Do you need free? As in “copyright free, CCBY, public domain sounds and music for a student or personal project” free? If so, your options are extraordinary and here are a few of them.
The Free Music Archive (FMA) is always first on my list of sites to find free music (and sounds, too). If you and your students need to get up to speed on Creative Commons and legal sharing of music , then please check out the FAQ from FMA and watch the best presentation I have seen to date on using ‘free music’ (also from FMA). There are apps as well.
Next, Zapsplat. They are new and don’t have nearly as extensive a sound library as Freesound, but what I have used is quite good. They also have free music (which I have not tried yet). If you kick in a donation (they are volunteer-run and no salaries are paid to anyone), you can get a few more benefits. It is quite robust even if you don’t donate.
And maybe you want to make your own SFX? Watch this YouTube vid by Ryan Connoly of Film Riot and get some ideas about how SFX are made.
Editing/Sharing Sound Online
Twisted Wave is a simple, easy to use sound editing tool. Here is a file edited. I cut 30 seconds from the end and I added fade in and fade out along with normalizing it.
SoundCloud Pro is my favorite storage space and with the recent infusion of money from Twitter I don’t worry about it’s longer term success as much. SoundCloud works with TwistedWave and other apps, but the best part about it is that it allows you upload any sounds to share publicly (or privately). It allows folks to annotate those files. It is in many ways the YouTube of sound. And…this is so cool I am beside myself… soon you will be able to turn your sound files into vinyl records.
And there is always, Audacity, the open source work horse of audio editing. Free. Free. Free.
I think the best advice I can give you is to just have fun and then make stuff, your own music and your own SFX. It has never been better for those who are not particularly gifted musically to have some fun making music.
Incredibox–this goes in the Internet rabbit hole and where the hell did that hour disappear to.
Hatnote–Hatnote is a fascinating big data visualization project which tries to recreate the sound and sight of Wikipedia as it is being created. I have used this as ambient music and saved it to SoundCloud and Google Drive. I just use my SoundCloud app to record and upload. Then I use the TwistedWave bookmarklet to bring it into that app to be edited.
I paste a new file (my poem) on top of the Hatnote file and ‘Bob’s your very uncle’ something new under the sun.
The value to me personally and professionally in using these files and making new rags from old is that creation makes me feel good. Or as Heather Harvilesky remarked the other day.
I love fountain pens. I love what you can do with a decent one. But I love cheap, too. That is why I am a denizen of bargain pen sites like Jetpens and Goulet Pens. (They also sell very expensive, boutique pens, too.)
My wife accuses me of being a pen porn video addict. OK. My name is tellio. I am addicted to cheap fountain pens. Below is a video of a recent purchase reviewed by Matt Armstrong from “The Pen Habit”.
It is a simple task to crossover from the analog to the digital. Just use MyScriptFont to create a font from your handwriting. In this case I took my new best pen friend, my Jinhao 450, and marked up the font template that MyScriptFont provides.
Scan it after you have used your fav fountain pen to mark in the squares where the letters go. Unfortunately, my scanner only goes up to 600dpi and I think you need twice that resolution. I also tried to take a picture with my phone but that was an interesting failure. So I will update you as soon as I can find a scanner with better rez. My point here is that the joy of analog and the joy of digital need not be mutually exclusive.
In the spirit of infinite play I am following a recent prompt from Steve Wheeler:
Choose a strange pairing from above (or make up one of your own, the weirder the better). Let your imagination run wild, go very slightly unhinged and dig deep into your knowledge of those characters. Some of the connections may be tenuous. That’s part of the fun. Come up with an inspirational, satirical or thought provoking blog post about teaching and learning. Share it and include the tag #twistedpair. Don’t forget to also challenge at least three other people. If we get enough responses, I will create a page that links them all together.
My twisted pair are Mojo Nixon and Epictetus, the profane rocker and the profound Stoic.
