Radio Show Progress – Week 2

This week marked the completion of our group’s radio show. I was in charge of primarily doing the final edit, so I will speak mostly on that. The script and dialogue choices were excellent from my team!

There were a good amount of changes from last week. Taking the feedback from Professor Bond and after some discussions, we realized that having a recording day and trying to record a podcast live would be a difficult task.
We decided on writing a script and recording our own pieces of dialogue instead. We compiled all of this as well as our commercials and bumpers in our discord group chat for easy file transfer.

The downside to this was that we were not on the same page with each and every dialogue piece. A lot of our recordings were not in response to others, and I since I was unfortunately busy throughout the week, I wasn’t able to add my own dialogue into the script. As a solution, I used my character almost like a glue piece. I tried to make responses to what the other members said, rather than stating my own opinions on our topics. I believe that this made our podcast more coherent and gave it a bit more “flow”.

Since I was in charge of making the final product and editing the clips together, I decided to sprinkle in some of my flair and directed the podcast towards more of a narrative, one that blended each of our initial ideas from our posts together, and add some of the sound effect design we heard during the radio week and listening to ds106 radio. Much of the audio and background tracks were already included by the group members’ commercial and bumper projects, but I had to make my own additions for the introduction and closing, as well as adding some sound effects.

This is what some of my workflow in audacity looked like. By the end of it all, there were so many different segments I had to keep track of.
Initially, I thought this would be just an easy mashup of all of the clips sent to me, but soon enough I was overwhelmed by the amount of clips I had to keep track of in both the audacity interface as well as on my computer files.
I had to make a separate checklist to see which ones I’ve used already, and make a sequence of files that I can follow while staying on script.

The biggest hurdle I faced while editing was adjusting the volume of different segments. The talking, AI voices, commercials, and bumpers were not the same volume. Each separate “block” of audio had to be set at a specific volume, either raising or lowering it. I decided to group most of the same type of file into one block. For example, all of my dialogue for Hwei was put together in a single block. Both Rikaro and Isaiah’s voices had similar volumes, so I was able to put those two together.

There were some pieces of audio that were either super quiet or super loud, so I had to make a separate block for these and adjust accordingly. This made the UI very congested, as I had to scroll up and down to match the audios to the correct timing. I ended up with almost 10 different blocks! If I didn’t implement the organization tactics, I would have been very confused. It’s the same as writing a bunch of “spaghetti code” in programming. A lot of jumbled up code, but it’s hard to work with and it ends up becoming a bunch of nonsense.

Another hurdle I had to overcome was my own OCD. I ended spending almost 7 straight hours on creating the final version of this edit, and much of the time was dedicated to trying to perfect the timings of transitions, and how some of the music purposefully bleeds into the transitions when we came back to the discussion portion of the podcast. For example, I made sure that the end of the bumper music would fade out at the optimal time while I blended in Isaiah’s voice back in to create a seamless transition effect.

The edit that I’m most proud of is Hwei’s last piece of dialogue, where my character starts to disagree heavily with the direction of the podcast and the group’s clashing ideals of AI. To add an aura of suspicion and uneasiness, I added a backtrack to the dialogue portion, which wouldn’t usually be done for a podcast, but I wanted to add a some element of a radio story theme to the final product, just like the stories we listened to during ds106 radio.

While trying to find a suitable audio clip on, I suddenly had the inspiration to add the soundtrack from one of my favorite games, Persona 4.

I played this game way back when I was a high schooler, but much of the Persona series music sticks with me to this day. I think this song fits perfectly with the vibe that I was trying to portray; a sense of mystery, uneasiness, and conflict.

To conclude this sequence, I added the phone hang up beep at the perfect part of the audio clip, where a few seconds has passed since Hwei stopped talking, but the audio clip continued to play. Just before the second sequence of the track went on, I abruptly ended it. I then purposely left a big gap between the end of the sequence and Isaiah continuing on with his show to make it clear that Isaiah was taken aback, and was thinking about how to proceed afterwards.

If I could have coordinated with my group AFTER having this idea, I would’ve had Isaiah and Rikaro react to my aggressive monologue, but I think it’s almost poetic that Isaiah brushed it off. Business as usual for the man with the agenda, as if nothing happened. Isaiah then announces that the next guest will be from Aggressive Technologies, completely disrespecting what Hwei said in the previous segment. I think this last portion of the show captured the storytelling aspect of our show, and I’m really proud of the editing and narrative direction I took.

Looking back, I definitely did not have to obsess over every millisecond of detail, but I actually had so much fun trying to create my own masterpiece! Definitely all part of the learning process.

This is what my final Audacity file looked like zoomed out. While this doesn’t look like that much, it felt like a TON during the process. There were small intricate timings in between each of those boxes of audio, and I learned to not take the small details lightly. Again, I am very proud of our work on this project, and I’m looking forward to seeing what others in the class think, as well as some of my close friends that I might send this project to!


2 responses to “Radio Show Progress – Week 2”

  1. I like the way you showed your work here, and appreciate the complexity of the editing. You have gained some insight into the level of creativity you can get with audio editing.

    1. Thank you! Glad you found some of my thought processes interesting.

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