Trolling Craigslist is always fun, so the first audio assignment listed on Week 5’s page immediately jumped out at me. Off I went to the local Craiglist “free” section and found this lovely post:
Sounds strange enough to me!! Why anyone would want to take on such an awful job for “free cactus” is beyond me…but one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
I started to think of audio and a western theme came quickly to mind. Cactus=desert=western movie, right? (Never mind that these cacti live in the Walnut Grove area of the south, where ever that is). I went to Soundcloud and searched “western”. I selected this track:
The track itself is quite a bit longer than I needed and has several different parts. I saved the file, played it on my computer and recorded the portion I liked using Audacity. (Which is a very low-fi way of doing things, but it seemed to serve my purposes.)
Next I wrote out the Craigslist ad on paper with breaks for where I wanted to pause of emphasize a word. After reading out loud a few times to get the hang of it, I pressed “record” and recorded my voice using Audacity.
I then got to work layering the two audio files and trying my best to improve the sound. I started with the background music as the “base” file. Next, I imported my voice and time delayed it by a second or two to allow the music to set the stage, as it were. The music was a bit louder than what I needed though, so I used the envelope tool to lower the volume on the background music.
Next, I cut off the extra background music I didn’t need, but left a few seconds on the end, which I faded out after the voice recording was finished. And voila! A spoken word masterpiece is born:
I was much quicker in loading Soundcloud files on this post- I didn’t have to consult help to remember how to do it correctly. I did have to go back to the Audacity screencast to re-learn how to do pretty much everything except record. Hopefully Audacity gets easier; I’m still not finding it to be very intuitive. I did have some blips with Audacity in that I couldn’t import the .aup files I had saved–I had to export them to MP3 and then import them from MP3 format. Not a big deal, but a moment of panic when I thought I couldn’t use the files I had made. Here’s a screen grab of the file in Audacity: