All you can take Cactus- Audio Assignment 942

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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:

craigslist two

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:

craigslist cactus screen grab

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2 thoughts on “All you can take Cactus- Audio Assignment 942

  1. Pingback: Week 5 Summary | I haven't a clue what I'm doing!

  2. This is very well executed and produced, and the more funny because prickly pear cactus are prolific all across Texas to the southwest and up the high western deserts. You can grow them by grabbing an ear and sticking them in the ground! Great choice of a topic, and mixing in the background music.

    It can be tricky to use soundcloud files if they have not provided a download button, so I am guessing that is the reason for the lofi approach (which worked cleanly, if you did not tell em I would not have guessed).

    AUP files are not sound files, so they cannot be imported; They are project files that contain all the media and machine instructions for editing the files, so yes, you will always have to export them as MP3 (or WAV or AIF) to use them elsewhere. It does get a little confusing, but in practice it should hopefully get more clear.

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