That Time My Cat Made me Late for Work

One of my favorite photos of the two of us :’)

The Assignment: Story Time, Fun Time! (3.5 Stars)

The How-To: Okay! This assignment was actually super fun but was probably the most time consuming one of the week… Well, it might have been a tie between this and the hour-long podcast I listened to, which took about two hours because I kept pausing to take notes. Anyways….

To start this assignment I had to think about which character I wanted to tell my story about. Dr. Polack had specified that we should tell a story about a character we have previously worked with, and after seeing how much my classmates love Sephora the cat, it was not hard to land on her. I then began brainstorming stories I could tell about her. I thought specifically about which ones would provide good examples of sound effects. I actually found her in a chicken coop, as a stray kitten, so I considered telling that story. Then I remembered my coworkers’ favorite Sephora Story: the time she made me late for work.

This is a short story that I have told quite a few times now. I recorded myself telling the story aloud and it was about two and a half minutes long. Perfect I thought. Then I converted the file from an MP4 to a Wav file on my mac using this guide. After I had converted the file to the appropriate form, I opened it on Audacity.

A different assignment from the ds106 bank suggested using Free Sound.Org to download free sound effects. Once I made an account I was able to download sound effects for free. One thing I really liked about this site is that it tells you what format the files are in (wav, mp3, mp4, etc) so just to make my life a little easier I only chose wav files, that way I wouldn’t have to convert them after I downloaded them.

I decided to go in and listen to my clip and make notes of specific places that I wanted to add a particular sound effect. For example, after doing a humble brag on my cat, I added in an applause sound effect. Similarly, I added a glass shattering noise when talking about a broken glass. I did this by searching for the sound on FreeSound, finding a wav file I liked, downloading it to my computer, importing it into Audacity, and then moving it where it seemed appropriate in my clip. I did this about five times with specific sounds.

After I was satisfied with the quantity and location of my sound effects, I had to make them match the volume of my audio, as some of them were disproportionately loud. I did this by selecting the individual clips in Audacity and going over to the effects tab. I then hit “Loudness Normalization” to make the sound effects even with the volume of my clip and it worked! Finally, when I was finished I exported the whole thing as a wav file and uploaded it to my Soundcloud. I added in a photo of Sephora and I as a finishing touch.

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