When we decided on a topic for our class-wide “News Cast”, I wasn’t too thrilled but nonetheless I came up with what I thought was a good idea. My initial thought was to create an audio piece about my two roommates and their “Long Distance Relationships“. As I explain in my blog post about my idea, as well as in the audio piece itself, I have lived with these two guys for the last three years and have watched the ins and outs of their relationships. I felt that since I lived with them, I had experienced enough to be able to convey their relationships through my eyes.
I knew I wanted to do an audio essay, with me simply talking. There would be a good opportunity to interview them about the subjects, but I wanted this to be more from my perspective than from theirs. I was also worried about length and making it too long. To begin formulating what I was going to talk about, I sat down and brainstormed about all of the good, bad, and ugly that I had seen. As I got some ideas, I began to write my script, tying together all of the elements of their relationships I could think of. I also chose to incorporate a brief tangent about my own relationship because of the polar opposite nature. You can listen to what I mean by that when I talk about it in the pieces, but lets just say my girlfriend and I live pretty close to one another.
I think one of the most difficult things I came across was how to end the piece. I really wasn’t sure what to say or how to wrap it up. It took a few attempts to write and record something that just sounded right. Eventually I realized that as a senior I will be heading somewhere different for the rest of my life, and at the moment it could really be anywhere. The uncertainty of my future made me realize that a long distance relationship could be a possibility between my girlfriend and myself.
Continuing on about the difficulty of the ending, I knew I wanted to incorporate lyrics from Vanessa Carlton’s song A Thousand Miles. There are lyrics that say “‘Cause you know I’d walk a thousand miles, if I could just see you tonight” which I thought played perfectly into the theme of the audio piece. There is also a very catchy and recognizable piano melody to begin the song. I wanted to tie both those together to fade out the piece but playing around with the two clips plus my own voice clip became very very difficult. I couldn’t manage to find the perfect balance and transitions. The peer workshop helped me solve this issue. One of my classmates recommended I play the song’s instrumental throughout the piece as a way to tie it into the ending, and I think it works much better than what it was previously like.
In regards to the other sound effects I had, I really liked the idea of using background sounds to elevate the audio piece. After listening to just the recording of my voice, I knew it needed some more punch. I thought the airplane noise to enhance the idea of long distance was clever. I used a phone call snippet from Drake’s song Marvin’s Room while I talked about how the couples communicate. I couldn’t for the life of me find a recording of a female voice answering a phone anywhere on the internet!
I recorded the entire piece on my computer. I sat in front of my computer with my script and recorded my speech in Audacity. I then used the program to edit my speaking voice recording to my liking. I produced the piece further in Audacity, adding in the other sound effects and paying with sound levels and other elements to fine tune the recording. I used the time shift tool a lot to move around all of the background noises and music. It was pretty difficult to use Audacity at first. I had only used it a handful of times previously to do simple stuff like make ringtones and convert audio clips into mp3’s. This was a whole new level and, even though frustrating at times, I really enjoyed learning some of the ins and outs of the program.
So, here is my finalized audio piece, a view of my roommates’ long distance relationships through my eyes.