Week 5 Summary

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My main takeaway this week: working with sound is not as difficult as I thought, but still the most challenging I have found of the differing editing tasks we have done in this course.  I do feel completely at ease in recording, exporting, importing, and loading to SoundCloud, but the editing portion (splicing, fading, etc.) still cause me some angst.  Perhaps its because the visual medium isn’t there, i.e., I don’t know what part of the sound I’m looking at by just looking at the sound wave?

This week also marks the sad milestone of being the first week I did not complete all assignments.  My high school honor society self would be horrified.  Ultimately, I’ve decided to wrap this week up, incomplete, rather than push myself farther and farther behind into the Video editing portion of class.  Here’s what I was able to do:

  • Animal escape!  Getting acclimated with SoundCloud.  I made a SoundCloud account when we first started listening to audio in the first few weeks of class, but this week I was able to get comfortable with uploading, recording and embedding SoundCloud files into my blog posts.  I even ventured out into the main page and found some really cool music too.
  • Sound Effects Story: in this assignment I learned that I should have actually done some listening, viewing and reading on Audacity before just jumping in, because I did not and it almost pushed me to the edge.  Luckily, I have lived to tell the tale.  Finding and downloading the sounds on FreeSound was easy enough as was coming up with the idea.  It was doing this assignment that helped me see how valuable video can be, actually.  I rarely (that is, almost never) watch videos online.  That hilarious video that’s going around on the web?  Haven’t seen it.  I don’t know if it’s an attention span thing or a simple preference for reading, but I find watching video online to be boring and tedious.  HOWEVER- the written tutorials on Audacity just weren’t doing it for me, so in desperation I turned to the video and screencast.  Ah- much easier!  They were so helpful I bet I take to video over text the next time I am looking for help.
  • Audio Assignments: I chose Audio Assignment 942, in which we take a Craigslist “free stuff” ad and make it a spoken word piece complete with background music.  I learned that the “free” section of Craigslist is really just a way for people to try to get sometime very unpleasant things hauled away for free (Clean out my basement! For free!) – clever.  This post got me on better terms with Audacity.  After visiting the aforementioned screencast again I simply used the tools demonstrated to create my own file.  I went to Soundcloud for some music and was able to quickly find what I was looking for.  I even used my 1-month Noun Project membership to download an icon for the Soundcloud file.  Synergy!
  • To Be Storified Example I got some good feedback on my story idea, which was to tell the story of the importance of public health.  Public health is something that when it is working well, we don’t notice it.   So much work goes on behind the scenes by a mostly unassuming type of worker-a potentially fruitful story topic.
  • Comment Roundup: It finally (duh) occurred to me that I could comment on anyone’s blogs I want, not just my blog “team” (which has now shrunk to be just two of us).  The encouragement and pointers I get from commenters is immensely helpful.  I don’t know if I am as helpful especially in the tips department when it comes to commenting on others posts (as I frequently know only as much as, if not less, than the poster does) but I like to think I’m at least encouraging 🙂

What got left out this week was the Chaplin Foley assignment…sorry Charlie.

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One thought on “Week 5 Summary

  1. Hey, it is a lot to learn audio editing in just a week (in a normal semester class, students have a 3 weeks group project so they get more experience and time on it). I think you have at least a better awareness of what is possible.

    And your post reminds me os something obvious I should have told students, placeing the cursor in the timeline and pressing the spacebar starts (and stops the play head, that is the way you can tell what the sound is (or highlighting a section with your mouse, like selecting text in Word, allows you to play just that portion when you press space bar or click the play button).

    But you made a good call in cutting the losses and moving on. You did more than enough work this week to get sufficient credit. The Honor Society need not know from me.

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