Lauren Sargent

S.O.S.: Save Our Sounds

Frequency 2156 is an awesome sight that collects different audio posts from all over the world and compiles them into one gigantic audio narrative. The idea is that the apocalypse has come and people worldwide are attempting to reach out and communicate with someone, anyone. Some of the posts I listened to were goofy while others were rather chilling. I think what helped make the chilling ones so terrifying was the audio effects you can apply to your recording before uploading it. There’s wind sounds, crackly radio feedback and strange noises that can all combine to make it sound like you really did pick up on a signal of distress from years ago or years in the future. I think audio recordings serves this sight well as a way to tell a story of the apocalypse. Although nobody’s narrative seems to sync up exactly, they can stand alone or mix together to give you a picture of a world shattered in numerous ways with everyone looking for help. I especially liked the posts I listened to that tried to sound like official announcements from government or army bases. Those helped make the story immersive and more realistic and balanced out the numerous personal pleas for help. If I were to change anything about this medium, I think I would try to make everyone’s posts blend together more by offering a vague and open storyline to guide everyone along. I would also make it so you could reply to other’s audio posts to start some interaction and back and forth communication. That would make this site extra cool!

Above is the link to my radio dispatch, shared to the UMW pin along with many other DS106er’s work. Under my name, Lauren Sargent, is a hopefully spooky message from a mother looking for help and supplies. I had a hard time thinking up a creative message to say on the air and while I didn’t quite achieve that, I decided to give audio mixing a go. By adding the sound of a baby crying, I hoped to make the message for help seem more urgent and distressing. That baby cry upsets me just listening to it on its own but in the context of the apocalypse, it’s extra distressing! I combined the two sound tracks in Audacity and lowered the volume of the crying to make it less distracting. I then added filters and a little bit of pitch lowering with the Frequency2156 audio mixer.

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