Composing Digital Media Reflection


My experience as a composing digital media student and advice to future students.



Has anyone had their .wav or .mp3 files open in Audacity totally garbled? Like alien-speak? Does anyone know how to fix this?

Ripping my hair out,


Make your voice sound like a newscaster!

Hello friends! I hope you are all having fun or reading a good book this temperate Friday evening. I am working from my bed with a bellyache. That gobblerito from Mad Mex was kinda worth it though.

This audacity trick may be more helpful for those of us working on an audio project more related to a recovery story or the past. You can feign your own historical news broadcasts by making a few simple adjustments to your voice recording.

I read and recorded a paragraph from a CNN news article about Toronto’s crack-smoking Mayor Rob Ford to try out this effect. The dude is crazy!

1) Okay so first you want to record your audio in audacity. At the top toolbar on audacity, click “Effect” and then select “Equalization

2) A window for the Equalization controls will pop up. Set your top slider to 30 dB.


3) Go back to “Effects” and select “Low Pass Filter” (you’ll need to scroll in the Effects menu to find it. It is toward the bottom)

4) In the Low Pass Filter effects window, set the Rolloff to 12 dB and Cuttoff Frequency to 2000. You may want to play with the Cuttoff frequency a bit to find the sweet spot. Everyone’s  voice is different. I think mine is naturally a bit lower and 2000 worked well for me. To me, this effect makes the recording sound like a news broadcast being heard through an old t.v. I’m sure if I recorded in a more “new-anchory” voice, it would sound even better.


There you have it! Fake your own vintage news broadcasts in a snap!

Happy weekend. Happy homeworking?


‘Who Am I?’ An unanswered question, but intriguing listen

Whoops, posted to my individual blog instead of the class blog? Here it goes:

My notes from this radio show are scribbled on post-its and a bit messy. I feel that may be reflected in this blog post.

So many different stories were jam packed into 56 minutes of Radiolab’s “Who Am I?” episode. As a listener, I appreciated the inclusion of many different elements and takes on the overarching question. My attention was kept as the segment shifted between different stories and narrators.

The segment began with Stephen Johnson describing an experiencing he had while his brain was monitored in a laboratory. As a listener, I was brought into that experience with him through hearing hospital monitor beeps, and an eerie, ambient noise layer with Johnson’s speaking. Following that, I experienced the sound of neuron’s firing, and it was discussed that mental life is what makes you, YOU. So essentially, the firing of neuron’s “little specs of gel” are responsible for this.

The “self-effect” (seeing oneself morphed with another object) was explained through morphing a photograph of Bill Clinton with speaker Julian Keenan. Julian would see himself in the photograph, whereas anyone else would see Bill Clinton. This point was aurally demonstrated by morphing Radiolab co-host Robert’s voice with Bill Clinton’s famous “I did NOT have sexual relations with that woman” quote. I felt this technique was both effective and humorous.

The segment shifted into a piece by Hannah Palin called “The Day my Mother’s Head Exploded” which as an intriguing story about a woman who suffered a brain aneurism and had a total personality shift as a result. The story is told by both Hannah Palin (daughter) and Nicki Plain (mother). Nicki begins by saying that she woke up one day with a horrible headache. She did what she would normally do and went to an aerobics class (fun, cheesy 80s workout music plays in background). The story goes on…her headache worsens…someone calls 911 in Nicki’s aerobics class. This is the last thing Nicki remembers for 4 months. Transition to Hannah’s voice talking about visiting her mother in the hospital (accompanied by hospital beeps). Hannah says that was the day that her mom died and a new mom replaced her. When Nicki is finally out of a coma, her personality has completely shifted. She is aware of past lives, talking about how she is/was a little man in Vietnam who grew vegetables (twangy, somewhat blusey guitar accompanies more reflective moments such as this). More is described about Nicki’s new personality, like that fact that she loves to sing, but hadn’t before the aneurism. Fun clips of Nicki singing about loving Wendy’s fast food and other clips of Nicki and Hannah signing together were added throughout.

