For my second audio assignment I chose to really push myself. Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I have loved Edgar Allen Poe fr as long as i have known his work, so picking assignment 1418 was a no brainer. I visited multiple tutorial sites, and made full use of the tutorials past students had posted for Audible, and by the end of the assignment I was feeling comfortable enough with the software to play around with it a little bit and even look forward to future audio work that we’ll have to do for this class.
To get started, I brainstormed all the elements that make a scary story scary, and then tried to find a way to reproduce those effects only using sound. The first thing I used was a creepy ambient noise, which I slowed down to make last more than a minute (like the assignment requires). This gave an atmosphere to the rest of the piece, and set the stage for the action. Secondly, I looked up door slamming sounds, but I couldn’t find any that were quite what I was looking for. However, when I switched the search parameters to just “slamming” I found a great clip of a book slamming shut, which gave me the inspiration to flesh out the character who was to be at the center of my tale.
The protagonist (and victim) of this clip lets out a big sigh, slams his book, and scrapes his chair back. He’s clearly exasperated about something, but whatever that is, no one will ever know. He makes slow and weary steps up to the second floor of his home, pausing several times out of exhaustion or depression, perhaps both. I intentionally cut out some of the dead space, and repeated the footsteps clip to let the steps carry on for a little while longer than was naturally comfortable in an effort to build some suspense, so when he finally reached the top of the stairs, the listener would be waiting for, but surprised by the long growl that comes out of the dark, quickly followed by a scream.
Originally, I intended to leave the story ending with the scream, but them I saw my dog eating dinner and was inspired. I hopped back on freesound.org and looked for noises of cats eating and found the perfect clip! One of the things that is so fascinating about Poe’s work, is that he doesn’t shy away from the gratuitous. I took a page out of his book and finished off my audio story with a little bone crunching (or cat snacking, if you want to be technical about it).