For my final assignment this week, I worked on the Sound Effects Story assignment. This assignment asked us to tell a less than 90 second story using only sounds. I had a lot of fun making this audio and figuring out how to evoke fear through sound. Here is my creepy sound effects story!

It’s a warm summer night and you decide to go for a walk and listen to the cicadas. As you’re walking, you trip over your own feet (what a klutz) and fall on the ground. You let out a sigh as you prepare to get back up, but then you hear some strange laughter. Your heart beat starts pulsing in your ears as the laughter continues and you quickly get up to start running away. You run for a few seconds before you stop, breathing heavily and still hearing your heart thumping in your ears. As you’re standing there, you hear a woman scream. You’re paralyzed with fear, listening to the sound of your breathing and your heartbeat slip away. Only the cicadas are left to know what really happened.

Before I started to look for sound effects, I sat down and wrote a rough outline of what I wanted my story to be. Then I used sounds from the BBC website to create this track. I ended up using 10 sounds, including cicadas, 2 different walking on gravel tracks, running on gravel, a bike falling on gravel, a woman sighing, a woman laughing, a heartbeat, a woman heavily breathing, and a woman screaming. I downloaded all of the sounds as mp3s and put them into Audacity. I spent a lot of time staggering the audios and moving them around to portray the timeline I had written. After I got the audios in the right places, I played around with their volumes, fading, and durations. After doing all that editing for a while, I decided it was pretty close to what I had been envisioning in my head. I exported it as an mp3 and uploaded it to Soundcloud. For some reason, it wasn’t letting me upload my picture with the audio track, so I’ll have to go back and try that again.

Obviously this is supposed to be a creepy story that ignites some fear in the listener. The sound of the cicadas inspired the whole story. I live in the woods and they can be kinda spooky at night, especially in the summer when the bugs drown out a lot of other sounds. I myself do not enjoy watching/listening to/experiencing scary storylines because I have enough anxiety on my own, but I do think it’s really fun and actually interesting to create those kinds of narratives.

When I was little, I used to complain to my parents that I could hear someone walking on gravel outside my room at night. They always assured me that that was impossible (there’s no gravel next to my room, just grass) but I was never convinced. Now I just think it was ghosts, but that sound of gravel is where I drew my other inspiration to create this story. I don’t think it turned out perfectly, but I think it conveys a spooky atmosphere and transports the listener to a very specific kind of place. I hope you guys liked my story!!

Have a wonderful Thursday 🙂

— RM

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