Don’t Even Get Me Started…

My Projects

This is my thesis project for my graduate program in Digital Communication and Media Arts at DePaul University. You can learn more about the program I am a part of by clicking this link. For my thesis project I decided to work with my advising professor on extending the podcast I originally created for a Journalism Podcasting course. For this project, I wanted to complete a total of four goals:

  1. Lengthen the original podcasts to 30 minutes total with an additional 15 minute segment. As well, add five more podcasts to create a total of ten to complete the project.
  2. Design a logo and theme around the podcast that reflects my work.
  3. Create a website that hosts these podcasts as well as additional information about the works themselves and the project as a whole.
  4. Post these works to the website Soundcloud to allows listeners to share the content easily through formats such as social media.

The first goal for this project was to extend on the five original 15-minute podcasts I recorded for the course by editing those original episodes and adding another element to it. I decided that I would add an additional 15-minute segment to the beginning of each podcast entitled People, Politics and Pop Culture. In this segment, I would dig into these topics from my own personal perspective and give the listeners a sense of who I am as a podcaster. The second half of the episode then continued the original segment where I interviewed friends and family to talk about topics of interest to them and things that you “don’t even want to get them started on.”

The second goal for this project was to design a logo and theme around the podcast. Ultimately, I wanted this logo and theme to reflect the work I was doing in the podcast. I designed this logo with a couple different things in mind, the first being the color I wanted it to be. Before I started creating this logo, I did some research on logo colors and their purpose and message. I decided on choosing purple or violet because it reflects education, creativity and uniqueness. I felt that those were the three things that embodied my podcast as the topics discussed educates my listeners on issues of importance such as politics, is a creative outlet for not only me, but my guests to talk about topics they are passionate about, and is unique in that it has its own personality. The second thing I had in mind while creating this logo was the shape that would drive the theme of this podcast. Since this podcast was created to be a “rant” podcast and the title itself reflected that, I needed to find a symbol that demonstrates it. The word don’t helped me ultimately come to the octagonal shape most commonly know as relating to a Stop Sign. This word hold a lot of weight in telling the viewer to stop and it only made sense to choose such a shape to be the main symbol for my logo. Together, these things create the logo and theme around my podcast entitled Don’t Even Get Me Started…

The third goal for this project was then to create the website that would host podcasts and any additional information discussed in each episode. The front page of this site begins with a banner image of me and a guest I recorded with and the title of the podcast. This is meant to be the element that grabs the viewer’s attention when they first arrive at the site, in order to get a sense of what the podcast Don’t Even Get Me Started… is all about. Then, as the user scrolls down the page, the podcasts are shown in reverse order, starting with the most recent episode and finishing with the first episode. That way regular listeners don’t have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to listen to the most recent episode. I structured the front the page this way so that listeners don’t have to click around the site to get to the main content, it’s right there for them to find and listen to. In addition to the podcast itself, I provide links to additional information that is discussed in each episode. There may be certain topics my guests and I may talk about that the listener wants to look into further and these are helpful links that they can click on. The other tabs on this site include this page where viewers can read more about the project, a video and link to information about the DePaul Digital Communication and Media arts program, and a link to my portfolio where viewers can see other works I have done throughout my undergraduate and graduate years.

The fourth and final goal for this project was to put these podcasts up on a site where listeners can access and share these episode easily. Soundcloud was the site I chose as it provides an RSS feed that allows me to link these podcasts directly to this website. As well, Soundcloud allows users to easily share content through email and social media sites. That way, listeners can do more than just hear what my guests and I have to say, but can share it with the world as well.

After completing all ten of these podcasts, designing the logo and theme, and creating the website, I learned a lot about podcasting and the opportunities it can provide to me as a content creator. My most significant learning outcome from this project was discovering the different areas that I can explore for a career path after graduation. Whether I choose sound design, graphic design or website design, this project allowed me get a sense of what it is like to be a professional podcaster and the podcast itself is the physical representation of this. This project allowed me to record, edit and create a design around the theme of Don’t Even Get Me Started…While this project offered a great deal of challenges along the way, I feel that I have created a product I am proud of. It has allowed me to demonstrate my skills as a sound designer, content creator and graphic designer.

Click here to read more in depth about this project and my reflection on it.

You can click here if you want to visit the official site for Don’t Even Get Me Started…


My Projects

I was asked for this project to create the ADR and Foley for the above video. To accomplish this, I teamed up with four other people to brainstorm and create the above clip. The video was provided to us for the purpose of this assignment with only dialogue by the characters and any SFX that were captured on set. We began the project by getting together as a group and watching footage to take note of SFX and dialogue. This would serve as our guide when we would enter the studio to create these sounds. After spending a total of at least 9 hours in the sound studio, we had a full library of sounds ranging from Automated Dialog Replacement for five of the six characters and sound effects for the overall scene. Afterward, we made adjustments in protools to manage levels, smooth transitions, and warp sounds to create this full project. Enjoy Defenseless.

How we chose what tools to use for sound

As I mentioned above, there was a necessary step of familiarizing ourselves with the clip to choose the best sounds for the video. We gathered as a group after the class when we were given the assignment. We noted each sound effect we would need to add in or adjust and its respective timecode. After we had made the list for the sounds, we gathered ideas about what tools we would need to recreate these sounds. Some examples were lettuce for punching sounds, celery for breaking of bones and hangers for the whipping of the air as an arm goes for a punch. Other tools we did not bring in were provided by the studio itself as it had an array of random objects to use for Foley recording.

