This week has been an audio based week, where we had to solve an audio problem. We looked at off screen sound. We recapped  on the different polar patterns, looking at the importance of some of the them. We then did a tiny project based on a kid’s Story called The 3 Billy Goats Gruff, using sound effects, without any visuals.

We firstly looked at the different problems within recording things. The most common one is background noise or ‘Ambient Sound’. Whenever we record something, there could be a risk that background noise is being picked up when you don’t really want it. So to not have this problem, you would need to record it elsewhere, or to choose a microphone with a different polar pattern. The other problems when you record are choosing the wrong levels. If too high, it could become distorted, if too, you would not here a thing. The 2nd most important, linked to background noises. You have to choose the right microphone for what you specifically want to record. If its background noises, then one with an omnidirectional polar pattern will definitely work. If you want to record just one thing, then a microphone with a shotgun polar pattern will be very efficient.

We then talked about Off Screen Sound, which is the noise that you can hear but not visually see. So we looked at an example, where Neil, who is the teenage in that video through the whole time, goes through changes of emotions at each ‘swoosh’ sounds. After each of these sounds, you can hear the ambient sound of people talking, his parents arguing, and other things. There was the use of Foley sound when Neil was typing, and when he closed his computer at the end. This example was showing us the that off screen sounds are used for a purpose. In this particular video, the purpose of the off screen sounds is to tell the audience how he feels. I thought this was a really good video to show how off screen sound is being used.

Our practical this week was to do re-create a small part of a kid’s story of ‘The 3 Little Goat’s Gruff’. We had record the narrations, dialogues, as well as the sound effects, so that when people listen to it, they can picture it in their heads, scene by scene, what is happening. We firstly had to make sure the levels were correct, that we use the right microphone with the correct polar pattern to pick up little ambient sound, and most importantly as well, that we choose the correct location which is silent. At first, it was really hard to choose who would do the characters, as none of the people in my group had the best acting voice. But the end, Kai did the narration and the troll’s dialogue. Kyle did the goat. Sara was the doing the goat’s voice. We were able to get sound effects linked to the actions that were happening in the part of the story. When it came to the editing, although I was struggling at the beginning, I was then able to place each audio track which were needed for the audio project in the right place. I wanted to add music to make the story a bit more dramatic. Although, I had some problems with adjusting the volume, in particular, when the narrator speaks at the beginning and at the end.

I was quite pleased with the end results, even though the volume of the narrator was not as loud as it should have been. The other problem which I then thought there was, was the voices. The voices were not as good as it should have been. People who would listen to this would not think of the Troll as someone scary. So I think the next time we do an audio recording. Those who are acting, should talk in the voice that represent that character so that it makes more sense.

Overall, I think it was a very interesting week. There are always new things which I learn every week. In  this week, I have learnt about Off Screen Sound. Using Off Screen sound can make people create an image of what could be happening, or where it is. For the practical, I was able to re-create this story, but there are improvements which I could make for my future projects.

Peer Feedback

I found it useful that you explained what you were doing in class as it is really reflected on in your work. I found the titling you done useful for knowing what I was reading at the time as I sometimes got a little lost while reading but was quickly able to scroll up and see the obvious title above. You went really in depth when explaining the possible problems and the types of problems that can occur when recording sound. I like the way you reflected what you had learnt on what you had achieved. You pointed out where you went wrong and how they could be corrected. Explaining each sound that you used made the production more understandable as I know what you were trying to produce, I reflected back to them when watching your production. Overall I think it was a good read and you were very informative. The thing you could correct on would be grammar as it is correct in a few places like at the beginning.

(Kyle James Alford – 23/01/2017)