Spooksy returns from the toilet to find his child has escaped the rotisserie, and he calls 911 for help. I liked the idea of spooky being more than just a guy, I wanted a super natural element, and in playing around with Audacity I found an effect that reversed voices, so I implemented that to give the impression Spooksy’s got a little bit more to him than what people have seen so far. I wanted Spooksy to have a child like understanding of the world, so he had to be ignorant of the norms and rules of society. The calling 91 assignment really helped me to present this. I wanted Spooksy’s voice to be more distorted and distant so it would sound like it was coming through the phone, but I couldn’t find an effect in Audacity that let me do that, unfortunately. I considered exporting the audio to my other computer, calling myself from my girlfriend’s phone, and then re-recording it through the phone, but just typing that makes me tired, let alone actually doing it. I hope Spooksy blocked his number so the police can’t find him… For the police’s sake…
Man um… I don’t know where to start. I tried to do this assignments, but when I told Spooksy he was going to read song lyrics over another song he got all angry and said he’d just record a whole song himself with his own words. He locked himself in my office for a few hours, and I heard all sorts of weird things. It sounded like he was using a power drill at one point? I heard sounds that just shouldn’t exist in there… I didn’t bother him… When he came out, he was holding an mp3 of this song. I mean, he was actually holding an mp3, I was so scared/amazed I just uploaded it. I mean, he basically re-made an entire song, just about himself. I guess I should be impressed… I have so many questions, I just… I’m scared to ask him.
So this week the audio assignments are supposed to be about our host, and I chose 2 really good ones, but I still needed 1 1/2 more starts, so I decided to let my host read a poem, and make it the all spooksy audio week. I couldn’t find a poem I really liked for spooksy, so I just wrote one really quickly that I thought sounded like something spooksy would write. I want to set up my characters mansion a bit more, so I went into detail about the basement, rooms, and other mansion guests. I also think this did a great job making spooksy a bit scarier, as most of the other stuff with him so far has been sort of comical.
This combines a lot of things that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE! I’m a huge fan of Audio and horror, so I’m going big this week with the 4 star assignment. I want to use this track for my character Spooksy that I made as my host. Going in, I wanted an ambient track of the sounds of his haunted mansion. It was important to me that it be authentic, and not cheesy. Everything you hear is not meant to be used for horror, and is ambient sound produced by real people/nature. That being said, I did still want it to feel like old school horror. It’s a dark stormy night in an old creaky house, with the bellows of ghostly children, and voices and spirits speaking and roaming freely through the halls. The first thing I wanted was echoey halls, so I used a track from a fairy in Maine that was just a few minutes of hallway noise. I added a creaky tree house that was being blown about under heavy winds, then I recorded it over itself to produce a light natural reverb type effect. I found some children laughing, and muted them down a bit to sound far off and ghostly. Finally, we needed the storm. A REAL storm, very intense, and recorded outside. This to me is the main track, so it’s the loudest. Did you hear the monster growling in the background? You weren’t supposed to, you hopefully felt it though. I laid it very lightly over the other tracks starting around the 30 second mark, hopefully to trigger your subconscious fear. In reality, it’s just me using vocal fry to growl my vowels, listen to it again “A, E, I, O, U.”
For this I went to the website with the free samples, and the first sample I clicked on was the ambient background with birds and traffic. I started to think of what I could do with this, and decided that the cars you can hear faintly in the background would have an accident. I also considered a frustrated guy in traffic, or children playing a game, but the traffic accident seemed like the most pointed. As we talked about last week, if it isn’t the most exciting part, then why aren’t we experiencing that instead? I added in some rain to make the road conditions perilous, then I found a good real crash between a train and a bus. I chose not to add the train in, because I didn’t want the piece to creep too far from the initial concept. Throw in a little car horn, and you’ve got yourself a scene. I added a man screaming, but I couldn’t get his scream to fit into the mix in a natural and consistent way, so I mixed it as such that his scream is part of the crash. Unless you know what you’re listening for, it just sounds like another thing breaking. I like that, I think that adds a lot of texture.
This seemed a bit easy, so I wrote a whole parody for the first verse of smells like Teen Spirit. I called the song “Welcome to Wades”, it’s from the point of view of the manager of Wade’s burgers on opening day. I basically sing goofy things over the regular words to most songs, so this was a pretty quick and easy one. I tried to think of a song that would be easily recognizable that I knew how to play, and what’s more recognizable than Nirvana? I thought of the first line of the song “load up on guns,” and immediately changed the last word to buns, from there I started to look at what I could do with that, and instead of hoarding buns, I thought maybe we could be loading them into a toaster, and immediately burger place came to mind. I used to work at a burger king, so I remember loading buns into a toaster. Everything else just kind of fell into place after that. I recorded the song on one track, in four takes. The first one was pretty decent, but my voice was a bit pitchy, as I’m not warmed up. I think my voice is still a bit pitchy in the last one, but taking half an hour to warm up defeats the point of a quick 20 minute assignment. I hope the comedy makes up for the rough and tumble recording. I have a home studio with an expensive Mic, and you’ll definitely hear that at some point, but for this I did it in my living room on my tablet’s Mic, and it sounds pretty decent, I must say.
I listened to DS106 radio for a bit, and heard some of the intros on there, and most seemed to have just regular songs playing in the background. I thought that worked, but I would rather play the song myself, so that it didn’t have words (I know you can get masters, separated by tracks, but that’s a lot of trouble to go through). I chose Jewel’s “You Were Meant for Me,” because I envisioned the promo as an NPR opener, with some rustic guitar in the background, and I thought that riff fit the bill nicely. I wanted to go full NPR, so I talked low, quiet, and right into the Mic.