voice-generator.html

The Village announcement chime came from the Prisoner106 archive.

 

Update:IMG_1439

At the end of this broadcast Rover got me, and I don’t remember anything until I woke up in the hospital. And I saw this. What could they possibly be doing to my legs?!

 

 

Prisoner106: Assimilation and introduction

For week 1 of #prisoner106, we were to introduce ourselves to our fellow Villagers via Twitter, Soundcloud, Flickr, and YouTube. Three out of four ain’t bad? I had everything except the video done, but was also working on an audio project for #burgeron106 at the same time. So much storytelling, so little time!

This post will not only serve as my introductions to my fellow Villagers, but also my week 1 review.

Introductions

I have signed up for #prisoner106 as the Village philosopher (click the link to see my ID card, embedded in an earlier blog post). The video I am working on will explain a bit of the backstory there, and a narrative about why I resigned (apparently I am to provide INFORMATION, so it will be there).

Image introduction

My image introduction is in the form of a postcard I made during my first week at the Village. I wanted to show how wonderfully relaxing it is here, and to let my friends back home know they should resign too!

You can’t tell from the picture, but I really am philosophizing here. I’m thinking about how great it is to resign, and coming up with all manner of good arguments for resigning. Because I’m told I will have to soon provide such INFORMATION. See how happy I am philosophizing? Don’t I look relaxed?

VillagePostCard-Juy2015

The process

I uploaded the background image into GIMP, then used the text tool and the Village font I had already installed from dafont.com.

But it was a bit hard to see the text over the image, so I added some backgrounds behind the text. I first created a new layer (transparent), then used the rectangular select tool to make a rectangle. Then I used the bucket tool to fill the rectangle with colour, and adjusted the transparency of the layer so you could still see through the background onto the image.

I did all three rectangular backgounds behind the text that way, but I did them all on the same layer. That meant that when I adjusted the transparency of one, it adjusted all the others the same. Lesson learned for next time.

Another lesson: when I did the rectangular selection and used the bucket fill tool, I was colouring right on the layer and couldn’t move those rectangular backgrounds without moving the whole layer. I need to think about how I might do this later so that I could move the text background rectangles separately. Maybe make separate layers and crop them.

 

Audio introduction

In this clip you can hear me move from a focus on Socratic examination of one’s life, to questioning such questioning, to, well, assimilation in the Village. I have assimilated quite well, I think.

Incidentally, the image I uploaded to Soundcloud was of one of the prisoner106 badges. It’s kind of cool all pixelated like this.

 

the process

This one was pretty easy. I scripted what I was going to say, recorded it into Audacity, and then added the two music tracks. I purposefully wanted the first one to sound creepy, like I was starting to slide away from my usual philosophical views and begin to question them, to see them as possibly strange, possibly sinister. Then, as I began to assimilate I wanted things to sound brighter and happier. Like they do, right?

 

Twitter introduction

Well, for this I am just embedding some tweets about my audio introduction…

Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 11.14.00 PM

Week 1 reflections

Watching The Prisoner

Unbelievably, I had never heard of this show before #prisoner106. I am really intrigued by it.

One thing that stands out to me is that each episode starts off as if anew. I honestly thought, when I started the second episode (the second in our list on the archive, which is “free for all”), that I had accidentally clicked on the first one again because it started off exactly the same. Number Six resigns again, he is gassed again, he wakes up in the Village again.

The only thing that changes in this opening sequence is Number 2: there is a new Number 2 each episode. But the first few lines said by Number 2 are always the same, the same conversation with Number 6.

What to make of this choice by the show’s creators? One thing is does is more or less get rid of the idea of a linear story arc. There is no single beginning and progression from there. It all starts again, and again, and again, in the same way, with different people in charge.

Okay, so now I’ve just talked myself into one interpretation: the social structures, the governance structures, stay the same no matter who is in charge. The rules are the same, the procedures are the same, the goals are the same. “Revolution” makes no difference–as “Free For All” showed–no matter who is in power, nothing changes. Even when Number 6 was Number 2, no real changes occurred. It all just started over.

