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Digital Story Fellers

Hey guys and gals!

This week we needed to review one of the radio shows produced! I was assigned the show done by the Digital Story Fellers. Some of the suggested criteria is below.

Quality of audio sound -e.g. is the volume appropriate? are the levels even? Is the sound clear, and free of noises not needed (e.g. mouse clicks, background noise)?
Quality of audio editing – use of effects, transitions, are the edits clean?
Use of sound effects- how are they used? Is it effective?
Use of music- how is it used? Is it effective or distracting?
Does the show have a structure? Is it cohesive or does it feel stitched together?
Does it tell a story effectively? Is there a sense of drama, unknown? Does it draw you in to listen?
If you would rate this radio show, how many stars out of five would you give to the show

The Review

First and foremost,  I really love the name “Digital Story Fellers” because it’s classy and stays true to the class we are currently in. Also, before going into the details, I noticed the group consisted of 5 people which I believe means the show should have been at least 30 minutes long. The show is 14 minutes and 48 seconds. I assume some people either dropped out or didn’t do any work which is just really unfortunate for the people who completed their parts. First, let’s g over sound: In general, I could hear everybody just fine. There were moments where I would have liked the voice to be more clear and louder but everything was audible nonetheless.  I believe all the music choices and sound effects were very good and appropriate. This group had a variety of background music and short sound effects that complimented whatever topic was being discussed. For example, when one of the people were discussing Neil Young and his tour at age 69, cheering sound effects were played in the background. These sound effects add more depth and meaning to the message and helped me imagine Neil Young on stage rocking it out. The “rock n’ roll” feel of the music was nice and I think it worked well with the male voices. One thing I noticed is that some transitions between speakers were abrupt and it immediately made me think that a “fade out” or “fade in” effect would have solved the problem. Also, because of the volume and clarity fluctuations of the voices, the sound was not “even” throughout the show but it was subtle and not enough to distract me too much. Now, let’s move on to structure: I believe that the structure of the show is a purposeful “mash-up” of news. Kind of like a weekly update type of thing. Having said that, I believe they still could have had more structured transitions between points. Right now, it seems there are different unrelated topics which are connected by music but don’t exactly have “that something” piecing them all together. I’m not sure exactly how to describe it. I understand what they were going for, but overall it felt a little stitched together. This is not to say that the whole thing sounded like a messy glue job, but it wasn’t 100% smooth. This really did not bother me too much though, as I wasn’t expecting professional level radio. The last thing I need to go over is drama: Honestly, the show did not draw me in and I don’t think there was an actual story to it. I don’t care much for rock concerts or sports and that’s just my personal opinion so I can’t say their topics were poorly chosen. I also didn’t think their commercials were very interesting. In real radio, many commercials aren’t interesting because they are simply required sponsor “shout-outs” and I understand that. For this assignment though, we had the freedom to do whatever we wanted and they could have made some exciting commercials. At the same time, I don’t think the commercials for MY group’s radio show were amazingly exhilarating so I don’t feel right about judging harshly. I did really like their introduction bumper because it sounded very much like a real podcast or radio show! If I had to choose a final score on a scale of 1 to 5, I would give this show a 3. My reasoning behind this is that the show had good music, commercials, bumpers, relatively clear sound and structure. It did not receive a 4 or 5 because it was significantly shorter than required, the transitions could have been better and the show lacked an overall story. Not bad for a first show Fellers!

Published inAudio

One Comment

  1. This is a very thorough writeup! It is interesting that you note the disjointedness of the show, as I felt it was an issue with a lot of the radio shows. I know for our grou, for example, we were never able to meet in person. As a result, we had to create clips and splice them together, which admittedly can be a little difficult, especially when you do not have the time to ask for redo’s of clips, and essentially have to make the best with what is given. This hurt both connectedness and consistency in shows.
    As for the commercials, I agree wholeheartedly that the commercials should be somewhere between interesting and absurd. In old horror hosted programs, they would sometimes have fake commercials, and they were always a moment of lightheartedness in what was otherwise a mental thriller. I feel cheated when the commercials aren’t making me double over laughing.

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