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Sharing Skills, Setting Goals (audio edition)

Texts to have read:

Work to have done:

  • Record at least one spoken track to begin working with, knowing you can revise, retake, dub in, change your mind, etc.
  • Take notes about what kinds of other sounds you might want to add
  • at least one new git commit per working session, with a meaningful commit message

Group skills sharing (20 min)

This weekend, I'd asked you to be ready to share one thing you'd figured out for your sound project: how to do something in Audacity, most likely, or maybe how to find just the right sound using advanced search.

Since we ran out the clock for our grouptime last class, I want to start here.

Please get in your groups and show each other what you've figured out. (Or, of course, ask questions. Maybe someone else in your group has the answer!)

Remember, every time you get in groups, to figure out who's the timekeeper; who's the historian, taking lead on taking notes; and who's the diplomat, making sure participation is balanced. (Hint: Usually, the first person to ask who wants which role is the diplomat.) Timekeepers, let's aim to move forward at 11:20 to save time for criteria-building.

  • EXT: Further Group brainstorming
    • If you finish early, use the remaining time to think big picture with your groupmates. What text might you want to re-cast as audio? What kinds of sounds or music might you layer in, for what kind of tone?
    • Take turns, and use active listening – that is, say back the heart of what you hear, with a ...? at the end – to open a space for your partners to clarify and expand.
    • It may be useful to use the terms from Writer/Designer: who is your audience? what's the context? do you have any additional purpose for your piece, apart from the general one in the prompt? what authorial ethos do you want to project? what does that suggest you use as a target genre?

Quick review of the unit project assignment (3-5 min)

You already have my super-classy soundwritten assignment prompt (text version here), but let's review the essentials:

  • The goal is to produce a multilayered audio recording that re-mediates something you've previously written as a linguistic text.
  • Related genres include podcasts, radio documentaries, poetry or fiction readings, and sound collage.
  • The first draft is due in two days (Th 10/5), when we'll have workshop. The final draft is due two weeks from today (Th 10/17).
  • The content is up to you, but may begin with an essay from a former class or a piece of creative writing or journalism you've written.
  • Parachute prompts: If you can't think of anything of your own to use, even after brainstorming with me, try one of these options. But please run it by me first, as some of these options are significantly different from the default project above.
    • Record your own version of one of Aesop's fables, which are in the public domain
    • Remix some archival materials of other people speaking, as per Erin Anderson, if you have can demonstrate permission to do so
    • Compose a new essay in the style of This I Believe

Building criteria (40 min total)

We'll start in groups here, then discuss as a full class.

Group brainstorm (10 min)

To bring all our notes together while allowing for real-time collaboration, use this google doc.

Given the goals of the assignment and what you've been able to figure out so far about your particular project goals, how will we know if you've succeeded? What constitutes a minimum set of criteria for this assignment?

Beyond that minimum, what would be some good goals to strive for, even if not everyone should expect to achieve them?

Take 10 minutes in groups to make some lists. What, if anything, carries over from the visual unit? What skills are newly important for working with audio? What goals do we want set?

If you're at a loss, think about our readings: how should we incorporate sound design, and how will we know if it's working? What should a reflection include? Or, as I did last time, might I suggest turning to some of the terms in W/D?

Let's talk! (30 min)

Quickly read through the other groups' notes, and as you see overlap, propose an official version for our list of shared criteria.

We'll refine as a group, and repeat.

This process could probably take as much time as we can give it, but let's stop with 5 minutes left in class to make sure there's time for announcements. We'll be able to revise these after testing them out in workshop on Thursday.

Before we end for the day

  • Can I get 3-4 volunteers for workshop on Thursday?
  • If you haven't yet, can you please quickly add me as a collaborator on your repository?

For Next Time

  • Inputs
    • Find and watch any tutorials you need to begin getting a handle on Audacity
    • Review the criteria we developed today, and be ready to propose amendments as needed
  • Outputs
    • If you're being workshopped, come ready to project your project files on the big screen.
    • Everyone, Save and commit to git as you go, with meaningful commit messages saying what you've accomplished in that editing session
    • Push to GitHub at least once, so I know you're working
    • Include at least one mp3 of the current state of the project, so I can easily preview the current state of the project
    • Include your *.aup project file and *.au subdirectory, so I can try to clone and open, and so that you have a matched backup. If you're using git-lfs, it's easy.
    • If you couldn't get git-lfs working, use Box to share your large files (.aup, .au). But please still do use github to keep track of your progress. You can even add a link to your Box folder as a .txt file in your git repository!