In this past year, I have started listening to podcasts all the time and I absolutely love them. I listen to a variety of types but two that come to mind for the use of audio is NPR’s How I Built This and Cults These both are very different but both know the importance of audio and sounds. To start with NPR’s How I Built This, it is about entrepreneurs stories of how their hard work and journey to get their companies to where they are today. It is an interview set up but the host will ask the interviewee a question and as they are describing a story and it is building up to success or loss there will be music in the back that is subtle and not diegetic to their origin but meant for the listener. This music gives us emotion tied to what is being told. During the part where they start to talk about how their business or company or product was starting to sell and take off the music becomes positive and powerful which as a listener shows the importance of it and makes the story sound even better. Moving on to the Cults podcast, I just started this one today and I am only 30 minutes into the first episode, however, the use of different sounds is very prevalent. The very first second starts with a slow music that is interesting and eerie almost which sets the tone for this podcast episode. There is slow music after an important part to make the words almost linger. there are a few times as well where the music goes stronger in one ear then the other which makes it feel like the noise is almost surrounding the listener. An example away from music would be a part where they were talking about people getting hurt there was a faint ambulance sirens going off under the music, this layered effect with speaking audio as well is complex and makes for a great story.
Listening to Moon Grafiti ,on SoundCloud, there were some parts of audio that stood out to me. For example, there was a lot of beeping, making it feel like you’re there, noise of a recorder, bang noise, silence all of these are important. There are many levels to the importance of it. Normal noises like the beeping at the beginning and a banging noise that would actually be happening are meant to be diegetic but as well as suspenseful music added is nondiegetic to add for our emotion while listening. The sound of bad connection almost. The sound of dust when they kick it off makes it feel like you can actually see where they are. The shutter noise clicking to make us be able to imagine them taking a picture. Throughout this episode, the tone of voice was also important to how the story was heard, when it got scary they would whisper. When one of the men say they are feeling winded and took in a deep shaky breath it was very intense.
I also took part in the DS106 radio live stream on Tuesday night and sound was used a lot for setting the scene, it started in a barber shop which by listening to the noises of hair trimmers, scissors, the door bell going on everytime someone would walk in and out. All of these small noises set up the stage for the place. This is important where sound tells us without actually saying “So we are in a barber shop and this person just walked in and now they are walking towards me”.
I really enjoy listening to audio stories and podcasts because of all these aspects.