I jumped all over the place attempting to pick one of the many show episodes to do this reflection on. I do believe I listened to the first few minutes of all of them simply out of curiosity. However, I ended up sticking with a “This American Life” episode called “How I got Into College“. The reason I chose this episode is because being a college student made me curious to hear other individuals stories and to possibly answer the “How I Got Into College” question for myself.
This episode of “This American Life” is about what college admission officers look for in applicants and how students are admitted. Ira Glass interviews an admissions officer who tells a few entertaining stories about the things students and parents will do in order for an individual to be admitted to college.
Throughout the episode, college students told their story regarding getting into college. I was able to relate to these personal experiences, since I have been through the process. I believe these personal experiences demonstrate the use of anecdotes because there is a sequence of actions being told and used to keep the listener’s attention. The personal aspect of these anecdotes were even more of an attention catcher since I could relate.
Just now being introduced to various audio techniques had its pros and cons. The pro is that it made it fun to listen and pick up on different tactics that were there to catch my attention. The con is I had difficulty actually nothing the audio techniques. I did notice how the music sounded accomplished and happy when part of the story was positive. Until this week, I never really paid attention to how influential background music can be. Music really affects the listeners emotions. Therefore, background music is subtle enough to help the broadcaster direct and form the emotions of the listener’s. I also noticed that the use of music in a more boring or bland part stimulated my mind enough to keep listening.
Audio techniques are something I had never heard of until this week. The use of these techniques shape the audience’s emotions in the way that the broadcaster wants and keeps the story interesting. I am looking forward to listening to various broadcasting to see if I can pick up on various audio techniques!
This week I listened to Ira Glass and Jad Abumrad give their perspectives on the art of audio storytelling. Ira Glass pointed out that audio storytelling is not just a topic sentence followed by a series of facts, like we learn in high school. Instead, broadcasting has two main building blocks. The first building block is the anecdote or a sequence of actions. The sequence of actions keeps momentum even if it is boring. This can happen because the way the sequence of events proceed allow you to feel like there is a destination. The sequence of actions act like bait to keep the audience curious. Another important part, of the first building block, is that the broadcaster needs to frequently remind the audience why they are listening to the story.
The second building block, according to Glass, is the amount of time is takes to find a good story. Glass points out that is takes longer to find a worthy story than it does to produce the story. The broadcaster needs to feel proud of the material they are producing and understand that it is completely acceptable to admit something is crap and abandon it. The tougher you are, the easier it will be to kill the boring parts of a story or the whole story. I really loved how Glass goes on to point out that failing is not a bad thing. The more you fail allows you to create a situation to get lucky and find that phenomenal story.
Jad Abumrad went about his discussion on broadcasting a little differently than Ira Glass. Instead of talking about the proper route to take to find a good story, Abumrad talks about his appreciation for broadcasting. I thought this approach was great because it provided me different reasons as to why broadcasting should be admired and respected. Abumrad mentioned that the absence of pictures allow the mind to wonder and create its own images. He also pointed out that the radio connects people through broadcaster and listener because the broadcaster allows listener to co-imagine creating a connection.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to both of these men speak about their craft. Obviously, they both were really well spoken and I liked the examples they came up with to demonstrate their points. Glass gave me insight on the toughness it takes to broadcast a good story. Abumrad provided me with different perspectives on broadcasting that have never crossed my mind. Thanks to Ira Glass and Jad Abumrad, I now have more respect and appreciation for broadcasters and their work!
I decided to do the Make Your Own Ringtone assignment worth 1.5 stars. For this assignment I used an app called Logic Pro X on a friends computer. Logic Pro X is an expensive, but really cool program that has several sounds already available to mix. Since the assignment asked that I use Audacity, I dragged the various sounds I used over to Audacity and mixed them to make the ringtone below. I faded it at the end so that if used, I would know I was about to miss the call.
This audio clip was made to complete the sound effect story audio assignment worth 3.5 stars.
The story is simple, but misfortunate. A pond full of frogs have their lifestyle disrupted by the nearby highway. Some are better at playing frogger than others.
I used Freesound to search the five sounds I use in this audio clip including: cars passing down a highway, frogs, truck horn, truck brakes, and the grand splat at the end. I then downloaded these audio clips onto my computer and used Garageband to mix them together to create this clip!