I would do an intro for this entry, but I’m running short on time as is, so I’ll just tell you that this assignment also ballooned to three-and-a-half stars, compared to the plain three it had when I first selected it. Long story short, I have to, quote, “find a cool, easy-to-use digital tool online,” and “write up a brief tutorial on how to use it, and what it can be used for.” In other words, think ABC’s Shark Tank, if it were exclusively made for the people who brought you Napster and Facebook.
Today, I’m going to pitch Audacity to you. Now, Audacity is a downloadable audio editor that’s been available for public use since May 28, 2000. It’s main selling point has been two-fold: Not only can you record audio for editing from multiple sources – including directly, if your computer contains the right equipment – but it has also been used in the editing process of whole albums. That’s because of the available use of several editing techniques, such as the standard fade-outs and fade-ins, which are common with most recorded materials; trimming the audio, to cut out any noticeable mistakes; or simply normalizing the audio, entirely, to get rid of any background noises that might interfere with the recording during playback, which also makes Audacity perfect for potential podcast producers.
Once your computer is finished downloading both Audacity itself, and the LAME file needed to import MP3s onto it, from your designated “safe” sites, simply record whatever it is you wish to hear. Whether its from a separate source, or by pressing the “Record” button on Audacity, chances are, once its uploaded, you’ll be able to hear it once the playback begins.
From there, it’s off to the races you go, as every potential form of sound manipulation is now at your command. From testing the credibility of “backwards audio messaging” rumors with the Reverse feature, to creating your own singing lesson for the local choir with the Change Pitch option, anything goes!
For example, if you wanted to sound like you were visiting a cavern, select the audio in full – or parts of it, if you want to take it slow – by typing in the starting, and ending, times of the part you wish to edit on the Selection Start and End/Length bars, conveniently located near the bottom of the screen. Go up to Effect, and choose the “Echo” selection, before pressing the “Play” button on Audacity, to hear the end result for yourself. If you’re satisfied with what you hear, save it as an Audacity file – and, later, as its own MP3 – by going up to “File,” selecting “Save Project As,” and typing in the title of your choosing, before repeating the process once more, this time clicking on “Export Audio” to save your finished project as whatever form of audio you need, including WAV and MP3! If not, just press the “X” button at the top-left corner of the audio file to permanently delete it… unless you happened to save it as its own file before you clicked on that button, which means you can have even more fun with it tomorrow!
With that, I earn seven stars, when I only wanted six, for my Web Assignment efforts this week, as well as complete all of the necessary requirements on my checklist.
Another week is in the books, and another two challenges are completed, as this time, I had to do two Web Assignments worth no less than six stars. Naturally, I chose two three-star tasks to check off this part of my weekly list, but this one managed to have its score balloon to three-and-a-half stars by the time I managed to get everything in order.
To make an embarrassingly long story short, even if I am too late for that, the task I’m referring to is the “BuzzFeed Personality Quiz,” which I used to – albeit quickly, due to time constraints – construct a quiz modeled after a favorite anime series of mine.
Based on one of the earliest-known works of Detective Conan creator Gosho Aoyama, Magic Kaito 1412 may have only aired in Japan, starting around this time last year, but I openly enjoy it, even now, as it’s willing to take the tropes we normally associate with the mustache-twirling villains of old, and subverts them, for both dramatic and comedic effects, depending on the situation.
How else could you justify the fact than an aspiring stage illusionist decides to become a jewel thief to solve the mystery of his father’s (supposed) murder; his childhood friend uses a janitor’s mop as a weapon, whenever she gets angry; one of their classmates is a wicked, young witch whose only goal in life is to make every man in the world her slave – with the help of Lucifer as a spirit guide; and another one’s basically Sherlock Holmes, but without the drug addiction? This is what I was looking at with the task before me; it was a chance to see which high school archetype you are… if that school was in the “Land of the Rising Sun,” and your class clown doubled as the “Magician Under the Moonlight.”
The process began with the usual round of paperwork: Log on to BuzzFeed, preferably with my Google+ account; select “Make a Post,” “More” and “Quizzes,” in that order; and then, see what I could do with what the site could provide me. It was practically smooth sailing from that point onwards, as I gave four personality profiles when I was only asked for three, each one connected to one of the main characters in Magic Kaito – the titular phantom thief, Kaito Kuroba; the police inspector’s daughter, Aoko Nakamori; the scarlet temptress, Akako Koizumi; and the son of the superintendent general, Saguru Hakuba.
Admittedly, the toughest part was the construction of the questions, themselves. Again, tying everything I know about Magic Kaito into a personality test was going to be a close call, but I think I made everything work out for the best, right on down to the photo selection for each question, and possible outcome of the test.
The writing process took more time than I expected, but if it wasn’t for last-minute inspiration from the likes of Baggage and The Newlywed Game, as well as the idea to end everything on the biggest potential stealth pun of them all, I wouldn’t have gotten the necessary minimum of six questions needed for the test to be published. To be fair, starting the test off with a question about making the best possible entrance into a party didn’t hurt, either.
Overall, everything worked out for the best, and this first set of stars was well-earned. This is easily my favorite project of the week, and I am more than satisfied with the effort I put into it.
As for the final product, I recommend that you take the test for yourself, here.
Our mandatory challenge this week, worth four stars when the teacher told us it was worth five, involved manipulating the website of our choice to, more or less, fit our mood that day.
I started my assignment by taking Ms. Polack’s advice, and downloading the Mozilla X-Ray Goggles application onto my computer; to be more specific, I just bookmarked the actual program onto my Mozilla Firefox account. After that was done, I experimented with it just a bit, if only to see where everything fits; from there, it would all come down to finding the site I needed to remix.
I ultimately chose an article about a recent episode of NBC’s The Today Show, where Matt Lauer interviewed three cast members from the Back to the Future movies, in honor of the thirtieth anniversary of the original film’s theatrical release. For my remix, I kept the Lauer interview intact, but treated the events of the first film as if they actually happened, while hinting at the themes of the sequels.
Keeping that in mind, I decided to use two remixes for this project; the first one would give me a blueprint of the original site to work with, and the second one would be the one with my edited story. The end result was an abridgement of the events of the first film, without the less important, or more embarrassing additions, to the script; this includes the likes of Marty tricking Biff Tannen into driving his car into the back of a manure truck, or George telling Lorraine that she was his “density.”
When all is said and done, however, I think this was one of my better performances this semester, next to inventing a comedy-based Audio Assignment that’s all about the joys of mixing signals, while learning how Audacity works. I hope you enjoyed the first “Back to the Future Day” on October 21st, 2015, but like my article points out, the celebration’s not over yet.