Digital Composition

Courtney Stanley
University of Cincinnati
Digital Composition
~ Sunday, April 22 ~

Reactions to classmates’ projects

A few words about some of the projects of my fellow classmates that I listened to:

Jordan Small - I was interested in how Jordan’s satirical This I Believe would turn out from his proposal during the project pitches. He did a good job in assuring the listener that he wasn’t actually condoning polygamy, and didn’t really have five wives at home, while making it very funny and listenable as well.

Holly Stark - Holly’s project was one I helped workshop on Tuesday. I really like her story because I’ve developed a love for roller coasters over the years and have always wondered what it’s like for the workers who stand there day after day, watching people have the time of their lives.

Sarah Abellanida - I really enjoyed Sarah’s project. Her voice was very animated throughout the story and she seemed to be confident in her stance. Maybe I’m biased because I can relate - I refuse to give up my piece of crap car, even with the check engine light that never goes off and the constant threat of having the wheels fall off. The bigger picture message in her story rang true for me as well, Hakuna Matata.

Tags: audio this I believe project dc200
~ Thursday, April 19 ~

Reflection on audio project

Overall, I’m satisfied with my This I Believe audio project. With this being my first attempt at audio production, I think everything ran pretty smoothly.

I think the only thing that would have made this project easier and the outcome a little better would have been having some more time to work on everything. I felt a bit rushed to come up with my idea then write my story, and I didn’t feel like I fully captured everything I wanted the story to be in words.

Recording with Garage Band was very easy. The program was straightforward enough and it was easy to record a little audio in. I’d like to go back sometime and mess around in Garage Band some more to see what all it can do. I have a brother who is graduating soon with a degree in audio production, so I’m sure he would know some techniques. I enjoyed the technical part of this project (the recording, editing, etc.), so I’m considering doing an audio based project for the final project in this class. We’ll see.

One problem I ran into while recording was finding a good room to use for recording. I live in a dorm – one room for four people – so I didn’t have that as a guaranteed quiet place to use for my recording, though I think I would have gotten a good sound from there. I ended up using a little empty room in the library, but my audio got a pretty echoey sound from that room. If I had more time I would’ve spent more time finding a good, audio recording friendly room to use.

I also could have used one of the library’s microphones and that probably would have given me better audio results.

Converting the audio and getting it onto my blog was pretty easy once I found the right format and size it needed to be. I used Garage Band for recording and it was all very easy to use, but once I was done I had to export it to iTunes, and then from there I used Zamzar to convert it to a .mp3 file.

I’d like to dabble more in audio sometime, even though editing my own voice was every bit as painful as I expected it to be. I don’t know why no one has ever told me I sound like a 5 year old. But nevertheless, I made it through alive.

If I could go back, I would spend more time developing my story, because all in all, the recording process was pretty straightforward and I had no trouble losing files or having to record too many times. I would have also found a less echoing room to produce a better audio result. But I think this project went pretty smoothly in the amount of time given, seeing that it was my first audio project. If I go on to do more audio I will definitely learn from these mistakes.

Tags: audio digital composition garage band zamzar this I believe
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~ Wednesday, April 18 ~

Audio Project - I Believe In Tuesdays at 2 a.m.

My roommate thinks I’m a vampire; she claims she never sees me sleep. I haven’t shared a room with anyone since I used to stow away on my brother’s bunk bed and when bunk beds were a thing I would voluntarily sleep in. Sometimes, lying in bed late at night, I feel like I’m the only person in the world. I can hear my roommates shuffle around in their sheets and I still don’t believe they exist. They’re not conscious like me, always conscious, always awake. But it’s often not until everyone around me is asleep that my mind feels like it finally starts working.

I’ve always functioned better on my own. I work best within the walls of my own mind. Sporadic bouts of insomnia leave me alone with a lot of time on my hands. I used to spend these hours staring at the pitch black ceiling and worrying about my ruined sleep schedule, but I’ve found ways to take advantage of these extra hours.

Nighttime is ideal for introspection. The best advice I get comes from the corners of my own mind at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday. Those hours of calm seclusion and contemplation are when I learn about myself. As the years go by, the longer I listen to my own thoughts and the more I learn about myself, the more I come to terms with my downfalls and appreciate my good qualities.

The seclusion of the wee hours of the morning is also conducive to a writing atmosphere.  The distractions of the day pull me in so many different ways that my mind can never stay in one place for too long. Most of my creative ideas come to me at night when I give myself time to just think and explore my own ideas.

I believe in these random hours late at night because sometimes it takes me a whole day to wake up. During the day I’m constantly surrounded by people and my introverted nature doesn’t let my brain function this way. It’s like sleepwalking. My head becomes a vacuum, some unattainable deep abyss. At night the hole in my head fills and I am finally free to feel my beating heart. 

Tags: this I believe audio
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~ Thursday, April 5 ~

This I Believe vs. DALN

I’ve recently found myself drawn to listening to podcasts, so I was excited for this assignment of listening to different segments on This I Believe and DALN. I like podcasts because I like to multitask while doing mundane activities like laundry, walking to class, or (when I’m not stuck in a dorm) cooking. Naturally, it is usually considerably more convenient to listen to a podcast for entertainment in these situations as opposed to, say, reading a book. Especially when doing something like walking around in public (I speak from experience).

I like the personality available in audio formats. I like that I can hear excitement and sadness and even the insignificant background noises. When I hear someone telling their own story or sharing their own opinion it stands out from all of the things I read in my own voice and allows me to get out of my own head for a while – or at least away from my voice. It’s like listening to a friend share a story with me. It’s personal.

I read the transcripts for the audio clips that had them available, but a few didn’t so I got to just listen. When I listened to the audio without reading the transcript beforehand, I found it a little harder to pay attention and follow the entire story in just one listen. This probably has something to do with the fact that I am very much a visual learner.

I don’t, however, think it’s particularly a negative aspect of audio to have the ability to let your mind wander. You’ll miss some parts of the story here and there, of course, but you can still grasp the meaning of the piece as a whole. I think it is a good thing to be able to go off on your own personal tangents of thought spurred from someone else’s train of thought. It’s important to let our creative brains work whenever they feel inspired.

About the different programs specifically, I have to say I preferred This I Believe. I liked the DALN stories I listened to, I even liked that they were a little rambley. One I chose on my own, Annie Mendenhall, was longer than the rest  and didn’t have a specific point. Josh Kuntzman's story was shorter and had a more focused topic. I liked the insight I got onto their lives, creative processes, and literary backgrounds, but for the sake of my project (and attention span) I prefer This I Believe.

I love that This I Believe exists. I really like that it takes something as simple as Betsy Buchalter’s advice of Walking the Dog during stressful times and I can relate it to myself on some small level and to life in general in a bigger way. I also listened to Andrew Flewelling’s more serious Silence. This I Believe gives you a little glimpse into someone’s life and some aspect of their personal philosophy. Maybe it plays to my journalistic tendencies, but I like to hear people’s stories.

So, I think I can conclude from this that I’ll be doing This I Believe for my audio project, although I’ll have to spend some time thinking about what I want to talk about.

Tags: digital composion technology this I believe DALN audio