The Sound and the Fury – Considering Audio Storytelling

Hello, everyone! Earlier this week, I looked at various resources related to audio storytelling; a page on Canvas detailing various software, such as Audacity and LAME, to help record and edit sound, as well as various sources to help find royalty-free sound effects to help enhance one’s audio story to make it more immersive; then, I looked at two videos by Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad, who describes the concept of creating a sense of empathy between the speaker and the listener with the aid of audio storytelling, and then the marriage of the ancient art of storytelling and modern technology, thanks to radio and podcasts.

Mr. Abumrad’s video about creating empathy and “co-imagining” in particular reminds me of a passage from a book I read last semester for a writing about writing class I took; the book was about writing (primarily writing fiction) by author Stephen King, and in this one passage, he described how the reader and the author can engage in a sort of telepathy through the author’s writing.Likewise, in the case of audio storytelling, the narrator and the listener share a sort of telepathic connection through the narrator’s words. This was a parallel that I never considered before, even though it’s actually quite obvious when you take a moment to think about it.

I also find that there’s truth in what Mr. Abumrad says regarding how there’s still something “old-fashioned,” for lack of a better term, and traditional about audio storytelling, even if the means of projecting said story (e.g. through radio or podcast) are very modern. When you think about it, storytelling itself hasn’t really changed all that much, over all these millennia; the biggest difference, I think, is that, instead of sharing stories with only a small group of people, they can be shared with thousands of people at a time, and they’re all free to listen whenever they want, at any pace they want thanks to technology like radios and computers.

Experiences with Audio

As for my personal experience recording and editing audio, I have done both on occasion, in the past–sometimes for various different classes, sometimes just for fun. My laptop computer comes with its own voice recording software that I’ve mostly just used, up to this point, so my knowledge of actually editing audio recordings is fairly limited, beyond simply trimming the lengths of recordings and adjusting audio levels in video editing software.

I have wanted to record my own voice for entertainment purposes (i.e. creating reviews on the internet using drawings of myself instead of my actual face) for quite some time, and I have my own external microphone for the purpose of recording audio, and as such, I plan on using that to record myself for the purpose of audio storytelling.

I did write and perform an audio poem for my poetry class, last semester, but it didn’t involve quite as much additional sound and editing as what we’re going to be doing this week. I look forward to learning about how to effectively add and edit sound to create a more immersive audio story.

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