If Emma Watson Says it then it Must be True

Take a song and some speech and remix both. Make it meaningful and give it a message.

Souncloud

I think every woman I know has fallen victim to gender inequality, whether that be a cat-call, unequal pay or respect in the work place, or much worse. It is time that everyone comes together to better our world for women and for us all. There is literally no downside when women are equal to men. Now for some personal anecdotes that may allow others who have not experienced these inequalities to see it through my eyes.

Once I was walking through town with my friends on summer vacation. We were on a road trip after we had just graduated high school. While we were crossing the street (it was evening but still light out and there were plenty of other pedestrians) we passed by a U-Haul moving van with two men inside. Their windows were open and as we passed by the driver said to us “Hey, wanna get in the back?” What a disgusting and inappropriate comment to say to anyone, let alone 17 and 18 year old girls. My mom’s boss told her she was overreacting because she used an exclamation point in an urgent email. I have listened to my male friends make jokes about and judge women’s bodies, and then was told to “not be so sensitive” when I told them to stop. I asked my boyfriend the other day if he was ever taught to hold his car keys in his fist, pointing out through his fingers so if anyone were to try and harm him he would be able to defend himself. He looked at me very confused and said no. Of course he wouldn’t have been taught that. Boys aren’t taught things like that. But it was one of the first things I was taught when I got my license.


I chose this 4.5 star assignment because it was similar to the last assignment I had done and I wanted to further my practice with editing audio together. I was hoping that my mistakes in the previous assignment would lend me some guidance in attempting this one. I was Googling around for short speeches, and nothing was really resonating with me. Then I stumbled across Emma Watson’s UN speech. I had seen it when it first came out and while watching it I was quickly reminded how important her speech is for everyone to hear. I knew I would choose this speech, as feminism is something I loudly and proudly support.

Next I had to choose a song. I didn’t want to choose a song without lyrics, because that would 1) make the assignment too easy, and 2) not give as much depth and meaning to the final product. I chose Imagine by John Lennon because it is a slow song with a really similar message to Watson’s speech. I was originally going to cut out the lyrics as Watson was speaking and only play lyrics in pauses, but I liked how the whole song sounded layered underneath her speech. I think it adds hopefulness to her speech. I chose Imagine because to me it has the same message as Watson’s speech: imagine the world as a better place, where everyone lives in harmony and equality.


To create this in Garageband, I first downloaded the songs using a youtube to mp3 site . Just copy and paste the URL of the Youtube video into the website, click start then download.  I save the mp3 files to my desktop so they’re easier to import into Garageband later.

Next, open Garageband and choose voice. (I use voice for everything, it is the least cluttered interface and gets the job done)

Click and drag the two audio files from the desktop into Garageband. Then trim the audio to where you want the speech and song to begin and end. To do this, select the file you want to cut by clicking on it. Move the vertical white line to the spot you want to cut, then click edit > split regions at playhead. This will split the audio box that is selected at the line. You can then select the parts of the file you don’t want and just hit delete on the keyboard.

Now we have to adjust the volume. I wanted the background music to be quieter than the speech. To do this click show/hide animation, which are the two connected dots highlighted blue in the picture below.

Once show/hide animation is selected, when you click on a track a yellow line will appear. This represents the level of volume.

Click and drag the line to move it up or down. To fade out the end of the song, scroll over to where the track ends. Then click a few seconds before and right where the track ends (basically where you want the start and end of the fade to be). This will create two little yellow dots. Click and drag the last dot all the way down. This diagonal line represents the volume gradually being turned down.

Then, save by going to file > save as and upload the song to Soundcloud by going to share > song to Soundcloud.

To export the .band file to an mp3, go to share > export song to disk and choose the mp3 option.

Love Thy Neighbor

Today’s daily create reminded me so much of my last assignment. I am all for peace in the world (who isn’t?) and this playlist is a great idea to spread a little more joy around! I was originally going to choose Imagine by John Lennon because it was fresh in my mind from my other project, but someone had already posted that song. I ended up choosing What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. I think that song is not only nice to listen to, but the message is great too. It is especially important in modern times to not lose hope for the world just because there are so many bad things going on. Armstrong’s song gives a great picture of the world, and although there is much wrong in the world there is also a lot of goodness. I am not saying disregard the bad, I’m just saying there is no need to feel hopeless when there are more good things than bad. Just look around at the trees of green and skies of blue 🙂

Dear Jolene…

Find a cover of a song and combine it with the original version of the song to create a new/remixed version of the song. After you’ve finished remixing your version, listen to it and see what kind of emotion it now makes you feel.

In the early 1970’s, when Dolly Parton and her husband had been married just a few happy years, Dolly started touring. While she was away on tour a bank clerk named Jolene would flirt with her husband. Dolly’s best friend alerted her of the situation and Dolly came straight back home to Nashville.