OK, I am feeling resistance here. I have had my fill of writing prompts over the years. They often feel false. Other times I recognize them for what they are–pump priming fuel that gets burned up in order to start the engine. In this case we are asked to play. I like play, but generating inspired, satirical or thought provoking stuff about teaching and learning? This feels like managing chaos and a little forced. Isn’t the nature of the imagination that you don’t so much as give it permission as it seizes it?
It is true that both of these figures taught me something. I learned from both of them. It is also true that I could draw many other connections.
So I get to have cake and eat it and save some for later.
Here’s some Mojo to listen to, his only big hit, “Elvis Is Everywhere”
Here’s some Epictetus to listen to, his biggest hit, “The Enchiridon”
I recommend that you play both at the same time. Twisted, dude, twisted.
I get a daily poem in my email from Poetryfoundation.org. Today’s is by a younger Robert Frost before he became the scary old man of American arts and letters. No, really. If you thought that “The Road Not Taken” was truly suitable for commencement addresses, then you need to dig down into its cruft. Not that nice. I know he must have laughed at the thought that others considered it an ‘optimistic’ poem. In truth it is a devastating one about death and despair. But not this poem, not “October”–I don’ think.
I was struck by the heartbeat of the iambics in it-lubDUB, lubDUB, ad heart-finitum. I wanted to read more and connect more with the poem and I wanted to connect the poem to the world it describes, my world on the farm here in Kentucky in October.
I want to have a date with October today starting with Frost’s poem.
So many approaches, many of them redundant, but in the good way that the walnut tree makes more nuts than the squirrels can ever remember to eat.
This post will be a work in progress as I have lots of little micro dates with October the poem, October the month, October the place. I will return as I add links to this post. Consider them as reports from along the edges, the hedgerows, the bramble tangles, the fallen leaves, the wool and warp and weft of October’s loom and shuttle.
Or invite others to go the Hackpad route? This is a collaborative path that converges or diverges as much as anyone could wish. Create your own adventure, mild or wild.
Or I could go with a Storify slideshow?
Or maybe Z33ga?
Or Pocket? (The mobile version will read it back to you.)
Or Soundcloud? (Perhaps you would like to read the poem to us and I could put it here or on Hackpad or make a playlist there.)
Many stances. Some analytic. Some juxtaposing. Some emotional. Some analogical. So many stances to choose from, but all arising from the passion that arises from getting to know someone or something more closely.
Perhaps a Youtube feldgang and a Vialogue annotation?
What am I hoping for, what do I expect on this date with October? What is my null hypothesis? Where will this take me?
What follows is actually a third draft of a collaborative poem compelled by the Charleston murders at Emanuel AME Church. We drafted the text here. We will have a collection of sound files here soon if you feel the need to remix it your own way and add to it.
The principles involved in writing:
Susan Watson: @EatcherVeggies
Fred Mindlin: @fmindlin
Aldon Hynes: @ahynes1
Kevin Hodgson: @dogtrax
Autumm Caines: @Autumm
Sarah Honeychurch: @NomadWarMachine
Sound files provided by Susan, Kevin, Autumm, Sarah and myself.
Garageband loop provided by Kevin.
Editing by myself using iPad app Bossjock and saved to Soundcloud.
Here it is. I think collaboration is going to be the theme of this summer’s MOOC for me. I hope we can get together.
Haiku here inspired by Susan Watson’s poem “Quicksand, Ellipsis”. The story behind this is simple. When it gets emerald and alive and warm and foggy with spring life squeezing into every open door and window and orifice of perception…well, that is surfeit of, too much of, much too much of necessary Spring.
The poem also arises out of my attempts to exercise my creative muscles. One of my ten daily creative ideas was to create kinetic poetry, simple and easy and in my own workflow with the least friction I could manage. So managed and so fun, job done.
This is a kinetic poem created using Jelly Cam to animate a set of screenshots taken using SnagIt and a bighugelabs’ writing tool called Writer. I recorded music from the outercool website Hatnote using QuickTime. (Hatnote is ripe for picking and using in the classroom. My jaded uni students loved it–as in agog and mesmerized like a tantalized chicken.)