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Audio (Week 5 Summary)

It’s Audio Week!

Radio Bumper

This bumper was created using Audacity. I recorded my voice and then found a free source music track to place behind the talking. I used the Envelope Tool on Audacity to quiet the background music behind the speaking part, and used fade in and fade out effects to clean up the ends.


DS106 Audio Assignments

Assignment #1: Funny Voiceover

Eminem is really passionate about his McDonalds. For this assignment, I used iMovie to add clips together of an Eminem rap battle but instead of his usually angry singing, Eminem is rapping the Mcdonalds rap song.

Assignment #2: New vs. Old

For this assignment, I took the song “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and remixed the original version with the Glee cover using Audacity.

Assignment #3: Tongue Twister

This assignment was to record yourself saying a tongue twister and layer a sound in the background. I recited a tongue twister about a woodchuck and then played nature sounds in the background to keep the theme consistent, and edited the tracks together using Audacity.


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Reading Movies (Week 10 Summary)

It’s Video Week!


Video Essay

This assignment tasked us to take a scene from a movie and analyze it stylistically, not by the plot. Our readings this week posed questions about why movie/video makers choose to shoot scenes the way they do. What effects do these choices create? What elements of the shot help create the desired effect? Personally, I found Roger Ebert’s approach to movie analysis most appealing because his process is to take a film shot by shot and delve deeply to discover what nuances each shot can reveal about the film. I think that breaking down the film this way helps to better focus the analysis rather than trying to glean something from the film in its entirety. Therefore, with Ebert’s article How to Read a Movie in mind, I analyzed a shot from the movie American Beauty and attempted to break it down as Ebert might. Below, I have embedded a video essay consisting of the shot I chose to look at with a voiceover analysis.


DS106 Video Assignments

Assignment #1: Period Piece Mashup

Assignment #2: Tik Tok It

The original assignment was to make a Vine video, but because Vine no longer exists I used Tik Tok.


Assignment #3: Put it in Reverse Terry


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Looking Back (Week 9 Summary)

This week, we were tasked with taking two of our old assignments and re-doing or remixing them in a new way. Below, you will see the results of that reflection and reinvention.

Revisited Work #1: Now Vogue

This visual assignment was to take a picture and turn it into a magazine cover. When I originally completed this assignment in Week 6, I used Instagram to edit a photo in order to create the magazine cover. This time around, I decided to use the photo editing website Pixlr to see how the two approaches compared. Overall, Pixlr had more options as far a design elements that could be added to the photo in making the magazine cover. I used a “Hello Summer” sticker from the bank and Pixlr had more extensive font choices. I think that Pixlr was the better tool to use for this assignment because you can create a more polished/professional looking final product compared to one created on Instagram. Here is the final work:

Revisited Work #2: Tell a Stellar Story

This web assignment was to create a story using the App Stellar. My original Stellar video detailed a vacation I took to Costa Rica, so for this remix assignment I decided to make a new Stellar project that detailed a one day long significant event in my life. I chose to make a commemorative video about my high school graduation. This time around, I used more of the features in Stellar like placing templates around each image so it looked like a digital photo album. I thought this was appropriate as the pictures within were ones I would put in a physical photo album, and it helped the Stellar to look more unique instead of an like an instagram story. Here is the final video:

https://twitter.com/lknierbein/status/1389069570913284098?s=10

Radio Reflection

While our radio show premiered on ds106 radio, my group members and I watched the tweets that came in throughout. Watching the live reaction was a really beneficial experience in that it gave us immediate feedback on the audience experience of our show, allowing us to see how it came across from the opposite perspective. The feedback we gleaned had a lot to do with what content engaged the viewers the most. Our radio show was about childhood memories, ranging from food memories, injuries, and childhood hopes and dreams. The audience response overwhelmingly showed that viewers resonated most with the stories about childhood injuries. Many of the Twitter responses had to do with people remembering their own childhood bike accidents and sharing them, as several of us talked about this in the radio show. With this in mind, if we had to revise the show I think we would focus it in more on childhood injuries in order to facilitate greater audience engagement. #radiolisten

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Final Project Submission and Summary

Embedded below (through SoundCloud) is my final project!!! I created a podcast titled “Netflix: Fact or Fiction” that is a podcast that combines history with pop culture/modern day TV shows that are inspired by history and historical locations. In this podcast, we take a look at some historical facts or other information about an area and then compare it to shows that have been created inspired by that history!

