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Homework 2&3 — Sound Walk Design

Listen to the adventure audio of Annie the ant
The route that Annie the ant walked
Collaborator: Venessa Chesnet & Rebecca Zhou

Materials: Zoom Recorder, Adobe Audacity, Shotgun Mic

Time: Sept 4, 2019 - Sept 18, 2019

For the last two weeks, Venessa and I made incredible process in audio design and making. We built a fictional audio story happening in 370 Jay Street, which told a vivid journey that happened when Annie the ant explored outside of ITP.

1. Brainstorming

At the beginning of our first brainstorming, I thought about telling a different ITP story from a different angle, like imaging the living creatures inside ITP. And Venessa wanted to tell a cartoon story. Bing! We combined our ideas together, deciding to create a audio sound walk for virtual character like ant.

We planned a detailed story arc for the small ant living inside ITP, with rising, climax and falling.

We also planned the sounds that need to be collected. Since it was a cartoon genre without the support of real-life scene, we’d like to exaggerate some of the sounds to create a vivid visual effect. Moreover, we should record the sound from the perspective of ant, not human. So some of the sounds had to be created / substituted, like the footsteps of the ant.

2. Implimentation

Recording

Most of the sounds were recorded using Zoom and shotgun mic, some were from the internet, but some of them were created by everyday object. For example,

  • Whoosh: flapped around a thin stick in order to recreate the sound of a gust of wind
  • Wind: mimic by Venessa
  • Bones breaking: snapped bell peppers in half to emulate the sound of the characters leg-breaking
  • Flapping ant/bird wings: waved around a pair of leather gloves
  • Footsteps of ant: tapped desk by stirrers (although it was hard to notice in the audio).

Editing

We changed the tone and adjusted pitches to shape unique characters’ voices. We also added some pieces of background music to heighten the atmosphere of different stages.

3. Reflection

Above all, it was a great pleasure to work with Venessa!
It was the first piece of audio creation in my life, and I am really excited about it! I would regard it as a complete yet not-the-best-creative work since it still lacked enough original thoughts here. It can be a more attracting script! I am confident that we can do better next time.

References

For background music:

For sound effect:

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