After confronting her husband and hearing that the allegations were true, Dolly gave him more than just a piece of her mind. She went to the bank where Jolene worked, and tried to ask her politely and quietly to back off. Jolene did not respond to Dolly’s pleas.

Dolly then asked to speak to a manager. Jolene had a history of trouble with her female clients, so she wasn’t happy to show Dolly to her boss. Well, they went to the manager and Dolly told him that Jolene had been refusing to do business with her, and would only see her husband, which was pretty much true. Well Jolene got an earful from her boss that day and never did cross that line again. Much to her dismay, the matter was not at rest. A couple years later the single Jolene came out, and everyone in town knew exactly who it was about.


I was drawn to this 4 star assignment  because I wanted to learn a little more about Garageband and try out some simple techniques like cutting and splicing songs that I hadn’t tried before. I also really love listening to music and different covers, so the title drew me in. The first cover I thought of was Miley Cyrus’s cover of Jolene by Dolly Parton. Cyrus had done a few covers of her favorite songs during The Backyard Sessions, and this is one I love. I had also watched the movie based on Dolly Parton’s life this past winter, and I was also remembering her amazing life story when choosing this song. Unfortunately, every version of her singing the original song was a faster tempo than the cover. I tried to slow down the original song, but Garageband doesn’t have the capability to change tempo of just one part of a recording.

So, I decided I had to choose a different cover. I chose the Pentatonix and Dolly Parton collaboration. Even though Dolly Parton is in both songs, the Pentatonix cover is very different from the original. It is a different pitch and tempo than the original and the lyrics only line up in the beginning of the song. Although the lyrics don’t overlap perfectly, I actually like the end result. The different pitches give an eeriness to the song in the beginning that I like because it makes the song sound more menacing, which is how I would sound if someone were trying to steal my man. I also like the gradual canon effect the song has as one version lags more and more behind. It sometimes seems like an echo which reminds me of the sorrow she must be feeling in this song. I also really like the very end of both songs, how they both fade into each other. I think this combined version shows the true hurt behind this song, instead of the more upbeat original version.


The first step is to open Garageband and select the voice option.

Then, either press the media button in the top right hand corner and select the songs to overlap, or click and drag them from the desktop into Garageband.

Once the two songs are in Garageband, line up the start of the songs so that the lyrics start at the same time. Just click and drag each orange audio box to move it. Use the vertical white line to decide where to start playing the audio from. This step will just be trial and error until both songs line up. 

Once the songs are lined up, the unneeded parts can be cut out. To do this, select the box to cut. Then, go to edit > split regions at playhead. This will break the audio box where the vertical white line is. Then, just click the unneeded boxes and hit delete on the keyboard.

Then click and drag both boxes back to the beginning of the recording. Go to file > save as and give the new recording a name. To change the file from a .band to .mp3 file click share > export song to disk and select the mp3 option on the pop-up screen and then click export to save as an mp3.

Nordic Ministers Summon Deep Sea Creature in Response to Trump’s Meeting with the Saudis

Today’s daily create inspired me to use Nessie as the thing being summoned. It only seemed natural because the Ministers were standing near the water, and Nessie’s native region is rather close by. I have also been binge watching How I Met Your Mother, and Marshall is a big believer in many unexplained phenomena, including Nessie. So thanks to Marshall, How I Met Your Mother, and the Nordic Ministers for allowing this daily create to come to fruition!

I made the gif of Nessie using gifs.com and the Marshall gif is from buzzfeed.

Rest In Peace, Charlie McHue

Tell a story using nothing but sound effects. There can be no verbal communication, only sound effects. Use at least five different sounds that you find online. The story can be no longer than 90 seconds.

Sound effect story on my SoundCloud

Charlie McHue was a NASCAR driver with a passion for speed. This made him one of the best racers of his time, but was always a sensitive spot in his marriage. His wife, Angela, didn’t like his career; she thought it was dangerous and, quite frankly, stupid. She didn’t understand the rush he got from racing and the simultaneous calm that washed over him on the constant turn of the wheel. He felt at peace on the track, while she was nothing but a ball of nerves watching him from behind his pit stop.

During Charlie’s last race of the summer season, he was up against one of his greatest competitors. Charlie knew if he won this race that he may win so much money that he would never have to work again. He vowed to himself to win this race at all costs so that he could make his wife happy and stop racing for good.

Charlie and his opponent were neck and neck throughout the whole race, until the last lap. Charlie pulled ahead ever so slightly, and had just crossed the finish line when his tire popped and sent him spiraling off the track. His car flipped four times and burst into flames. The whole crowd called out along with Angela’s scream. Charlie survived the crash, but had severe burns and many fractured bones. The ambulances rushed to the center of the track where Charlie’s car laid. He was pinned under the car and paramedics couldn’t get him free for about seven minutes.