***Side note*** I truly want to apologize for the sound/dryness/poor quality of my voice on the recording, I contracted strep throat at the beginning of this week (perfect timing!) and wasn’t actually able to talk much until the latter half of the week which set me back. This led to a lot of coughing and therefore stops and starts so I could cut those parts out, my apologies.


Below, I will also include the logo I made for the podcast using an online logo tool and Pixlr:

About the Process:

  • Last week’s brainstorming time was really helpful in that I had a complete idea of what I wanted to accomplish, and so now all I had to do was try and execute it the best I could without wasting any more time not knowing what to do yet. That week consisted of conducting the majority of the historical I wanted to include in the podcast, but luckily I found a great website that consolidated my efforts in one place. I created a resource page that I will link here in this sentence as well as further down in this post that includes links to the sources I used for the historical research. I give all historical knowledge credit/information to that source!!!
  • The other aspect of the show was opinion based commentary, so it was easier to gather however it did need to be organized. Based on blogs I read and my own views on the show, I came up with points I wanted to discuss about each show (Outer Banks and American Horror Story Season 6: Roanoke) compared to the history I introduced each with (the Lost Colony and a broader look at the history and current makeup of the Outer Banks).
  • Now it was time to record. I had used the Voice Memo app on my iPhone and Mac in my previous audio project with my group earlier in the semester, and so I decided to do so again because the quality was the best i’m able to produce from where I am. I recorded 14 separate audio tracks that would make up the podcast: most of them were me speaking (Intro, Outro, Prelude section 1, Prelude Section 2, Main Story Section 1 & 2 etc.), then there was background music for certain parts of the podcast, theme songs for the TV shows discussed, sound effects, and memorable audio clips from the TV shows.
  • Voice memos are automatically saved as the “Filename.m4a” version of audio files, so I used iTunes to convert each individual audio file to an .mp3 file so they could be uploaded and edited in Audacity.
  • I used Audacity to edit together my entire podcast – the bulk of the heavy lifting happened there. One by one I uploaded the clips in the order I wanted, using the “Fade In” and “Fade Out” Effects between clips as well as the Envelope Tool to quiet background music when I wanted it to play behind a speaking part. It was a very time consuming and finicky process to say the least. But I like Audacity and had been able to practice getting my bearings with it earlier in the semester, so it was nice to use it again with some experience.
  • Once everything sounded the way I wanted, the podcast landed at a little over 40 minutes and I was pleased because there is not a lot of filler it is predominantly active content. I listened through it all together and when I was finally happy with it, I uploaded it into SoundCloud with an episode title and cover image. The last step then was to embed it here in this #finalproject summary post.
  • On another note, I referenced a lot of images/concepts throughout the podcast that I wanted my audience to be able to see if they wanted to, so I created a Podcast Resource Page that has pictures and descriptions about the things and ideas discussed throughout the podcast. This page is a separate blog post I created here on my WordPress blog and has media (mostly images) relevant to the podcast, as well as credit to the sources I used when researching the podcast. Please check it out. (P.S. All the media I included for the resource page is embedded directly into the resource page, not linked, just the sources are linked.
  • Finally, I wanted to give a specific shoutout to what the #outstory theme meant to me in making this podcast and how it relates to the final project. I actually speak this excerpt (copied below) in the podcast itself near the end but I will include the script of what I am saying below as I want my idea to (hopefully) come across clearly:

Our Story

“Looking back on history is a great way to better understand where we have come from, and how far we have come as a species. Right now, I’m sitting on the same ground under the same sun where Native Americans first settled the land, where colonists sailed across the sea to establish themselves, where Civil War conflicts erupted and where slaves ran for their freedom, where pirates smuggled jewels and where the first airplane took flight. And now I’m in the modern world and that all seems so crazy and amazing. The way that that history has been internalized, interpreted, and recreated helps show us how we have changed over time and how much we do or don’t understand the past. I think that our perception of history truly shows the mindset of our times, and how we tell that history will reveal if we have learned anything at all from the mistakes and triumphs that came before us. And today, Media is one of the tools we have at our disposal to reinterpret and create new art out of that history. That is why I love historical fiction, and why I created this podcast. The shows I referenced today weren’t the deepest examples of this concept in action, but there is something there in the ability for us to use online tools, cameras, editing software, production equipment, and every other tool we have in this new age to create entire TV shows that are a reflection of our moment in history. This is how we retell, recreate, and reimagine our story“.

