Monthly Archives: February 2016

Get Ready to Tumble: Week 7

This week was all about preparation. I organized with my groupmates for the radio show and we began discussing ideas, character interactions, and contributions. A run-down of what we discussed is in my radio show update.  Once we agreed on a title, I made a poster for the show.

Aside from the initial radio show business, I did a series of audio assignments. I whistled a tune and told a spooky story, each of which were 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 stars respectively. Then, in an attempt to find my character’s voice, I created a radio bumper and commercial for the show. The bumper was 3 1/2 stars, the commercial 4 stars. I counted these two as my character-based assignments, as I experimented with voice acting during my recording of them. Overall I did 11 1/2 stars worth of assignments (although to be honest, some of the star ratings have been fluctuating over the week so the values might have changed since this post went live).

I also did my series of Daily Creates this week, from telling the time to making an audio adventure to misquoting cowgirls.

And finally, I commented on my classmates’ posts and progress. Everything the class is doing for their radio shows is very interesting, and I’m incredibly pleased with how my group’s work has come along. I can’t wait to make our show a reality!

Turning Tumbleweeds Radio Bumper

This assignment’s radio bumper corresponds with my group’s show, Turning Tumbleweeds. The intention in this clip was to sound more like Danny Keys, the character I will be using within the show, so hopefully my voice came across as deep and different enough to be apart from my own.

I found the background music and wind on Freesound and organized the bumper together in Audacity. Up to this point, I feel like I have made significant progress in making effective audio for assignments. Hopefully I can reflect that while creating my part of the radio show!

Piano Lessons

This radio commercial came out of an assignment that requested the creation of a commercial advertising a product we would like others to know about. In order to work this into my group’s radio show, I made a commercial for my character, Danny Keys, whose only real goods and services is his piano-playing. So, I figured who doesn’t like a good piano lesson?

I may have cheated with the audio a bit on this project. Instead of compiling audio from Freesound, I went ahead and used an audio clip from Purple Planet, which has royalty free music available for free download and usage with the appropriate credit. The background music in this commercial is their “Piano Bar” composition, which was too perfect to pass up for this assignment. I would love to be able to make this kind of musical mix at some point, but for now I thought it would just be more productive to use the resources available to me. The composition was layered with the spoken piece in Audacity.

Heavy Fog

This audio narrative was inspired by an assignment that requested that you create a spooky dialogue with distortions and creative moves to make it sound scary.

As I was editing this together, I didn’t like the audio distortions very much for the story, so I layered together a thick ambiance instead of messing with the actual narration. I like how it turned out; I think it gets intense enough at the end to make up for the lack of audio distortions of the voice. I acquired all of my audio clips from Freesound and worked it together in Audacity.

This story actually has a peculiar story behind it that I think is worth sharing. I had written the script for this story before the big storm hit Fredericksburg. That night, after the storm passed and as I was walking back to my building, the air was just as thick and windy as this story’s night was supposed to be. I kept away from the streetlamps and walked a little faster than usual. Luckily, nothing of this nature happened, but it was surreal, experiencing something I had just written about only hours ago.

Creatin’ Daily: Week 7

This week’s Daily Create haul was a lot of fun, spanning from finding the time to making an audio journey to misquoting old cowgirls. Here they are:

Hope everyone has a great spring break!

Tumbling Along

This week so far has been full of planning and organizing on the part of my group. We started off by just getting together and trying to work out ideas in a Google Doc, with pages upon pages of ideas and jumbled up thoughts. Once our group was established, we agreed on meeting in the Doc on Tuesday night, since none of our schedules aligned well enough to have an in-person meeting.

The document was cleared out and set to be better organized for the sake of more easily discussing our ideas. Unfortunately, most of us could not make the meeting at the appropriate time, so those who were there came up with the plot of the murder mystery and left it for others to read and comment upon. Once everyone got their ideas out, we agreed on who would compile the audio recordings, how we would split up the narratives, and how we were going to write the story. I came upon the task of writing out a loose script around which our story will take place. The deadline for this story is Friday — enough time to ensure that everyone can mull over their ideas over break before we come back and record.

I don’t want to spoil too much, but so far the story of “Turning Tumbleweeds” is based around the murder of a saloon owner by the name of Johnny. The story will unfold in a series of interviews from those who knew the victim and saw him on the day of the murder, and the wives of the two co-sheriffs collect their narratives in order to find out what really happened. Hopefully all goes well!

In the meantime, all of us are working on radio bumpers and commercials for this week’s assignments in order to get a feel for our characters and voices before the big recording. Mine will come about tomorrow — all I have to do is record and compile the audio now.

Name that Tune

This assignment looked like a fun one to do, despite it only contributing a few stars. The prompt was that we whistle a tune without revealing what the tune is so others can guess! I admit, I’m a sucker for these kinds of prompts. I love referring to things and hoping others can catch on. I also love whistling, so this assignment really called to me.

I used a USB microphone to get decent quality in my whistling, since catching the tune without all the air takes a bit of effort. I’m happy with the result, short as it is. The assignment is true to its star rating, but no less fun for it!

Turning Tumbleweeds: Coming Soon

Promo Poster

Here is the promo poster I created for my group’s Western Murder Mystery, “Turning Tumbleweeds”.

A major part of the work that went into this poster was primarily finding a working title for the show itself. I had colored and edited the images and worked out the wording of everything else the day before my group had settled on a title for the show. Once the title was chosen, I had to rearrange the phrases and titles to make it look appealing at all angles. I put special focus into making sure there was enough balance in the color as well as the wording so that the important parts stuck out from a distance, but the whole poster was legible and easy to follow up close.

Personally I’m very excited for the prospect of making this radio show come to life, but we still have lots to work out. The title and poster is only the beginning!

Designing the Scene

This week was full of designs! In order to get started, I reflected on the Vignelli Canon of good design practices. I then used what I learned to interpret Western design and the making of today’s logos.

Once I finished reading and analyzing, I put it to the test through my own assignments. I created a Wanted poster of Jesse James for my chosen assignment. I then worked on my 10 star’s worth of assignments by making a trading card (4 1/2 stars), telling a movie through icons (3), and creating a minimalist poster (3 1/2), totaling this week’s star count at 11.

My Daily Creates can be found here. I got to caption an old painting, GIF an excited dog, and choose my preferred mode of transportation in the West.

This week finishes off the first half of the semester, before the midterm begins. Good luck to everyone!

Gunsmoke Visualized


This poster came out of an assignment that asked us to make a minimalist TV/Movie poster. Unsure of what to do, I decided to go with something I’ve been enjoying quite a bit lately: Gunsmoke, an old radio show which later got a TV series adaptation.

I made this poster to reflect the Old West idea from the show, the pale background and the gun in the center. I created the work in Paint.Net and found the gun icon on Noun Project. I didn’t pay for the icon, so the credit is listed in the bottom corner of the poster.

Out of the projects I’ve done this week, I think this one has to be my favorite. It turned out the most visually attractive and elegant despite its clear limitations.