Charlie was rushed to surgery and Angela waited in the hospital hallway, alone. After fours hours of pacing and worrying and biting her nails, the doctor came out to update Angela. There was severe internal bleeding and Charlie didn’t make it through surgery.

Angela was stunned; almost too stunned to cry. Charlie was all she had in this world and now he was gone. He had left her his winnings, but she would have given anything to have him back, and even racing if he wanted, she just wanted him alive.

 

For this 3.5 star assignment I thought it would be an easy(ish) way to ease myself into creating audio assignments. I used the recommended website for free sound effects. I am also using Garageband, because that is what I have installed on my Mac already. I am not very well versed in Garageband, so I configured this recording kind of unconventionally. I was pleased with the final product, especially because it was my first time using Garageband to make this kind of media. I would have liked the transitions between sounds to be more smooth, but I hadn’t quite figured that out yet. I may be kicking myself later for not using Audacity.

First, I thought of the story I wanted to tell. I then opened Garageband and clicked the voice option. 

That will take you to this screen.

I then went to freesound.org and registered my free account. From there, I searched the sounds that are listed below. There are links to the ones I ultimately chose.

Instead of importing and trimming each sound (I didn’t know how), I had both Garageband and freesound.org open in two separate windows. I started recording in Garageband (click the red circle button at the top) and then switched to freesound.org and played the recording from where I wanted it to start.

When you want to stop recording, click the red circle button again. This will stop recording sound. You then need to press the square stop button to stop the recording from moving forward.

Click and drag the vertical white line to determine where you want each new recording to start. Once all the recordings are done, you can trim each section individually by selecting each box and clicking and dragging the edge of it to be as long as you want.  Then, choose file > save as and choose a name for your sound effect story.

Then upload to SoundCloud, or another audio sharing website. You can do this from Garageband by going to share > song to SoundCloud.

Beyoncóbama

Yes, that is Beyoncé and Obama put together. I did my best, okay? Today’s daily create was something I had seen before on Youtube, but I never thought I could make an Obama lip dub video!! I was very excited to do this daily create, and Beyoncé seemed like a natural choice, given her amazing talent and fun lyrics. Here is Obama saying “I got hot sauce in my bag, swag.”

I encourage everyone to use Talk Obama To Me to create fun Obama videos. I’m glad someone made an website to make this an easy process.

What if We Never Made it to the Moon

Listening to Moon Graffiti by The Truth Podcast was a very eerie experience. I felt as if it were real. The use of the real speech Richard Nixon would have given in the event of a failed moon landing lent the piece an air of reality. At the beginning, a short bout of intro music adds to the mysterious quality of the piece. The radio static and background noise of radio communications and beeps from the spaceship help to set the scene for listeners. The brief overlapping narration at the beginning gives further information to ground today’s listeners in exactly what was happening at the time. The constant beeping and quick communications between the astronauts and Houston give a sense of urgency and trouble. After the crash, silence is used to show how all ties to earth are lost. The silence also emphasizes the shift in mood, from one where there is urgency but no fear of failure, to one of complete isolation and loneliness.

Isolation is conveyed a lot in this piece. The minimal, if at all, background noises show just how alone these men are. The radio static that is used shows how these men had to communicate and transplant the listener into their situation. The sound effects used for camera snaps, kicking dust, and staking the flag also show just how quiet and lifeless their surroundings are. Normally, these sounds would barely rise above the ambient noise of a situation, but in this story the sound effects are loud and clear. Throughout the story there is little narration (only at the beginning and end) and this is done to make it seem like a real situation and conversation between two men stranded on the moon. The narration also adds to the isolation, because in breaks in the conversation there is nothing to fill the space.

You can feel the desperation and resignation in the astronauts’ voices. They have exasperated and longing tones and don’t know whether to try and salvage any contact with earth, carry out their mission, or just wait to die. The shaky and heavy breathing of Buzz in the story gives the listener insight into the physical implications of being stranded on the moon.

During the final part of Nixon’s speech, it starts off with no background noise. To me this resonates like a eulogy. I suppose that’s exactly what it is. The use of just his voice gives a somber mood and one of loss that the world would have been feeling. It also echoes the rest of the story. At the end there is sad music playing, either as an outro or the music of a funeral procession.

The  author gives a thanks to their contributors and sponsors, then the station’s bumper plays, and that is the end of an audio clip that could have been very real.

Can You Believe the Audacity…

The TED radio hour demo  and the detective stories examples both gave me insight into why things are done in radio. The comments at the bottom gave good, real-time tips that will help me to analyze radio shows I listen to in the future. The shifts in music were very apparent in the TED demo, and they differentiated between scenes and moods the show was going in and out of. The overlapping of background noise of the robot, interviewer, and interviewee gave a full picture of the story, which wouldn’t have otherwise been there without the overlapping sounds. Abrupt ends to music or shifts in the type of music worked really well to change the mood or emphasize a point in the show.

