Excerpt from, Edgar Allan Poe’s, “The Masque of The Red Death”

This is the fourth project for the Intro to Media Arts class at Lane Community College. Here I took an excerpt from Mr. Poe’s, The Masque of the Red Death. I chose this poem because I like how simply Edgar Allan is able to convey his fantasy story and still give us enough detail to feel a bit horrified.

This was my first time putting my voice online for others to listen to, and the first time in a long time that I’ve used audio editing software. This project taught me that a huge volume of work goes into the recording and mixing of the sound, voice, music and special effects that we hear almost every single day. It also taught me how important it is to make high quality sound if you want people to listen to what you make.

To record this project I used my phone’s voice recording software, and did many takes, to get some emotionality into the voice. I used Audacity to mix the audio but didn’t check before I did my voice recording if it would accept the audio format from the files I made on my phone; well it doesn’t! So, I played the audio from my phone into the computer’s microphone to get the audio onto a track in Audacity.

Mixing the background sound and music was also a challenging surprise. Fortunately, our teacher, Teresa, gave us access to royalty free music and ambient sounds to use for the project. I sliced up pieces of music to match the story, and used the deep drum and thump-like beats from a couple of songs to recreate the dreadfully musical tick-tock described by Poe in his poem.

To close, I think I successfully experimented with sound, but didn’t succeed in making anything very pleasing to the ear. I have a much bigger appreciation of sound designers now than before I started this project (which was obviously 0%…). There is so much to learn and so many variables that I’m looking forward to exploring during and after my time at Lane. Next time, I will give myself more time to find a good microphone, do more research to find other great sounds, and especially choose music around the same time I am recording my voice so that the sounds play off of each other better.

Thanks for reading.

-Daniel Martinez