“Malicious StopGate” Malware Commercial

For this 3.5 point audio assignment, I was instructed to create a commercial, preferably for my group’s DS106 Radio show on Sexspionage. Since my own secret agent character, Wren Wilder/003, is a fan of technological security, I decided it would be fitting for our station to promote malware and ransomware protection through security software such as the fictional “Malicious StopGate” software. I wrote a script, recorded the audio delivery until satisfied, and blended the software promotion with keyboard and synth sounds to complete the commercial.

I found this assignment intermediate to difficulty, with the creative aspects of it simply requiring a bit of extra time to creatively flesh out my commercial’s Call to Action (Often referred to in speeches as the ending phrases which call a listener to undertake a particular action, in this case purchase or research the software further). I found this assignment particularly fun to create.

Sexspionage Radio Special Bumper

For this four point audio assignment, I created a specialized radio bumper for my group’s upcoming Sexspionage spy radio show. I found the task relatively easy to complete, with diction choice being my longest task as I had to present our idea in an appealing manner which encourages listeners to follow along. The four sampled sounds from free-sound were a implemented very quickly with little hassle now that I’m more familiar with Audacity. Have a listen below, and check out our radio show in the weeks to come!

Spy Mix-Tape

For this four point audio assignment, I decided to create a Soundcloud mix-tape of notable spy songs, many of which related to my radio group’s specific topic of sexspionage. You can view the playlist below!

I wanted to avoid song covers, to capture the original songs’ direct references of the spy genre. As a result, half of the tracks were only available for general audiences as a preview. However, one can still view them independently on platforms like Youtube if they interest you!

I started this assignment by picking specific references of spies who’ve engaged in sexspionage, quickly thinking of Archer from “Archer”, Britney Spear’s character in her “Toxic” video, and James Bond in his films. I also noted the flirting used by Eggsy and Susan Cooper in “Kingsman” and “Spy” respectively. I then arranged the song order to most immediately call to mind the audience’s knowledge of these flirtatious spy tactics, starting with a suggestive reference constantly sung/exclaimed by Archer (Who ironically has fallen victim to the honeypot tactic himself). Then I referenced “Toxic”, where Britney is portraying a spy using the honeypot espionage technique. I followed this up with an iconic Bond song, before jumping to a memorable tune from “Kingsman”, and wrapping up the mix-tape by using another somber Bond song and ending with an energetic “Spy” tune.

I found this assignment fun and easy to complete, giving me some inspiration for possible orchestral instrumentals I could sample for our radio show in the weeks to come.

Auditory Soundscapes: “DS106 Radio Bumper”

I used 5 sound effects in Audacity in addition to my own vocal recording to create a bumper for DS106 Radio. I found the process easy and enjoyable, attempting to imitate radio DJs by using an echoed “Hey!” exclamation in my bumper and a piano synth as ornamentation to my backing effects. Check out my results below!

You’re the First, High Enough: “Music Mash”

This 4 point audio assignment instructed me to choose two similar songs and mash them together so that a conversation of sorts between the singers appears to be happening. Below is my creation.

I chose the songs “You are the First, My Last, My Everything” by Barry White and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, since both songs had a similar Motown influence and both lyrically discussed loving someone through the possible physical distances and divides that come between two people.

I found the process of editing these songs together challenging particularly because “…High Enough” often had Gaye singing adlibs in-between Terrell’s lines, requiring extra attention to details in fitting the songs together coherently. I settled on a romantic discussion of sorts, with White’s feelings of being lost countered by Terrell’s stance that if he calls her, she’ll go where-ever she needs to to get to him.

Additionally, because I noticed a disjointedness when listening to the two vocal parts switching between differing background tracks, I took introductory instrumental segments of both songs and played them during the opposing song’s vocal lines to make the tracks sound more cohesive overall through this subtle but intentional repetition (Shown below).

Instrumental duplications

I’d rate this assignment as average, as my difficulties were only due to my desire to make the song fusion sound slightly less disjointed even when viewed as a conversation instead.

