One Last Breath Before She Goes.

Audio Assignment Week 3 – # 4 Sound Effect Story

Number of Stars: 1 Star - Easy Peasy2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars - Really Frickin Hard

To begin this project, I opened up Audacity and selected my main background noise, which would be the Fire Engine Siren City Centre. I’ve always heard this type of background when it comes to describing a city, and after spending nights in cities on vacation, I can tell you that it’s true. There’s always a fire engine, for one reason or another, just cruising down the road.

I then added the wind. Seeing as the woman (you will find this out later) is on the edge of a building. Again, I’ve never stood on the edge of a building, because my fear of heights prevents me from doing that, but I know the sound. The chill. The way you just want to follow it to the depth of nowhere and be free. I got the sound from here. It fit perfectly.

I then added a ghostly whisper. I was just browsing through different sounds when I came across this. It’s as depressing as you think, even if the voices in her head are telling her good things, she won’t be able to hear them. Not after the next sound, I planned to add. But first I had to shorten the wind so that it was under fifty seconds long.

After shortening, I added a much louder and clearer whisperer, who I warped the voice off at the end to make it sound like this was it. She would go through with it. It was at this time that I began adding the bulk of my audio, including a woman whispering for her to “please don’t” and that was the moment I had to stop because all of this began looking really familiar and I had to go and figure out why.

A few hours later, I came back to the project after figuring out why all of this felt familiar (turns out I have written something similar to this a few years back) and went back to work. I was unable to take photos of most of my work because I had forgotten about that, but I will include what I did.

After adding in the “please don’t” dialogue, I decided to add a moment of silence in both the whispering, city and the wind in order to ready anyone listening for her scream. It was a few seconds long and then I amplified both the wind and city noise while having the fade in, so it sounded as if she was falling. I made that until the forty second mark, so she fell for about ten seconds.

I then decided to pick a wet impact instead of bones hitting the ground. I’ve seen some people throw themselves off a building before, on television of course, but I never heard the sound. Maybe it should’ve been bones breaking and blood splattering everywhere, but I just decided to go with the splatter. Cue people screaming, which I timed so that it would be exactly when she hit the ground. It’s a busy city, so it should draw a crowd.

But they’re no longer important, and neither is the city or the wind, and I found this amazing sounds before you die, that I timed to go off as soon as the impact was over. I made sure the crowd faded out into this sound around the fifty-second mark. Then I added a woman gasping right after the impact as well and had it carry out into the end, making her gasping the last thing that you hear.

I hope you enjoyed this fifty-five-second story. You can view the full list of sounds that I used and some that I speculated using here

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2 thoughts on “One Last Breath Before She Goes.

  1. I think you did an excellent job with this assignment! I listened to your audio before I read your blog post and I definitely could picture some of the things that you wanted us to! Something that I think made your story different than others was that you did ‘layers’ (this is as best as I can describe it). For example, you did the internal and the external surroundings. Like what the woman was feeling, the ghostly whisper, and what the voice was telling her. It all played out very well with the eeriness of the video!

  2. This was incredible. The way you edited it together was so perfect – from the beginning to the end my heart was racing. I listened to it a few more times after reading your breakdown of it and it never lost its (no pun intended…) impact. The distortion of the “why won’t you die?” I think really projected a feeling of finality, like everything about her really had become “WHY WON’T YOU DIE?” Then that beat of silence!

    It’s jarring to be so in her head for the majority of the audio, then switching perspectives to the screams of the crowd, and then back to her just to hear her last gasps for breath. I think the jarring is really good though – it’s like it forces us to feel a kind of discomfort and fear that we don’t normally have to encounter.

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