Speaking of Number 6 being in charge in “Free for All”: I was also very intrigued by how when he ends up in Number 2’s office and is pushing buttons and telling everyone they’re free now, the woman who was serving him slaps him and says “tick tick” several times. Tick Tick? Obviously a reference to a clock (right?), but why? That is still puzzling me.

What else I did

I did manage one daily create, from Saturday July 4:

DS106 daily create for July 4, 2015:”Draw a picture on a napkin for somebody you love and give it to them. Take a photo and show us?”

Mine is called “Happy Caturday,” and it’s for my son Sasha, who is the biggest cat lover I know.

IMG_1419 (1)

Here is the link to it on Flickr.

 

That’s it for this week. I will finish my video introduction tomorrow, I hope. I will be learning how to make a video that combines both still images and video footage. It’s a first for me!

Radio Show Archives

See the Radio Show Archives at the GifAChrome site–we did a good deal of audio for GifAChrome!

GIFaChrome commercial

I also scripted and recorded a commercial with my 6-year-old son for the GIFaChrome camera. I recorded his and my sections separately and then edited them together using Audacity. He never really quite understood what he was talking about when he said his lines, but he was a good sport!

I got the music for this commercial from Kevin McLeod’s free music site, incompetech.com (all music there is licensed CC-BY). The piece I used is called “Friendly Day.”

In addition to these two audio pieces I did for the radio show, I acted as co-host for the GIFaChrome launch with Alan Levine. This was our second time co-hosting a radio show for the Headless 13 ds106, as we also worked together hosting a three-hour show during which we played all the group radio shows for this course. You can find the whole show, broken up into pre- and post-show discussions of each, here.

But back to the GIFaChrome launch. The idea for this radio show was to have a party atmosphere, as if we were broadcasting from a live party during which the camera would officially be launched. Alan Levine has a great summary of the radio show launch and how he managed a number of the audio effects, including the party sounds. Alan had all the audio pieces on his computer and designed the script for the show. The whole show, as well as the various pieces, can be heard from Alan’s post about the show. As usual, I just sat back on the Skype and talked while he handled the technical end of things. But I have learned enough in ds106 by now that I should be able to run a radio show with multiple people on Skype at the same time. It’s not just a straightforward thing, but I just need to try and ask people along the way and eventually I’ll get it to work. Sitting around wishing I could do it is going to get me nowhere.

Afterwards, we had a Headless 13 ds106 radio campfire, in which anyone who wanted to join in could call Alan on Skype and discuss their Headless experience. Alan has an archive of that radio discussion as well. I had to leave partway through, as that day was insanely busy for me, but it was great to be able to reflect on how this whole Headless thing worked, with others.

And speaking of reflecting on the Headless thing, that is what I do in the next post!

This is a guest post by the boy ghost in the image above, who…

This is a guest post by the boy ghost in the image above, who has chosen to remain anonymous.

I am so thrilled about my beta test of the GIFaChrome camera! I was able to get a version of the camera from my friend Ina, and she kindly agreed to take an image of me that shows my real nature. If you hover over the right side of the image above you can see an arrow pointing to the old image Ina took of me, a boring old still image. It does me no justice, as you can tell when comparing it to my GIFaChrome image. Whoever heard of a ghost that doesn’t glow and move?

This camera is so easy to use: all you do is point and click and a beautiful animated gif appears. It’s like magic! You don’t even have to have full material substance to work the thing, as I have been able to play around with it myself (though I still need practice, and this pic by Ina is the best image so far). 

The only thing that is missing from the GAC image is my lovely “booooooo-oooooooo-oooooo” sound that I tend to make when floating in this way. But those people over at GIFaChrome are so clever, I expect this will be available in a software update soon!

The GIFaChrome launches December 13, 2013. To pre-order yours, go to the GIFaChrome website!

Here is my ooooooo-oooooooo-booooo sound, just so you know what a lovely voice I have!