~ and scene ~


I cannot believe the semester has almost come to an end and we are turning in our final project for this class. I have learned so much this semester and I truly enjoyed what we got to do and see throughout this class. Thank you DS106 for a great semester, and a great deal of knowledge and understanding of the digital world. Thanks for teaching us how to better listen to and tell stories digitally so that they can be fluid, dynamic, interesting, and meaningful.


As always, thanks for listening. I truly hope you enjoy. Bye for now.

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Podcast Resource Page


This page contains all relevant media that was referenced in the podcast, as well as a few extras, including little descriptions accompanying each so you can follow along as you listen or check back after to episode to see what we were talking about!



Reference Map of the Islands of the Outer Banks

Present Day Look at the OBX

“Croatoan” found carved in a tree at the abandoned colony

*Croatoan was the name of one of the Native American tribes living in the Outer Banks at this time (late 1500s)

The witch “Scáthach” played by Lady Gaga in AHS Roanoke


Kathy Bates plays a completely fictional depiction of John White’s wife Tomasyn in AHS Roanoke


Blackbeard the Pirate frequented the OBX and was killed here in 1718


Painting of the Civil War Battle of Hatteras Inlet that took place in August 1861


The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum located in Dare County, NC


The Wright Brothers National Memorial located in Kill Devil Hills, NC


The Wright Memorial Bridge, the primary access point to the OBX

VS.

The opening shot for the Outer Banks Netflix Show


Sarah Cameron’s House in OBX – a Southern Plantation House in South Carolina

VS.

What a Historical Beach Cottage actually looks like in the Outer Banks


Top: Ferry depicted in the Netflix Show Outer Banks. Below: Real Hatteras Island to Ocracoke Ferry

Map showing the distance between the Outer Banks and Chapel Hill, NC


Links used throughout the research and process to create this week’s episode:


Thanks for tuning in!

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Final Project: The Plan

  • For my final project, I decided on doing a podcast style presentation, however I want to include images throughout the presentation so I either will do a voiceover with changing images or do a podcast and then create an additional post as a resource page where you can see images of what is talked about in the episode, like many podcasts do today.
  • I am going to be talking about the history of the Outer Banks in North Carolina, and then talking about media that has been created inspired by the area. There will be a prelude section that contains a smaller story about a legend from the Outer Banks, The Lost Colony, and then talk about the American Horror Story season based on that legend. I will mainly just be talking about stylistic choices in the TV show and how it is derived from the legend, as well as how it departs from it. Then for the main story, I will first give a brief overview of the history of the area and then compare it to another TV show inspired by the OBX literally called the Outer Banks. It is a fictional TV show for young adults and gained great popularity upon its release in the summer of 2020. It is on Netflix and has a second season coming out. Again, I will be using the actual history of the area and my current experiences living here to do a podcast style informal analysis of stylistic choices within the show and how they reflect/do not reflect the reality of the area.
  • Below I am going to upload some of the media I plan to use either in the voiceover or on the “podcast resource page”.
  • I will be using audacity to edit the audio as well as attempt to create a theme song for the podcast to play in between the prelude and the main story. I will also be creating a podcast logo.
  • The Lost Colony
  • Prelude: talk about the legend, historically what is known and then talk about how it has inspired new media to be created, American Horror Story season
  • Main body of podcast/historical documentary: Talk about the history of the Outer Banks and truths about it, and then talk about the TV Show Outer Banks and then analyze and comment on how the show depicted the area – accuracy/inaccuracy, filming/staging choices, depiction of locals/socioeconomic makeup of the area, etc.
  • This is a very rough outline but I have a plan I promise! I have all the historical research completed and plan to read a script from it.

