TUTORIAL- Have a Phone Conversation With Yourself

This is the tutorial for the assignment I created called “Have a Phone Conversation With Yourself.” You can click on the link to view the assignment in the ds106 assignment bank.

1. Write a script. Get both sides of the conversation down on paper, separated by each “person” in the convo. Length is up to you. I tried to make about a minute worth of dialogue.

2. Record. Record each side of the conversation as two separate audio tracks in audacity. Be sure to leave pauses in between each line you say. That way, you can split the audio up nicely to fit both sides of the dialogue in and make it flow nicely.

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3. Format. Split the audio, move it around, do what you gotta do to line it up. When you’re done with this step, it should literally sound like you’re having a conversation with yourself.

4. Change your voice. I used the “Change Pitch” effect. It is easy to find in the “Effects” drop down menu at the top of the window. Use the “percent change” box to change the pitch- positive changes will make the pitch higher, while negative will make it lower. Try to stay in the -25 to 25 percent range in order to avoid distorting the audio beyond recognition.

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5. You’re done! Check out what my phone conversation sounds like. I changed the pitch of one side of my conversation to make it 10% higher, and the other, 10% lower. Here’s the final product.

Have a Phone Conversation with Yourself

This is the first assignment that I have created and added to the assignment bank. It is a three-star audio assignment that requires a fair amount of time and a decent aptitude with audio editing software. The assignment’s full description can be found here. I will be making a tutorial for this assignment that will be up shortly. Hope you guys enjoy this assignment!

Inflate your language

The last assignment I did this week was called “Inflate your language”. It was worth 2.5 stars. Here is the assignment page.

For this assignment, I used inflationary language to tell the story of how my character, Billy Steel, met his wife Jackie. Inflationary language is a style created by comedian Victor Borge in which you find numbers embedded within words, add one to those numbers, and then replace the new number within the word. For example “someone” becomes “sometwo”, and “before” becomes “befive”. As for the story, I decided to use the anecdote of Steel and his wife meeting because it is not such a dark tale. Most of the stories that we hear in noir are dark and ominous, as is my character, which is precisely why I told a lighter story to mix things up. Also, the inflationary language style was created as a comedic style, so it wouldn’t make much sense to tell a depressing tale using a comedic style. I hope you guys enjoy this!

Steel’s City – Original Poem

The second assignment I did this week was create and recite an original poem. This assignment was worth 3.5 stars. Here is the assignment page.

I wrote my poem about my character, Billy “Saw” Steel. More specifically, it is about Steel’s home city, Detroit, and the neighborhood in which he lives. This is the first time I tried to make a poem that doesn’t have any type of rhyme scheme. I am kind of worried that it came off more as just a story instead of a poem, but let me know what you guys think!

Soundboard Conversation

The first assignment I did this week was called “Soundboard Conversation”. It was worth 4 stars. Here is the assignment page.

For this assignment I had to create a conversation between myself and a movie/tv character using an online soundboard. I chose to have my conversation with Gus from my favorite tv show, Psych. I used a soundboard clip I found on In this clip, Gus is interrogating Shawn, the other main character in Psych, because he has been following him without his knowledge. I used the the audio editing software Audacity in order to silence the parts of the audio where Shawn was talking. Then, I recorded myself talking in the gaps that used to be filled with Shawn’s audio. Here is how our conversation turned out.

If you were wondering how the original conversation went with Shawn and Gus from the show, I included that as well.

911 FAKE Emergency

For my final assignment this week I created a fake 911 call. The reason? Netflix had run out of episodes of The Office! Take a listen.

Sound Effect Story

My sound effect story is about the character I created a couple of weeks ago: Billy “Saw” Steel. Check it out!

My short story begins with a young girl being tormented by a local gang. You hear the cruel gang members laughing at the pain they are putting her through, and then you hear the footsteps of Saw approaching. Saw opens fire with his shotgun and guns down two gang members over the course of the next 30 seconds. All the while the little girl, scared to death, is crying on the street.

Bumper Stars

Here is the radio bumper that I made for ds106 radio! For the background song I chose “Retrograde” by James Blake because it has kind of a haunting, eerie feel to it that I feel like fits well with noir. Then of course I have voice-over done by myself. Let me know what you guys think!

Audio Reflection

The first audio that I reflected on this week was the Touch of Evil opening shot. The restored version begins with theme music almost right off the bat, with a rhythmic drumming in the background. In the original shot, there is no extra audio at all in the beginning except for the street sounds. Then, a rhythmic drumming begins around 22 seconds in that speeds up as the scene goes on. In my opinion, I think the silence and simplicity of the original version creates more suspense at the beginning of the shot.

As the scene progresses, the restored version is paced with a bustling tune that really gives no indication about what is going to happen. On the other hand, the original version boasts a slower, more dramatic build up of low bass sounds with the drumming continuing in the background. The restored version has abandoned the drumming at this point. While the build up of the original version puts the listener on the edge of his seat more, the misleading audio of the restored version may create more of an element of surprise in the coming moments.

As the scene nears its climax, the jaunty tune of the restored version tapers off and is replaced by dialogue until the explosion. The music of the original version tapers off as well, although the drumming continues until the explosion. Overall, I prefer the audio of the original version because of the eerie build up. The restored version does surprise you a bit more but it makes the car bomb not mean as much to you because you were not worrying about it for the last few minutes.

The next thing I did was read “The Ambience of Film Noir- Soundscapes, Design and Mood”. This reading discussed audio in films noir, and used several examples to show how sound has shaped the style of film noir. I was very interested to learn about the so-called “soundscape”, and the different characteristics and uses of keynote sounds, signal sounds, and soundmarks. I was also amazed to hear about the extent of sound layering that happens in film noir, such as the fact that as many as 12 sounds can be played at once. There were some concepts that I didn’t fully understand, such as the “point of audition”. Overall, I was wholly convinced of the power of the “soundscape” to control the mood and style of films noir.

The final audio I will reflect on is ds106 radio. On Tuesday night I listened, and tweeted along to a broadcast of “The Maltese Falcon”. I was very impressed by how the audio drew me in and kept me 100 percent informed of the happenings of the story, which of course is immeasurably important in a radio broadcast where there is no visual. This particular audio created a sense of suspense, and shady-ness that is classic noir.


Let’s take a look at some of my tweets. I was a bit disoriented when I first tuned in!

And it turns out I wasn’t the only one off-put by the music.

Once we got into the meat of the story, I really started getting into it!

What you wouldn’t have guessed is that “The Maltese Falcon” is almost as quotable as “Mean Girls”.

I definitely enjoyed my peers’ sense of humor.

As we got to the climax of the story, I was on the edge of my seat.

And when it was all said and done, I was sad to sign off.