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Rapping, scratching and popping the Headless week 4 audio

Link to audio mp3 (be patient—it may take a little time to download!): http://rockylouproductions.com/FileUpload/DS106/DS106_Headless13_AudioWk4_Review.mp3

Rochelle Lockridge and I had a great time recording a podcast this past weekend, talking about some of the fantastic audio that had been made the past week by participants in the Headless ds106 course.

Rochelle has already done a great blog post explaining how we managed to do the podcast itself, recording both video and audio. We initially posted it on YouTube because neither one of us had an extra 50 minutes of space available on Soundcloud, and I can’t upload files that big onto either one of the blogs I have right now (dammit—yet another reason to get my act together and get my Word Press install from my domain from reclaim hosting up and running. Yep, on my thousand-mile-long to-do list). I had no idea, actually, that Rochelle was recording video as well as audio, and I spent the first few minutes not looking very excited—it’s that face you have when you are just listening to something and aren’t interacting visually with someone.

I love how Rochelle was able to put together chicken gifs made by John Johnston (see his posts with those gifs here and here) into the beginning and end of the video, moving along in time to the music, which was the Mel Blanc and Sound Effect Man- Chicken Farm Song.

I wanted to give a tribute in some way to John Johnston’s chicken podcasts that he’s been doing for the Headless ds106 lately, and this was a great way to do so! You can hear his chicken podcasts by looking at this category on his blog.

The audio we talked about

Rochelle has already given the links to each of the works we discussed, on her blog post about this podcast, but I’ll put them at the end here too, just so I have them for future reference!

To find the audio I just searched Twitter, Google+, and the ds106 Headless blog flow for audio assignments from last week, checked that they were licensed to reuse, and if they weren’t I asked if we could play them.

I also wanted to point to Mariana’s blog post in which she suggests the radio show she wants to do with Talky Tina, for which she made the ds106radio bumper we talked about in the podcast. You can find that post here.

And I said something false about the ds106 rap by Stefanie Jeske. Somehow I heard that she said “It’s about us” in the rap, which isn’t quite right, but hey…that’s what my brain made out of part of her rap, because, I guess, that’s what it’s about for me!

Some tips/suggestions

Licensing and downloading—Soundcloud

Many people had made their works CC-licensed in some way, but hadn’t made them downloadable from Soundcloud. One of the great things about ds106, in my experience, is having people take what I’ve made and make new things from it—it’s like the ultimate validation, and it’s also like having a conversation with the other person. So if you’re willing to have that happen, or to have your work showcased in an audio or visual presentation of some kind, please do make it available to download!

On Soundcloud, it just requires ticking a box when you’re uploading your audio (you can go back and edit and do it later, too). Same thing for adding a CC license to your work on Soundcloud—you have to do that on purpose, as the default is blank, which means all rights reserved. And if it’s all rights reserved, then we can’t use it for this sort of purpose without your permission.

Amplifying if the audio is too soft/low, in Audacity

At one point in the podcast we talked about ways to make your audio louder if it’s too quiet. Rochelle suggested just duplicating tracks so you have two of one of them if it’s not very loud (though you need to make sure they’re lined up perfectly!).

Rochelle posted on her blog post about our podcast the sound effects story she did where she had to double the mosquitos track, but I’ll add it in here too, just for future reference.

I talked about using the “Amplify” effect in Audacity, and I thought I’d clarify something about that here.

In Audacity, you can select a portion of or a whole a track, go to Effects->Amplify, and choose how much you want to amplify the sound. Here’s what it looks like in a screenshot:

image

I wasn’t sure if you could choose to make the new peak amplitude 0 or not, but yes, that’s what the default is—unless you change the numbers, it will make the new peak amplitude 0, which basically (if I understand it correctly) means that it will be as loud as possible without clipping—without having some of the audio cut out because it’s too loud. I usually go just a bit below that, but not because I know for a fact there’s any good reason to do so. There probably isn’t.

Of course, if you want to allow clipping, you can do that with the Amplify effect.

You can also put in a negative number in the top box in order to de-amplify (there must be a word for that)—to reduce the size of the waveforms and how loud it sounds.