In Scottlo’s Lo down episodes he demonstrated some of these techniques. Every time the intro was different I learned a new radio technique. He often employed music in the background, especially music as introductions to the shows. I liked these intros, especially when he gave the bumper examples. His even brief description of bumpers gave me a better understanding of how they can represent a show or a whole network, and the examples given have inspired me to complete that audio assignment.

I did notice in all the audio I listened to in these three examples, layering sounds seems at the forefront of everything. In Scottlo’s clips less so, but the most interesting parts were the overlapped audio. Especially in the first two radio shows, overlapping background and ambient noise with music, as well as combining interviewer/ interviewee voices gave the listener so much to listen to and complete the story. I did notice the tips on the sound camp website which look very helpful for this week’s activities, but they only mention Audacity. I have Garageband, and hopefully I can figure that out without too much difficulty!

Radio, a Dying Medium(?)

I can only ever recall listening to one radio show, in the car with my dad called “Elliot in the Morning.” I don’t even know what station its on. It’s pretty funny, sometimes inappropriate, and takes callers which I like. I never listen to it by myself but if I’m ever in the car with him on a weekday morning it will most definitely be playing. Needless to say, I don’t know much about radio.

Listening to Ira Glass’s series on radio storytelling shed a lot of light onto broadcast media for me. In part one I learned something that seems to be a theme in college: forget what you learned in high school. Throwing out the heavily structured way we are taught to tell stories allows more freedom and naturalness to come through in the stories we tell. The way Glass describes storytelling, as an anecdote that constantly raises questions and links back to a moment of reflection, resonates with me as the way every good story I have ever encountered is composed. I hadn’t really thought of all the things good stories have in common, and Glass hits it on the head.

In part two  I learned how time is allocated to storytelling. It makes a lot of sense that it takes a long time to find a good story, and that part of the job is setting aside time to look for stories. Especially from a reporter’s point of view, finding a good story is the essence of the job. It surprised me how many stories Glass says get killed. Obviously everything can’t make the final cut, but 1/3 to 1/2 of stories getting killed seems steep to me. Of course, if you are searching a large volume of stories in the first place, maybe this number isn’t so daunting after all. Not all stories can be or deserve to be told.

Part three  connected me to really any creative profession there is. You will not be the best at first, and you night not even be good. Having good taste is the start of success, but hard work and trial and error weed out the bad habits and ideas we once thought were good. Glass claims that everyone in a creative profession goes through this phase, and I have to agree. Having potential is wonderful, but it is not the same as being good. I feel this way a lot because of this class; I know how I want my projects to turn out but I don’t yet have the knowledge or skills to get me to the end product I want. Like Glass says, only practice and volume of work can fix this.

Lastly, part four is basically a lesson on being yourself. No body wants to listen a weird try-hard, so just act natural and be yourself. Talking like a regular human goes a long way, especially in a medium that only showcases voice and sound. Also, it is important to remember the balance of storytelling. There should always be interaction between people, as that is the nature of storytelling itself.

Jad Abumrad makes a few good points on radio as well. He opens by saying that radio doesn’t have images the way tv does, and that that might be off-putting to some. To that some I say: you can’t always be watching tv. Say you are like my dad, who has a long commute and wants to be entertained and not just listen to music, and obviously can’t watch tv while driving. Or maybe you are in the shower and want to listen to a story (assuming you aren’t one of the weirdos who has a tv in the bathroom), that story must come from radio. And what about blind people? Images aren’t everything, people. A good story is more important.

Anyways, Abumrad makes the argument that radio is an intimate medium because it takes a co-authorship of the person being broadcast and the listener to create the story, which inspires an empathy that other forms of media can’t deliver. I do agree that radio can bring people closer together and inspire empathy. He asserts that radio will never die, and after listening to these two men’s opinions, I may join that train as well.

Mixing Media

For this week’s first daily create I first took to Google for some inspiration. I know there is a crazy latte trend going on, and my search results were not disappointing. I stumbled across this photo and was immediately inspired to insert this latte into an actual pac-man game.

I then found a blank pac-man screen and used the tools in this tutorial to cut out the latte, paste onto the new background, scale, and move it to create the final product. I didn’t want to make it so small that the details would be lost, so that’s why it doesn’t fit perfectly on the screen.

This daily create showed me how much I have progressed since the first week of class, because GIMP was actually easy to use! I never thought I would type those words. A week ago I would not have known where to start with this daily create, but because of this class and the software I have been practicing this daily create took me about 5 minutes to complete. Thanks ds106 for giving me new skills!