For my first project this week, I decided to take on the Emotions Through Sound assignment. It asks you to convey a specific emotion using only sounds, but you can use any kind of sound you want. This assignment seemed like a good jumping-off point for me because I’ve never done any kind of audio editing or projects outside of a cappella, and I have very limited experience even in that. I used sounds I found from BBC and ended up with this:

Behold!!! An auditory representation of anxiety!! Or… an auditory representation of my anxiety.

I chose the feeling of anxiety because I am all too familiar with it, and I thought that it would give me the freedom to find different types of sound that evoke an anxious feeling in me. I am an incredibly anxious person, and if anxiety is familiar to you too, you know that isn’t always a rational response to situations, or in this case, sounds. As I was meandering through the BBC sound effects, I tried to think of sounds specific to me that result in an anxious response. My first thought was “babies.” Y’all… I hate babies. I hate kids. I hate anything younger than me. I have this irrational reaction of fear, irritation, and anxiety to children that I think most people don’t experience. The sound of the upset baby was my first addition to the track. Then I thought about how hospitals and doctors make me uncomfortable and anxious, so I searched through the medical category. This led me to the German ambulance sirens, which are just unsettling because they evoke fear and awareness, and the sound of the dental drill. I hate the dentist!!! When I found that sound, I just knew I had to incorporate it because the dentist is so anxiety inducing for me. The last sound I chose to include was the sound of Big Ben ticking. When I start thinking about the passage of time, I get very very anxious. The Big Ben audio is especially daunting, but it’s subtle so I thought it would be a good, steady noise for the background of the track. Maybe none of these things provoke you to feel anxious or even consider anxiety, and that’s pretty cool! We all perceive sounds and emotions differently, so there are a lot of different ways this assignment can go, and I think that’s really neat. At least we’re all on the same page that I’m a nervous wreck at all times lol.

As far as my process goes, I spent some time looking through some sound effects from BBC and adding them to the mixer that is already on the website so I could get a feel for how everything would sound together. Then I downloaded each sound as an mp3 and imported them into Audacity. I have never used Audacity before so at first I was overwhelmed, but it’s actually way more user-friendly than it looks. I figured out how to cut the sounds and move them to sound the way I wanted to. After editing for a little while, I decided I had created a pretty good representation of my mental chaos, and I exported my project! I’ve uploaded to SoundCloud before so it was easy to upload my anxiety track in there and embed the finished product here!!!

And there ya have it folks, my first audio project! Yay! Let me know what emotion/feeling you guys get from my track, I’d love to know 🙂

be well !!!

— RM

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