MUS 510 / CSC 510

Digital Audio Projects

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A word regarding the four projects ....

You should approach the projects as you would a research paper.  When writing a paper you gather information from a variety of sources and shape that information into a new creation from your unique perspective.  Similarly, simply copying and pasting someone else's sound file "as is" and calling it your own would not be appropriate.  Think of acquired sound files as building blocks that may be used in the creation of your unique work.  These files will be modified in various ways to create an exclusive end result.  As applicable, you are simply quoting audio in your finished project.  Of course, you are certainly encouraged to create your own original sound files, too.  Please remember that you are responsible for adhering to applicable copyright laws and "fair use" guidelines.

Save all three projects to your Y: drive or to a CD.  When all projects are completed, you can burn them to a single CD to play for Class Presentations during the final class ... and to take home to amaze your family and friends.

For each project we'll want a pre-game narrative as to how you created the masterpiece.  How were the files acquired or created?  What sample rate(s) were used?  Special effects?  Problems encountered ... solutions found?


Project #1:  10- 15-Second Voice-Mail Message

You can have some major fun with this one, and 10-15 seconds is only a minimum length.  But who wants to listen to a long recorded message, eh?

Let your creativity shine.  Use sound effects, even barnyard animals if you'd like.  Heck, you could even take a famous speech and rearrange the words so the speaker is making a "personal" introduction just for you!  

To get your creation into voice-mail most easily, you can crank up your computer speakers and record by holding the telephone handset near the speakers.  ... Works well for low-quality telephone audio.

Class time allotted:  One class period (minus other items on the schedule)


Project #2:  Audio Clips for Web or PowerPoint Environments

If you are comfortable with PowerPoint and wish to actually incorporate your audio into a presentation, fine.  Ditto re web audio if you already have a web page.  If not, this project will simply consist of preparing and saving probably a number of relatively short sound clips for use in either of these environments.  

There is no audio file time limitation, although I doubt if any of us wants to sit through a rendering of a public domain symphony (hint hint).  You may simply create various sound clips and describe how they would be used in an imaginary web or presentation environment.

Class time allotted:  Two class periods (minus other items on the schedule)


Project #3:  60-Second, Multitrack, Broadcast-Quality Radio Commercial

Okay, YOU are the producer!  Decide what you are going to hawk.  Or, maybe you'd rather do a P.S.A. (you know, Public Service Announcement)?  You write the script.  You do the voice-over.  You create, or put together, the audio and special effects.  It's all YOU, baby!

This project can certainly be on the lighter side if you care to lean in the that direction.  Just make sure it sounds professional.  We should be able to air these puppies on NPR ... but don't count on it.  ;-)

Class time allotted:  Two class periods 


Project #4:  3- 5-Minute, Multitrack, Broadcast-Quality, Old-Time Radio Mystery Theatre Script, or similar project using a children's book, etc.

... Hope you get along well with others??  For this project you will need to team up with one or two other persons in the class.  Your mission is to come up with a three- to five-minute audio thriller.  Ideally, you will write your own script.  If you're not feeling terribly creative these days, you can no doubt find something on the web.  Or, simply produce a page or two from your favorite mystery novel, children's book, or any book that would lend itself well to sound effects.

You and your partners will be the voices.  You and your partners will come up with the sound effects.  "It was a dark and stormy night ...."  What sound effects come to mind?  You may even have to create some of your own.  Check out the links at the bottom of the MUS/CSC 510 page for ideas.

Class time allotted:  Three class periods 


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