Some obstacles we faced

The first one was getting the studio time and gathering the group together to accomplish this assignment. Nine hours of our time spent in the studio is a lot and it is all the more difficult with five different schedules of the students to plan around, as well as the studio’s schedule.

The second obstacle was making sure we completed the work in the time we had available in the studio. ADR and Foley work can be challenging and take up a lot of time to be completed, especially when we need to do multiple takes to get a sound just right. We knew what needed to be done, but the challenge was trying to get it done in the time we had available to use the studio.

The third and final obstacle was trying to pick the tools to create the right sounds on screen. We may have initially had an idea of what to use to make a particular sound, but when it came time to record it for the video, it didn’t sound right. When the sound and visual were put together, it didn’t convince us that it was the right sound to use. So we then had to go back to square one and decide on other tools to use for that sound.

What I’m Proud of vs. What I want to Improve on

What I’m proud of was the excellent work done by each of my classmates. While some had more dialogue than others, this didn’t stop them from doing their part in the studio with the equipment and Pro Tools. Because we were all willing to coordinate, we came out with an excellent product. In addition, I am proud of the extra sound designing we did afterward to fill out the clip. This made the video a lot cohesive and impressive when we shared it with the class. Lastly, I’m proud of the creativeness of the group in recording these sound effects and ADR. We mixed up gender of voice to character on screen, as well as using a lot of unique tools to create the sounds we were watching on screen.

What I would like to improve on is very little. The first being that I would like to go back into the file and bring up some of the levels even more so that all lines could be heard at the exact same clarity. The second improvement would be to go back into the studio and add even more foley and ADR. The assignment only required us to replace 5 of the 6 characters, but I think it would be even better to add ADR for that 6th character. Also, there are some sounds we did not create as we ran out of time in the studio, but were not required. I would like to go back into the studio and add those extra sounds to fill out the video even more than we did.

What did I learn?

Sound design requires a great deal of teamwork. This is something that I have grown to appreciate as working creatively on your own can be exhausting. Having other people to help brainstorm, create and edit the work can make the project so much more than I could have imagined. While working with four other people did create some obstacles in certain ways, I think that the work they did to create this video was well worth it. I appreciate the team I had and the resources that DePaul University gave us as student to create this project. Because of these things, I have created my best sound design project yet.

Box of Shadows

My Projects

I was asked for this project to sound design the effects for the video below. To accomplish this, I chose from a variety of sounds in the DePaul University music library and mixed them using Avid Pro Tools. The video was provided to me for the purpose of this assignment with only dialogue and any SFX that were captured on set. There were elements of the original clip that needed fixing, so I also adjusted the levels of the characters voices in addition to adding SFX. After spending a great deal of time adjusting levels and picking just the right sounds, I completed this video. Enjoy Box of Shadows.

How I chose what sounds to use

While there were certain guidelines for this assignment that I had to follow, a lot of the sounds I chose were supplementary to what I had to do. To best pick the sounds, I watched the video provided a few times over to get familiar with what was happening in this scene. Then when I went in search of sounds, some I looked for specifically because I knew I wanted a certain sound, but some inspired me when looking for certain sounds. One example of a sound that inspired me was the grandfather clock. I was looking for the sounds of cogs turning for the box and I found this grandfather clock which become a soft of theme for this scene. Then when I warped it in Pro Tools, it seemed to fit well with the eeriness of scene.

What I’m Proud of vs. What I want to Improve on

There are quite a few elements that I am proud of for this project. The first one being the grandfather clock and how it plays a role in setting a sort of theme in this short clip. It’s reoccurring and gets tied to this box as to let the viewers know when the person inside it is coming in and out of this other dimension. The second thing I’m proud of are all the sounds I ultimately ended up choosing for the box as they all sort of play off each other. Instead of just one or two simple sounds, there are many going at once and that is because you can see many elements visually moving all at once.

One thing I would like to improve on are a couple of sounds that I sort of settled with. I didn’t love the choices for a couple things like where he moves through the wall or down the hall. I would have liked to choose different sounds there, but I couldn’t quite find the sounds I was envisioning in the sound library. So I would either record the sounds myself and use them or keep searching. I know that when we watched these assignments in class, some of my classmates chose those specific sounds I was looking for so it is possible that I can find them within the DePaul music library.

Need For Speed

My Projects

Similar to many other first time sound design projects, I was given a video where I had to design the sound track for. I was not given any particular guidelines to follow, but I had an extensive music library provided to me by DePaul University. As I combed through the diversity of sounds to choose from, I mixed together this project using Avid Pro Tools. I hope you enjoy Need For Speed. 

Kill Serizawa

My Projects

This piece was an interesting an one, you can tell from the video itself. This was a sound design project where I was given the visual elements and requested to design a sound track to accompany it. To accomplish this, I chose from a variety of sounds in the DePaul University music library and mixed them using Avid Pro Tools. As well, I had to record the voice over portion of this video myself and was given a script to do so. All together, it was a challenge first sound design project, but a successful one. Enjoy the video.