Sonic Cinematic: How Sound Environment Can Affect Emotion and Meaning

My project went through many different phases, which resulted in a slight change of idea. This tends to be a recurring theme, but I guess the process is as important as the end product. I originally wanted to record people speaking and replace the words with sounds from nature and machines. This proved to be too difficult; as I could not figure out a way to match up the sounds I was finding on accurately enough with the shapes of the words. So, I after fooling around on various programs, I decided to change my idea slightly. I would keep the soundtrack, but modify it. I ended up using a short video clip, and creating six different samples of the soundtrack. Using Reaper, I layered effects onto the original sound clip. Each track has at least three effects that I tailored to create the sound environment that I wanted. Each of the six clips has a unique tone. I wanted to create a unique space for the sound to exist in and see how the clip changed in meaning with different sound effects.

I did not want to lose the video aspect of my original idea. So, there are two aspects to my project. The six clips can be heard without video, but I also put the effected sound back onto the video using iMovie. The entire video can be viewed as well as just the audio. The video contains this unexpected sound that creates a strange environment (typically, weird sounds are associated with equally weird imagery. In my video, the imagery is completely normal and expected, with strange and unexpected sounds.) I chose the segment that I did because without context, it seems strange and confusing (similar to how without the context of the video, the sound clips are strange and confusing). the link to the audio is here and the video is here


One thought on “Sonic Cinematic: How Sound Environment Can Affect Emotion and Meaning

  1. Hi Ella,

    This was an interesting new direction given the all the technical issues. I admire your re-working the idea into something fun which you could manage in the time allotted.

    As I mentioned in class, if you were to stick with this iteration I would experiment with ways of creating a video. You could modify the video to obscure the true location, or only gradually provide information over time.

    The audio effects themselves provided some amusing moments, especially the pitch-shifting of the voice. But I’d encourage you to keep layering and keep exploring with this–try using the same effects on completely different sounds. If the two very different sounds with the same effects sound more alike than dissimilar, you will know that the effect itself is what is standing out. It’s the audio equivalent of a cheesy instagram filter. It’s something you start to hear over time, the more you work with sound.

    All in all I think you did a great job given all of the challenges, and adapted the project in interesting ways. I admit I’m still somewhat sold on your original idea, and wish you’d tried having someone mouth a single word, and then explored different foley/freesound/processed combos for that. This is the project I mentioned to you when we spoke:


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