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Mash-mixes and Re-ups (Week 12 Summary)

live look at my brain after remix & mashups week


Mashup Assignment #1 (4 stars)

For this assignment, I used Pixlr to do some photo editing mashups with different movie stills. Below, you will see Tom Ripley and Dickie Greenleaf from The Talented Mr. Ripley arguing in a boat while Jack and Rose from Titanic exchange their last, sweet parting words. Be nice if the Ripley crew let them onto their boat…

Mashup Assignment #2 (4.5 stars)

This assignment was to show the progression of an actor/actress throughout their years in the spotlight. I chose to highlight Lindsay Lohan’s progression, as I grew up watching her movies all throughout my childhood and early adulthood. Her transformation is definitely dramatic, but I chose to include more of her better moments before her last picture in an orange jumpsuit. Please watch and listen along for the poignant song choice. I used a video template in the Tik Tok app to complete this assignment, and selected and edited the audio to match with the pictures the way I wanted.


Daily Creates – Week 12

This week’s #dailycreates were fairly simple, and are embedded below for your viewing pleasure!


Remix Assignment #1

Per the brief for the week, one of our “remix it” assignments needed to incorporate something we had already completed for the class this semester. While I was scrolling through the mashup assignments for the week, I was inspired by the assignments that detailed changing the audio behind a video to create opposing effects. For last week’s blog, I created a travel documentary trailer and placed a happy, upbeat audio track behind it that matched the mood of the trailer. To mix it up this week however, I went into iMovie again and decided to place a horror movie-esque soundtrack that did not match the content of the trailer at all. The resulting new trailer, embedded below, more so resembles one of the documentaries about a family murder-mysteries that are so popular today… a little eerie. But regardless, the message of the trailer was definitely remixed to create a bit of unease and confusion, which I believe was the point of this week.

Remix Assignment #2

This remix portion of this assignment emphasized over the top editing and color choices – I hope that is obvious by the otherworldly coloring of Katniss and Tris. It said to make the final product bad, and not the good kind of bad. I do however think that the strange colors are kind of reminiscent of a hellfire laden dystopia. I chose to combine these two franchises because they have nearly identical themes: dystopian societies, female heroine, survival, love stories, tyrannical leadership etc. I don’t think the world is ready for this crossover yet but when it is, I have the movie poster ready. The Divergent Games: the ultimate display of feminine strength and power. In theaters Summer 2050.


Here we are again at the end of another week. This semester is flying by.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s work, and as always – stay tuned for more.

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Storytelling with iMovie (Week 11)

a glimpse at the terrifying state of my desktop in the process of completing this week’s assignments


This week has involved a bit of catching up and getting back on track. Speaking of tracks, for this weeks movie assignment I had to deal with audio tracks – muting tracks, deleting tracks, finding free tracks to use that somehow still got copyright claimed on Youtube… – but nevermind! This week’s assignment definitely taught me a lot about what I can do now and what I need to practice on, improve, and further explore.

For this weeks #storytelling movie assignment, I decided to make a Documentary Trailer highlighting a family trip I took back in 2018 to Europe to visit my sister who was studying abroad. I chose to do this assignment because I wanted to practice in iMovie and I wanted to do one long video assignment rather than multiple shorter ones. The finished product will be embedded below for your viewing pleasure:

Now that you’ve seen the final product, I’ll go into more detail about how it came together.

***DISCLAIMER*** I know this video might seem extremely simple to some more experienced iMovie gurus, however it was actually quite time consuming for me as someone learning and involved the application of skills I have learned earlier in this semester, as well as several Google searches for help. Sorry if it is underwhelming to anyone, but it was a valuable exercise for me in that it helped me practice creating with iMovie.


Thinking of an idea for this assignment was the most difficult part for me initially. I needed a story to tell and juggled a few ideas around before settling on this one, because I knew I had a sufficient amount of pictures and clips (content) to create a trailer. I started out using one of the trailer templates in iMovie, but as i’ll explain later I had to make some adjustments.