What’s Melting in Reverse?: “Reverse Audio Quiz”

For this 3.5 point audio assignment, I was instructed to reverse a recognizable song and provide three hints as to what the original song was. I found this assignment easy, only requiring me to apply a reversal effect on a converted song MP3 in Audacity.

My first hint is actually the title of my blog post, and the second hint is the background image of the Soundcloud audio track! My third hint is that it’s a song from an Oscar-winning film.

Still not sure what it is?

FTFTIF

“For the First Time in Forever” from the film “Frozen” is the original song!

003’s Speed-Date with Thandie Newton: “Celebrity Speed-Dating”

For this 3 point audio assignment, I was instructed to record a thirty second speed-dating clip telling a celebrity enough about me to see if they were interested. To relate it to our secret agent theme for the semester, I wrote a quick script for Agent 003 (Wren Wilder) outside of his classified field of work, introducing himself to his favorite actress Thandie Newton.

Determining a celebrity whom 003 would be interested in was fairly easy for me, since Newton’s superb portrait of the looping robot Maive experiencing an ongoing existential crisis on “Westworld” directly correlating with his interest in both the practical and philosophical aspects of modern technology. I’m sure the beauties, dangers, and possibilities of artificial intelligence gaining sentience would be a naturally compelling storyline Wren would enjoy watching in his free time, making him a fan of Thandie Newton.

I found this assignment easy and quick, adding a timer effect in the background using Audacity after listening to Limetown’s clever usage of a timer effect in the season 1 podcast finale.

A Bride and an Aisle: “Sound Effects Story”

For this 3.5 point audio assignment, I was instructed to create a story with at least 5 sounds in under 90 seconds. My product is displayed below.

I first decided on the idea of a bride’s walk down the aisle of her wedding as my story, due to some vivid sounds immediately coming to my mind. I thought that the sound of church bells at the ending and romantic instrumental background music as she walked down the aisle in the beginning of the auditory story would be tonal obvious to the listener. I then tried to flesh out the beginning and ending of the story using my various samples.

I added an opening door effect to signal her entrance, followed by her heels clicking to the alter with soft background music. After a pause symbolizing vows, I used a subtle kissing sound to initiate an audience applause followed by church bells for a total of six sound effects.

I found this assignment interesting, although it was initially challenging to flesh out my concept and further perfect it using Audacity. Most notable was my struggle to find a subtle and not overly-exaggerated kissing sound, which was eventually an achievement for my story. I’d rank this assignment as average, due to the conceptual thought required.

“Happy” Song Meaning and Interpretation

For my first Audio Assignment, I completed “What A Song Might Mean to You” (http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/what-a-song-might-mean-to-you/). For this assignment, I had to chose a song which reminded me of something meaningful or significant, then create an audio recording discussing this. I wanted to pick a song which had personal significance for me, and also portrayed a range of emotions. After reflecting on some song options, I decided that the most meaningful song I could easily describe would be “Happy” by Marina and the Diamonds, displayed below.

In my blog intro, I finished my personal introductions by choosing this song as a personal favorite to enjoy over the holidays or to sing in my free time. I found that after outlining my thoughts on the song, the most difficult part of my recording was in moderating nervous speaking habits such as “um”s. I did my best at controlling these speaking tendencies, and will hopefully improve if I do any future recordings! Listen to my assignment audio to find out it why it brings me a unique happiness.

A challenge I had with the technical aspects of making the SoundCloud recording was that when I recorded my initial discussion at about 3:30 minutes, the audio continuously became corrupted. Only when I shortened the length to around 2:20 minutes did it correctly process with an attached image and title added after. I attribute this potentially to my weak Wifi connection, but luckily I was talking slower with unnecessary pauses, and I could actually present all my thoughts clearly with less pauses as a result. I didn’t outline as much material as I thought I actually had to discuss! I’d view this assignment as intermediate, because I personally find recording content through SoundCloud a challenge just based on my own nerves and communication/delivery abilities.