Noise removal in Audacity

I also mentioned that it’s possible to do noise removal in Audacity, which is especially useful if you have a track that has a good deal of ambient noise (like a refrigerator, wind, computer fan), or if you have had to amplify a track to get it to be loud enough, but have also amplified the ambient noise too (Rochelle says doubling tracks can help avoid this problem).

How this works in Audacity is explained nicely in this Audacity wiki page: http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Noise_Removal

It’s a bit tricky because you have to first select the section with only the sound of the noise you want to remove, then go to Effects->Noise Removal and click “Get noise profile,” as in the screenshot below. This lets Audacity figure out what the sound is that you want to remove.

image

Then you select the whole track, go to Effect->Noise Removal again and then that time you can click “OK” (which, if you notice, is greyed out in the screenshot above, because I hadn’t gotten the noise profile first). You can play around with the settings in the bottom of the noise removal dialogue box if you know what you’re doing, but I don’t so I leave them as is.

Since you need a few seconds of just the noise you want to remove in order for this to work, it’s really helpful to make sure you wait a few seconds when doing a recording before you start speaking, playing music, what have you.

This is a good idea for other reasons too—if you need to insert some “silence” into another part of the track for some reason (as may need to happen if you have to edit some things out, change some things around), it’s useful to have the right “silence” to insert—that which fits with the rest of the recording. You can add in pure silence using Audacity (using Generate->silence), but it won’t sound like the empty bits in the rest of the track.

Sometimes you get a bit of a weird effect with this noise removal thing, as you’ll still get some of the noise during the “talking” part of the audio, but it will be more or less gone in the “silent” part, and you can kind of hear it go in and out. You can mask this if you want, and even perhaps remove the need for noise removal altogether if you add some nice background noise (like maybe a recording of being outside with birds, or a street scene), or use music behind dialogue.

Thank you!


Thank you to everyone who created audio this week! I’m so sorry if we missed any (we were aiming for just one from each person, so some people had more than one thing we didn’t include here), but we really tried to find it all.

And a big thank you to Rochelle for recording and editing this podcast during one of my busiest weekends ever. It wouldn’t have happened if it were just up to me!

Links to the audio we discussed

1. John Johnston: ds106 radio bumper dub number two:  http://johnjohnston.info/106/ds106-radio-bumper-dub-number-two/

2. Mariana Funes: “Audio Giffing”  http://theds106shrink.tumblr.com/post/61671781287/audio-giffing

3. Mikhail Gershovich,ds106 radio bumper: http://thisevilempire.com/blog/?p=931&cpage=1

4. Sally Wilson, “ds106 bumper” http://vibrantoutlook.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/first-foray-into-radio/

5. Cathleen Nardi, “Uncork at the cellar” ds106 radio bumper  https://soundcloud.com/cathleen-nardi/uncork-at-the-cellar-ds106

6. Ary Aranguiz: sound effects story, “Invasion”  http://alltheworldisamooc.blogspot.ca/2013/09/ds106-week-4-audacious-audio.html

7. Dave Barr, “The Banana Peel”–sound effects story  http://gr8kree8.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/the-banana-peel-assignment-ds106/

8. Mariana Funes, sound effects story: “happily ever after…maybe”  https://soundcloud.com/mariana-funes/happily-ever-after-may-be

9.  Kevin Hodgson, “Sound Effects Poem: A Life in Draft”  http://dogtrax.edublogs.org/2013/09/18/sound-effects-poem-a-life-in-draft/

10. Stefanie Jeske, “Stefanie’s ds106 rap”  http://stefaniejeskestory.blogspot.ca/2013/09/stefanies-ds106-rap.html

11. Hayfa Majdoub, “What is Philosophy? https://soundcloud.com/hayfam/audio-recording-on-wednesday#t=0:00

And bumpers at the beginning and end:

Rocky Lou’s ds106 radio bumper mashup: https://soundcloud.com/rochelle-lockridge/ds106-bumper-mashup

Ary Aranguiz, ds106 radio Bumper1: https://soundcloud.com/ary-aranguiz/ds106bumper1

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