DS106 Radio Is The Thriller!

DS106 Radio Is The Thriller

{link url=""}DS106 Radio is the Thriller{/link} cc licensed in flickr by {link url=""}Michael Branson Smith{/link}

Preparing for the Monday’s Halloween themed ds106radio event, “The Horrors of Education,” I created this Vincent Priced themed ds106 radio bumper sticker and bumper. Looking forward to here your most scary experiences in education, as well as any other spooky stuff you can think of.


DS106 Radio Is The Thriller

I edited this bumper in Audacity using the dry voice recording of Vincent Price posted on Youtube from his session for Michael Jackson’s Thriller. I was searching for Vincent Price audio and when I found this, I just couldn’t believe I found him saying “Can you dig it!” It’s like he made it knowing ds106radio would need this sound on tape some day.

I also added two sound effects found on

rbh thunder storm.wav by RHumphries
suonho_ScaryScape_01.wav by suonho

Vader Answering Machine

Preparing for the audio portion of ds106, I decided to create a new assignment, “Movie Voice Machines.” This idea was inspired by a Tim Owens blog post, “This American Life Sex Tape,” which talked about an awesome audio riff on the amazing audio storytellers from This American Life. For Movie Voice Machines you are to create a voice machine message for a character of the movies. Here’s an example of a Cheech and Chong answering machine message.

Voice machines are for the most part an obsolete technology today, but people used to work really hard to create imaginative voice machine messages with music, sound effects and of course their message.

Also this was my first time using Audacity to create any sort of sound work. I followed a couple tutorials from here for setup, and here for basic editing. I’ve used professional tools like ProTools for some time a few years ago, but Audacity was really straight forward and don’t mind really using it.

Here is the list of samples I downloaded and used from

am beep.wav by NoiseCollector
Tape Recorder.wav by Pogotron
OutwardBound.flac by acclivity

For Darth Vader’s voice I added a few of the effects you can find in Audacity, including a pitch shifter and a chorus filter. Finally for the Imperial March music, I played back a sample from Youtube and recorded it from my laptop speakers into the microphone using Audacity. This intentionally degraded the quality of the recording so it sounded like Vader was playing back from an old cassette player into the microphone of an answering machine.

I’m planning to make my own tutorial for Audacity, showing how this was created. And looking forward to some ds106 radio later!


Do It Now!

I have to admit this became more of a dabbling with “found sounds” rather than what I’d think normally as working with sound effect clips. But I couldn’t help myself as I really enjoyed looking through the open catalog of

This little piece started while trying to manage a moment of personal frustration. Not a good moment, so I started my search with the term “search.” A number of the tracks were recordings of police searches in which you heard the drone of helicopters hovering, intermittent siren bursts, and the clipped chatter on a radio scanner. Not an uplifting set of sounds imagining that there are likely individuals (good or bad) that are in a state of mental and emotional strain hiding from this noise.

But there were other ephemera that came up in my “search” – a person rustling through a pile of wrenches trying to find the right one, a turn of the radio dial looking for a good song for the road, and the ever hopeful imaginers that believe there might be signs of extraterrestrial life in a series of NASA SETI pulses. These are buoyant pieces, and can help bring you back up.

Do It Now DS106 by Not Trivial

This is a complete list of the sound samples used from

SETI Pulses NASA by Dynamicell

Radio Suche (finding a station) by mwirth

Rustling Wrenches by vibe_crc

Helicopter Police Search by daveincamas

Windorgan (Wind sounds at Sea) by klankbeeld

Mysterysnippets (How about now) by NoiseCollector

Pastor Steve Speaking by nicStage

Scare Kids by ERH

Direct Order Do it Now by ERH

For editing, I ended up using the video editor Final Cut Pro, using only the sound tracks, only because I’m really comfortable with it. I do hope to make some time to play around with Audacity though.