Skipping ahead to a later, prominent part of the segment (for me as a listener), is the story about Robert Louis Stevenson. Stevenson fully believed that little people visited him in his dreams and told him amazing stories that would become his stories. From this, the question of authorship arises. Are these little people part of Stevenson, or are they separate?  One of the stories which was told to Stevenson by the little people is acted out. This was so different from anything else in the segment and really stood out (as well as entertained me) as a listener. Dramatic voices tell the tale of a son who kills his father and ends up living with his father’s widow. Birds singing, clanging, freaky piano, chaotic fiddle all contribute to the dramatic effect of the story.

General observations…Both Jad and Robert introduce and reintroduce themselves several times throughout the segment, especially when coming back from a break. They also introduce new speakers as they appear and typically repeat the speaker’s name when their part of the segment is done, effectively “signing them off.”

The music used was all instrumental. I noticed ambient sounding music, twangy guitar, bluesy guitar, manic fiddle, slow piano, old timey music etc, etc. All of the music made sense for the audio they were accompanying and enhanced rather than distracted from the story being told.

Overall, I was very entertained by this piece.

For my own work:

I definitely take note of the instrumental music, and realize that it can significantly alter the tone of the piece.

It is okay to mix my own voice in with the person I am interviewing, add my own opinions, anecdotes that relate, pose questions.

Adding many different perspectives and elements makes for a very interesting listen.



Embedding Videos to your site

This is a fairly simple yet crucial skill considering that we all will have to upload our projects from this course to our personal websites. Dreamweaver presents an easy way of adding video to your site by local source (meaning, you have the original video on your computer, you don’t have to embed it via a link to vimeo). I apologize for the ugliness of the site in my example photos. I created the code/site for the purpose of this blog post. I will continue refining the page on my actual website.

Below is the code I typed. Note that I set the size dimensions I added for the video so that it wasn’t taking up the whole page. You can alter these dimension according to your personal preference.


This code produces the following site:


So the video is there, but where are the controls?! How do I watch it? Don’t worry, Dreamweaver has a simple solution:


Next to the size dimensions you have typed, add: controls”controls”> Dreamweaver will automatically apply the control bar to the bottom of your video, complete with play, pause, replay, volume control, and full screen option:


See? Super easy.

The video I added is in mp4 format. Some browsers (such as firefox) do not recognize mp4 video content. In this case, you will need to use a file converter to convert your mp4 video to and ogv (an Ogg file) and include both in the code. It’s a little different.

I’ve been enjoying reading all of the awesome Dreamweaver posts from this blog so far. I’ll definitely be consulting them in the future! Thanks everyone.

Happy Mischief Night o_O


Crossing Your Photo with another Image’s Color Scheme (amazing help from BuzzFeed!)

Hi class, I very new to the Photoshop software so I resorted to Google to find some fun tricks to share with all of you. I found a list of 21 fairly simple Photoshop ‘hacks’ on Buzzfeed (always fun)! The article describes the tips mentioned as easy enough for anyone with a “rudimentary” understanding of Photoshop. Many of us seem to be at this rudimentary level right now. I know we’ll all have a better handle on the software in due time! Here is a link to the very helpful article:

Some of these tips are for very closeup, glamorous photos (think cosmetic ad)  that I’m not sure any of us will be working with something like that for our recovery projects.

One of the easiest yet coolest tips (in my opinion), was #5. This tip teaches Photoshop users how to cross one image with another image’s color palate. The examples they give cross photographs with famous works of art with particularly beautiful or interesting color schemes.


The process of achieving this is a follows:

1) Open the image that you wish to extract the color scheme from (aka. artwork or another photo with great color)

2) Open the photo you wish to apply the color scheme to (likely an image from your recovery story portfolio)

3) Select Image>>Adjustments>>Match Color (and then select the photo you want to copy the color from)

4) OPTIONAL: Alter Luminance and Color Intensity if so desired

5) Click the OK button when you are happy with the color!

I think this tip can be helpful for not only apply color from works of art to our images. But say you work really had to manually perfect the color in one of your images, and want that color applied to other images without going through the painstaking alteration process again.,,I think this could be just the quick fix you need!

Hope this helps! I look forward to learning from all of you!