I chose the movie trailer template labeled “Travel” and set off to work. I first filled out an Outline that included things like Movie (or Documentary) name, group, release date, start and end location, cast list, studio name, and then the information for the ending credits. This stage was simple. Then came the storyboard stage. This stage was the most time consuming by far. However, the iMovie template contained pre-organized blocks for short clips or images to be inserted, as well as title slides in between that ran in order (like they do in a movie trailer). It took me a long time to select all the media I wanted to include, what I wanted to intermittent title slides to say, and what order I wanted each aspect to be in.

I used an assortment of personal videos, pictures, and free source video clips from the internet throughout the trailer.

Side Note: The website where I found the free source video clips (linked above) was very helpful and provided great quality short clips for my purposes in this project. Highly recommend.

Once I had every individual piece of media uploaded and placed in the desired order, I watched the trailer back and realized I absolutely hated the preset music, as well as how short some of the clip times were in the template. So I went on Google and researched how I could more freely edit this project, and subsequently converted the trailer into a movie (within iMovie). This allowed me greater creative liberty than the template, like the ability to change the background audio and adjust the clip times. The template did however provide a great organizational structure for creating the trailer in an order that made sense and looked semi-professional.

Once I had converted the template trailer into a movie, I deleted the preset audio track completely and found a free source track from the website www.fesliyanstudios.com. I wanted a light hearted, upbeat track as the subject matter of this trailer was that vibe. Then I had to edit the length of the track to fit the length of the media that I had uploaded into the trailer. I adjusted it a few times to fit better with the content it played behind, but I really didn’t have to do anything too crazy on this step. Finally, I adjusted some of the title slides and clip times to last longer so that the words could be more easily read and clips that I wanted emphasized stood out more.

Once I was happy with how it all looked in iMovie, I saved the project to my laptop and then uploaded it to my YouTube channel. I was nervous at first when I saw a copyright flag on the video in the uploading stage, because I thought everything I had gotten from the internet was free source. It turns out the song I used came up as copyrighted, but it was still able to be used as long as I didn’t try to monetize the trailer (ha ha) and as long as the copyright owner could run ads before the trailer (fine by me lol). And with that, I uploaded the trailer to YouTube and previewed it there to make sure everything looked alright. Finally, I embedded it here in my blog.


#ideaspart2

This weeks assignment (and the impending deadline) really got me thinking more about the final project. After reading other’s ideas and contemplating the professor’s advice and comments from Week 10, I definitely think I want to do another movie/video format of sorts. I think it is an effective way to combine multiple mediums in one project. Of course, I plan to make something much longer than a 2 minute trailer, and something with a more complex idea/subject matter. But I want to keep experimenting with iMovie and Audacity as well to create audio with more depth and technique. I want to tell a bigger story than I have so far, one that focuses on more than my own life and experiences, although one that still has my voice. Perhaps doing something based on my local community (the Outer Banks of North Carolina) would be interesting, as I am not in Fredericksburg this semester. I think it would be interesting to do a documentary style video that talks about the history of a place and then transitions to modern day video that encapsulates what living there now looks like. I think that could produce an interesting story about comparison between eras, the evolution of society, etc.


As always, thanks for listening/watching/reading. Stay tuned for more next week.

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Lights, Camera, Radio!


Week 8 Daily Creates

This week, we only had 2 Daily Creates and I was very thankful because completing the radio show was very time consuming! However, they were entertaining as usual and my favorite one was recreating a childhood photo. I used a photo collage app for that daily create which was fairly simple, and for the other I simply looked up examples of Vogon poetry and wrote from the heart. Enjoy!


Radio Show – Operation Childhood

In this blog, I will be talking about the second half of the process in making our radio show. Firstly, we all texted to decide on a time that would work for everyone to actually record our show. We decided on a more relaxed, podcast style for the main content of our show, and a more scripted structure for the bumpers and commercials. On Wednesday at 3:30pm, we all got on the app Discord and decided we would record there because the sound quality is better than on Zoom. Initially, we ran into some problems on how to record our audio, because we couldn’t figure out how to use the digital assistant “Craig” who exists within Discord. We decided it was easiest to record the audio through the Voice Memo app on the iPhone. Because I was using Discord on my laptop, my iPhone was available to be used as the recorder. I set my phone a little distance from my laptop so the sound wouldn’t be muffled or altered from being too close to the speaker. We did a little test recording to make sure the quality was alright, and we were satisfied with it so we proceeded to record that way for the entire show. We all began to converse and tell our childhood stories, and it ended up going rather smoothly. We recorded our intro and outro during the take of our entire podcast so the editing process would be simpler. Once we finished talking, I uploaded the recording of our podcast into Google Drive and then shared it with my other group members so we would all have access to it. Our group member Jonah had the most audio editing experience, so he took the lead while we all met again to talk through the edits. We all emailed Jonah the audio files of our bumpers and commercials so he could put them all in one place with our podcast audio, and there it was! We had our completed radio show! I think for a first attempt, we did a fairly good job using audio editing techniques and creating a cohesive final product. I truly hope you all listen to our hard work, and I am looking forward to hearing the shows from the rest of the class.

Below, I am going to embed the link to our show for all enjoy!


As always, thanks for tuning in. More exciting things to come as the semester draws to a close! See you next week.

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Breaking into the Business (Week 7)

This week in DS106, we embarked on a group project to make our own radio show. This process overall was very insightful and taught me to learn and practice new skills, both technologically speaking and in group communication. This post is going up a little late, and I apologize for that, but sometimes you run into roadblocks when trying to communicate with partners when none of us are in the same place. COVID has caused all of us students to be living and learning in different places, so our only means of contact is really email or phone. Although I had difficulties initially getting in touch with my group, they were so gracious and helpful about getting me up to speed and working together to make sure we all got involved in creating the final project. We all posted our individual work on a google doc in order to see where everyone was in the process, as well as created a group message to talk, plan, and collaborate on how to realize our final show. The work I will be including here was supposed to be from last week, however it is the same work that was to be done.

*Stay tuned for later today when I will be updating my blog with our final project, and a description of the process that went into uniting all our group parts into a whole to produce our final show.


Work for the Week

First off, all the group members had to create our own logo, radio bumper, and radio commercial. This was the most individual effort of the whole project I’d say, although we talked about the theme for the show overall. Below, I’m going to post my logo, bumper, and commercial, and talk through the process of creating each.

Logo: DS106 Radio

Here is the logo I created for our show. The radio channel our show will be broadcast on is of course DS106 radio, so that is where the inspiration for this logo came from. I went online to free logo generator to create this logo. I inputted my desired name, then searched for a music theme to find an image that represented sound. Sound is the biggest element of radio because it is a totally audible form of media. Then, since our show is about childhood memories, I chose this image because it evokes the past through the picture of a cassette tape. I thought that this logo brought together all the elements I wanted to encapsulate for out show and I really liked the color scheme and font choice.

Radio Bumper: Don’t go anywhere

To create this bumper, I used the free editing app Audacity. After watching a few beginner videos, Audacity is easy to use and very user-friendly. Our group used the same track for all of our bumpers to create cohesion among the radio show as a whole. So first, I uploaded the bumper music track into Audacity. Then, I recorded myself saying the script for the bumper. These two steps were easy, but now I had to edit. There is a tool in Audacity called “envelop”, and you can use this tool to make one audio track quieter than another. I did this so that my voice wouldn’t be competing with or drowned out by the bumper music. Once I did this, I decided to add fade in and fade out effects to the beginning and ends of the bumper audio as a whole so it would create a smoother transition from whatever came before it in the show. Finally, I saved the finished audio then downloaded it as an MP3 file so that it was able to be sent via email/uploaded to my WordPress.

Radio Commercial: Go Go Squeeze Applesauce

To create this commercial, I followed nearly all the same steps I did when creating my bumper. The only difference here was I had to find my own unique background music to go in the back of my commercial. I went online and downloaded an open source music track that was an upbeat, acoustic guitar song. Because I would be speaking in my commercial, of course I wanted just an instrumental background song. I uploaded that song into Audacity, recorded my commercial, then used the envelope tool to make my voice audible over the music. The reason I chose to use Go Go Squeeze as the product for my commercial was because the theme of our radio show was childhood memories. I am really glad I feel more comfortable using audacity now so that I can implement it for my audio needs in the future.


Can’t wait to show everyone the final product of our show! Stay tuned.

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